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Much Abrew About Nothing: Seismic Swans (Modern)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to the new and improved Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week, we had a clear winner in our Instant Deck Tech voting, with the old Extended classic Seismic Swans coming out far ahead of the rest of the pack. If you've never seen the deck in action before, it's pretty sweet, and not just because it has an infinite(ish) damage combo built around drawing cards. The deck looks and plays a lot like Blue Moon, but instead of beating down with Delver of Secrets or stealing creatures with Vedalken Shackles, our goal is to turn Lightning Bolt into Ancestral Recall!

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Seismic Swans: Instant Deck Tech

Seismic Swans vs. Ad Nauseam

Seismic Swans vs. Mono-White Humans

Seismic Swans vs. Bant Company

Seismic Swans vs. Souleater Combo

Seismic Swans vs. GW Aggro

Seismic Swans Wrap Up

Thoughts

  • First off, never play Dakmor Salvage. If I learned one thing playing Seismic Swans, it's that we really need Dakmor Salvage to guarantee that we can win the game with our combo. Make no mistake: while it shows up in the land slot on the deck list, it's just as much a combo piece as Swans of Bryn Argoll or Seismic Assault
  • Lessons aside, the deck is super sweet. Turning a Lightning Bolt into an Ancestral Recall has to be one of my favorite things to do in all of Magic. At one point, Skred drew us eight cards for one mana!
  • The combo itself is pretty much unbeatable once it gets going; every time we assembled Swans of Bryn Argoll and Seismic Assault, we won the game even through disruption, thanks to the ability to go off at instant speed in response to a removal spell. That said, the combo is a lot slower than it looks. While in theory we can play a Seismic Assault on Turn 3 and a Swans of Bryn Argoll on Turn 4 to win the game, most of the time it takes longer, partly because our mana base is horrible. 
  • Let's talk about the mana for a minute. We're playing 20 snow-covered basic lands and four Cascade Bluffs (Dakmor Salvage doesn't really count, since we never want to play it as a land). If we have a Cascade Bluffs in our opening hand, everything is great, but if we don't, we can really struggle to cast our spells, considering we often want Blue on Turn 1, triple Red on Turn 3, and double Blue on Turn 4. The primary reason our mana base is so warped is Skred, which is only a two-of in the deck. While Skred is a fine card, and great when it draws us a ton of cards for one mana, I'm not sure it's enough better than playing a fourth Lightning Bolt and a Flame Slash to make it worth having such bad mana. Next time I play the deck, I'm going to try playing a normal Blue Moon mana base with more duals and drop the Skreds. 
  • Thankfully, we didn't run into other Lightning Bolt decks, so we never experienced the downside of Swans of Bryn Argoll. Remember: the effect is symmetrical, so our opponent can turn their Lightning Bolts into Ancestral Recalls as well. 
  • While Swans of Bryn Argoll is sweet as a combo piece, it isn't all that good as a creature. Most of the time, it's best to hold it until we are ready to combo off, because we never want to block with it (because blocking draws our opponent cards equal to the power of the attacking creature), and if it gets killed by a Path to Exile or Maelstrom Pulse, we pretty much have to find another one to win the game, because we don't have a great backup plan. 
  • Basically, the deck feels like Blue Moon with bad mana and an infinite combo. I'm not exactly sure whether its better than Blue Moon. I like the fact that we can randomly win the game out of nowhere and win quickly, while Blue Moon usually has to grind for quite a while to pick up the win, but Blue Moon has a more streamlined build and is more consistent, because it isn't playing high-variance cards like Swans of Bryn Argoll
  • In the end, we finished 3-2 in games, losing to a Bant Eldrazi player who was really good at drawing Eldrazi Temple, and to GW Aggro, which felt like a pretty bad matchup, since their creatures were big enough that we couldn't kill them with Lightning Bolt or Anger of the Gods
  • If you like drawing cards, are a fan of unique and interesting combos, or already own Blue Moon (since you should be able to switch over for almost free), you should definitely give Seismic Swans a shot. While I think Blue Moon is likely better overall, since it's more consistent and carries less risk of getting blown out by an opponent drawing cards from your Swans of Bryn Argoll, Seismic Swans is still competitive and way more fun!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck by liking, commenting, and subscribing to Instant Deck Tech videos! 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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