Evolving the Resistance in an Alien Metagame

Posted in Event Coverage on March 6, 2016

By Corbin Hosler

Yesterday we looked at the evolution of the Eldrazi deck — or, more accurately, decks — as the Modern metagame bends and twists around them. The combination of Eldrazi Temple and Eye of Ugin has powered a host of Eldrazi decks, from white-blue variants with Eldrazi Displacer to red-green builds that top out on World Breaker, the Eldrazi have taken over Modern.

Some players have even taken other established decks and shoehorned in Eldrazi. Cedric Phillips arrived in Detroit with a Tron deck that was anything but typical, opting to play Eldrazi lands alongside Tron lands, making tons of colorless mana in the process and embodying the best parts of both decks.


Cedric Phillips jammed Eldrazi lands alongside Tron lands to become undoubtedly the biggest mana deck in the format.

But what about the resistance? Those players who would rather adapt to beat the alien menace rather than join it?

The Eldrazi are very good — there’s no denying it. But the rest of the field has been able to adapt to at least put up a fight. From playing decks naturally advantaged like Elves, Living End and Storm to a focus on land destruction, the good guys are staking a claim.

Land destruction, sometimes figurate and sometimes literal, has become the name of the game for many decks. Merfolk, for instance, has always found success with Spreading Seas, knocking opponents off colored mana and thwarting the plans of decks with greedy manabases. The fish have doubled down on that plan with Sea's Claim in recent weeks, and one player went a step further to finish off Eldrazi.

Sabastian Tremblay added red to his Merfolk deck, choosing to play Lightning Bolts with the splashed color, while also including Forked Bolt in his sideboard. The burn spells gave him additional reach at the cost of some of his own life points, a tradeoff that certainly had its benefits against a field full of Eldrazi Displacers and Eldrazi Mimics.

James Zorne has been a staunch Storm player for years, and he wasn’t about to let the new Eldrazis on the block change that.

“It’s always a good choice,” he said of his deck, which is somewhat unique in the fact it runs Gifts Ungiven rather than the traditional Pyromancer Ascension. “It’s got a good matchup against Eldrazi, and I’ve beaten it every time I’ve played it this weekend. Thought-Knot Seer is good against you, but they need more than that to stop you.”


Not about to let some Eldrazi shake him up, James Zornes was live for Top 8 with Gifts Ungiven Storm.

With the Top 8 quickly coming into focus, the battle lines that are drawn remain the same as they did at the beginning of the weekend: Eldrazi are at the top of the heap, but the reisstance is alive and well.

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