Hello again all! I’ve spent the last few weeks preparing for Standard and Dominaria Limited, but, when I can spare the time, I’ve been working on learning all of the complicated lines of what I believe to be the deck that has more raw power than any deck in all of Modern.
Wow! This is a lot to take in! Let’s try and break it down into sections:
Section 1: The Combo:
At its most basic level, this deck features Hall of the Bandit Lord to give Devoted Druid haste. This allows you to avoid the traditional problem that comes with casting Devoted Druid: summoning sickness. Being able to combo out of nowhere forces your opponent to respect the combo at all times.
Section 2: The Tutors and Dig:
This is my favorite part of the deck. Most “SUPER DUPER FAST COMBO DECKS” are all about inconsistent decks that can’t deliver a reliable way of getting all of its pieces together. Now, we all know that blue has the most uniform selection. Cards like Serum Visions, Sleight of Hand and Opt don’t have the same type restrictions as these green spells, but, they don’t go nearly as deep. Having cards like Commune with Nature or Ancient Stirrings that each go 5 deep to find either a creature or Hall of the Bandit Lord is helpful, while cards like Adventurous Impulse go 3 deep for any part of the combo. And all of that doesn’t even begin to describe the straight tutors in Summoner’s Pact, which finds Devoted Druid, Duskwatch Recruiter (which finds Ballista once you’ve got the combo in place) and Wild Cantor which can enable a Turn 2 kill turning one of the 2 green mana Druid produces into white mana for Vizier. Wowza.
Section 3: Delirium and Etcetera:
Traverse the Ulvenwald is downright fantastic here. It finds your land, finds your creatures, and anything in between. The trouble is getting the Delirium active. Previous versions have played cards like Oath of Nissa or Unbridled Growth in order to get another type, but, this version hones in on the consistency of getting the other types in order to add the maximum amount of selection to the list. The Mishra’s Bauble and Street Wraith are fairly obvious additions, but, Conjurer’s Bauble and Deadshot Minotaur offer an extra type with a little bit of benefit to them, most importantly Conjurer’s Bauble lets you return discarded parts of the combo back into the deck.
Section 4: Bonus Slots for Protection:
Good Golly! You have a great combo, fast, efficient selection, a powerful tutor engine that activates Delirium more quickly than almost any deck in the format AND you have room to sleeve up 4 Pact of Negation?! I’m so in. Pact of Negation and, to a lesser extent, Post-Mortum Lunge, offer the ability to combo through removal. Once you resolve Devoted Druid, you can add 2 mana to recur either part of the combo for the cost of 2 phyrexian mana. This card reappears in the sideboard in order to offer more resilience versus the Jund strategies.
Bringing it all Together and Sample Kills:
The strength of this deck is that it is the most efficient, most streamlined, most focused version of the Druid/Vizier combo. This has a lot of strengths because it can devote so much attention to finding, playing, and casting the combo. Cutting do-nothing cards like Birds of Paradise and the midrange creatures gives you more room to search, tutor and dig. However, there are some downsides. This deck cannot grind like a company deck. You’re playing Pact of Negation. You’re looking to close the door quickly. After sideboard, half-baked plans like Postmortem Lunge and Mystic Enforcer offer ways to go longer, but, the plan is to go quick. Turn 2 and Turn 3, generally.
The Turn 2 Kill:
Hall of the Bandit Lord + Green Source
Devoted Druid – Make GG
Wild Cantor/Manamorphose – Turn G into W
Vizier of Remedies
Produce a lot of G
Summoner’s Pact/Traverse/Green Cantrip for Walking Ballista or Duskwatch Recruiter, which finds Ballista
The Turn 3 is more consistent because you only have to replace the Wild Cantor/Manamorphose with a 3rd land. Moreover, being able to Traverse for Wild Cantor means that your 3rd land doesn’t have to even produce green!
This means that on the first turn, you’ll have to make the decision if you want to play your ETB tapped land in Hall of the Bandit Lord and not cast your green cantrips on the first turn or opt for a green land turn one and wait until the 3rd turn to go off. After board, you’re looking to either add resiliency in cards like Postmortem Lunge or Defense Grid, change the game plan with Mystic Enforcer or add insulation from aggression and hate cards with Path, Pact, and your Naturalize and Shatter effects. You really don’t use the graveyard much outside of the Delirium package so cards like Grafdiggers Cage, Leyline of the Void and Spellbombs don’t have much of an effect without a clock, but, we are generally cold to a card like Leyline of Sanctity because Walking Ballista is the only card we can use to kill our opponent. Similarly, the newly printed Damping Sphere puts a little hurt on our free Pacts, Baubles and piles of Cantrips etc etc. Moreover, cards like Magus of the Moon, Blood Sun and Blood Moon completely turn off Hall of the Bandit Lord, which is sometimes a problem. Finally, the stupidest thing I’ve lost to is Harsh Mentor. Wow that card is a nightmare.
Much like all the top decks in Modern these days, the power in Turbo Vizier or Eternal Devoted Vizier is the ability to know when to mulligan, how to most efficiently sequence your spells to delirium and knowing your outs. Here are a few quick tips:
-You’ll notice that the deck has a lot of sorceries, so it’s less important that we put a premium on putting those in the yard, they’ll definitely come. Similarly, these should be the cards you’re looking to cut.
-Look for Bauble activations to see if you should Street Wraith before or after a fetch.
-It’s not unreasonable to find an avenue to victory if you have the infinite mana combo but not a way to win. Just be careful about Summoner’s Pact and more dangerously Pact of Negation. Summoner’s Pact can be paid for if you can start your upkeep with the combo (sometimes with access to Postmortem Lunge), but, Pact of Negation is only something you can pay for with a Manamorphose.
-Hall of the Bandit Lord is Legendary. In a pinch, playing a 2nd could be the land you need for Delirium or Threshold. Similarly, the 2nd Walking Ballista can be an artifact in the graveyard when cast for 0.
-You can Pact of Negation your own spell to add two types to delirium or Summoner’s Pact before you seek out your Traverse target.
-Summoner’s Pact and Delirium Traverse the Ulvenwald can find Wild Cantor which acts as a tutorable Manamorphose to turn Druid mana into Vizier’s CMC.
-Conjurer’s Bauble can put a card on the bottom and depending on the number of cards in your library, you can use Duskwatch Recruiter to put it to the top of your library and use a Street Wraith you found to draw it again.
That’s all I’ve got for this week. I hope this article is helpful for some of you and I’ll be sure to report my continued results with this wild new list.
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