Mono-White Eldrazi with Stoneforge Mystic
It happened. It finally happened. Wizards has released Stoneforge into the Modern world, and with it there has been a flood of new brews putting her to good use.
That said, I’m sure everyone knows the logical conclusion of this unbanning. The place where the meta will inevitably settle. The top dog deck, the one everyone saw coming to take Hogaak’s crown. That deck, in case you’re somehow still not sure, is this list from yu-ki.
What? Not what you were expecting? I’m shocked. It’s Stoneforge Mystic. It’s Eldrazi. It’s Karn, the Great Creator. It’s everything anyone could ever want from a deck and more. Stoneforge provides a solid base for the deck, giving us a good way to assert ourselves on the board and set up our end game of equipping Reality Smasher at the same time. Thalia slows down our opponents while giving us a decent body, and at the very least she makes them waste an extra mana to remove her.
Eldrazi Displacer lets us reuse our ETB effects and helps us avoid removal, while also taking out potential blockers. An unanswered Displacer makes any combat impossible for the opponent. Matter Reshaper is a great value card with a solid body, and Thought-Knot Seer can be devastating to our opponent. Finally we have Reality Smasher, which is just generally big, scary, and hard to stop. Seer and Smasher are the reason to play Eldrazi in Modern.
Karn, the Great Creator lets us have a toolbox-y gameplan with a wishboard, and a nice lategame lock alongside Mycosynth Lattice, and Chalice of the Void lets us fight against decks with lots of cheap interaction like Path to Exile and Fatal Push or shut down Burn. Chalice on 0 can be huge against Mox Opal decks on turn 1 if you're on the play. Simian Spirit Guide helps us play out our gameplan just a smidge faster.
Sword of Fire and Ice, Sword of Light and Shadow, and Batterskull are our Stoneforge package. Sword of Fire and Ice protects the equipped creature from Lightning Bolt and other red removal and lets us get through a couple different blockers. Additionally, every hit has the chance to put us up two cards since we can kill a creature and draw a card. It also gives us a little bit more reach since the shock can go to the face. In a deck with a lot of ordinary creatures that don't accrue advantage, Fire and Ice gives us that upside. Sword of Light and Shadow does a ton of work protecting from removal, since a single X/2 can now avoid dying to Bolt, Path to Exile, and Fatal Push. The trigger is pretty good too, helping us stabilize and recur threats as the game goes longer. Finally we have Batterskull, which comes down usually for just two mana thanks to Stoneforge Mystic. This gives us a 4/4 with Vigilance and Lifelink that can easily block most threats in the format, and if the germ gets killed we could bounce it and replay it to keep our board from getting too “tall.” Reality Smasher also looks great carrying a Batterskull.
Our manabase is full of a bunch of interesting lands, and there isn’t a single shock or traditional fetchland. Blast Zone helps us clean up against go-wide decks with a lot of one or two CMC creatures, but notably misses tokens. Blinkmoth Nexus gives us an extra creature in a pinch that we can gear up if we really need it, Cavern of Souls helps make sure our beaters get down in the first place, and Eldrazi Temple lets us do some insane things in the early game. Ghost Quarter is always nice to deal with utility lands from our opponent, Prismatic Vista acts as extra copies of our Plains and Wastes, and Shefet Dunes gives us an extra white source with a team-buff to finish things off in the lategame. Plains get us white mana and are generally accepted to be pretty alright, and Wastes lets us find colorless mana when we need it with Prismatic Vista. Lots of basics is nice with more and more Path to Exiles in the format.
In the sideboard, we mostly have a Karn toolbox so we can adapt to any given situation. Tormod’s Crypt is a quick and easy way to deal with Hogaak graveyard-based decks, Walking Ballista can help finish a game off or take out small armies, and Grafdigger’s Cage does double-duty by hampering graveyard strategies and creature decks like Collected Company. Liquimetal Coating is one of my favorite cards in the sideboard, allowing us to play Karn, grab Coating, and then play Coating on our next turn. From there, we can use it to target a non-artifact permanent that an opponent controls, like a land or an Urza, and thanks to Karn they won’t be able to use that permanent’s abilities on their own turn and Sword of Sinew and Steel can cause some huge blowouts with its triggered ability in addition to being wishable with Karn. Sorcerous Spyglass helps us plan our wishes and take out planeswalkers.
Winds of Abandon acts as a slow Path to Exile that gets around Chalice while also having the not-so-secret “boardwipe and win” secondary mode. Dismember is cheap removal, Ensnaring Bridge lets us lock out against other creature decks so we can live long enough to stabilize Gideon, Ally of Zendikar makes plenty of bodies to wield swords, can hold one himself, and is just a straight four-mana anthem if we want it. Rest in Peace is another piece of graveyard hate. Finally, we have Mycosynth Lattice here specifically to be wished into the game by Karn, since Mycosynth + Karn means our opponent can’t tap their lands for mana anymore.
- Chalice can be played for X=1 on turn 1 with Simian Spirit Guide. Consider this against decks that like to play lots of cheap cards.
- Reality Smasher can be played as early as turn 2 with a not-terribly-unreasonable-but-still-not-realistic hand. Two Eldrazi Temple, one Simian Spirit Guide, a Reality Smasher, and a dream. That’s all it takes to make this happen. Turn 2 Thought-Knot Seer is a lot easier, and just as obnoxious.
- If Batterskull itself is targeted with artifact removal, you can pay three mana to bounce it back to your hand. This isn’t ideal, but it does give you some protection if you need it.
- It’s worth noting that the loyalty abilities of planeswalkers are activated abilities, meaning Liquimetal Coating can shut them down alongside Karn.
- Eldrazi Displacer can help keep the card advantage coming alongside Stoneforge Mystic. Play Stoneforge, play tutored equipment. Blink Stoneforge, repeat.
- This is a very specific corner-case, but still valuable and easy to remember. If an opponent has an empty hand, just put a card on top of their library through Scheming Symmetry or Noxious Revival, and we have a Thought-Knot Seer and Eldrazi Displacer on board, we can stop them from getting the card they want. During their draw step, after they’ve drawn their card, you can blink TKS with Displacer to exile the card they tutored, then make them draw another card to replace it.
- Karn, the Great Creator’s +1 ability can be used to destroy artifacts with CMC 0. This is also relevant if you have the Karn-Mycosynth lock but think your opponent has a way out of it, since it lets you blow up lands to leave a more permanent effect even after Karn is gone.
- In an extreme pinch with a Blinkmoth, Batterskull, and a lot of mana, you can animate Blinkmoth, equip Batterskull to it, then attack. Since it has Vigilance, it will still be untapped, which will allow you to use its ability to give a Blinkmoth +1/+1 until end of turn. This means you can pay effectively 8 mana to swing in with a 6/6 for one turn. But sometimes, that’s all you need.
- Phyrexian Metamorph can come in from the wishboard to provide redundant effects, like another Batterskull or a Chalice on 0.
- Basilisk Collar is a generally solid equipment, and if you end up using Walking Ballista more, Collar will help you kill a lot more than you could otherwise.
- Lightning Greaves can be found with Stoneforge and lets us give anything haste and protect it at the same time.
The deck does a lot of weird things, but it does them all pretty well. The big Eldrazi gameplan helps keep the pressure on if the Stoneforge package falters, and Karn gives us another angle of attack if our opponent focuses too much on stopping our creature plan. This is a lot of fun to pilot, and is probably one of the wildest, most fun decks to come out of the Stoneforge unban yet.
Buylist Hot Buys