Breaking Turn 4, Breaking Modern: Eggs

Hi all,

Due to some sort of avian flu or other, many chicken farms in the United States of America have been forced to restart their egg game. One family in Ohio had to slaughter 5,000 chickens in order to prevent selling contaminated eggs. As a result, the cost of eggs in some places has doubled.

There’s a twisted Magic metaphor here.

The banning of [c]Second Sunrise[/c] brought a tragedy to eggs and wiped them out. Many players turned to [c]Urza’s Mine[/c], [c]Urza’s Power Plant[/c], and [c]Urza’s Tower[/c] to pay for the doubled cost of their eggs [c]Prophetic Prism[/c] and [c]Elsewhere Flask[/c]. I’m here to tell you, though, that there is another way.

Today I’m not bringing you a new brew but an old favorite that is well-positioned in today’s metagame. No one is playing graveyard hate, so some are playing a combination of [c]Griselbrand[/c], [c]Through the Breach[/c], and [c]Nourishing Shoal[/c] to draw lots of cards. Why not draw all the cards with [c]Faith’s Reward[/c] and dorky artifacts?

Like many of the great Modern decks, Jund, Twin, Infect, and Storm, Eggs has a rich and strained history with Modern. Also like those decks, it has fought banned list updates and made it to the other side. It is perhaps not as fast, but usually when decks lose speed, they gain resiliency. This is no exception. Recently many players brought the list into the Modern Festival Preliminaries on Magic Online and qualified for the main event easily.

The List

Before we get into playing the deck, here is the list. It is only a slight variation from MTGO player Spokes, who seems to be the mastermind behind the resurgence of the archetype.

[d title=”Drinkard Eggs”]
Land
4 Darksteel Citadel
4 Ghost Quarter
5 Island
4 Plains
2 Radiant Fountain

Artifacts
4 Chromatic Sphere
4 Chromatic Star
1 Codex Shredder
4 Ichor Wellspring
4 Krark-Clan Ironworks
3 Lotus Bloom
4 Mox Opal
1 Pyrite Spellbomb
4 Terrarion

Other spells
4 Faith’s Reward
3 Open the Vaults
4 Reshape
1 Tezzeret the Seeker

Sideboard
2 Erase
2 Void Snare
4 Defense Grid
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
2 Aether Spellbomb
4 Sunbeam Spellbomb
[/d]

The differences between my maindeck and Spokes’ are the [c]Tezzeret the Seeker[/c] and an extra [c]Open the Vaults[/c] in place of 2 [c]Edge of Autumn[/c].

Cards in my sideboard that are not in his include [c]Erase[/c], [c]Void Snare[/c], and [c]Aether Spellbomb[/c]. In their place, he plays 4 [c]Tormod’s Crypt[/c] and 2 [c]Leyline of Sanctity[/c]. He argues that if anti-hate is necessary, then the deck needs to be put on hold for a bit. I think [c]Stony Silence[/c] is too common in the metagame, but its foils are easily drawn into with your draw effects.

Let’s analyze each of the components of the deck.

The lands
[c]Darksteel Citadel[/c] these help to turn on [c]Mox Opal[/c] and are often the first lands to sacrifice to [c]Krark-Clan Ironworks[/c] to activate a [c]Chromatic Sphere[/c] or [c]Chromatic Star[/c] for white. Additionally, if you should need white or blue mana, then you can activate [c]Ghost Quarter[/c] targeting citadel without being down a land.

[c]Ghost Quarter[/c] – Besides the mentioned interaction with [c]Darksteel Citadel[/c], [c]Ghost Quarter[/c] is insane with [c]Faith’s Reward[/c], granting you a new land drop with each resolution. The card randomly gives you wins against Bloom Titan also. Play [c]Ghost Quarter[/c] turn one, pass, and set yourself back one turn in order to set your opponent back the game. If they try to go off with [c]Summer Bloom[/c] and [c]Amulet of Vigor[/c], then simply respond to the trigger to destroy the tapped land.

[c]Radiant Fountain[/c] – These are much more versatile than they seem. Normally, Eggs decks play between 15-17 lands, but they also play more artifacts that draw a card upon entering the battlefield. Here, our artifacts don’t draw until we are comboing off or trying to. In match-ups where your life total matters, these can be a [c]Time Walk[/c] to get us to the critical turn. In match-ups where the life total doesn’t matter, our mana resources do. Whether it is resolving a spell through [c]Spell Pierce[/c] or [c]Mana Leak[/c] or just hitting our land drops to have [c]Krark-Clan Ironworks[/c] before an opponent can [c]Cryptic Command[/c] it, [c]Radiant Fountain[/c] is a necessary resource.

Artifacts
We have 16 card-drawing Eggs, 7 accelerants, 2 win-condition pieces, and 4 [c]Krark-Clan Ironworks[/c], without which the deck usually doesn’t work (but it can). There are just a few things to take note of:

[c]Mox Opal[/c] – These are essential for developing your board early and having an early critical turn. Just remember to tap it for white or blue mana before you begin sacrificing your eggs. It is really awkward to hold [c]Faith’s Reward[/c] with 7 colorless mana and two artifacts on the board.

[c]Codex Shredder[/c] – If you see that you are on the [c]Open the Vaults[/c] plan, then you can activate these once per untap in order to build critical mass in your graveyard. This is especially important against Jund and other [c]Scavenging Ooze[/c] match-ups.

[c]Chromatic Star[/c] and [c]Chromatic Sphere[/c] – Star will draw a card when used with [c]Krark-Clan Ironworks[/c], and Sphere will not. Just remember that this fact does not necessarily mean that Star should not be used for colored mana or that Sphere should not be used for colorless. One mistake with these decisions can cost the game!

[c]Pyrite Spellbomb[/c] – This kill condition is played over [c]Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[/c] in the maindeck because it is more powerful in the opening hand or as a top deck. Much like [c]Living End[/c] combo, we want to be able to put together cogs that later kill the opponent and minimize bad draws.

Other Spells
[c]Reshape[/c] – This is more versatile than it seems. Get [c]Mox Opal[/c] for overall development of board and to prevent blow-outs, [c]Lotus Bloom[/c] to go for it (and as a ‘ritual’ effect for one mana), [c]Ichor Wellspring[/c] to draw more cards, or [c]Krark-Clan Ironworks[/c] to get the wheels turning!

[c]Tezzeret the Seeker[/c] – While I have not activated his ultimate to date, it is a bizarre out against [c]Stony Silence[/c], [c]Rest in Peace[/c], and [c]Leyline of Sanctity[/c]. What’s more, though, is that it is a fifth copy of [c]Reshape[/c] when it needs to be, [c]Krark-Clan Ironworks[/c] when that is what you need, or [c]Codex Shredder[/c] to cycle to the win. On your [c]Faith’s Reward[/c] turn, remove all of his counters to tutor up any artifact knowing that he’ll come back for another round.

[c]Open the Vaults[/c] and [c]Faith’s Reward[/c] – These are dead draws, the former more so than the latter, but they are the value win conditions. The third [c]Open the Vaults[/c] is a concession to the attrition and [c]Remand[/c] matches. Remember that [c]Faith’s Reward[/c] is an instant, so often you will cast two back to back or a [c]Faith’s Reward[/c] in response to their response to [c]Open the Vaults[/c] in games two and three.

Preparation

The deck is not quite as forgiving with opening hands as the Tron variety because of the times that cards such as [c]Terrarion[/c] draw cards for you in contrast to [c]Elsewhere Flask[/c] and [c]Prophetic Prism[/c]. Nonetheless, you generally want to look for one to three lands with the hopes of having four mana and access to a few artifacts on turns three and four. The four mana can come from lands, [c]Mox Opal[/c], a [c]Lotus Bloom[/c] to suspend, or a [c]Reshape[/c].

[c]Terrarion[/c] gets priority over other one mana artifacts in your early turns because you may need to use it for UU to cast [c]Reshape[/c].

Serving Up Breakfast

Soon you will need to do some math and determine that you will have a [c]Faith’s Reward[/c] in hand and W3 with a very small board. Additionally, the [c]Faith’s Reward[/c] needs to earn you some value in the form of artifacts that draw more cards. This can happen as early as turn two, but the earliest I’ve ever gone for the kill and succeeded is turn three.

Once you are able to use [c]Faith’s Reward[/c] and [c]Open the Vaults[/c], you will want to find [c]Codex Shredder[/c] quickly, using either [c]Tezzeret the Seeker[/c], [c]Reshape[/c], or off the top of your deck. Again, with Tezz, be sure to use all of his loyalty counters even though shredder costs one. In paper, you can ask the judge to present him a loop. On MTGO, you sacrifice enough artifacts to pay W8 and can draw infinite cards. 5 activates the shredder and W3 cast the [c]Faith’s Reward[/c] that you target with the shredder.

Eventually, you go infinite on your opponent with [c]Pyrite Spellbomb[/c], [c]Codex Shredder[/c], [c]Faith’s Reward[/c], and WR8. I prefer the 8 to come from cards that do not draw upon entering the battlefield, so you do not deck out.

Second Breakfast
..and elevensies.

Humpty Dumpty may have had a great fall when [c]Second Sunrise[/c] was banned, but this time around, without the use of a single horse, eggs have been put back together. It is good at times to set your opponent up for the kill without them being able to do much about it. Many cards in their deck and sideboard will be dead as they aim to eliminate creatures. Enjoy this essential part of a balanced breakfast.