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Against the Odds: Resurgent Curse Reanimator (Modern)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 308 of Against the Odds. Innistrad: Midnight Hunt is here! Last week, we had an Against the Odds poll for Innistrad: Midnight Hunt in Modern, and Curses took home an easy win. As such, we're heading to Modern today to see if we can pick up some wins, not by slowly casting our somewhat expensive curses one by one but by reanimating a bunch of them all at once with the help of Resurgent Belief! What are the odds of winning with a curse reanimator deck 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: Resurgent Curse Reanimator

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The Deck

Building around curses was actually a pretty fun and interesting challenge. While the game plan would obviously be to get as many curses on the battlefield as possible and use them to win the game, there are a few ways to build a curse deck. A couple of years ago, we played an Enduring Ideal Curse deck, so I immediately crossed out Enduring Ideal; we'd already done it before. I messed around with a curse enchantress deck for a while with cards like Sanctum Weaver and Sythis, Harvest's Hand. While the deck could win some games, it often felt like the curses were the worst cards in the deck and that we were essentially playing a bad version of normal Modern Enchantress. And playing worse versions of tier decks isn't really what Against the Odds is about. Eventually, I realized that Curses might be the perfect opportunity to brew with a card that I've been wanting to try out since Modern Horizons 2 was released: Resurgent Belief

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One of the challenges of curses is that they are a bit expensive and slow. While it is possible to play them fairly, by slowly casting them one at a time, Modern is in a pretty fast place at the moment, so the plan seemed unlikely to be successful. Resurgent Belief offers the perfect way to cheat a whole bunch of curses into play at once, greatly speeding up the curse plan, assuming we can fill our graveyard with curses for it to reanimate. While other no-mana-cost spells like Resurgent Belief tend to be cheated onto the stack with cascade or something like As Foretold, since Resurgent Belief only takes two turns to come off suspension (and only costs two mana to suspend), it's one of the rare no-mana-cost spells that can be played fairly as Garfield intended (although we've got some ways to cheat it onto the stack as well. which we'll talk about in a minute). Assuming we actually resolve Resurgent Belief, it reanimates all of the enchantments in our graveyard, which, in our deck, can mean putting up to 10 different curses onto the battlefield all at once!

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Of course, for any of this to work, we need to be able to fill our graveyard with curses as quickly as possible. For this, we turn to Satyr Wayfinder, Commune with the Gods, and Glimpse the Unthinkable. Satyr Wayfinder fills our graveyard while also helping us to hit our land drops, which is pretty important considering that we've got some pretty intense mana costs. Commune with the Gods fills the graveyard while digging for Curse of Misfortunes—the most important curse for our backup plan of hard-casting Curses naturally. Glimpse the Unthinkable doesn't have any additional upside, but it mills a massive 10 cards for just two mana. 

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Once we get our graveyard full of curses, it's time to get them onto the battlefield with Resurgent Belief. While we do sometimes suspend Resurgent Belief and wait a couple of turns for it to resolve, we've also got a couple of ways to speed up the process. As Foretold allows us to cast Resurgent Belief immediately, as early as Turn 3, which allows for some super-fast starts, especially if we can Glimpse the Unthinkable a bunch of curses into the graveyard on Turn 2. Meanwhile, Finale of Promise allows us to mill Resurgent Belief and then cast it from the graveyard for a total cost of just two mana. 

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As far as our curses go, Curse of Misfortunes is the one four-of curse in our deck. While our main goal is to reanimate a bunch of curses at once, Curse of Misfortunes gives us a backup plan of hard-casting curses, slowing tutoring the best curses from our deck and potentially winning the game fairly. The biggest issue with Curse of Misfortunes is that it's slow. We need five mana to cast it, and then we have to wait a full turn to tutor up another curse, which is especially problematic against aggressive decks. The good news is that if we can get Curse of Misfortunes and keep it there, the value it generates by tutoring out another curse turn after turn quickly becomes unbeatable. 

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When it comes to winning the game, our main plan is the combo of Curse of Thirst and Curse of Bloodletting. We've got a total of 10 different Curses in our deck, which means we can theoretically one-shot our opponent from 20 life, with Curse of Thirst dealing 10 damage and Curse of Bloodletting doubling it up to 20. We've got Cruel Reality as a backup, which either eats a creature or planeswalker each turn or causes our opponent to lose five life. We also have one Torment of Scarabs, which is probably the worst curse in our deck, but a few of our better curses care about the number of curses we have on the battlefield, which means Torment of Scarabs just barely makes the cut as a support card. 

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Backing up our win cons are some removal curses. Together, Overwhelming Splendor and Curse of Death's Hold can lock our opponent's creatures out of the game, with Overwhelming Splendor turning them all into 1/1s and Curse of Death's Hold giving them all –1/–1. Against creature decks, this is the curse package we want to get onto the battlefield the most. 

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For spell decks, we have Curse of Echoes and Curse of Silence. Curse of Silence is a good way to slow down a counterspell or a combo piece, while Curse of Echoes offer a lot of value against cantrip decks while also locking counterspells out of the game. With a Curse of Echoes on the battlefield, if our opponent tries to counter a spell, we'll get a copy, which we can use to counter the counter, making it a great way to force Resurgent Belief or Curse of Misfortunes through against control decks.

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Finally, we have Curse of Surveillance as a course of card advantage that also offers the ability to lock damage out of the game, in conjunction with our one copy of Solitary Confinement. With both on the battlefield, Curse of Surveillance offers the cards we need to keep Solitary Confinement on the battlefield even though we're skipping our draw step, which should give us several turns to set up lethal with Curse of Thirst or Cruel Reality

The Matchups

In general, I'm not sure Resurgent Curses has a ton of (or maybe any) good matchups. The biggest issue we ran into was the amount of hate currently in the format. Because the Cascade archetype got a lot of new support in Modern Horizons 2, there are a lot of Chalice of the Voids and Void Mirrors floating around in Modern at the moment. Toss in graveyard hate (which doesn't necessarily beat us because we can technically win by hard-casting Curse of Misfortunes but still shuts down our more explosive reanimator plan) and cards like Teferi, Time Raveler (shutting down Resurgent Belief coming off suspend or being cast by Finale of Promise), and it seemed like most decks had some way ruining our plans.

The Odds

Record-wise, Resurgent Curses wasn't very good. We ended up going 1-6 with the deck, although we came really, really close to winning a couple more matches. The deck did a good job of executing its plan, but the real story was us getting repeatedly blown out in hilarious ways. Our Eldrazi Tron opponent stumbled into Tron and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon in games two and three after we managed to reanimate a huge board of Curses. Zombies drew a Feed the Swarm to break out of the Solitary Confinement lock a turn before we would have won. With a bit more luck (or a bit less hate in the format), our record would have been better, but we did show off what Curses could do with Resurgent Belief, and the good games were really good!

Vote for Next Week's Deck

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Next week we're revisiting a classic Against the Odds card from the earliest days of the series in Modern, but which one? 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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