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GOAT Magic: "What If?" Modern - Eldrazi vs. Twin

This week, the biggest topic in the community is the Modern banned and restricted announcement that unleashed Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Bloodbraid Elf into the format, which got us thinking about Modern bannings of the past. A couple of years ago Wizards decided to ban long-time Modern staple Splinter Twin in the lead up to Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch, which opened the door for Eldrazi to dominate the tournament and eventually the Modern format as a whole (until Wizards finally solved the problem, at least to some extent, with the banning of Eye of Ugin). 

At the time, it felt like Splinter Twin may have been banned to make sure that the Eldrazi from Oath of the Gatewatch were playable in Modern, which leaves us with one of the greatest "what if?" questions in the history of Modern: what if Splinter Twin wasn't banned? Would Eldrazi still have dominated Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch? Would Splinter Twin have kept the colorless menace in check, potentially avoiding Eldrazi Winter and the banning of Eye of Ugin? Today on GOAT Magic, Richard and I are going to take a stab at answering these questions, with Richard playing the Colorless Eldrazi that dominated Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch while I'll be playing the UR Twin deck that was the industry standard before its namesake enchantment was banned. Can Twin keep Eldrazi in check? Let's get to the videos and find out!

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Wrap Up

If Wizards banned Splinter Twin to make sure that Eldrazi were playable, they probably made a mistake, because based on our match it seems unlikely that having Twin legal in Modern would have been anywhere near enough to keep Eldrazi in check. Richard didn't even draw especially well and the matchup was still extremely lopsided in favor of Eldrazi, and while building the Twin deck with Eldrazi in mind might help a little, the combination of a really fast clock, consistent turn two Thought-Knot Seers and Cavern of Souls to fight through countermagic means that even an Eldrazi-focused build of Twin would likely struggle in the matchup. 

Whether this should be taken as an argument for Twin being unbanned isn't exactly clear. While it's true that Eldrazi likely would have dominated Twin, in the end Eldrazi would have been banned and then we'd be back to Twin (potentially) pushing decks out of the format. This said, considering what's happened in Modern since the Twin banning, with the reemergence of Storm as a turn-three kill deck along with a bunch of decks that can essentially win on turn three or four with things like Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or Primeval Titan (among others), the idea that a fair turn four combo kill is simply too good for the format sound strange.

On the other hand, this week's GOAT Magic does provide a good reminder of just how powerful the Eldrazi deck was pre-banning. Twin was widely considered to be one of the best deck in Modern before it was banned, and Eldrazi absolutely dominated it (even with medium to poor draws). 


Anyway, that's all for today. What do you make of today's GOAT matchup? Should Splinter Twin be unbanned? How about (god forbid) Eye of Ugin? Would it be possible to build a Twin deck that could compete with Eldrazi? Let us know in the comments! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions and suggestions, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive (and Richard @MTGGoldfish), or at

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