Crafting the Narset Cannon in Modern

Parker Ackerman
April 04, 2017

I’m sure we all know about “Taking Turns,” the deck that tries to string together extra turns long enough to get a win out with Part the Waterveil. But what about chaining together combat phases. Sound like fun? Now what if I told you that you could chain them into a turn 1 win? Oh, you’re interested? Then keep reading.

 Today I have a nice little treat for you, originating from this MTGSalvation thread (although I found it on this Reddit thread). It’s called “Narset Cannon,” and it tries to use Narset, Enlightened Master’s attack trigger to cheat out an Emrakul, all ending in one or two swings from Her Noodliness. I guess the first thing you’ll want to see is the decklist, so here it is:

Narset CannonParker Ackerman Narset, Enlightened Master Simian Spirit Guide Emrakul, the Aeons Torn Forbidden Orchard Gemstone Caverns Gemstone Mine Mana Confluence Conflux Enter the Infinite Faithless Looting Fury of the Horde Serum Powder Goryo’s Vengeance Pull from Eternity Spoils of the Vault Waves of Aggression Omniscience Eternal Scourge Lightning Axe Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth Ancient Grudge Crucible of Worlds Ghost Quarter Pact of Negation Pithing Needle Steel Sabotage

This deck is capable of being very explosive, and winning turn 1 isn’t the rarest thing in the world. In fact, this deck plays more on turn 0 than any other deck I’ve ever played. It also dies to itself turn 1 more than any deck I’ve ever played, so that could be an issue. But hey, we’re not here to win every game! We’re here to bathe in the salty tears of our opponents when we hit them with a turn one 15/15 Annihilator 6! So, how does the deck do it?

  1. Go second so that you can get an extra card.
  2. Get Narset into the graveyard.
  3. Cast Goryo’s Vengeance, bringing back Narset.
  4. Attack with Narset, hopefully hitting some extra combat spells that you can cast for free.
  5. Chain these together until you can hit an Omniscience and Enter the Infinite, drawing your deck.
  6. Put Emrakul back on top of your deck.
  7. Cast Spoils of the Vault, naming any card other than Emrakul
  8. Cast Pull from Eternity on your recently-exiled spaghetti monster.
  9. Goryo’s out your Emrakul, and keep chaining those extra combat spells!

It might look like a long process, but I can assure you...well, actually, it is a long process. But that’s the fun part. The other fun part is just how many ways you can accomplish these things. Narset can be put into your graveyard through Faithless Looting, or by exiling it with Spoils, Caverns, or Serum Powder, and pulling it from eternity. The deck is surprisingly consistent given what it’s trying to do. Games wrap up pretty quickly, so if you’d rather be on reddit than playing your matches, this will give you plenty of time to do so.


  • If you have either Pull and Spoils or Goryo’s and Spoils in hand, plus a land (especially caverns), it’s a snap keep. Name either Pull or Goryo’s (whichever isn’t in your hand) with the Spoils, and pray for the best.
  • Never cast Emrakul unless the combo just completely fizzled and you have her in exile. You always want to cheat her out with Goryo’s so you can get haste.
  • This isn’t a deck that requires you to have a highly-tuned sideboard. In fact, you’ll almost never use your sideboard, since so much of the deck is crucial to the combo.\

Perfect Hands:

  • Gemstone Caverns, Rainbow Land, Simian Spirit Guide, Narset, Goryo’s Vengeance, Pull from Eternity. This lets you exile Narset with Caverns on your opponent’s turn (turn 0). On your turn, you play your rainbow land, pull narset from eternity, and then cast Goryo’s.
  • Rainbow Land, Rainbow Land (or Simian Spirit Guide), Simian Spirit Guide, Narset, Goryo’s Vengeance, Faithless Looting. The play here is similar to the last hand, except here you pitch Narset to Looting, and then use Goryo’s to get her back.

Additionally, one of the best cards in the deck that isn’t directly related to the combo is Conflux. The card is incredibly versatile, and you can make a fair few different piles with it. There is one pile that you’ll want to know by heart if you want to play this deck though:

  • White: Pull from Eternity
  • Blue: Narset, Enlightened Master
  • Black: Goryo’s Vengeance
  • Red: Fury of the Horde
  • Green: Conflux

The idea here is that you exile Narset and Conflux to pay the alternate cost on Fury, which gets you an extra combat step. This pile sets it up so that even if you fizzle this turn, you can use your Pull from Eternity on Narset next turn, and then Goryo’s her onto the field, and try again.

When everything’s said and done, this deck probably won’t be winning a GP any time soon (don’t quote me on that). However, it gets more free wins than any deck I’ve ever played, and is an absolute blast to combo out with. Does a turn 0 Leyline of the Void ruin your day? Definitely. Should that stop you from taking this bad boy for a whirl (or maybe it’s a girl? The two main cards are female…)? Definitely not. After all, who wouldn’t enjoy smashing the opponent with a turn 1 Emrakul? Now that is Magic the way Richard Garfield intended.

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