Krark-Clan Ironworks | Tim Hildebrandt
Eggs Primer: Extra Salt Please
Today I'm here to bring to light (No, not THAT) an age-old deck that frankly kicked my butt the other night.
When that happened, I was reminded how awesome the aforementioned deck was and it helped me break out of the writer's block that I had been suffering from.
Today I'm here to give a brief primer on Eggs.
If you'd like to view my other primers:
Oh, you're back? Well, let's continue.
Eggs is an all-in combo deck that gets its name from the way it cracks artifacts, or ‘eggs.' This deck cracks artifacts that draw a card when they enter or leave the battlefield (And also have a mana engine), then they recycle all the cards from the grave and use said mana to recast them. After a while (sometimes a LONG while), the deck draws into one of it's win cons like Grapeshot, or it recycles Pyrite Spellbomb enough times to kill you.
Here's what a typical deck list looks like:
If you've never seen this particular deck before, the first thing you'll think when you see it across the table is “What in the world is this guy trying to do?”
By the time you realize, you'll be dead, unless the deck fizzles. From my understanding, if done correctly, the combo can be successfully executed around 90% of the time.
The majority of these cards are standard in every Eggs list to maximize on combo consistency. At the end of the day, you will have a few slots to fill with whatever you see fit to create your own variation of the deck.
Instants and Sorceries
This is integral to the combo and you should run no less than 4.
Definitely worse than Faith's Reward, this one costs more, is a sorcery, and doesn't get your lands back from the grave. That being said, it is necessary to have extra functional copies of Faith's Reward in order to improve consistency.
This is the Chord of Calling of this deck. It allows you to pull any piece of the combo you need. As a bonus, when you start the second iteration of the combo, you get the sacrificed artifact back and many of the eggs draw cards when they leave the battlefield.
In this deck, Affinity for Artifacts is a given. You'll almost always be able to cast it for a single blue mana. Great to refuel and continue executing your combo.
This is optional, and there are other options for this slot.
This is just one of the possible kill conditions that can be used. After recycling artifacts for 30+ minutes (This is actually an accurate number in some cases), Grapeshot is more than enough to kill the opponent.
This is one of the common kill conditions, more will be discussed later.
The main engine, alongside Faith's Reward, that drives the entire deck. Aggressively sacrificing cheap cantrips while generating mana allows you to always be able to cast your recycle spells.
Basically, this is just to draw a card. Every time you recycle it, you draw more cards.
This is great, because you can sacrifice it to cantrip and later you'll recycle and reuse it.
This is similar to above, except it's actually better. Instead of using its ability, sacrifice to Krark-Clan Ironworks for 2 mana instead of one, and you still get to draw a card.
It enters, cantrips, then you can sacrifice it. That may seem boring or wasteful, but that's exactly what this deck wants. An artifact that it can recycle over and over and draw into its win condition.
This egg is unique in that it cantrips twice. You cast it, draw a card, then sacrifice it to generate two mana and draw another card. It's basically a free draw two! One of the best eggs in the deck.
This card is the one that gives you enough mana to set things up to combo. A good hand will have 2-3 of these, which allows you to combo off as early as possible.
This is likely the best source of mana acceleration available in a deck that's able to wait a few turns for the ridiculous amount of mana.
This is the most important land in the deck because you're able to tap it, then sacrifice it to Krark-Clan Ironworks for three mana, just so you can bring it back later and repeat.
Ghost Quarter has an interesting interaction in this deck, you can blow up one of your own lands to get a basic, then when you cast Faith's reward, Ghost Quarter and the other land come back to the battlefield, effectively ramping you into more and more land as you execute your combo iterations.
These combine with the Ghost Quarter to increase consistency . Run 2-4 depending on your personal need.
Run 5-7 basic lands in addition to the above lands for a 17 land manabase.
Flex Spots and Alternate Win Conditions
One of the most common win conditions, this is definitely the slowest of all the options, since it requires recycling the card back onto the battlefield multiple times.
This can't be countered and you can easily generate enough mana to do more than enough damage to kill your opponent without drawing your entire deck.
Just like Banefire, cast this and you pretty much win the game. 15 mana is not absurd for this deck to generate.
This one is interesting, because it can be a kill condition, a la Banefire, or it can help you draw cards when you need them.
Drains the opponent pretty quickly in this deck and kills faster than you would think. Especially if you have room for multiples.
Can be cast on yourself to draw cards you need, or cast on your opponent to mill them out.
Can be pretty great against aggro or tokens, since they almost always have multiples of the same creature. Setting back their tempo that much can cost them the game.
As I've said before: Respect Affinity or die to it. This is the best hate card you have access to.
This is an interesting counteraction to common graveyard exiling permanents that opponents will choose to side in against you.
The interesting tidbit here is that this can't be responded to, which means no Tormod's Crypt activations after you try and bounce it.
Basically casts Mana Leak every time your opponent tries to do something on your turn. Pretty great when your opponent is much faster than you are.
If you have this ready when you try to counter, most opponents won't see it coming as they try and stop you with their own counters.
If you can't pay the cost, that's ok. If you're trying to combo and you fizzle, you lost the game anyway.
Leyline shuts down most combo hate, hand hate, and burn. If your meta has many of these, this is a great option.
Keep in mind, that in game 3, these decks will likely have an answer to Leyline.
If you want to run this, you need to make room for 3-4 to reliably see it in your opening hand.
Enchantments can be troublesome for blue decks, but this card has that weakness patched up. Either of these work well for general enchantment hate, as well as Hexproof Bogles hate.
Maximizing Mana Generation and Utilization
Many eggs will cantrip and generate mana at parity, but keep in mind, some spells require larger amounts to cast and thus, you should float some mana in case you draw these spells. If you need to cast them mid-combo and can't, your deck will likely fizzle.
Fairly easy to cast, just pay 2 life if you can afford it or generate green with a Chromatic Egg.
These aren't hard to cast, being colorless. Try to use colorless mana to save the colored stuff for spells that demand it.
Using Reshape Effectively
These cards can't sacrifice themselves unless you have KCI, so they are the logical choice to get rid of first.
Elsewhere Flasks sacrifice ability isn't terribly useful for this deck, and Chromatic Star gives you a card no matter how it dies.
Try to follow these rules when you can to maximize your Faith's Rewards.
Egg Sacrifice Priority
Get rid of these whenever possible, since the less lands in the library, the more likely you are to get a good draw when you're trying to combo versus a land you don't need that doesn't cantrip.
Doesn't do anything useful when it leaves the battlefield so, of course, sacrifice it last.
This can easily be gotten rid of to generate (W)(W) or (U)(U) if you need it, so save it for last.
The engine itself...don't get rid of it unless you have no other artifacts to sacrifice.
I hope everyone enjoyed this look into this ancient combo deck.
If you're the type who enjoys these all-in combo decks, this may be something you'd enjoy.
On the bright side, these cards don't see play in hardly any other deck, which makes Eggs very cheap to try out. It's currently around 50 tix on MTGO.
Perhaps you're the type that despises instant win combos, and in that case, hopefully you can be prepared and know how to beat the deck after reading this.
Thanks for reading everyone.