G/R Scapeshift by Ingrathis12 on MtGO

Creatures (8)
4 Primeval Titan
4 Sakura-Tribe Elder

Non-Creature Spells (25)
2 Anger of the Gods
4 Explore
2 Farseek
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Scapeshift
4 Search for Tomorrow
2 Summoner’s Pact
3 Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Lands (27)
4 Cinder Glade
3 Forest
7 Mountain
2 Stomping Ground
4 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
3 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills

Sideboard (15)
2 Ancient Grudge
1 Anger of the Gods
2 Crumble to Dust
3 Hornet Nest
2 Nature’s Claim
3 Obstinate Baloth
2 Sudden Shock

Summary

Since the unbanning of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, several variations of a deck featuring ramp cards and Scapeshift have been a constant in an ever-changing Modern environment. For those who haven’t played with or against it before, 7 lands in play plus a Scapeshift can find you 1 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle and 6 mountains, which will all see each other entering the battlefield, dealing 18 damage to the opponent.

In Modern, this is frequently enough, as fetchlands and shocklands are the most popular land choices for almost every deck. Previous versions of the deck featured blue heavily for Cryptic Command, Snapcaster Mage, and others, but this version elects to leave blue out in favor of more powerful, proactive cards such as Primeval Titan.

Primeval Titan is essentially unplayable in Modern with no ramp elements to get it out quickly, so this deck must have the best ones that Modern has to offer. Sakura-Tribe Elder and Search for Tomorrow are standard inclusions into ramp decks in Modern, as they are the most flexible or the most mana efficient, respectively.

Farseek is also a common inclusion in Scapeshift decks, but Explore is one that is only seen from time to time. At its best, Explore is a Farseek with “draw a card” attached to it. At its worst, it reads “draw a card,” which no deck can afford to play. However, this variance is helped by the fact that this deck plays 27 lands, so you will frequently have excess lands in your hand that you’re happy to get into play through Explore.

 

Since this deck is slower than a lot of other combo decks in Modern, it must play a suite of removal spells to try to stunt the opponent’s growth. Anger of the Gods and Lightning Bolt are the standard inclusions, but Chandra, Torch of Defiance is definitely worth talking about. Not only is it a removal spell that sticks around, it helps draw cards or deal final points of damage, which are both elements that this deck could use with more of. Chandra was certainly under-appreciated for a long while in all formats, but it seems that its rise to popularity in Standard has led other formats to include the powerful planeswalker as well.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Explore

+1 Farseek

Sideboard

-2 Sudden Shock

-1 Nature’s Claim

+3 Relic of Progenitus

This is day 86 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 85 here, where we covered a unique mono-red control deck in Modern.

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