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Against the Odds: Chromantiflayer Worship (Modern)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode ninety-three of Against the Odds. Last week, we had a second-chance poll, with options that came in second or third on previous polls getting another chance at glory. In the end, the five-color enchantment creature Chromanticore came out on top. As such, this week, we're heading to Modern to play a deck that's looking to cast Chromanticore, exile Chromanticore from the graveyard, and even bestow Chromanticore, backed by a lot of keywords and hexproof creatures, which in turn lets us play Worship to (hopefully) stay alive! What are the odds of winning with Chromantiflayer Worship in Modern? We're about to find out! Before we get to the videos, one last thing: no Against the Odds poll this week. Next week marks the release of Hour of Devastation, so we'll have a special episode! Don't worry, the poll will be back next week with a bunch of Hour of Devastation options!

A quick reminder: if you enjoy the Against the Odds series and the other video content here on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish YouTube Channel.

Against the Odds: Chromantiflayer Worship (Deck Tech)

Against the Odds: Chromantiflayer Worship (Games)

The Deck

As soon as Chromanticore won the voting, I had a pretty good idea of what direction to go with the deck: the combo of milling a Chromanticore and then exiling it with Soulflayer to build a two-mana Baneslayer Angel saw fringe play in Standard, and the delve mechanic in general is much better in Modern, where it's so much easier to get cards in the graveyard, so instead of trying to figure out what type of deck to build, Chromantiflayer Worship was more about figuring out the best way of supporting the Chromanticore / Soulflayer plan. 

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Chromanticore / Soulflayer is a weird combo. It doesn't just win the game immediately, but it does build a pretty threatening creature. In theory, if we can dump a bunch of cards into our graveyard on Turn 2 (including a Chromanticore), we can delve them away to Soulflayer on Turn 3 and end up with a two-mana flying, first strike, vigilance, trample, lifelink 4/4, which is a pretty impressive threat. The problem is that this monstrosity doesn't really have any protection—even though it has a ton of keywords, it doesn't have hexproof or indestructible—so it can still be killed pretty easily by a Path to Exile or Terminate. To really make our Soulflayer lethal, we'd need some sort of protection.

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[[Thrun, the Last Troll], Troll Ascetic, and Rhonas the Indomitable (along with Sylvan Caryatid, which we'll talk about in a minute) are some of the key cards in our deck because they do two important things. First, if we can get one of them in the graveyard to exile to Soulflayer along with a Chromanticore, we end up with a Soulflayer that not only has all of Chromanticore's abilities but hexproof or indestructible as well. Second, since we are a Chromanticore deck, we aren't just looking to exile the enchantment creature. While it takes a lot of mana, bestowing a Chromanticore onto one of our hexproof or indestructible creatures is very strong, giving us a seven- or eight-power hexproof, evasive creature that also gains us a ton of life whenever it attacks or blocks. 

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Sylvan Caryatid and Birds of Paradise are mostly in our deck to help fix our mana and ramp into our Chromanticore, but they have the upside of working well with our Soulflayer plan as well. Even if we can't get a Chromanticore in our graveyard, just exiling a Sylvan Caryatid will give us a 4/4 hexproof for two mana, while Birds of Paradise grants flying as well. 

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Satyr Wayfinder and Grisly Salvage are our primary ways of filling the graveyard for Soulflayer. Satyr Wayfinder also makes sure we hit our land drops, which is pretty important considering we are looking to cast (or bestow) a five-color creature. Grisly Salvage, on the other hand, helps us dig for Chromanticores and Soulflayers while also dumping a bunch of cards in the graveyard for our delve plan. Just remember: there are times when we actually want the best creature we hit with Grisly Salvage in our graveyard instead of our hand, so we can delve it away with Soulflayer. Finally, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy is just a one-of backup plan, but unlike Satyr Wayfinder and Grisly Salvage, which interact with our library, the flip-walker gives us a way to discard a Chromanticore that's stuck in our hand to set up the Soulflayer combo. 

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Worship is the last piece of the puzzle. While I didn't start out trying to build a Worship deck, after putting all the other pieces together and realizing how many hexproof creatures we wanted to play for Soulflayer and Chromanticore, it became obvious that Chromantiflayer was the perfect home for the enchantment. While the power of Worship depends on the matchup, some decks can't beat a hexproof creature with a Worship on the battlefield, and even if a deck does have outs to the Worship lock, it usually buys us a bunch of turns while our opponent is digging for an answer. Ideally, we can use these turns to beat our opponent down with Soulflayer and Chromanticore to get the win. 

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Lastly, we have a couple more threats and a single Path to Exile for removal. Tasigur, the Golden Fang and Lingering Souls just give us additional good cards that care about the graveyard, with Tasigur, the Golden Fang giving us a delve payoff when we don't find a Soulflayer and Lingering Souls flashing black to make some chump blockers or flying attackers. As for Path to Exile, we didn't have much room for removal, so hopefully Worship will be enough to keep us alive, but it's nice to know we do have one hard removal spell in our deck in case the situation calls for it. 

The Matchups

The matchups for Chromantiflayer Worship are really weird because our deck cares about weird things. First, as I mentioned a minute ago, some decks really struggle to beat Worship (often combo decks or creature decks without Collective Brutality or enchantment removal in the main deck), so we occasionally pick up free Worship wins. Second, we don't really care too much about targeted removal because nearly all of our best threats are hexproof, which means we're mostly scared of wraths (which make control decks and some black midrange decks into challenging matchups) and Liliana of the Veil (which can edict away our Soulflayer). Finally, graveyard hate can be an issue. While it doesn't directly beat our deck, it does make Soulflayer horrible, which means we lose one of our lines of attack and instead are stuck with just enchanting Trolls with Chromanticore and a Worship backup. While this plan can still win a lot of games, it's a lot slower and less scary than a random Turn 3 Soulflayer

All in all, we want to play control decks the least because they are the most likely to have wraths that undo all of our work, while random creature-based decks are probably our best matchups because they not only struggle with Worship but often can't beat Chromanticore or Soulflayer either. Combo is somewhere in the middle—if we can stick a Worship, our odds of winning go away up, especially in game one, but without Worship, decks like Ad Nauseam and Storm are usually just a bit too fast for us and don't really care about us gaining some life here and there from Chromanticore and Soulflayer

The Odds

All in all, we only got in four matches, since a couple of them went super long, but we ended up winning three (good for a 75% match win percentage), while playing 10 games and winning six (60% game win percentage)—both figures were solid. Of course, this is complicated by the small sample size, and while the deck seems really good and functional, it's unlikely that it could win 75% of the time over the long run. That said, we didn't really run into a ton of good Worship matches and still managed to get a lot of wins. Soulflayer was awesome, as expected, but more surprising was how many games we won simply by bestowing a Chromanticore onto a random hexproof creature. In some ways, the bestow Chromanticore plan makes our deck feel like big Bogles, but instead of putting a bunch of little enchantments on a creature, we do it all at once with one Chromanticore! The deck was a blast to play. All the pieces fit together amazingly well, and it seemed like it really could keep up with many of the best decks in Modern!

Vote for Next Week's Deck

No poll this week. Next week is week one of Hour of Devastation, so we'll be having a special episode! Don't worry, the poll will return next week with a bunch of Hour of Devastation options!

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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