I think we all knew it would come to this eventually. I'm not a proud man. Look, the truth I'm not above this. Some players have play skill. Some have great deckbuilding talents. Some are great at Limited.
Me? Well, I'm just here for your entertainment (you can insert the “are you not entertained?” meme here I know you're all thinking of). And what could be more entertaining than playing seven lands and Goblin Charbelcher in Modern?
Wedge from The Mana Source highlighted this deck in a fun deck tech last week, and I couldn't pass it up – you're telling me I can kill people with Goblin freaking Charbelcher in Modern? Not only did I do that – and more – I found out this deck is no joke.
Oh, and the best part? The entire deck – sideboard and all – can be bought on TCGplayer for less than $100.
I expected to have fun with this deck. I did not expect to beat tier one decks with it. And yet that's exactly what we did.
The deck has one goal – cast and activate Goblin Charbelcher. Of course, to actually kill anyone with ol' Belcher you need to not have lands sitting on top of your deck, or ideally not there at all. So that's exactly what the deck aims to do – get the exact seven lands needed to play and activate Belcher out of the deck and fling the cannon as early as turn four for lethal. It's all thanks to a quirk in the way Charbelcher works. If you have no lands in your deck to reveal, it will deal damage equal to the total number of cards revealed, which is almost always going to be enough to win, since it's typically upwards of 40 damage.
Looking at the decklist, you see some of the things you expect. Rampant Growth, Utopia Sprawl, Search for Tomorrow? Okay, those are all cards we've seen played before. Traverse the Ulvenwald? Great card for its flexibility. But then things go off the rails – Caravan Vigil, Nissa's Pilgrimage, Recross the Paths? Uh… Haze of Pollen? I'll go ahead and link Chancellor of the Tangle, because I know you all need to read it.
But they all make sense in this particular deck. With so few lands you need ways to make mana on turn one without actually playing more lands, so Chancellor of the Tangle fits the bill perfectly. Caravan Vigil and Traverse allow you to turn that free mana into a land to cast the rest of your spells or fire off a two-mana ramp spell on the first turn. Recross the Paths is expensive, but it puts the land into play untapped. More importantly, it has a hidden mode that is straight busted – if you cast it but have no lands to reveal you get to put your library back in any order you wish, typically putting Goblin Charbelcher on top to guarantee you draw it on the next turn and win. And Haze of Pollen – we can't forget Hazy. As you saw in the videos, casting Fog is something you really can't underestimate in Modern, but even when you don't need it you can also cycle the card to try and dig toward a win condition. It's a weird inclusion, obviously, but it really does pull its weight.
Wedge's build had Wurmcoil Engine as the backup win condition – it can be found off Ancient Stirrings, which also hits lands or Belcher – but I've been more impressed with the budget option Hornet Queen anyway. That's a lot of bees.
I built the sideboard on a whim in the deck tech, but you can fit it however you please. I went for maximum budget, but obviously if you have some Grafdigger's Cage or so on you can plug and play as you please.
This was one of the most enjoyable video sets I've recorded in a long time, and I hope you have as much fun with this deck as I did. And if you're around tomorrow night, don't be afraid to stop on in to www.twitch.tv/Magic at 8 p.m. EST and root for the Brew Crew of myself, Todd Stevens and SaffronOlive to take down our playoff match in the Team Modern Super League!
Thanks for reading,