Mining Modern - Expertises

Feature Article from Corbin Hosler
Corbin Hosler
2/20/2017 11:00:00 AM
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I've played a lot of Emrakul decks as a part of Mining Modern. My favorite, a list I worked on myself to turn into a true competitor, I even dubbed simply “The Emrakul Deck.”

But all those decks share something in common: They can't kill with Emrakul until turn three.

How about turn two instead?

Enter the Expertises.

This deck is nuts, and it's all thanks to Aether Revolt. The Expertise cycle gives us access to a “free spell” mechanic we've never had in the past. And while the mechanic itself may not be as absurd as storm or cascade, it is still silly in its own right.

In this deck, for instance. When the Expertise cycle was spoiled, people immediately thought about using them with Beck // Call in some sort of control deck that could play Yahenni's Expertise. And while that is an attractive thought, it doesn't really seem like it's making any waves in Modern so far.

Mid
Low
 Beck // Call
$0.91
$0.09
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MTG Rares 10 $0.10
MTG Rares 10 $0.11
Kirwan's Game Store 8 $0.11
Kirwan's Game Store 1 $0.12
Yiz Games 4 $0.13
Canvas Studios 8 $0.15
Great Lakes Games 2 $0.17

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That's because people are looking in the wrong place. The power of the Expertise cycle isn't in using one mediocre sweeper to try and combo – it's about building a deck specifically to abuse the free spell. And that's exactly what we're doing here, using Kari Zev's Expertise and Sram's Expertise to cast both Beck // Call and the even-stronger Breaking // Entering.

It works like this. Casting one of the eight Expertises – or the singleton Brain in a Jar – allows you cast any of the split cards in the deck. And thanks to the way the fuse cards work, casting one side for free means we can play both sides for free, so casting the front half for free means we get the back half for free as well.

The goal of the deck is to accelerate with the mana creatures or Simian Spirit Guide and then cast one of the Expertises or Brain in a Jar, and then fuse Beck // Call or Breaking // Entering. While Beck and Call is a sweet spell that makes four tokens and draws four cards, Breaking and Entering is even better, allowing us to mill eight and then put either Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or Griselbrand into play with haste.

Mid
Low
 Breaking // Entering
$1.00
$0.10
Store QTY Price  
The Perfect Hands 1 $0.19
Canvas Studios 1 $0.30
MTG Rares 3 $0.37
Canvas Studios 1 $0.38
Great Lakes Games 3 $0.38
Friendly City Games 2 $0.38
Card Monster Games 67 $0.38

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The backup plan is use Through the Breach to put either of those creatures into play. Faithless Looting is an all-star here, allowing us pitch unneeded large creatures while also drawing into the right half of the combo. It also serves to put a Griselbrand into your graveyard for a Breaking // Entering later on, since whiffing on the eight cards milled is a possibility.

The best part about this deck is its redundancy. You have nine “free spell” cards, eight payoff cards in the fuse cards, and eight giant monsters to hit or put into play with Through the Breach. Eight accelerators help you get there faster, and Faithless Looting allows you to piece together what you need.

I've had a ton of fun with this deck, and I believe the list for this take on the archetype can't be far off from optimal in terms of consistency and power. While I don't think we'll see this winning a Grand Prix anytime soon, it is absolutely a deck worth taking to your next Modern tournament, and I am considering putting it together in paper myself for the upcoming TCGplayer Modern States tournament.

However you choose to play this deck, I can promise that you'll have a blast doing so.

Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler

@Chosler88




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