Stop complaining about the Drazfinnity meta!!

It hasn’t even been a week since the pro tour and already the internet is wild with apocalyptic predictions of the Eldrazi doing modern like they did Sea Gate and Oran Reif. There’s a new kid on the block, and if you believe the hype, he’s a nigh unbeatable bully. It can understandably be disheartening to look across the battlefield and see 8 cmc worth of permanents on turn two, but don’t let your hopes be drowned. Magic is a game of questions and answers and there are plenty of potential answers just waiting to be sleeved up! Here are some ways that I’m excited to fight the Eldrazi Menace:

I. Shut Off Their Engine!

The key to the ‘unfair’ nature of the Eldrazi decks is the Eye of Ugin & Eldrazi Temple engine. Without 8x Ancient Tomb, the Eldrazi decks are fair linear creature decks, and not even particularly exciting ones at that. If you are looking to fight fair then leveling the playing field is paramount, which means land destruction is king. Typical land hate is too slow to interact with turn two four drops, which means we need to be faster than a few Fulminator Mages in the sideboard. Magic luckily has plenty of two cmc or less land disruption that can either be slotted into existing decks, or built around. Some of the ones I am most excited to explore are: Sea's Claim, Spreading Seas, Smallpox and Boom//Bust. Couple these with our traditional friends Ghost Quarter and Blood Moon, and we have a suite of cards that can put the hurt on any fancy mana base.

II. It’s a Creature Deck, Stupid!

At the end of the day, the Eldrazi decks are mono-c, where “c” stands for creature. Creature hate could buy enough time to enact your win condition. I’d be looking to test shells that support Damnation, Supreme Verdict or Wrath of God. And there is a silver bullet: Ensnaring Bridge looks almost unbeatable for the PT Eldrazi builds. Lantern Control should be a great deck to sleeve up across the table from Eye of Ugin.

III. Go Faster!

While the Eldrazi deck technically gold fishes a turn two win, it is extremely unlikely (my back of the envelope math says 0.09% on the play - about once in every thousand games). The deck looks to be more consistently a turn 3 to 4+ deck that disrupts other “faster” decks with Chalice of the Void and Thought-Knot Seer. Although weak to Chalice, Affinity can go toe to toe with the Eldrazi builds because it can race the deck despite the degenerate mana base. The Eldrazi decks are very un-interactive, especially against spell based combos. Even without Splinter Twin and Summer Bloom, Modern offers plenty of options to combo out, or just go faster. I would look to combo decks to see a bit of resurgence, especially with the Eldrazi decks holding down the GBx decks. Living End looks like gas.

IV. Still Want to Play Fair?

While unfair decks could be the best route to victory, sometimes you just want to play green and white cards. If you do, look for cards that have positive interactions like cheating in a Loxodon Smiter off of Path to Exile on their Reality Smasher. With enough good interactions, you may be able to squeak out a close match or advantage.

Magic at its heart is a game about solving puzzles. So instead of complaining about a broken format, put on your brewing hat, and figure out how to crack the new meta!

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JGB is an investment professional out of New York City. When away from his Bloomberg terminal he is an avid Magic the Gathering player: brewing, theorizing and battling at his local shop and north east GP and SCG level events. JGB brings his professional expertise to bear in his Magic the Gathering experience, leaning on quantitative analysis and regularly building models to help optimize MTG related decision making.

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