This week in brewing, we get back into Modern to fight the Eldrazi menace. Aggressive Eldrazi strategies are putting up numbers similar to Twin before the banning of [casthaven]Splinter Twin[/casthaven]. This week we tell everyone that is running Eldrazi Aggro that we have had enough. [casthaven]Reality Smasher[/casthaven] is our friend in this deck with cards that have the Madness trigger. [casthaven]Fiery Temper[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Dark Withering[/casthaven] join our deck in order to help punish the Eldrazi deck and exploit the discard clause on [casthaven]Reality Smasher[/casthaven]. We have [casthaven]Gut Shot[/casthaven] for a zero mana answer to [casthaven]Eldrazi Mimic[/casthaven], most of the creatures in Affinity and Infect as well as some mana dorks from other decks. Without further ado, this is Mardu Eldrazi Fighter.

Mardu Eldrazi Fighter

Lands (24)
Arid Mesa
Blood Crypt
Bloodstained Mire
Godless Shrine
Marsh Flats
Sacred Foundry

Creatures (8)
Fulminator Mage
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
Liliana, Heretical Healer

Spells (28)
Ajani Vengeant
Dark Withering
Fiery Temper
Gut Shot
Kolaghan’s Command
Lightning Bolt
Painful Truths
Path to Exile
Sorin, Solemn Visitor
Sideboard (15)
Crumble to Dust
Ensnaring Bridge
Lingering Souls
Pithing Needle
Slaughter Games


We begin with [casthaven]Fulminator Mage[/casthaven] as a way in many match ups to get value by destroying their key lands for mana. In the Eldrazi match up it destroys [casthaven]Eye of Ugin[/casthaven], which can allow for the free casting of [casthaven]Eldrazi Mimic[/casthaven], a free 2/2 [casthaven]Endless One[/casthaven] and a general discount on all Eldrazi spells. It can destroy [casthaven]Eldrazi Temple[/casthaven], which can tap for two colorless towards colorless Eldrazi spells. It can also destroy creature lands as well as take an opponent off a color of mana in a deck with a greedy mana base.

[casthaven]Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet[/casthaven] can help us produce chumps versus decks with large creatures, has lifelink for the aggressive match up and has the ability to get larger to personally compete with larger threats from decks like Eldrazi aggro.

[casthaven]Liliana, Heretical Healer[/casthaven] not only has lifelink in order to compete with aggressive decks but when flipped she can help to turn on our madness spells as well as rebuy [casthaven]Fulminator Mage[/casthaven] and just creature value for our removal should we hit her ultimate ability.

Dark Withering


For Madness spells we have [casthaven]Fiery Temper[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Dark Withering[/casthaven]. Madness is a way that we can use the  effect of [casthaven]Reality Smasher[/casthaven] in order to actually get more value from our spells. Let us assume that our opponent has a threat on board such as [casthaven]Eldrazi Mimic[/casthaven] and then plays a [casthaven]Reality Smasher[/casthaven] threatening to hit us for upwards of 10 damage. What we can do in response is cast a [casthaven]Path to Exile[/casthaven] targeting the [casthaven]Reality Smasher[/casthaven] and then discard [casthaven]Fiery Temper[/casthaven] to hit another one of their creatures for as little as two mana. By including Madness spells we can actually use the ability of [casthaven]Reality Smasher[/casthaven] to limit the amount of value that they can get from it since we can answer two cards with two cards.

Gut Shot


We have already discussed our removal spells with Madness. To start the removal spells without madness we have regular suspects in [casthaven]Path to Exile[/casthaven], [casthaven]Lightning Bolt[/casthaven], [casthaven]Disfigure[/casthaven] and to accompany them we are including [casthaven]Gut Shot[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Kolaghan’s Command[/casthaven]. Bolt, Path and [casthaven]Disfigure[/casthaven] have all been staple removal spells in Modern for a long time now. [casthaven]Kolaghan’s Command[/casthaven] is a popular newcomer as it has two relevant modes versus the popular decks like Affinity as well as the ability to buy back creatures and allows instant speed discard during an opponent’s draw step. The odd card out here is [casthaven]Gut Shot[/casthaven]. Recently when discussing the Modern metagame with a friend it was suggested that [casthaven]Gut Shot[/casthaven] is a manaless answer to turn one plays from Infect and Affinity which can be enough to slow their game down and buy turns in order to quickly take control over the board while keeping other mana up to advance our board state or have other removal up depending on the following turns. Most importantly it can be a quick and easy answer to [casthaven]Eldrazi Mimic[/casthaven] coming down for free on turn one with an [casthaven]Eye of Ugin[/casthaven].

I have forgone [casthaven]Terminate[/casthaven] because I wanted my removal to be as cheap and efficient as possible. [casthaven]Fiery Temper[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Dark Withering[/casthaven] both cost one when discarded and are efficient at what they do. Temper can go to the face later in the game on an empty board, and Withering can kill all the same creatures as [casthaven]Terminate[/casthaven].


For additional value we are running a few Planeswalkers such as [casthaven]Ajani Vengeant[/casthaven], [casthaven]Sorin, Solemn Visitor[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Liliana, Defiant Necromancer[/casthaven].

[casthaven]Ajani Vengeant[/casthaven] can be great in keeping lands tapped down with the +1 to slow our opponent, can answer creatures with the -2 and naturally the -7 destroying all our opponent’s land can be great for us limiting what our opponent can do.

[casthaven]Sorin, Solemn Visitor[/casthaven] can make creatures to form a clock and then slowly buy us life back. Post Board with [casthaven]Lingering Souls[/casthaven] he makes quite a good clock as well.

[casthaven]Liliana, Defiant Necromancer[/casthaven] naturally requiring [casthaven]Liliana, Heretical Healer[/casthaven] to be in play and flipping due to another non token creature dying. [casthaven]Fulminator Mage[/casthaven] is a great way to provide this outlet, even playing an additional Liliana can help with flipping her. Once flipped she can help to control the hand of an opponent, she can buy back [casthaven]Fulminator Mage[/casthaven], and with her ultimate we can use creatures from our opponent as a means to win the game since we have plenty of removal to take advantage of this.

Ensnaring Bridge


The sideboard as of right now is made up of additional control pieces. [casthaven]Ensnaring Bridge[/casthaven] gives us the ability to slow the board and hopefully keep creatures back. As we don’t have any Artifact or Enchantment cards in the main board, we are unlikely to see hate for them post board.

[casthaven]Crumble to Dust[/casthaven] is there as another way to slow and hurt the Eldrazi and Tron game plan by removing key land cards from the decks entirely.

[casthaven]Slaughter Games[/casthaven] is there for combo and control match ups in order to take a key card or win condition not easily answered otherwise.

[casthaven]Lingering Souls[/casthaven] is in the board for longer controlling match ups where an additional win condition would be necessary.

Much of this decklist as well as sideboard has yet to be tested but I feel confidant that it has the ability to square off against the Eldrazi Aggro strategies as well as compete agains the rest of the Modern meta given the popularity of Affinity and creature based strategies.

Happy brewing to each and every one of you. If anyone has an idea for a brew that they would like to see, I will gladly take requests and challenges in the comments. 🙂

Aaron Gazzaniga manages a restaurant and in his off time has been an avid magic player/brewer since 2003. Having begun in Odyssey Standard Block and always favoring control and prison style decks, we come to this moment in time where Aaron finally gets to talk about and share his ideas.

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