Cassius was here over the weekend, which made watching Magic tournaments a bit harder than normal. We played a lot of Cave Story over the weekend, and really just interacting with my son is a lot better than watching Magic anyways. However, I tried to catch up on things whenever it was bed time, and was really bummed out over the lack of what I consider to be a cool deck. The prizes for the Invitational at SCGCon are way too good to run the cool deck gambit, the competition is fierce so coming in to the event with a deck that is not proven does not seem to be the best of ideas. At a Grand Prix the fields are larger and the potential to take something off the wall could work out in your favor. Of course taking a rogue deck to either event, one with a tight invite only field or an open is a bit of a risk, the metagame may shift, the testing you did may not be accurate, or you may just run bad against what was once considered a good matchup. It’s a high risk, high reward kind of situation.
Thoralf Severin took that risk at Grand Prix Copenhagen. Finishing at 27th place with an 11-4 record seemed to pay off for him. He started off day one with a 7-1 record. From the event coverage (which you can find here, and here) he talked about The Eldest Reborn. This is what he had to say.
Each chapter of The Eldest Reborn does something that I want a card to do. The first chapter makes them sacrifice a creature or planeswalker. The second chapter makes them discard a card. Both of these potentially fuel the third chapter, which is one of the best effects in all of Magic: The Gathering.
Put target creature or planeswalker from a graveyard on to the battlefield under your control.
That’s a spice meatball! I really enjoy a good reanimation effect, and one that can grab planeswalkers is that much better!
Thoralf built this deck to take full advantage of The Eldest Reborn. Tormenting Voice and Cathartic Reunion can take dump some of your own creatures, fueling your own graveyard in case it’s needed for the third chapter and also giving you more action to play. Abrade, Fatal Push and Sweltering Suns keep the board clear and help fill your opponent’s yard for the same effect. Doomfall, Magma Spray and Vraska’s Contempt exile creatures, so they do not really interact as well as they could with the enchantment, but are still amazing cards to have in the deck. Liliana, Death’s Majesty is the best walker to have in the deck, it creates creatures, it fills the yard, and it can be mass removal that gives you the juiciest targets for the third chapter. There are a few creatures in the deck. Walking Ballista is of course the best creature in Standard, and Gonti, Lord of Luxury is a fantastic creature that should take away one of your opponent’s best cards. Noxious Gearhulk, which is criminally underplayed, and my favorite gearhulk. While it is not as flashy as Torrential Gearhulk, the removal and life gain that it offers have saved my bacon on more than one occasion. Memorial to Folly is awfully nice in here as well, as you can return any of your creatures that have died, and since they are all amazing getting to recast these cards is great for you!
When asked about the low creature count, Severin replied
The deck doesn’t even play many win conditions because you just win with their creatures.
Honestly with that kind of gameplay, that should be exciting to nearly every control enthusiast! While Standard may be solved, it is nice to see some innovation in the format still.
The Eldest Reborn Control
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