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Against the Odds: Worldfire


Hello everyone and welcome to episode twenty-eight of Against the Odds. First off, thanks to all of you for voting in last week's poll, which ended in a historic blowout. With over 5,000 votes cast, Worldfire doubled up on the next closest option, taking home a massive 43% of the vote. Coming in second and third were Sunforger and Zada, Hedron Grinder, so they will be back for another shot at glory, while Molten Nursery and Opposition came in at the bottom of the heap and are out of here!

We'll talk more about Worldfire 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: Worldfire Intro

Against the Odds: Worldfire Games

 

The Deck

There are two major challenges in building a competitive Worldfire deck in Modern. First, since the namesake Worldfire costs nine mana, we need to find some way of cheating on its cost. Modern is simply too fast a format to play Worldfire fairly by making nine land drops. Thankfully, this problem wasn't too hard to solve. The second issue is figuring out how to win the game after resolving Worldfire. This dilemma ended up being more difficult than I had hoped. 

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As far as casting Worldfire, the main combo in the deck is getting Worldfire imprinted on a Spellweaver Helix along with another inexpensive sorcery like Serum Visions or Gitaxian Probe. Then all we need to do is cast a second copy of the inexpensive sorcery, and we get a copy of Worldfire for free! Since Spellweaver Helix needs cards in the graveyard to imprint them, apart from the combo itself, our deck is exclusively focused on two things: cards that can help fill our graveyard and cheap sorceries.

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As far as stocking our graveyard, our two best cards are Faithless Looting and Ideas Unbound. Both dig us two or three cards deeper into our library, which helps us find our combo pieces, and both give us an way to get a Worldfire into the graveyard. Plus, since both are sorceries they are fine choices for the second card imprinted on Spellweaver Helix, especially Faithless Looting thanks to its flashback ability (casting it from the graveyard still triggers Spellweaver Helix). 

Gifts Ungiven, on the other hand, is a little expensive for our deck, but it's our most consistent way to assemble the combo. Since the way Gifts Ungiven is worded allows us to search for just two cards (and these two cards always go to the graveyard), we can use it at the end of our opponent's turn to find a Worldfire and a second copy of whatever inexpensive sorcery happens to be in our hand, untap, cast Spellweaver Helix and the inexpensive sorcery to get a copy of Worldfire.

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Serum Visions and Gitaxian Probe are our other "cheap sorcery" options for imprinting Spellweaver Helix with Worldfire. While they don't help us fill our graveyard like Faithless Looting or Ideas Unbound, they are pretty good at churning through our deck to find our combo pieces. Gitaxian Probe is very good with Spellweaver Helix thanks to its phyrexian mana cost. If we can get a Worldfire and a Gitaxian Probe in the graveyard over the first two turns of the game, we can cast a Spellweaver Helix on turn three, then cast a Gitaxian Probe for its phyrexian mana cost to get our copy of Worldfire

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As such, casting a Worldfire isn't that difficult. What's more challenging is winning the game after we resolve a Worldfire. Our plan here is to get a copy of Rift Bolt or Riftwing Cloudskate suspended before we resolve the Worldfire. Then we simply wait for the clock to tick down, and when the last time counter is removed we can deal our opponent the final point of damage. Simian Spirit Guide is our backup plan. While it makes our deck much more explosive, we can also cast it as a 2/2 for three post-Worldfire and use it to attack for the final point of damage. 

The Matchups

The good news is, with our nut draw, we can beat anyone. Like most combo decks, our Worldfire combo deck not so much about what our opponent is playing and more about whether or not our deck cooperates. That said, our match against Infect showed some decks are just faster than we are. We had turn three Worldfire, and our opponent killed us before we got a chance to untap. Thankfully, other cards that could be problematic to our plan like Abrupt Decay and counterspells are on the downswing in Modern, so it's a pretty good time to be playing Spellweaver Helix and expensive sorceries. 

Our other matchup concern is just how good our opponent is at rebuilding after a Worldfire. Decks that play a lot of non-fetch lands and one-drops are especially good against us because our opponent just needs to draw a single land and a single creature to threaten the last point of damage. Probably the most frustrating thing in these matches was just how good our deck was at casting Worldfire early and consistently, but just how bad it was at winning after resolving Worldfire, assuming we didn't have a finisher suspended. 

The Odds

Overall, we went 6-7 in games and 2-3 in matches, putting the odds somewhere in the area of 40% or 45%, which is solid for an Against the Odds deck. However, I think our record could have been better if we figure out a more guaranteed way of winning after Worldfire since we had three losses where we resolved Worldfire, but went on to lose the game. To me the combo of cantrips, Faithless Looting, and Ideas Unbounded into Spellweaver Helix exiling Worldfire was extremely potent and consistent. Unfortunately Worldfire simply didn't win us the game often enough. This result got me thinking. Maybe the problem with the deck is Worldfire itself? We were really good at casting a 9 mana sorcery on turn three. What if the problem was we were casting the wrong sorcery? As such, once I finished recording, I did a bit more brewing with the same foundation, but with Enter the Infinite.

The deck works essentially the same was as our Worldfire deck, except we get to cut Worldfire and the suspend finishers. In their place we get Enter the Infinite, more ways to cycle through our library in Desperate Ravings and Sleight of Hand, and a small Conflagrate / Desperate Ritual / Manamorphose package to win the game. The basic idea is that we get an Enter the Infinite and a cheap sorcery imprinted on Spellweaver Helix, then we cast the cheap sorcery to get a copy of Enter the Infinite. Instead of hoping things work out like we did with Worldfire, we are pretty much guaranteed to win the game by exiling all our Simian Spirit Guides and Desperate Rituals, casting Conflagrate X = 0 to get it in the graveyard, and then flashing it back by discarding a number of cards equal to our opponent's life total. 

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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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