Modern Erayo Sword Combo by Luis Scott-Vargas
One of the first combo decks after Saviors of Kamigawa came out was an Erayo deck, using Ornithopter, Chrome Mox and other cheap spells. It got overshadowed by some of the other broken stuff going on back then but I always loved playing it. To my surprise and delight, it’s making a comeback in Modern, thanks to new additions like Emry, Urza and even Lurrus. Let’s take a look at Erayo’s new digs.
The primary combo is Sword of the Meek plus Thopter Foundry, which means that every mana you spend nets you a life and a 1/1 flier (by sacrificing the Sword to the Foundry, making a 1/1, which brings back the Sword).
Adding Urza to the mix makes it infinite as Urza taps all the tokens for mana, and in fact can let you play your whole deck thanks to Urza’s five mana ability.
Emry helps pull back any pieces you are missing from the graveyard and overall is a must-kill for the opponent.
Lastly, Erayo takes advantage of you playing so many spells by locking the opponent out if they don’t kill it before it flips, which is not a big window.
The net result is a blue artifact deck doing blue artifact decks things, with Lurrus as a backup in case they kill too much of your stuff, and Mox Amber as the way to accelerate all of this out.
This is Modern, so you want speed and you want it now. Key cards to see in your opening hand are Mox Amber, Emry, Erayo and cheap artifacts. Assembling Thopter-Sword isn’t as much of a priority as you might think, since that naturally shows up once you start your engine.
Keep. This is a turn two Erayo flip – you play Erayo, then Mox, tap it for blue to Repeal itself and replay it. It’s just as easy as that.
Mulligan. This hand has no meaningful plays until turn four Urza, since you don’t even have double black for Lurrus. You just can’t be this slow.
Keep. This is a turn one Emry, which is a good enough gamble to take. Plus, Bauble draws you extra cards, so even if they kill Emry, you may find some lands.
This is a tricky deck to play, so practice is a must. There are so many interactions to pick up and it’s hard to do so without getting reps in.
- Remember to tap everything to Urza before sacrificing it (unless it’s part of a cost to tap it too). Urza makes a LOT of mana and you don’t want to miss out.
- You often want to keep artifacts in play to fuel Emry and Urza, even if they do something when you sac them. The more you have in play, the better.
- Spinning Urza’s five mana ability is usually a good use of a turn if you aren’t comboing. Don’t be afraid to just move in on doing that.
- Erayo only flips on exactly the fourth spell, and looks backwards over the turn, so be careful. Also note that it counts your opponent’s spells, so they can mess with your count if they know what you’re up to (like by playing a spell in response to Erayo).
- Chromatic Star can make off-color mana for Engineered Explosives in a pinch.
- You can play Explosives off Lurrus for up to X = 2, but not past that.
This deck is a blast. I’ve played tons of decks like it and I loved all of them, so it’s no surprise that this mashup is one I’m into. I think you’ll enjoy it if this if it’s your cup of tea (and if you know, you know), so good luck, and may your Erayos flip on turn two.