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Against the Odds: 5C CoCo Token Combo (Modern)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 293b of Against the Odds. I know what you're thinking: "Wait, didn't we already have an Against the Odds this week?" So, funny story: when Chatterfang, Squirrel General won the poll, my main focus was on building Squirrel tribal. However, as I was messing around with Chatterfang, I stumbled onto a really crazy and sweet five-color Collected Company token combo deck. While it does play Chatterfang, the Squirrel general is more of a support card than the deck's centerpiece. Combine that with the fact that I figured most people were really voting for Squirrel tribal when they voted for Chatterfang, and I decided that the only thing to do was to play both decks! So today, we're getting our second Against the Odds of the week! Our deck today is absurd and way, way more competitive than I thought it would be when I was building it. Our main goal is to make a ton of Food, Clue, and Treasure tokens with the help of Lonis, Cryptozoologist and Academy Manufactor; burn our opponent a bunch with Reckless Fireweaver as the artifact tokens enter the battlefield; and then sacrifice all of the tokens (either naturally or to Arcbound Ravager) to drain our opponent out of the game with Disciple of the Vault. Chatterfang, Squirrel General helps us stabilize the board by making Squirrels as we make our Food, Clues, and Treasures and also offers some removal that we can find with Collected Company! What crazy things can Lonis, Academy Manufactor, and Chatterfang do together in Modern? 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: 5C CoCo Token Combo

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The Deck

Five-Color Collected Company Token Combo, as its name suggests, is a combo deck. It's basically a really weird artifact-based Aristocrats-style sacrifice deck looking to make a ton of Clue, Food, and Treasure tokens with the combo of Lonis, Cryptozoologist and Academy Manufactor and then use those seemingly harmless artifacts to win the game with the help of cards like Disciple of the Vault, Reckless Fireweaver, and Arcbound Ravager!

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Collected Company is the glue that holds our deck together. We have a massive 32 creatures that cost three or less in our deck, so Collected Company should almost always find us two creatures. More importantly, Collected Company is a way that we can dig for our combo pieces and finishers, and it does this all at instant speed!

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The main engine of our deck is Lonis, Cryptozoologist and Academy Manufactor. Lonis allows us to make a Clue whenever a non-token creature enters the battlefield. If we also have Academy Manufactor when we trigger Lonis, then rather than just getting a Clue, we'll get a Clue, a Food, and a Treasure token instead. Things get especially crazy if we can get two Academy Manufactors on the battlefield, with each creature we play adding a huge pile of tokens to the battlefield. While we do occasionally use Lonis, Cryptozoologist's sacrifice ability to steal something from our opponent's deck, this isn't a big part of our plan. Instead, we're using these two cards to make as many artifact tokens as we possibly can, as quickly as we can.

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We also have a few other creatures that make Food or Clues. While Gilded Goose, Thraben Inspector, and Tireless Tracker are solid creatures on their own, they are insane with our combo. If we have both Lonis and Academy Manufactor on the battlefield, a single Gilded Goose or Thraben Inspector will make two Food, Clues, and Treasures for a single mana, which basically turns them into Desperate Rituals (since we can immediately sacrifice the Treasures for two mana) that also leave some extra artifact tokens on the battlefield. This allows for some crazy combo turns in which we chain together a bunch of spells, sacrifice Clues to draw cards, and play through a big chunk of our deck. The other upside of these cards is that they allow our Academy Manufactor to make tokens even if we don't have a Lonis, Cryptozoologist. Meanwhile, Tireless Tracker is just a one-of, but if it sits on the battlefield, it potentially can make multiple Clues (or Clues, Treasures, and Food if we have Academy Manufactor) each turn we play fetch lands. Considering that our main goal is to make as many artifact tokens as possible, these cards are incredibly strong in and important to our deck.

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So, how do we actually win the game by making a ton of Clues, Food, and Treasures? We have two related plans. Reckless Fireweaver deals a damage whenever an artifact enters the battlefield under our control. This might not sound like much, but considering how many Clues, Food, and Treasure we can make once we get Lonis and Academy Manufactor, in reality, a single Reckless Fireweaver often is enough to win the game all by itself, potentially as early as Turn 4!

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The other way we kill our opponent is by sacrificing our Clues, Food, and Treasures with Disciple of the Vault (which drains our opponent for one whenever an artifact goes to our graveyard and does trigger off of Clue, Food, and Treasure tokens, which hit the graveyard briefly before disappearing). While sacrificing Treasures is easy since they add mana, sacrificing Clues and Food is a bit slower since they cost two mana to sacrifice. Enter Arcbound Ravager, which allows us to sacrifice all of our artifacts for free. (It also grows into a huge threat, which usually doesn't matter because our opponent is already dead. But this can be relevant if we are a bit light on Clues, Food, and Treasures, and doubly so if we dump all of its counters onto our one Inkmoth Nexus for a one-shot infect kill.) Add this package to Reckless Fireweaver, and the end result is a deck that can make a ton of artifacts quickly (in the form of Treasure, Clue, and Food tokens), deal damage as those tokens enter the battlefield, and then drain the opponent as they leave the battlefield as well!

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Last but not least, we have Chatterfang, Squirrel General, which does two things for our deck. First, it makes 1/1 Squirrels as we make Food, Treasures, and Clues, which we can use to keep our opponent's creatures at bay while we are getting our combo set up. Second, it gives us a removal spell that we can find with Collected Company since we can sacrifice Squirrels to kill our opponent's creatures. While Chatterfang does some sweet things in the deck, you can probably see why I was worried about making Five-Color Collected Company Token Combo our only Chatterfang Against the Odds deck—rather than being the centerpiece of the deck, Chatterfang, Squirrel General is more of a solid support card that helps us stay alive long enough to win with our main combo pieces.

The Matchups

With the big asterisk that our sample size is really small, 5C CoCo Token Combo felt solid in a lot of matchups. The only deck we lost to was Burn, and I'm not even sure that Burn is a bad matchup (our opponent just had really solid draws that killed us on Turn 3 before we could start gaining life). While I'm not suggesting that the deck is tier one or anything like that, we took down control (Esper), midrange (Golgari and Temur Cascade), and slow combo (Mill), and the deck felt surprisingly strong against all of them!

The Odds

All in all, we went 4-1 with 5C CoCo Token Combo, giving us a sterling 80% match win percentage. The deck might look like a pile, but it played extremely well. In fact, it consistently surprised me by just how much damage it could deal out of nowhere, and I'm the one who built the deck! We had several kills on Turn 4 almost out of the blue, thanks to the combo of Lonis, Cryptozoologist and Academy Manufactor. The only drawback is that apart from being a reasonable removal spell, Chatterfang, Squirrel General didn't do anything all that exciting in the deck. While I'm sure the deck could use more tuning, I wouldn't be surprised to find that something similar ended up being pretty competitive in Modern. The kill is really hard to stop once it gets going, and having a bunch of Clues while we are waiting to find our combo pieces helps us to keep up in the card-advantage department against control and midrange, while having a feast of Food keeps us alive against aggro. While 5C CoCo Token Combo looks really weird on paper, in practice, the deck is surprisingly powerful!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.



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