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 Second Sunrise brought a tragedy to eggs and wiped them out. Many players turned to Urza’s Mine, Urza’s Power Plant, and Urza’s Tower to pay for the doubled cost of their eggs Prophetic Prism and Elsewhere Flask. 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 Griselbrand, Through the Breach, and Nourishing Shoal to draw lots of cards. Why not draw all the cards with Faith’s Reward 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.
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.
4 Darksteel Citadel
4 Ghost Quarter
2 Radiant Fountain
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
Other spells (12)
4 Faith’s Reward
3 Open the Vaults
1 Tezzeret the Seeker
2 Void Snare
4 Defense Grid
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
2 Aether Spellbomb
4 Sunbeam Spellbomb
Cards in my sideboard that are not in his include Erase, Void Snare, and Aether Spellbomb. In their place, he plays 4 Tormod’s Crypt and 2 Leyline of Sanctity. He argues that if anti-hate is necessary, then the deck needs to be put on hold for a bit. I think Stony Silence 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.
Darksteel Citadel these help to turn on Mox Opal and are often the first lands to sacrifice to Krark-Clan Ironworks to activate a Chromatic Sphere or Chromatic Star for white. Additionally, if you should need white or blue mana, then you can activate Ghost Quarter targeting citadel without being down a land.
Ghost Quarter – Besides the mentioned interaction with Darksteel Citadel, Ghost Quarter is insane with Faith’s Reward, granting you a new land drop with each resolution. The card randomly gives you wins against Bloom Titan also. Play Ghost Quarter 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 Summer Bloom and Amulet of Vigor, then simply respond to the trigger to destroy the tapped land.
Radiant Fountain – 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 Time Walk 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 Spell Pierce or Mana Leak or just hitting our land drops to have Krark-Clan Ironworks before an opponent can Cryptic Command it, Radiant Fountain is a necessary resource.
We have 16 card-drawing Eggs, 7 accelerants, 2 win-condition pieces, and 4 Krark-Clan Ironworks, without which the deck usually doesn’t work (but it can). There are just a few things to take note of:
Mox Opal – 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 Faith’s Reward with 7 colorless mana and two artifacts on the board.
Codex Shredder – If you see that you are on the Open the Vaults 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 Scavenging Ooze match-ups.
Chromatic Star and Chromatic Sphere – Star will draw a card when used with Krark-Clan Ironworks, 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!
Pyrite Spellbomb – This kill condition is played over Emrakul, the Aeons Torn in the maindeck because it is more powerful in the opening hand or as a top deck. Much like Living End combo, we want to be able to put together cogs that later kill the opponent and minimize bad draws.
Reshape – This is more versatile than it seems. Get Mox Opal for overall development of board and to prevent blow-outs, Lotus Bloom to go for it (and as a ‘ritual’ effect for one mana), Ichor Wellspring to draw more cards, or Krark-Clan Ironworks to get the wheels turning!
Tezzeret the Seeker – While I have not activated his ultimate to date, it is a bizarre out against Stony Silence, Rest in Peace, and Leyline of Sanctity. What’s more, though, is that it is a fifth copy of Reshape when it needs to be, Krark-Clan Ironworks when that is what you need, or Codex Shredder to cycle to the win. On your Faith’s Reward turn, remove all of his counters to tutor up any artifact knowing that he’ll come back for another round.
Open the Vaults and Faith’s Reward – These are dead draws, the former more so than the latter, but they are the value win conditions. The third Open the Vaults is a concession to the attrition and Remand matches. Remember that Faith’s Reward is an instant, so often you will cast two back to back or a Faith’s Reward in response to their response to Open the Vaults in games two and three.
The deck is not quite as forgiving with opening hands as the Tron variety because of the times that cards such as Terrarion draw cards for you in contrast to Elsewhere Flask and Prophetic Prism. 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, Mox Opal, a Lotus Bloom to suspend, or a Reshape.
Serving Up Breakfast
Soon you will need to do some math and determine that you will have a Faith’s Reward in hand and W3 with a very small board. Additionally, the Faith’s Reward 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 Faith’s Reward and Open the Vaults, you will want to find Codex Shredder quickly, using either Tezzeret the Seeker, Reshape, 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 Faith’s Reward that you target with the shredder.
Eventually, you go infinite on your opponent with Pyrite Spellbomb, Codex Shredder, Faith’s Reward, and WR8. I prefer the 8 to come from cards that do not draw upon entering the battlefield, so you do not deck out.
Humpty Dumpty may have had a great fall when Second Sunrise 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.