Living End by Hluca on MtGO
While Standard appears to be essentially fully defined, it seems appropriate that we continue to feature decks in Modern, which is notably diverse. Today we’re featuring Living End, a combo deck that uses cards that are wildly unplayable on the surface, but their cycling abilities allow them to be brought back for free after Living End is cast. Here’s how the deck works:
This deck has no spells that cost less than 3 (excluding Living End), so you won’t actually be casting spells for the first few turns. Instead, you’ll be cycling cards Monstrous Carabid and Deadshot Minotaur. Now, each copy of Violent Outburst or Demonic Dread that you cast will only have one card in your deck that it can cast with cascade, which is Living End.
Living End then wipes the board and returns all of those creatures that you cycled to the battlefield, switching board control immediately. This specific verison of the deck also has a package of Siege Rhino and Restoration Angel, which lets the deck play a much more fair game either before or after a Living End is cast. Beast Within is the common removal spell for Living End decks, as it provides a multitude of funcitons, from killing an opposing permanent, to offering you a blocker at instant speed, to putting some pressure on the opponent.
In the sideboard, Avalanche Riders adds a 5th Fulminator Mage effect in the matchups where land destruction is effective (it also plays nicely with Restoration Angel). The 4 copies of Ingot Chewer are specifically strong in this deck, as they provide a 1 mana way to deal with troublesome artifacts like Ensnaring Bridge, and it also gets returned to the battlefield through Living End, offering a second shot at destroying an artifact. The 3 copies of Kitchen Finks help against Burn massively, and also come back after they’ve done their duty the first time around. Sin Collector offers good beatdown and disruption against control decks that aim to counter the 3 copies of Living End in your deck. Faerie Macabre merits inclusion due to its ability to disrupt graveyards without disrupting your own. Oh, and of course it fits the common theme of the deck, as it too comes back through Living End. 3 copies of Shriekmaw complete the playset within the 75, and offer additional removal that doesn’t get in the way of the Living End combo.
Living End used to be more popular than it is today, mostly due to the rise of Dredge and the incidental hate cards that it brings to the format. However, with the banning of Golgari Grave-Troll, we may soon see fewer graveyard hate in the format, which will only help Living End going forward. I’ve also always been a big fan of fringe combo deck in Modern due to the diversity of players and the depth of the format. You gain a big advantage when your opponent doesn’t know exactly how your combo works. It’s entirely possible (probable, even) against Living End that a very inexperienced player won’t know how to beat it, and they will dump their hand right into a Living End. These types of advantages that are gained through the inexperience of your opponent can be the difference between losing and winning a tough matchup.
Here are the changes I would make going forward:
-1 Pale Recluse
This is day 45 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 44 here, where we featured arguably the most complicated and intricate control deck in Modern.
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