Mining Modern - Grand Architect Aggro

Feature Article from Corbin Hosler
Corbin Hosler
5/22/2017 11:00:00 AM
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I've never been a big Affinity player, so in all the games of Modern I've played, I've never really gotten to experience the feeling of dumping my entire hand on the second turn.

Until now.

Enter Grand Architect Aggro. While it's a deck filled with artifacts, this is not like any artifact deck you've seen before. Instead we have such hits as Etherium Sculptor, Chief Engineer and the namesake Grand Architect.

Interested yet? Enjoy:

This quirky little deck has quietly been making the underground rounds online, and man, it sure doesn't look impressive at first glance. Etherium Sculptor, really? But the package works perfectly. In general, the goal is to spam out your hand as early as the second turn, and overwhelm opponents with a bunch of fast creatures that really add up to be more than just the sum of its parts.

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Curving out is very important to this deck, so it begins with the one-drops: Signal Pest and Mausoleum Wanderer. Signal Pest enables some big swings, while Wanderer may look out of place but provides a little bit of interaction (notably against sweepers) at just the right point on the curve. At the two-drop is Chief Engineer, Etherium Sculptor, Smuggler's Copter and a shout-out to Walking Ballista. I'll get to those in a second.

At the three-drop, we have the deck's namesake in Grand Architect, but also Master of Etherium and Etched Champion, difficult-to-handle threats that either pump the rest of the team or, in Etched Champion's case, often provide the winning punch all by itself. Lodestone Golem is surprisingly easy to cast in this deck, and does a number in terms of taxing opponents trying to catch up to your explosive draws.

And these draws truly are explosive. As you saw in the videos, the deck can deploy its entire hand very quickly. A one-drop into Chief Engineer into Etherium Sculptor enables you to really go off immediately, and you end up passing the turn with a large board out of nowhere. Both convoke and the artifact discount provided by Sculptor allow you to turbo out oversized Walking Ballistas, which can take over a game against other creature decks.

Finally, the deck has some reach in the form of Blinkmoth Nexus and Throne of the God-Pharaoh. Throne in particular seems odd, but when you end up convoking 2-3 creatures on the second turn, it becomes a pretty reliable source of damage very quickly. While it gets boarded out in some matchups, it really helps the deck's aggression in game ones.

The sideboard has some varied options. Scrap Trawler helps provide recursion against grindy decks, while Commandeer, Grafdigger's Cage, Unified Will and Relic of Progenitus are all generically good cards against various combo decks. Finally, Thorn of Amethyst is one of the funniest options in the board. Alongside Lodestone Golem, the taxing of opponents can get very silly very fast.

I have no idea if this deck is competitive at a high level, though I did experience success against some very ‚Äúreal‚ÄĚ decks in the form of Abzan and Jund in the videos. Regardless, anytime you can play Cavern of Souls and usually name ‚ÄúVedalken,‚ÄĚ I'm in.

Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler

@Chosler88




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