Infinity Gauntlet Storm

Participation Award Magic : Vol 4

We’re back!
It’s been a minute, turns out baby’s take up quite a bit of your time so don’t have them unless your serious about reducing your magic playing… or keep buying and playing magic, and make diapers from old shirts…  Whatever works, I don’t want to put rules on your life.
That said, having so much time at home gives great minds an opportunity to create incredible things! In my case, it allows me to dream up foolish decks in a sleep deprived fever dream state,  sleeve them up to bring to all my adoring fan…   Singular…  Hi Mom.

Dominaria brought along lots of fun, random toys to try out in my favorite format, Modern, and this deck has been floating around in my brain struggling to come together for weeks.  The chances of it being good… slim.  Odds of it working at all…  I wouldn’t bet the house.

But what if it does!?!  WHAT IF IT DOES!!!  I feel like the one time you know it’s working, and you look your opponent in the eyes, he’ll look back into yours and you’ll both hear angels singing, the world will melt away into a crayola palate, and the mana in front of you will tap itself as your corporeal form bonds with the cards becoming one in a rainbow of lights and majestic energy, illuminating all the tables around you as your fellow magic players shield their eyes from the………

Did I mention fever dreams?

Infinity Gauntlet Storm

Creatures (11)
3 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Jodah, Archmage Eternal
2 Kozilek, The Great Distortion
2 Emrakul, The Aeons Torn

Planeswalker (3)
2 Nahiri, the Harbinger
1 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

Spells (14)
4 Serum Visions
4 Search for Tomorrow
1 Lightning Storm
2 Blasphemous Act
3 Enter The Infinite

Artifacts (8)
4 Pentad Prism
4 Fist of Suns

Enchantments (1)
1 Omniscience

Lands (23)
4 Gemstone Mine
4 Forbidden Orchard
4 Mana Confluence
4 Forest
2 Island
2 Mountain
2 Plains
1 Swamp

Sideboard (15)
2 Pact of Negation
2 Rest in Peace
2 Blood Moon
2 Leyline of Sanctity
3 Hornet Nest
1 Slaughter Games
1 Blasphemous Act
2 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

The Starting Point

Fist of SunsJodah, Archmage Eternal
What you may notice about these two cards is the very similar text box, WUBRG is probably the most fun thing to say as a magic player and bonus, on these two cards it is also a very unique ability.
Fist of the Suns has existed in Magic for a long time, but there has never been a card with a similar effect, so having no equal ability available means there was never a good way to try building around it because of a lack of consistency.
Getting to every color of mana isn’t easy, and as we’ll probably find out, not at all practical.  But much like climbing a great mountain, it’s not about the destination, but the journey.
The interesting thing about this ability compared to most other mana cheating spells, is it simply replaces the mana cost, meaning you get to actually CAST the spells.  This is important if you’ve played enough magic, and enjoy frustrating your friends.  But then we have to ask, what are you cheating that worth working so hard to fix your colors?
What cards have great cast effects?  and threaten to end the game?  Come on… you know exactly where this is going…

The Payoff

Emrakul, the Aeons TornKozilek, the Great Distortion
All of the Eldrazi Titans have amazing cast effects.  Normally decks are trying to cheat our great and powerful Spaghetti Mama into play with spells like Through the breach, which, to be fair, will almost certainly end most games, but if it doesn’t, you are again left without anything as she’s sacrificed away.  In this deck, with a Fist or Jodah, you get to keep your wonderful Eldrazi!
They don’t have haste, but their cast effects are so powerful there’s a strong chance that doesn’t matter.
The most questionable of these choices to most people will be Kozilek.  In Modern ramp decks, Eldrazi decks, Hell, even EDH, he see’s zero play, and with good reason.  He’s more fragile than the other Titans not being indestructible. He’s basically just a big evasive body with a bit of a throwaway ability.  However, because our deck is all about making our cards cheaper to cast all the time, his effect of refilling your hand is EXACTLY what you want at this point in the game.  Even if the opponent deals with him, you are almost certainly threatening something equally terrible the next turn.  But Eldrazi are not the only pay off for us, we ARE built around cheating mana afterall, why not do what we can to diversify a little bit…

OmniscienceEnter the InfiniteLightning Storm
What would a five color deck be without some form of stupid combo?  These cards have been in my “God I wish I could fit them somewhere” pile for a very long time.  I have always appreciated Lightning Storm as the finisher in Ad Nauseum.
Draw up your deck,
Exile some monkey’s
Lightning Storm your opponent to death.
It just seems so damn satisfying!
So naturally when I was considering cards to cheat into play, I remembered Enter the Infinite and said “So, if I draw my whole deck, why not just do what already works for Ad Nauseum?”
But Ad Nauseum doesn’t have access to the most insane spell in Magic, Omniscience

Everything I said about casting this and that?  Why not resolve this, then do it ALL FOR FREE!!!

So if we just happen to pull our Omniscience after we get either our Fist or Archmage down you cast it for WUBRG, we can start putting every horrible thing from our hand into play.  Sometimes it will be nothing serious because bad draws happen, other times it might be a big Eldrazi that fills up our hand, or allows us to take a second turn and Annihilate the opponents board, or perhaps we have Enter the Infinite, and just draw the whole deck and throw the whole thing at our opponent like some kindof weak ass Gambit with no style, chip stained pants and no mutant powers!!

The Ramp

Simian Spirit GuideSearch for TomorrowPentad Prism
We opted for Search for Tomorrow as our early game ramp.  One major reason for this is that another option like Birds of Paradise is vulnerable to removal, and we want to avoid losing our mana fixing if possible.  The ramp it gives us is still important because on Turn 3, we would still like to be casting a mana cheater, and this allows us to cast Jodah a turn earlier.  It also allows us to get our Nahiri online by Turn 3, which may be important if the opponent has rushed out a big threat and attacked with it.  Pentad Prism is a strong mana fixer and ramp spell.  After casting it turn 2, you can normally have  your WUBRG mana ready to threaten anytime you resolve one of your mana cheaters.  It is also important as a backup fixer if we need to board into our Blood Moons.
Simian Spirit guide plays two roles.  Ideally you don’t want to have to  use them during the game so that if you Enter the Infinite you have access to the 3 mana needed to lightning Storm.  However, Pentad Prism does a very good job of storing that mana for you as well.

The Support

Nahiri, the HarbingerBlasphemous ActSerum Visions
I knew we would need to be able to dig into our deck, fix our draws and avoid over flooding with big bombs.  So we’re running 4 Serum Visions as early game deck fixing and card draw.
Digging further into this idea, it dawned on me that the deck may need another way to threaten opponents with big monsters, or take care of the occasional big creature pressuring us.  We also may have a pile of expensive cards in hand and need a bit more filtering than Serum Visions can offer on it’s own. After digging around, I realized Nahiri seemed like the absolute perfect answer. I think she’s a very powerful planeswalker, and in the decks that have played her to sneak out Emrakul, she’s often been very effective.  Her -2 to get rid of tapped creatures is a handy bonus for a deck like ours that doesn’t run much board control, it can also deal with troublesome enchantments like Leyline of Santity.
Because of our aggressive color requirements we are running 4 Forbidden Orchard, this means some amount of the time we will be putting pressure on ourselves by giving our opponents creatures, so we’re main decking a few Blasphemous Act’s to ensure we don’t get run over by our own spirits or by opponents trying to play… Fair…. gross.

The Mana Base

Gemstone MineForbidden OrchardMana Confluence
We’re color intense and want to avoid missing our spells because of our lands.  We also don’t want to die because our fetch / shock combinations require too much of us, so instead, we look to rainbow lands with other drawbacks.
Mana Confluence will be our most painful land pinging us each time we need to use it.  Gemstone Mine was originally going to be City of Brass, but the damage you would be taking from the two of them is simply too much.  So instead we take the hit by only being able to use our mine 3 times.  Since we’re looking to combo off, this is a delicate balance.
Our last land is a personal favorite of mine, Forbidden Orchard provides our opponents a free 1/1 spirit in exchange for giving us perfect mana.  This is a trade I’m willing to make for a few reasons.
The first is our primary game plan of comboing off with Enter the Infinite and Lightning Storm.  This combo does not concern itself with how many creatures our opponent has.  The second more subtle interaction is as its providing our opponents creatures, it’s quietly making our Blasphemous Acts cheaper, so our aggressive opponents flooding the board with creatures suddenly have their board wiped for 1 or 2 mana because of our “gifts”
The rest of the mana base is a combination of Basic lands to allow us to run Blood Moons in the board.  No fetches will make this game plan dangerous, but there are only a handful of matchups where Blood Moon is going to come in.

The Sideboard

Pact of Negation
We need a few counterspells incase our opponents try to stop us from firing our combo off.  Pact of Negation has a huge draw back of losing the game… however, if we resolve our Enter the Infinite, we suddenly have 2 ways to stop our opponents from countering our lightning Storm.  Primarily this will be important against control / combo decks who are likely to hold up counters. Ultimately, if we’re going to end the game instantly, we don’t care about losing the game next turn.

Rest in PeaceBlood Moon
The number one bonus of being a five color deck is having access to powerful silver bullets.  RiP and Blood Moon are two great examples.  They can be backbreaking against the right decks.
Rest in Peace is the best graveyard hate spell available, and since our deck doesn’t rely on our grave at all, it’s a must play to fight unfair decks like Dredge.  Blood Moon is the classic hate card for greedy Mana Bases.  This seems funny coming from a deck running so many five color lands, but we’ve built our mana base with enough basics and alternate ways to get our mana fixed that we can still afford to run these for matches like Tron where it’s a house if we can threaten them quickly after resolving it.

Leyline of SanctitySlaughter Games
I expect that our deck might be soft to strong hand disruption and Burn decks who are trying to end the game before we can setup a big finisher.  So Leyline is a way to protect us in those matchups long enough for us to set ourselves up for a win.  They can’t beat our end game if we can get to it.
Slaughter Games is primarily in the deck to fight combo decks trying to do one dumb thing (sortof like we’re doing…), but it being uncounterable makes it a very good foil against cards like Gideon of the Trials or other cards that protect our opponent from what we’re doing.

Hornet NestBlasphemous Act

Ulamog, the Ceaseless HungerUgin, the Spirit Dragon

Hornet Nest is a great sideboard against aggro decks who won’t be expecting it after Game 1, they are likely to be light on small creature removal, and our Blasphemous Act’s super charge this card.  This is also very good against decks like Death Shadow who are likely to pull Fatal Push’s from their main since they are pretty much dead cards against us and they are trying to get through with 1 big creature.  The same idea applies to decks with Tarmogoyf’s or Tasigur.

Lastly we’ve added an additional sweeper in the board for aggro decks or go wide strategies. Our choice of sweeper being Blasphemous act is no accident.  It kills almost everything in the format, it works incredibly well with our sideboard Hornet Nests, and ideally we’re able to finish the game in one or two turns after we sweep by casting a huge threat.  The cost reduction effect on the card can get it very cheap vs wide strategies, and our build in WUBRG cost effects can make it cost no worse than 5 mana.  To handle big individual threats we need to rely on our Hornet Nest to slow them down while we setup for a sweeper or an Ulamog.
Speaking of, a Single Ulamog is in our board to improve our odds of drawing a big threat that can handle a few troublesome permanents and finish the game vs decks that gain infinite life.  A singleton Ugin can be brought in to add more consistency and as a full blown board sweeper regardless what our opponents are playing.

The Results

Once we run the deck through it’s paces, I’ll  update this page with any thoughts or updates I might make.
Thanks again for reading, and keep on brewing!

One Reply to “Participation Award Magic : Vol 4”

  1. Stephane

    Great article! As someone else who doesnt get much face to face magic time, reading about this craziness is a pretty good fix.

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