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Against the Odds: Warped Statuary (Modern)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode seventy-four of Against the Odds. Last week, we had another all-Aether Revolt Against the Odds poll but this time for the Modern format! In the end, it was Inspiring Statuary sneaking out a win over Pia's Revolution and perennial runner-up Planar Bridge. So, this week, we are heading to Modern to see if we can improvise our way to some wins with a deck that will warp your world: Warped Statuary! Let's get to the videos, and then we'll talk a bit more about the deck, but first a quick reminder. If you enjoy the Against the Odds series and the other video content here on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish YouTube Channel.

Against the Odds: Warped Statuary (Deck Tech)

Against the Odds: Warped Statuary (Games)

The Deck

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Building around Inspiring Statuary was a lot harder than I had imagined because on its face, Inspiring Statuary is just a ramp card. When you really dig down to the foundation of Inspiring Statuary, it requires two things. First, it wants a lot of (preferably cheap) artifacts on the battlefield so it can turn them into Mind Stones. Ideally, these artifacts will come from non-artifact sources, since we can use the artifacts we have on the battlefield to help pay for them. Second, Inspiring Statuary wants non-artifact payoff cards, since it can't produce mana for artifacts. With these two things in mind, the goal of the deck was to find a way to take advantage of both aspects of the card. I considering a deck that would just play cheap artifacts and then use them to ramp into planeswalkers or creatures as finishers, but these builds felt like bad ramp decks, considering all of the powerful ramp options available in Modern (like Sakura-Tribe Elder, Signets, and Tron lands). As such, I decided that what we needed was a deck that would not only use Inspiring Statuary to ramp but also take advantage of the fact that our namesake card requires us to flood the board with cheap artifacts, which led us to Warp World and The Great Aurora as finishers of choice. 

The Combo

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In some ways, Warp World and The Great Aurora are the perfect cards for Inspiring Statuary. If we can spend the first few turns flooding the board with cheap artifacts, we can use Inspiring Statuary to cast either of these cards for only three real mana, and then, we shuffle in all of our permanents and get that many fresh ones. The trick to making Warp World and The Great Aurora powerful is breaking their symmetry by having more permanents on the battlefield than our opponent. If we have 20 permanents and our opponent only has 10, we will usually come out ahead when we resolve a Warp World or The Great Aurora, and because of the way our deck is built (with lots of permanents with enters-the-battlefield triggers that make artifacts), our second and third copies of Warp World / The Great Aurora should be even more devastating. We also have a way to just win the game on the spot after resolving one of our finishers...

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Hellkite Igniter might look odd, but when we resolve a Warp World or The Great Aurora, we usually get a ton of artifacts on the battlefield in the form of clue tokens from Tireless Tracker (which triggers from all of the lands that come into play from Warp World), Servos, and Thopters. Ideally, we'll also hit at least one copy of Hellkite Igniter, and we can simply attack our opponent, pump it a couple of times (with both Warp World and The Great Aurora, our lands come into play untapped), and kill our opponent with a flying, hasty threat!

Artifact Production

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The second part of our deck is ways to make artifacts to power up our Inspiring Statuary, and here we have a few different options. Tireless Tracker and Thraben Inspector both make Clue tokens, which turn into Mind Stones with an Inspiring Statuary on the battlefield. Tireless Tracker specifically is great because we can double trigger it with fetch lands and it often makes an entire board full of clues when we hit it with Warp World

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Pia and Kiran Nalaar and Pia Nalaar not only give us ways to make artifact tokens (in the form of Thopters) but also allow us to sacrifice our artifacts for value (which is nice with Servo Schematic specifically). While they are both fairly powerful on their own, they are especially great when we can cast them for just one or two mana with the help of Inspiring Statuary

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They might look odd, but Servo Schematic and Cogworker's Puzzleknot are the best ways to get two artifacts on the battlefield on Turn 2, especially when you consider that we really want are artifacts to come from permanents so we can put them on the battlefield with Warp World. These cards are also essential parts of our Tron-like nut draw...

The Backup Plan

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When we aren't warping the world, the most powerful thing our deck can do is cast a Karn Liberated or Ugin, the Spirit Dragon on Turn 4, which is almost as fast as Tron's best draws. If we can play a Thraben Inspector on Turn 1, either a Cogworker's Puzzleknot or Servo Schematic on Turn 2, and an Inspiring Statuary on Turn 3, we have up to eight mana available for non-artifact spells, starting on Turn 4. While Warp World is often game ending on Turn 4, Karn Liberated and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon are also great and are typically enough to allow us to take over the game by exiling away our opponent's stuff, killing their creatures, and pressuring their hand. 

The Matchups

First off, I'm not sure we have any good matchups (we didn't actually win a single match). There are a couple of big reasons for this. First and most importantly, we only have four copies of Inspiring Statuary, so sometimes we simply don't draw one, and when we don't have our namesake card, our deck is both underpowered and way too slow. Second, even when we have an Inspiring Statuary, Modern is filled with powerful answers. We had several games where we had what looked like our nut draw (with a Turn 4 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon or Karn Liberated), only to see our Inspiring Statuary get hit by a Thoughtseize or Inquisition of Kozilek. Beyond this, slower, more controlling decks often have counters, which are great against Warp World and The Great Aurora, and fast aggro decks can sometimes kill us before we get a chance to do anything cool. So, all around, the Modern format simply isn't all that hospitable to Inspiring Statuary.

The Odds

All in all, we played six matches and won zero, although we did manage to win 3 of our 13 games (good for a 23% game win percentage). Maybe the most disappointing part of our matches is that we had some games where we resolved a Warp World and still didn't win. There's just a stunning amount of variance with this deck—when things go perfectly, we can do some really crazy things, but even when things go well and we use Inspiring Statuary to cast Warp World, we still sometimes lose due to the randomness of our deck. I expect that this performance is actually pretty representative of our deck. While I'm sure we'd win a match eventually, we are just too inconsistent to really be competitive. 

Vote for Next Week's Deck

Last week for our Brewer's Minute, we talked about some more infinite combos in Modern. Well, now it's time to put one of those combos into action. Which combo do you want to see next week? Make sure to let us know by voting!

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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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