Jul. 14th, 2018

UW Polymorph in Modern

Jank Tank
UW Polymorph in Modern

If you've read my article on BR Reanimator, you know that I find great joy in dropping baddies on the battlefield in cheap ways. This is a little trickier to do in Modern than in Legacy. The usual contenders for this type of combo are and . The red-headed step child to these cheesy summon strategies is . For four mana, you get to replace a creature on the battlefield with a random one in that creature's owner's deck. Doesn't seem that good, right? Well normally, it's not.
But if you're playing a deck that only has one creature in it, and that creature is , then maybe you have something...

This brew I threw together is a Blue White Control package, with a Janky Combo thrown in. There were more budget options that I felt I could have gone with for this deck, but I decided to go with a more competitive build. Having Spikes think we're running a tier 1 Modern deck, only to be hit by a 15/15 Eldrazi the next turn is our end goal.

UW Polymorph

The Main Strategy

We want to stall out our opponent as much as we can before we drop our combo bomb. Luckily, this is pretty easy in Blue and White. We're running tons of control staples, like 4 , 2 , 1 (just to keep Meddling Mage in check really), and 2 . If the last few months of Modern have taught us anything, it's that this new planeswalker is incredible in control decks. We have a lot of heavy cards, so we really just want to make sure we can stay alive for a while, while we set up our finisher.

We're running 4 , and 1 (essentially the same effect on an artifact), and only 1 creature we can actually hit with them in Emrakul. The slight catch with these cards though is that we need to actually target one of our creatures in order for this to work at all. That's problematic, but luckily we are running some interesting pseudo-creatures that can help with this. We're running 4 , simply because it enables our combo. For 3 mana, we can get a 2/2 Flying Hexproof, a perfect target for a . Sometimes we only need this creature to stick around for a single turn, and usually that's with tons of back up in terms of counters and removal.
We're also running 2 , for the same reason as . It's a pseudo-creature than can get turned on for cheap, and can come down early. At first, I tried having fill this spot, but I found it much harder to cast a non-creature spell and then , rather than just having 1 mana up after casting a non-creature spell at some point. Once we have one of these creatures up, all we need to do is target it with our namesake card, and reveal our deck until we hit Emrakul.

Increasing Consistency

It's a little risky that we're only running 1 Emrakul in our deck. However, there's ways to make this combo a little more resilient. The first issue we might face is if Emrakul is actually in our hand. We really have no way of casting her, so we need a way to put her back into our library if need be. There's a few options for that. First, we have . We can with him and stack our deck with the Eldrazi Titan pretty easily if need be. We're also running 2 . This cantrip allows us to draw 2, but also shuffle a card back into our library. This is perfect for when we're in the late game and our target is just sitting in our hand.

One other issue that seems like a big deal is if we actually hit Emrakul with . However, it actually isn't. Since Emrakul shuffles back into our library when it's put into a graveyard, all we actually have to do is make sure our 2/2 dies and our combo is back online. But the odds of this happening at all are pretty darn low.

The backup strategy

If our janky combo doesn't work, we're still pretty flexible. We might not be a full fledged UW control tier deck, but we aren't that far away from one either. If our Emrakul gets exiled or something, we still have the same win condition as other control decks in Modern: beating our opponent with Celestial Colonnade. Since Emrakul *does* get shuffled into our deck as well, it also isn't the end of the world if one of our effects fizzles, or gets countered. We can sometimes try and fail 2 or 3 times with our combo, and still end up pulling off a win.

Conclusion

Playing through a bunch of matches with this deck, I gotta say, it's a blast. The control package we have really helps our combo consistency, since we can stall pretty hard. There are some matchups like Burn that were just too fast in Game 1, but sideboarding helps out with the speed decks. Once you know the coast is pretty clear, it's not too hard to hold up 4 mana and drop Emrakul. There were some games where I actually ended up dropping Emrakul, but dying the next turn just by board damage. I considered running as a bomb that also would help heal us up. I'm sure I'll try tuning this Janky list. That's all for now!

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