How to beat the Eldrazi

Posted in Event Coverage on March 5, 2016

By Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw

But what if, and bear with me here, what if you didn’t want to side with the Eldrazi? What if you had, say, taken an Oath to fight against them? I went in search of some of Australia and New Zealand’s finest fighting the good fight.

New Zealand’s Matt Rogers decided to shelve the Chord of Calling Combo deck he had finished 9-1 with at Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch in favour of Abzan Company. “The Chord deck was good, but it’s too slow now in the Eldrazi metagame,” he explained, “this isn’t exactly a standard Collected Company build, either, I have multiple Big Game Hunter and Fiend Hunter to target Eldrazi decks.”

Matt Rogers is keeping good Company.

“I just can’t play Eldrazi,” Lee Shi Tian admitted. With multiple Modern Pro Tour Top 8’s, Lee is always someone you can turn to for solid advice on the format. “I tried it in a couple of MTGO Leagues but it just didn’t work for me. It worked for these guys,” he said gesturing to his friends, “but not me.” Lee has instead opted to play Living End this weekend as the general lack of graveyard hate now that everyone’s gunning for the Eldrazi should leave it well positioned. “Hill Giant beatdown!” Lee laughed.

Lee Shi Tian is the Living End.

Someone else who is taking advantage of the decrease in graveyard hate is Jason Chung, who finished just outside of the Top 8 at Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch. “Blue Moon isn’t that good against Eldrazi,” Chung admitted of the deck he played at the Pro Tour. “After the PT, I almost traded for the deck on MTGO so I could keeping practicing with it, but then I saw someone 5-0’d a league with Dredge, so I traded for that instead. I’ve spent the last month practicing and tuning the list, it’s probably 50/50 against W/U Eldrazi because they have access to Rest in Peace, but favoured against any other Eldrazi deck. It’s favoured against a lot of the field, too, just not things like Burn or Griselbrand combo decks.” Chung’s deck has some surprising card choices, to say the least. With any luck, we’ll be able to show you it tomorrow.

Jason Chung could Dredge up a better caption than anybody I know.

Taking an entirely different approach is Australia’s Isaac Egan, who is playing White-Blue Control. “It’s anti-W/U Eldrazi,” he said. “I did lose to an Eldrazi deck playing 4 World Breaker earlier though, but that’s my only loss. Against W/U Eldrazi I’m very favoured, Runed Halo on Reality Smasher - and even on Thought-Knot Seer - is just too good. After that, you have all the time in the world to beat them. I even beat another control deck that was trying to run me out of cards earlier. I almost conceded the match on the spot when he played turn 1 Shelldock Isle, but somehow, I got there.”

I asked Egan’s fiancé Wun Chin Lee what she was playing. “W/U Eldrazi,” she answered with a smile. I gave them each a panicked look, how awkward. “It’s fine,” she added. For the past year or so, Lee has been finishing higher than Egan in almost every tournament they’ve entered in. “I need every edge I can get!” Egan laughed.

Isaac Egan’s W/U Control deck is designed to prey on W/U Eldrazi decks… like the one Wun Chin Lee is playing.

So all is not lost, if you have also taken the Oath of the Gatewatch, you too can stand up to the Eldrazi. Let’s hope one of these players, or someone like them, can prevail!

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