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Against the Odds: Forced Fruition (Modern)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 165 of Against the Odds. Last week on our Against the Odds poll, the results we're especially close. With nearly 6,000 votes cast, Forced Fruition beat out Endless Horizons by almost 400 votes! As such, we are heading to Modern this week to see if we can win some games by forcing our opponent to draw a ton of cards! Forced Fruition is a really weird card to build around, since normally, you win in Magic by having more cards than your opponent, but with some careful deck building, it's possible to actually make it detrimental to our opponent to draw through their entire deck at lightning speed. The basic plan of the deck is to endlessly annoy our opponent by bouncing their lands until we eventually resolve a Forced Fruition; then, we wait until our opponent casts a spell or two and hopefully burn them to death with Runeflare Trap, which can represent 10 or even 20 damage for just a single mana. Is it really possible to win in Modern by forcing our opponent to draw through their deck? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Against the Odds: Forced Fruition (Modern)

The Deck

Forced Fruition

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Forced Fruition is a really strange card to build a deck around. In theory, it's a one-card win condition, since after our opponent casts six or seven spells, they'll draw their entire deck and lose the game, but the power comes with a massive downside: our opponent gets to draw their entire deck, which means odds are pretty good they can find a way to kill us or deal with the Forced Fruition itself. Thankfully, we have some ways to speed up the process of killing our opponent, so that we hopefully don't have to wait until our opponent draws all of their cards to win the game.

Winning the Game

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When it comes to winning the game with Forced Fruition, the best option is Modern is Runeflare Trap, which can easily represent 10 or even 20 damage for just a single mana, making it one of the most powerful burn spells ever printed, in the right deck. In our deck, the plan is to play a Forced Fruition and wait for our opponent to cast a spell or two. Just a single spell should put somewhere around 10 cards in our opponent's hand, making two copies of Runeflare Trap lethal. If our opponent casts multiple spells in the same turn, it's also possible that they'll end up with 20 or more cards in hand, which means a single Runeflare Trap gets the job done. Meanwhile, Snapcaster Mage is really solid with our deck in general but is especially helpful for closing out the game with Runeflare Trap, allowing us to Runeflare, Snapcaster, Runeflare to double up our damage and (hopefully) win the game on the spot!

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Our backup plan for winning the game is Fevered Visions. While not nearly as fast as Forced Fruition, the enchantment helps to make sure that our opponent has a handful of cards to power up our Runeflare Trap while dealing some incidental damage along the way. Beyond helping us close out the game, Fevered Visions joins Dictate of Kruphix and Howling Mine as additional card-draw spells. In a weird way, our deck naturally breaks the symmetry of these cards; since our opponent is going to have more cards than they can use anyway thanks to Forced Fruition, drawing an extra card or two each turn doesn't really benefit our opponent to any great extent. Meanwhile, Howling Mine, Dictate of Kruphix, and Fevered Visions are hugely beneficial to us, making sure that we also have a full hand and digging for our Forced Fruitions and Runeflare Traps to close out the game.

The Bounce

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The rest of the deck is overflowing with ways to bounce our opponent's stuff, starting with Boomerang and Eye of Nowhere. In the early game, the plan is to use these cards to bounce our opponent's lands, hopefully starting as early as on Turn 2, which works sort of like reverse ramp. Instead of speeding up our deck to get Forced Fruition down faster, we're slowing down our opponent's development while we wait to get the six mana we need for our namesake enchantment. In the late game, both Boomerang and Eye of Nowhere work incredibly well with Forced Fruition, since recasting what we bounce is painful for the opponent, as it forces them to draw seven more cards, which helps us set up our Runeflare Trap kill. Plus, since our opponent is already going to have a ton of cards in hand, they'll have to make some tough choices on what to cast and will likely have to discard a lot of good cards to hand size.

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Remand is basically a Boomerang that works with spells on the stack rather than permanents on the battlefield while also drawing us a card along the way, which makes it a perfect fit for our deck for all the same reasons that Boomerang and Eye of Nowhere are good. Meanwhile, Cryptic Command can be an overcosted Boomerang by bouncing a permanent but also gives us a pseudo-Fog if we need to tap down a board full of attackers while we're waiting to set up the kill and a counterspell. All together, these give us a ton of ways to slow our opponent down by bouncing their stuff and to generally annoy our opponent by making it hard to do anything relevant. 

The Matchups

It's hard to really figure out the matchups for Forced Fruition. In theory, we want to play against slower decks, since our lack of real removal makes it hard to beat go-wide aggro or burn-style strategies, while having endless Boomerangs makes our deck pretty good at dealing with one big threat. On the other hand, we can beat just about anyone when things go well, especially if we are on the play and start bouncing lands on Turn 2. Another consideration is instant-speed interaction. Against decks with lots of Lightning Bolts, there's a real risk that our opponent will simply draw enough damage to kill us, thanks to our own Forced Fruition, and perhaps even win with a potentially lethal Runeflare Trap on the stack. As such, random midrange and control decks are typically our best matchups, while go-wide aggro and fast combo decks are typically a challenge.

The Odds

All in all, we played six matches and won three, giving us a 50% match win percentage, along with winning eight of 16 games, also exactly 50%, which makes Forced Fruition roughly average for an Against the Odds deck. While we managed to get some really sweet Forced Fruition wins in some games, we also had some matchups where we saw the downside of building around a slow six-mana enchantment, as we got stuck with multiple copies of Forced Fruition in hand as we got run over by more aggressive decks. Thankfully, when things go well, the combo of Forced Fruition and Runeflare Trap has a lot of power to steal games by surprise, and we managed to pull out some really sweet wins by forcing our opponent to draw tons of cards, which is pretty much what we were hoping for with the deck.

Vote For Next Week's Deck

This week, we've got two returning options along with three new options split between Standard and Modern! Which card should we build around next week? Let us know by voting below!

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Conclusion

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 SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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