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Against the Odds: Infinite Landfall Mogaug (Modern)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 260 of Against the Odds. Last week, we had an Against the Odds poll for Zendikar Rising in Modern, with Moraug, Fury of Akoum coming out on top. As such, we're heading to Modern today for a deck that uses the ability to generate infinite landfall triggers to not just take infinite combat steps with Moraug, Fury of Akoum but also potentially deal infinite damage, draw infinite cards, make infinite tokens and mana, and gain infinite life! How can we generate infinite landfall triggers in Modern? What are the odds of winning by taking infinite combat steps with Moraug, Fury of Akoum? 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: Infinite Landfall Moraug

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The Deck

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When Moraug, Fury of Akoum won the poll, it was pretty obvious our deck would be about landfall and taking extra combat steps. While making a land drop and taking an extra combat step is sweet and playing and cracking a fetch land for two extra combat steps is sweeter still, it's Against the Odds. Playing Moraug fairly isn't an option. Instead, the goal of our deck today is to generate infinite landfall triggers, which will not only give us an infinite number of attack steps with Moraug (and infinitely big creatures once we start attacking, thanks to Moraug, Fury of Akoum's pumping ability) but also open up a bunch of other infinite landfall shenanigans as well! But how can we make an infinite number of land drops in one turn? Here's the plan:

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Ironically, to generate infinite landfall, we turn to another landfall card: Retreat to Coralhelm. With the enchantment on the battlefield, we have two options whenever a land comes into play: scry one (which is helpful in the early game to find our other combo pieces and Moraug, Fury of Akoum) or untap (or tap) a creature. The untap ability on Retreat to Coralhelm is the one that makes our combo possible. The goal is to combine this with creatures like Sakura-Tribe Scout or Llanowar Scout that can tap to put a land into play from our hand. With either of these creatures on the battlefield alongside Retreat to Coralhelm, we can tap our Sakura-Tribe Scout / Llanowar Scout to put a land into play (and also trigger all of our landfall payoffs like Moraug, Fury of Akoum) and then use Retreat to Coralhelm to untap the Sakura-Tribe Scout / Llanowar Scout so we can repeat the process. This gets is 90% of the way to going infinite. The last piece of the puzzle is making sure that we always have a land in hand for our Scouts to put into play...

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The final piece of our infinite landfall combo puzzle is a bounce land like Izzet Boilerworks, Gruul Turf, or Simic Growth Chamber. When a bounce land enters the battlefield, we are forced to return a land to our hand, which is supposed to be a drawback but is actually a massive upside in our deck. Importantly, bounce lands don't say "another land," so when we play an Izzet Boilerworks, Gruul Turf, or Simic Growth Chamber, we can use the enters-the-battlefield trigger to immediately pick up the bounce land that we just played. 

Wrapping back around to our combo, if we have a bounce land in hand, Sakura-Tribe Scout or Llanowar Scout and Retreat to Coralhelm truly go infinite. We tap our Scout to put the bounce land into play. Retreat to Coralhelm untaps the Scout, and the bounce land bounces itself, so we can tap the Scout again, rinse, and repeat. The end result is infinite landfall triggers, which means not only infinite combat steps with our namesake Moraug, Fury of Akoum but a bunch of other fun things as well...

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If we have Lotus Cobra on the battlefield when we combo, we also generate infinite mana, which can help us play our expensive finishers like Moraug, Fury of Akoum. Lotus Cobra also helps us ramp into our other combo pieces naturally as we make land drops, even without the infinite landfall combo.

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If we add Valakut Exploration to the mix, we can draw our entire deck (and potentially cast it, thanks to Lotus Cobra mana), with each land entering the battlefield essentially drawing us a card. If we don't have Moraug, Fury of Akoum, Valakut Exploration can help us find it, or it can just win the game all by itself since we can exile 20 cards, go to our end step, and put them all into our graveyard to hit our opponent for 20 direct damage!

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If we have Scute Swarm on the battlefield, then when we go infinite, we make infinite 1/1 Insect tokens or, if we happen to have six lands on the battlefield, infinite Scute Swarms. Along with giving us another way to close out the game once we assemble our combo, Scute Swarm is also a solid way to slow down the game while we are getting our combo set up, making Insect chump blockers to slow down our opponent's aggression and buy us some time to find whatever combo piece we happen to be missing.

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Finally, if we have Kazandu Mammoth on the battlefield when we combo, we can make an infinitely big creature thanks to the Elephant's ability to grow as we play lands, which isn't actually all that exciting since Kazandu Mammoth often just gets chump blocked. But since Kazandu Mammoth is technically part of our mana base, it's a fairly each inclusion as a one-of as a backup plan.

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Rounding out our deck are Lightning Bolt for a dash of removal and Commune with the Gods to help find our combo pieces. While Commune with the Gods can't hit lands (which usually isn't a big deal since we have 10 bounce lands in our deck and are very likely to draw at least one naturally), hitting both creatures and enchantments means it can find any of our other combo pieces. Finding Retreat to Coralhelm is especially important since it is the one piece of our infinite-landfall combo that is unique and doesn't have a functional replacement in our deck. Commune with the Gods digs five cards deep to find it or Moraug, Fury of Akoum, Lotus Cobra, Valakut Exploration, or any of our other creature-based landfall finishers.

The Matchups

While Infinite Landfall Moraug is powerful and fast, it does struggle with decks that are heavy on interaction. The problem is that for our combo to work, we really need a Sakura-Tribe Scout or Llanowar Scout to stick on the battlefield. Decks overloaded with removal and counters mostly can keep our deck in check by killing the Scout, which leaves us trying to piece together the landfall win naturally without the benefit of the combo, which isn't impossible but is much harder. On the other hand, Infinite Landfall Moraug is actually pretty solid in removal-light matchups. With our best draws, we can go infinite on Turn 3, which is fast enough to race many aggro and combo decks. 

The Odds

All in all, we went 2-3 with Infinite Landfall Moraug, giving us a 40% match win percentage. That said, we were super close to winning another match or two, which might mean the deck is slightly more competitive than its record suggests. Most importantly, the infinite landfall combo actually worked! Both of our match wins came from our deck going infinite (often on Turn 3 or 4). Even in the matches we lost, we usually managed to pick up a game win by going infinite. Even better, over the course of our five matches, we managed to go infinite in every way possible, making infinite mana with Lotus Cobra, making infinite tokens with Scute Swarm, generating infinite damage with Valakut Exploration, and—of course—taking infinite combat steps with Moraug, Fury of Akoum (even winning a game where our only real attacker was a Llanowar Scout, which managed to get the job done thanks to a huge pile of extra combat steps and pumps from Moraug)! While the deck isn't likely to win a Pro Tour anytime soon, it is super fun to play and pull off some spectacular combo turns surprisingly consistently!

Vote for Next Week's Deck

No Against the Odds poll this week which means next week we're having a special episode! Don't worry, the poll will return next week!

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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