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GOAT Magic: Fastest Lands — Eldrazi Winter vs Twelve Post

Just over a year ago, Oath of the Gatewatch brought along with it a slew of powerful, cheap Eldrazi. After a dominant Modern Pro Tour performance, the Eldrazi deck was so good that it hearkened a period now known as Eldrazi Winter. While the creatures themselves—Thought-Knot Seer, Reality Smasher, and Matter Reshaper—were strong, the true power of the deck was its lands. Between Eye of Ugin, Eldrazi Temple, and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth (which let Eye of Ugin tap for mana), the deck had 12 lands that produced multiple mana, which led to some crazy starts and had opponents dying as early as Turn 2 or 3. In the end, the deck was so good that Eye of Ugin was banned, and while Bant Eldrazi is still playable today, the reign of terror was over. 

We know that Eldrazi was good enough to destroy Modern thanks to its fast mana, but how does it compare to the original fast-mana deck in Modern: Breach Post? While Breach Post (a 12-Post variant featuring Through the Breach) didn't dominate a Pro Tour to the same level of Eldrazi, it did manage to Top 8 the very first Modern Pro Tour (Philadelphia, 2011), and the namesake card Cloudpost was promptly banned before it could do any more damage. Like Eldrazi, the basic idea of Breach Post was to use lands that tap for multiple mana to power out Eldrazi. The differences are that a Cloudpost can sometimes tap for three, four, or even eight mana, and instead of playing powerful cheap Eldrazi on Turn 2, Breach Post was looking to get the biggest, baddest of all the Eldrazi—Emrakul, the Aeons Torn—on the battlefield on Turn 4. 

So, for today's GOAT Magic, we battle it out to see which now-banned Modern deck has the fastest lands! Richard will be playing Eldrazi, using the list that LSV used to Top 8 Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch, while I'll be running the Breach Post deck that took Jesse Hampton to the Top 8 of Pro Tour Philadelphia back in 2011. Which fast-mana deck will come out on top? Let's see!

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Heading into the matchup, both Richard and I picked Eldrazi to be the winner, but apparently we aren't all that good at picking the winner of GOAT matches because Breach Post dominated, cruising to a quick 3-0 victory. In fairness to the Eldrazi deck, we never really got to see one of its insane starts, with multiple Eldrazi Mimics on Turn 1 into Thought-Knot Seer on Turn 2, so I think that if we kept playing games, it would have gotten a nut draw and won eventually. But even with four main-deck Ghost Quarters to disrupt our Cloudpost plan, the matchup didn't feel especially close. Even if Richard managed to get ahead, we were always a turn or two away from casting an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and just winning the game. I think heading into the matchups, we also underrated just how good the walls were. In several situations, the ability to block for a turn or two with Overgrown Battlement or Wall of Roots bought our Breach Post deck just enough time to finish the game with Big Mama Emrakul.

More importantly, this match gives a good example of why Cloudpost is banned in Modern. If you think losing to Turn 3 Tron is annoying, Cloudpost is close to a strictly better version. Not only does it allow for the same Turn 3 Karn Liberated draws that we get from Tron today, but you don't need to find three different lands. Oh, and Tron lands only every tap for two or three mana. With Cloudpost, there are times when a single land is tapping for six or more! Better yet, Glimmerpost gives Breach Post a way of beating fast aggro decks and Burn decks that modern-day Tron simply doesn't have access to, so some of Tron's worst matchups swing to passable (and maybe even good) for 12-Post decks.

Anyway, that's all for today. If you have some ideas for GOAT matches you'd like to see in the future, make sure to let us know in the comments! Until then, you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive (and Richard @MTGGoldfish) or at

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