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Against the Odds: Realm Razer

Hello everyone and welcome to episode nineteen of Against the Odds. In last week's poll, we had a clear-cut winner with Realm Razer in Modern garnering 28% of 4,700 votes cast, beating out our Standard options, Felidar Sovereign and Living Lore. Coming in at the bottom of the heap was our other Modern option, Worldpurge, and as usual, our Legacy choice, Tribal Rebels. 

So this week, we'll be playing Realm Razer in Modern. Both Standard options will be back on next week's poll, and we'll have three new options for voting!

We'll talk more about Realm Razer in a minute. First let's get to the videos. A quick reminder. If you enjoy Against the Odds and other video content here on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish Youtube Channel to keep up with the latest and greatest.

Against the Odds: Realm Razer Intro

Against the Odds: Realm Razer Games

The Deck

Realm Razer is a tricky card to build around. While the ability of exiling all lands is powerful, it comes attached to an extremely fragile body which dies to everything from Path to Exile to Lightning Bolt to Go For the Throat. As such, we had to take some measures to compensate for this fragility.

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After puzzling over the best way to build a Realm Razer deck, I decided to go the Evolutionary Leap route. Adding the Green enchantment to the deck does two things. First off, it helps us find our Realm Razers, since we can sacrifice our other creatures to dig through our deck. Secondly, and more importantly, it allows us to have control over when Realm Razer dies. 

Here, it's important to realize Realm Razer has the old wording for exile / return cards (compare Oblivion Ring to Banishing Light). What this means is that if we can kill the Realm Razer in response to its enter the battlefield trigger, the "return all lands" trigger will resolve first, followed by the "exile all lands" trigger, with the end result being all lands are exiled permanently. The idea is that with a Evolutionary Leap on the battlefield, we can turn Realm Razer into a real, but expensive Armageddon

Oblivion Sower is magical Christmas land. In theory we can exile all the lands with Realm Razer, somehow get back up to six mana, cast an Oblivion Sower, and steal all of our opponent's lands from exile.

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The other important piece of the deck is ramp. Not only do Birds of Paradise, Noble Hierarch, and Garruk Wildspeaker helps us ramp into Realm Razer, but they also help us break the symmetry of having no lands. Once Realm Razer exiles everything, it will typically be the player with the most mana who comes out on top. These cards allow us to keep casting spells while land-less. Meanwhile, our opponents are back to square one. 

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Finally, we play a Chord of Calling / Eternal Witness package to help us put together our combo. While it might not be obvious, with a single Chord of Calling and six mana, we can go through this chain of Chord for Eternal Witness, get back Chord, Chord for Restoration Angel, blink Eternal Witness, get back Chord, then Chord for Realm Razer. It takes three turns, of course.

The Matchups

We actually have a solid matchup against fair creature-based decks because we can grind out a lot of value with Eternal Witness, Path to Exile, and Restoration Angel, while we wait for Realm Razer to come online. We also have a ton of sideboard slots dedicated to fighting big mana decks like Tron and Bx Eldrazi with four copies of Crumble to Dust, a Fulminator Mage, and three Ghost Quarters. On the other hand, we really don't have many good answers to combo decks like Infect, Burn, or Scapeshift, and we will lose more than we will win against dedicated aggro. 

The Odds

Somehow we managed to win exactly 50% of our games with the deck, going 6 and 6 overall. We also had three wins directly attributable to Realm Razer, which is more than I expecting going into the intro. Of course, some of our wins are based on the fact we have a bunch of good cards like Restoration Angel and Eternal Witness, so we could simply out value our opponent, but there were a few spots where Realm Razer was key. Against Burn for example, we were one burn spell away from dying when we were able to exile all the lands, which gave us a few extra turns to close out the game with our creatures. 

While I wouldn't expect to win any tournaments with the deck, I definitely would remove Oblivion Sower which simply isn't going to happen after we Realm Razer. The framework of the deck feels competitive enough that it will win some games. Plus it's quite fun to play if you like tricky, value-based creature decks.

Vote for Next Week's Deck

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Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments. You can reach me on Twitter (or MTGO) @SaffronOlive. 

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