(Hey guys. The Magic Online Community Cup is upon us again and they're currently accepting nominations. If you believe I would be worthy of representing you guys, direct your browsers here and do me the favor of nominating me for your representative at the Community Cup.
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This past weekend I played in the SCG Open in Providence while Melissa and I were visiting her family for her brother's graduation. I started out 6-1-1 with two feature matches and a dream of Top 8, but ended up losing the last two rounds to end up 6-3-1. I'm still really fond of the deck I played and I'll go over it for you guys, along with the event, on Thursday.
Today, however, we're talking about Modern. GW Summoning Trap specifically, or just Summoning Trap, because the deck usually implies a white component.
This is a deck that we rarely see in the Modern format, but Summoning Trap is and was a powerful card. It was great when Zendikar was in Standard because the Eldrazi were in the same block so being able to cheat an Emrakul into play was a thing even then. There were Summoning Trap decks popping up here and there, but I don't remember it ever being tier one when it was in Standard. I could be mistaken though
Either way, it was certainly a fun alternative.
I'm hoping this week we can explore a similar version and accomplish some similar tasks with this deck. Let's take a look at how the deck plays out, then we'll discuss how the deck works, along with what does and doesn't work within it.
Summoning Trap vs. American Control
Summoning Trap vs. Golgari Midrange
Summoning Trap vs. White Weenie
Summoning Trap vs. 4C Birthing Pod
Basically, our goal with Summoning Trap is to...well, cast Summoning Trap. One option we have is to hardcast it at the opponent's end of turn. In this situation, if they counter it (which they probably want to), we get to untap and play something like a Primeval Titan (and I don't need to tell you how good that guy is). If they don't counter it, well, we get to put a creature into play for free. The primary targets in the deck are Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and Iona, Shield of Emeria. We also have an Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite in the sideboard, but it's rarely necessary except against certain archetypes. Usually Emrakul is enough to pry out a concession, but sometimes they end up having something like an Oblivion Ring or a Detention Sphere and they want to keep fighting against the giant spaghetti monster. This isn't exactly game over, but it is a hindrance and more than a little disappointing.
While there aren't as many counters in Modern, the "trap" aspect of Summoning Trap still makes it a very versatile card. The options of Cryptic Command, Spell Snare, Mana Leak, and even Remand are all very real. As you saw we were able to win on turn three against American Control (well, "win" as in prompt a scoop) simply because they chose to Remand our Knight of the Reliquary. Whether we get to play Summoning Trap for free or whether we're casting it on the end step, as I've mentioned, it's a very powerful card. While it looks like there could be an Overabundance of six-drops in the deck, this shouldn't often be an issue as four of them have the potential to get cast for free and we have a ton of ramp.
One thing I loved about the deck is the inclusion of Lingering Souls. The card is just very good right now in Modern and has a ton of applications against a ton of decks. It's mostly great against decks like Affinity, Infect, and some of the midrange decks, but any deck that can't deal with a squadron of 1/1 fliers is also a great matchup. These are also awesome Windbrisk Heights enablers if you hadn't noticed.
The biggest problem with the deck is drawing our copies of Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. Without a way to shuffle them into the deck, or gain an advantage by discarding them, any Emrakul that we draw is usually left stuck in our hand. One other issue I had was drawing multiple Spellskites in a game. I love the fact that Spellskite can attack so that whether it has zero power or not it can help trigger Windbrisk Heights, and it takes a lot of the heat off of our other creatures (especially being able to Redirect something like a Maelstrom Pulse when we have a bunch of Spirit Tokens in play), but if we ever draw two in a game it's usually a dead draw (which the deck has a few of already). I would probably cut one or two from the maindeck and add them to the sideboard somewhere, although I have a feeling that they're primarily meant to prevent Emrakul from being the target of an Oblivion Ring. I would either add another Raise the Alarm (because having only one seems very random) or cut the initial one and add two of something else. Maybe Baneslayer Angel like the days of old?
The deck reminds me a lot of the Unexpected Results list I played in Standard a while back. The two decks don't have that much in common really, other than being able to cheat a huge threat into play before you should legally be allowed to, but seeing as that is the core philosophy of both decks, that might be enough of a similarity. It's a blast when it works, but as with Unexpected Results, we run the risk of potentially spending a good deal of mana for practically nothing. This can happen from time to time and while it is discouraging, the deck can usually present enough pressure to recover from such instances. The upside, however, is a turn three Emrakul. So, there's that.
That's about all I have for today. Check back in with me on Thursday and I'll tell you all about my weekend and what deck I might be taking to this weekend's TCGplayer's Diamond 5k in Orlando. Thanks for reading and I'll catch ya then!
Frank Lepore@FrankLepore on TwitterFrankLepore on TwitchTV