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Against the Odds: 52-Land Colossus (Modern)

Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 316 of Against the Odds. Last week, we had an Against the Odds poll for Crimson Vow in Modern, and Cultivator Colossus came out on top. As such, we're heading to Modern today with a brew that should let us put our entire deck into play (and win the game on the spot), assuming we can resolve a Cultivator Colossus. So, how do we ensure that a single Cultivator Colossus will dump our entire deck onto the battlefield? By playing as many lands as possible! In fact, our deck today is playing 52 lands, which means we only have eight "whiffs" when Cultivator Colossus hits the board, which, with a bit of luck, means we should be able to put our entire deck onto the battlefield! What are the odds of winning with Cultivator Colossus (in a 52-land deck) in Modern? Can we really put our entire deck onto the battlefield with just one copy of the mythic? Let's get to the video and find out in today's Against the Odds; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Against the Odds: 52-Land Colossus

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The Deck

When Cultivator Colossus won last week's poll, there was some worry in the comments that we'd end up playing Amulet Titan, but that's not what Against the Odds is about. We're not just jamming the winning card in a tier list; we're trying to find the most spectacular thing we can do with the winning card. In the case of Cultivator Colossus, that's playing a deck full of lands and putting them all on the battlefield at once!

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Our 52-Land Colossus deck has just two nonland cards: four copies of Cultivator Colossus and four copies of Indomitable Creativity, which, along with lands that make tokens, gives us an additional way to find Cultivator Colossus. The idea is that we mulligan fairly aggressively into a hand that allows us to either ramp into Cultivator Colossus or can tutor it out with Indomitable Creativity as quickly as possible. Considering that the rest of our deck is lands, when Cultivator Colossus hits the battlefield, we should have a bunch of lands in play to use with its ability. Every land we put into play with Cultivator Colossus will draw us a card, which should be a land, which we can put into play with the ability, until we eventually end up with most or even all of our deck on the battlefield and a hand full of Cultivator Colossuses. Since Cultivator Colossus has power and toughness equal to the number of lands we control, it should also end up as a 30/30 or even 50/50 trampler that can kill our opponent in just one attack, if we even need to attack at all...

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While we do sometimes win by attacking with Cultivator Colossus, we most often win with its enters-the-battlefield ability. We have four copies of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle in our deck along with a bunch of Mountains. As we put all the lands in our deck on the battlefield, we'll eventually hit our Valakuts and Mountains, which should burn our opponent out of the game directly. If we fizzle (by not having enough lands in hand when we start and then drawing into our other copies of Cultivator Colossus and Indomitable Creativity), we can always win the following turn by attacking with our huge trampling Cultivator Colossus or by casting another Cultivator Colossus to restart the combo.

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While a big chunk of our mana base is Mountains for the Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle kill, we've also got a bunch of utility lands to help support our plan of getting Cultivator Colossus onto the battlefield as quickly as possible. Khalni Garden, Kobolds of Kher Keep, and Dwarven Mine help by giving us the tokens we need to use Indomitable Creativity to find Cultivator Colossus...

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Meanwhile, Fungal Reaches, Mage-Ring Network, and Castle Garenbrig help us ramp into a hard-cast Cultivator Colossus. Since our deck is almost all lands, we don't do much over the first few turns of the game, meaning that we can spend our mana adding counters to Fungal Reaches and Mage-Ring Network, which we can remove later to ramp into Cultivator Colossus (usually around Turn 5), while Castle Garenbrig gives us a land that taps for two mana if we're casting a Colossus.

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Finally, Cavern of Souls makes sure we can resolve a Cultivator Colossus against control by making it uncounterable, while Blast Zone and Radiant Fountain help against aggro by offering removal and some lifegain to make sure we live long enough to resolve a lethal Cultivator Colossus.

The Matchups

In general, 52-Land Colossus wants to play against slower decks like control and midrange. Our deck is really consistent at resolving a Cultivator Colossus on around Turn 4 or 5. The main challenge is living long enough for this to happen since we're not really playing any non-land cards over the first few turns of the game. Against control and midrange, we have time to develop our mana, stick a Cultivator Colossus, and win. On the other hand, aggro is tough, mostly because decks like Burn and Izzet Murktide are usually fast enough to kill us before we can get enough mana to play a Cultivator Colossus. Oh yeah, and land destruction (Blood Moon or Karn, the Great Creator finding Liquimetal Coating) is really tough to beat, although it is technically possible if we get lucky and are able to make a token to Indomitable Creativity out a Cultivator Colossus before the land destruction starts.

The Odds

Overall, we went 1-4 with 52-Land Colossus, which isn't a great record. That said, the deck felt more competitive than our record suggests. Discounting the Infect match (a deck that I don't think we'll ever beat), we won at least one game in every match and had a bunch of situations where we were one turn short of comboing off when we did. The combo was game-winning every time we resolved it—the challenge was living long enough to actually play a Cultivator Colossus. I also think we played a fairly tough suite of matches, playing against three aggro decks (Sultai Infect, Hammer Time, and Burn), one land-destruction deck (Mono-Red Prison), and then Amulet Titan, which is the match we won and I guess at least proves we're the best Cultivator Colossus deck in Modern. Move over, Prime Time!

Vote for Next Week's Deck

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I know, I know, Alchemy is controversial and has some drawbacks, but it also has a lot of spicy new cards, so let's try one next week. Which one? Click here to vote!.


Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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