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Against the Odds: Modern's Mightiest Domain Deck


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 350 of Against the Odds. One of the most exciting returning mechanics from Dominaria United was domain, although it hasn't really made a huge impact on Standard so far. But maybe that's because Modern is the right format for building around the mechanic? That's what we're going to find out today with the Mightiest Domain deck in the format. Rather than just being a value-y domain deck, we've got a very specific and mighty plan: play a five-power (or potentially five-power) two-drop on Turn 2 and then win the game on Turn 3 with the help of new-to-Modern Gaea's Might, along with Might of Alara and Temur Battle Rage. We can give our two-drop +5/+5 with Gaea's Might or Might of Alara, making it a 10/10, and then use Temur Battle Rage for double strike to kill our opponent on the spot! Can a deck full of Gaea's Mights win 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: Mighty, Mighty Domain

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The Deck

The plan of Mighty, Mighty Domain is pretty straightforward and comes in three steps.

Step 1: Get Domain

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First and foremost, for our deck to work, we need to get all five basic land types on the battlefield on Turn 2. Thankfully, this is pretty easy to do in Modern thanks to fetch lands, Triomes, and shock lands. We're overloaded on fetch lands, and having two in our opening hand should be enough to give us full domain on Turn 2. Ideally, we'll fetch something like Indatha Triome on Turn 1 and follow up with something like Steam Vents on Turn 2, which will not only give us all five land types but also let us play a two-drop on Turn 2...

Step 2: Play a Five-Power Creature on Turn 2

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The next step to our mighty Turn 3 kill is playing a five-power creature on Turn 2. Thanks to Domain, we've got a bunch of different options. The two best are Territorial Kavu and Nishoba Brawler, both of which will have five power, assuming we have all the basic land types. Territorial Kavu is probably better overall since it will also have five toughness (while Nishoba Brawler only has three, so it dies to Lightning Bolt), and its attack trigger is good for rummaging through our deck to find combo pieces, although the trample on Nishoba Brawler can be a nice upside. We've also got Brushfire Elemental, which is technically a 1/1, but, with the help of a single fetch land and its landfall ability, can turn into a 5/5 on Turn 3. Finally, we have Scion of Draco, which is sadly just a 4/4. This can leave us just short of the one-shot kill in some matchups, although since most decks are playing fetch lands and shock lands, there's a decent chance it will still be lethal on Turn 3 against most opponents.

Step 3: The Mighty, Mighty Kill

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Once we stick a five-power creature, the one-shot kill is pretty straightforward. We've got eight "mighty" pump spells in our deck in Gaea's Might and Might of Alara, which are technically the same card, each giving +5/+5 if we have full domain, so either will pump our two-drop to 10 power. We can follow this up with Temur Battle Rage for double strike and trample, hitting our opponent for 20 damage on Turn 2! The best part of the combo is that we can do it all at instant speed during combat, after blockers are declared. Since nobody in Modern expects Gaea's Might and Temur Battle Rage, our opponent is unlikely to play around our mighty kill and will die to one attack!

It's also worth mentioning that there are other ways of assembling the one-shot kill on Turn 3. If we don't have Temur Battle Rage, three copies of either Gaea's Might or Might of Alara will give our two-drop +15/+15, which should finish the game. And if we wait another turn, cards like Tribal Flames (offering five damage for one mana) come into play as well.

Other Stuff

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Rounding out our deck is some removal. If we don't manage to get the Turn 3 kill, we can win by hitting for some damage with our domain creatures and then throwing some Lightning Bolts and Tribal Flames at our opponent's face. We can also use our burn spells to clear blockers out of the way. Meanwhile, Leyline Binding should almost always cost just one mana in our deck, and exiling anything for one mana at instant speed is pretty absurd!

The Matchups

As far as getting the Turn 3 kill, we're mostly worried about what removal our opponent might have. It's possible that we start throwing mights at our domain creature only to have our opponent kill it with a Fatal Push, March of Otherworldly Light, or Solitude, which is a blowout. We have some protection in our sideboard in Stubborn Denial and Teferi, Time Raveler, but in game one, we mostly just try to play through or around the interaction. From a more meta perspective, we get absolutely wrecked by Blood Moon, which not only keeps us from casting meaningful spells but also shuts off domain. Basically, if our opponent resolves a Blood Moon, we're 99% dead in game one since we're only playing a single basic land, although, after sideboarding, Force of Vigor gives us an answer that we can play without any mana at all!

The Odds

Here, we have a bit of a good news vs. bad news situation. The good news is that Mighty, Mighty Domain crushed it, and we ended up going 5-1 with the deck, with our one loss coming to Blood Moon, which is really hard for our deck to beat. Otherwise, we crushed many of the top decks in Modern. The bad news is that the Turn 3 kill proved to be elusive. We won on Turn 4 a bunch of times and tried to win on Turn 3 a few times, although our opponent always managed to have an answer to kill our creature and keep themselves alive. Gaea's Might and Might of Alara were super impressive. Apart from just straight up killing our opponent out of the blue, they also ended up being good protection from removal like Fury, Lightning Bolt, and Unholy Heat. In the end, it might be that Mighty, Mighty Domain is a bit too mighty to be considered Against the Odds; instead, it might actually be a real, competitive deck in Modern!

Vote for Next Week's Deck

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Yesterday Twitch chat had a bunch of suggestions for Against the Odds, so we put them all on a poll for next week! Which one should we play? Click here to vote!

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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