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Perfect Guide to Eternal Devote

2017/09/21 00:00 

    • Atsushi Ito
    • Column

All-in decks will never be top of metagame.

Especially in Modern, there are too many cheap interactions. 《Thoughtseize》 and 《Inquisition of Kozilek》 spread over everywhere. 《Path to Exile》 and 《Fatal Push》 can deal with all those nusty creatures. And 《Ghost Quarter》 and 《Spreading Seas》 make some perilous lands stay calm.

But......what if that deck wins enough fast? How can there be anyone to interfere with your turn-3 combo on the play in every game?

Probably, we can climb to the top of metagame. Or possibly at least.

"Eternal Devote" is a pure all-in combo deck, that can win even in turn 2, let alone in turn 3.

Today I will guide you to a profound world of all-in combo in Modern.

The latest version of Eternal Devote

I told a brief making history and basic strategy in my previous article: All in Modern: Eternal Devote, so I skip it here.

Since then, through over 200 matches in Magic Online, many improvements have been made.

And finally I could achieve Top 8 in a recent Modern Challenge in Magic Online.

My latest version is here:


Atsushi Ito - Eternal Devote

1 《Forest》
2 《Temple Garden》
1 《Murmuring Bosk》
2 《Verdant Catacombs》
2 《Windswept Heath》
1 《Misty Rainforest》
2 《Horizon Canopy》
4 《Hall of the Bandit Lord》

-Lands (15)-

1 《Walking Ballista》
1 《Wild Cantor》
4 《Devoted Druid》
4 《Vizier of Remedies》
1 《Duskwatch Recruiter》
4 《Street Wraith》
1 《Deadshot Minotaur》

-Creatures (16)-
4 《Summoner's Pact》
4 《Pact of Negation》
4 《Traverse the Ulvenwald》
4 《Ancient Stirrings》
2 《Weird Harvest》
1 《Manamorphose》
4 《Oath of Nissa》
4 《Mishra's Bauble》
2 《Conjurer's Bauble》

-Spells (29)-
4 《Mirran Crusader》
4 《Path to Exile》
2 《Reclamation Sage》
1 《Qasali Ambusher》
1 《Devout Lightcaster》
1 《Mystic Enforcer》
1 《Blood Baron of Vizkopa》
1 《Defense Grid》

-Sideboards (15)-
hareruya

Hall of the Bandit LordDevoted DruidVizier of RemediesWalking Ballista

This deck's purpose is to gather 4 pieces of the combo: 《Hall of the Bandit Lord》《Devoted Druid》《Vizier of Remedies》 and 《Walking Ballista》 in hand, usually by turn 3.

《Devoted Druid》 played from 《Hall of the Bandit Lord》 can have haste, so you can get infinite mana soon by playing 《Vizier of Remedies》. Then 《Walking Ballista》 searched with 《Duskwatch Recruiter》 or directly in hand will deal infinite damage to your opponent.

Most of other cards are only for the purpose that they can be converted into that four pieces.

Function of Cards

The Core

Hall of the Bandit Lord

4

Devoted Druid

4

Vizier of Remedies

4

Walking Ballista

1

Duskwatch Recruiter

1

Summoner's Pact

4

Traverse the Ulvenwald

4

Weird Harvest

2

The 24 cards are this deck's core itself, so they have no need to explain.

As 《Summoner's Pact》 can't find a white creature it is a bit hard to access 《Vizier of Remedies》, so 《Weird Harvest》 is mainly counted as an additional 《Traverse the Ulvenwald》, that is the cheapest tutor.

The Converter

Ancient Stirrings

4

Oath of Nissa

4

Mishra's Bauble

4

Street Wraith

4

Horizon Canopy

2

Conjurer's Bauble

2

Deadshot Minotaur

1

Manamorphose

1

They are cards for finding the core.

We basically have to win by turn 3 and 《Hall of the Bandit Lord》 enters tapped, so we want them as cheap as possible.

Also to be Delirium for 《Traverse the Ulvenwald》, we have to choose equally from various card types.

At least one 《Conjurer's Bauble》 in the deck makes us reuse 《Walking Ballista》 in graveyard.

《Deadshot Minotaur》 can be an instant-timing draw option of 《Summoner's Pact》.

The Others

Wild Cantor

1

Pact of Negation

4

The combo basically need 3 mana because 《Devoted Druid》 with haste can only make (G)(G), but if you filter it into (W) mana you can win even in turn 2. 《Wild Cantor》 is a mana-filtering that you can search by 《Summoner's Pact》.

《Pact of Negation》 is the most different point from Counters Company. You can start and finish all the combo in the same turn, so you can wait until you draw 《Pact of Negation》 and can prepare for opponent's removal.

The Sideboard

The sideboard cards are separated into two as their purpose. One is to get rid of obstacles for all-in, another is to change the plan against fair decks.

Path to Exile

4

Defense Grid

1

Qasali Ambusher

1

Reclamation Sage

2

《Path to Exile》 is against hate-bears. 《Defense Grid》 is 5th 《Pact of Negation》 against some blue permission.

《Qasali Ambusher》 is like a 《Fog》 against too fast beatdown. This deck pays too much life by itself and can use little mana for removal or saving life, so 0 mana blocker is a precious one.

About 《Reclamation Sage》, one is basically enough against 《Stony Silence》 or 《Leyline of Sanctity》, but two is better against Lantern Control and 《Blood Moon》.

Mirran Crusader

4

Mystic Enforcer

1

Devout Lightcaster

1

Blood Baron of Vizkopa

1

The other cards are to change the plan against fair decks.

Some themes worth arguing

14 or 15 lands?

Through the testing, I felt 15 lands is more stable to keep an opening hand because you can keep no green hand only occasionally.

Temple GardenScattered GrovesMurmuring Bosk

So what is the best for 15th land? I think fetchable land is better and 《Temple Garden》《Scattered Groves》《Murmuring Bosk》 are options.

One more tap-in is not so hard and when you have no finish-way, the possibility that 《Ancient Stirrings》 can reach 《Scattered Groves》 and you can cycle it into finish-way is valuable. So I think 《Scattered Groves》 is better than 《Temple Garden》.

But I decided to take 《Blood Baron of Vizkopa》 in my sideboard, so chose 《Murmuring Bosk》 here.

《Ancient Stirrings》 or 《Commune with Nature》?

Ancient StirringsCommune with Nature

At first, I preferred 《Commune with Nature》 as it can search 2 of 4 combo pieces.

But I found it is more important to search 《Hall of the Bandit Lord》 because I must put it one turn before you finish.

Also 《Ancient Stirrings》 is more helpful with Delirium because it can search fetchland and 《Mishra's Bauble》/《Conjurer's Bauble》.

For a finish-way, 《Walking Ballista》, 《Rhonas the Indomitable》, or 《Wildheart Invoker》?

Walking BallistaRhonas the IndomitableWildheart Invoker

《Walking Ballista》 is surely weak against 《Stony Silence》 and 《Leyline of Sanctity》, so you can choose 《Rhonas the Indomitable》 or 《Wildheart Invoker》 as other option of finish-way.

But I think playing 《Walking Ballista》 with X=0 for Delirium is far more real, and on postboard it becomes a nice attacker and can deal a bit of sting without combat, and also I will frequently board-in one of 《Reclamation Sage》 against white decks on postboard anyway, so feel 《Walking Ballista》 is better.

Sideboarding Guide

In general

You have two options on postboard: stay "All-in" or change into "Hybrid".

The more interactions your opponent has, the less chance there can be to win by "All-in".

On the other hand, as interactions in Modern are mainly black card, "Hybrid" can sometimes be by far effective.

So what matters most is you know which is better for winning in each match-up.

Here is my sideboarding for each match-up below, but it is just one example. You should always ask yourself which is better, "All-in" or "Hybrid".

VS Grixis Shadow

As so many interactions they have, it is hard to win in preboard.

But in postboard you have the insane knights that they can hardly deal with.

Especially 《Summoner's Pact》 into haste 《Mystic Enforcer》 with 《Hall of the Bandit Lord》 often brings your opponent inevitable and sudden death.

Overall the match-up is slightly favorable. Sultai Shadow is same, but Esper and Abzan Shadow is more even and Jund Shadow is unfavorable.

VS Grixis Shadow (Hybrid)


Out

Pact of Negation Pact of Negation Pact of Negation Pact of Negation
Weird Harvest Weird Harvest
Summoner's Pact Street Wraith
Vizier of Remedies Devoted Druid
Hall of the Bandit Lord


In

Mirran Crusader Mirran Crusader Mirran Crusader Mirran Crusader
Path to Exile Path to Exile Path to Exile Path to Exile
Devout Lightcaster
Mystic Enforcer
Blood Baron of Vizkopa

VS Eldrazi Tron

This is a tough match-up. It is more difficult to overcome their interactions than others.

So "Hybrid" is better, the goal is their flooding out as a result of too many interactions and beating them down.

VS Eldrazi Tron (Hybrid)


Out

Pact of Negation Pact of Negation Pact of Negation Pact of Negation
Street Wraith Street Wraith Street Wraith Street Wraith
Weird Harvest Weird Harvest
Traverse the Ulvenwald Summoner's Pact
Hall of the Bandit Lord


In

Mirran Crusader Mirran Crusader Mirran Crusader Mirran Crusader
Path to Exile Path to Exile Path to Exile Path to Exile
Reclamation Sage Reclamation Sage
Qasali Ambusher Mystic Enforcer
Blood Baron of Vizkopa

VS Titanshift (All-in)

Out

Traverse the Ulvenwald

In

Reclamation Sage

VS Storm - on the play (All-in)


No Change


VS Storm - on the draw (All-in)

Out

Conjurer's Bauble Street Wraith Deadshot Minotaur
Manamorphose Oath of Nissa

In

Path to Exile Path to Exile Path to Exile Path to Exile
Reclamation Sage

VS Affinity - on the play (All-in)

Out

Conjurer's Bauble

In

Qasali Ambusher

VS Affinity - on the draw (All-in)

Out

Street Wraith Street Wraith
Conjurer's Bauble

In

Path to Exile Path to Exile
Qasali Ambusher

VS Lantern Control

In preboard, you happen to automatically concede by 《Pithing Needle》 or 《Surgical Extraction》.

In postboard, you can change into "Hybrid" so those two don't matter. The focus is to play 《Mirran Crusader》 as fast as you can and to keep 《Reclamation Sage》 or 《Summoner's Pact》 in your hand for 《Ensnaring Bridge》.

They might lock you up in a cage of 《Lantern of Insight》 and some millers, but you have enough cantrips and search cards with shuffling so it takes long time for them to lock you up perfectly.

Also 《Conjurer's Bauble》 can help you prevent 《Surgical Extraction》 or put back 《Reclamation Sage》 that is milled into library.

VS Lantern Control (Hybrid)

Out

Pact of Negation Pact of Negation Pact of Negation Pact of Negation
Hall of the Bandit Lord Devoted Druid

In

Mirran Crusader Mirran Crusader Mirran Crusader Mirran Crusader
Reclamation Sage Reclamation Sage

VS Death & Taxes

This includes Mono-W, GW, WB Death & Taxes, and WB Eldrazi & Taxes.

Although I'm not confident yet, in this match-up you should board-in and out properly according to their board and whether you play or draw.

For example, at least you will board-in some 《Path to Exile》 and board-out some 《Pact of Negation》, but the number of it is flexible.

If they are not black, sometimes playing 《Devoted Druid》 in turn 2 could be effective.

VS Blue Control

Here is except blue-black something (if opp's deck is black you should change into "Hybrid").

The goal is to collect two or more 《Pact of Negation》《Defense Grid》 and win by turn 4.

If opp's deck is blue-white you should board-in 《Reclamation Sage》 for 《Stony Silence》.

If you see some hate-bears like 《Meddling Mage》, then you should board-in some 《Path to Exile》.

VS Blue Control (All-in)

Out

Street Wraith
Conjurer's Bauble

In

Defense Grid
Reclamation Sage

VS Burn

All you have to do is to kill them by turn 3 with at least one or more 《Pact of Negation》 here.

Anyway I think this is the hardest match-up in Modern.

VS Burn - on the play (All-in)


No Change


VS Burn - on the draw (All-in)

Out

Conjurer's Bauble Oath of Nissa
Street Wraith

In

Path to Exile Path to Exile
Qasali Ambusher

Playing TIPS

You can play 《Pact of Negation》 to your spell

Pact of Negation

Achieving Delirium as fast as possible is the key to win because 《Traverse the Ulvenwald》 with Delirium could reach any combo parts, but random draw may sometimes bring you the same card type.

So you should remember you can play 《Pact of Negation》 to your spells. If you counter 《Oath of Nissa》, you can get intantly two card types in your graveyard.

You can play 《Summoner's Pact》 in your upkeep

Summoner's Pact

This deck has many cantrips, so you should win over probability.

The more you condense your deck, the more you can reach the piece you want. So if you know it is the last turn you can start the combo, there're occasions you should play 《Summoner's Pact》 in your upkeep.

Also you should memorize the bottom cards which are put by 《Ancient Stirrings》 or 《Oath of Nissa》 if you want to draw them. Sometimes you should not shuffle your library before you draw.

And if you have 《Mishra's Bauble》 in play, you can activate it to yourself at the end of opp's turn, then in your upkeep you can play 《Summoner's Pact》 and refresh your library if you don't want the top card.

Once 《Duskwatch Recruiter》 enters, you can get any spells in your library

Duskwatch RecruiterStreet WraithConjurer's BaubleWalking Ballista

It is the most important tech of this deck.

You have four 《Street Wraith》 and one 《Deadshot Minotaur》 in the deck and 《Duskwatch Recruiter》 can rearrange your library three at a time, so when you have infinite mana you can get any spells in your library up to five.

This means, you can play 《Walking Ballista》 with X=0 for Delirium and later when you make the combo you can retrieve it from graveyard to library by 《Conjurer's Bauble》 and then get it back by 《Duskwatch Recruiter》.

Also even if your opponent put 《Leyline of Sanctity》 on Game 1, you can put 《Walking Ballista》 with X=∞ and defend it with 《Pact of Negation》 (you can pay its cost a few times by 《Manamorphose》 and 《Conjurer's Bauble》). I have won two times with this tech against Hexproof Aura (in Magic Online, I spent about ten or more minites though).


That's it today. I hope your index finger of right hand becomes steely with this deck through numerous games on Magic Online.

Thank you for reading!

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