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Much Abrew: Awaken the Woods (Modern)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. This week, we're heading to Modern to see how many Dryad Arbors it takes to compete in the format by trying to cast the biggest Awaken the Woods ever! Our deck's goal is simple: ramp a bunch, cast massive Awaken the Woods, and finish our opponent off, either with Dryad Arbor beats or with the help of the biggest, baddest Dino in Magic: Zacama, Primal Calamity! Can Awaken the Woods work in Modern? Let's get to the video and find out on today's Much Abrew About Nothing!

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Much Abrew: Awaken the Woods

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  • Record-wise, we ended up going 3-2 in a Modern league with Awaken the Woods. On one hand, posting a winning record with a super-strange rogue deck is solid. On the other, it was a bit disappointing considering that we started off our league 3-0 before dropping our last two matches. Still, all things considered, Awaken the Woods was better than I had expected.
  • As far as the deck's plan, it's all about Awaken the Woods. Of course, for Awaken the Woods to be good, we need to do some ramping before we cast it. At four mana, Awaken the Woods is medium; at five or six, it becomes decent; and at seven plus, it becomes exciting. Thankfully, we have a couple of unique Modern ramp packages to help us make as many Dryad Arbors as possible with Awaken the Woods. First, we have Cleansing Wildfire with Flagstones of Trokair. If we manage to blow up our own Flagstones with Cleansing Wildfire, we essentially get an upgraded Rampant Growth that also draws us a card since we'll get one land from Cleansing Wildfire and another from Flagstones of Trokair. Our second ramp plan is Blood Sun with Lotus Field. If we can play Blood Sun first, we won't have to sacrifice lands when Lotus Field enters the battlefield, which makes Lotus Field one of the most busted lands in Magic by tapping to add three mana of any color!
  • So, let's assume we do some ramping and start making Dryad Arbors with Awaken the Woods. How do we actually use them to win the game? Well, our plan A is to use Eternal Witness and Timeless Witness to get Awaken the Woods back from our graveyard to cast it two or three times. While the first Awaken the Woods is good, the second one is usually devastating since we can use the mana from all the Dryad Arbors the first copy made to cast the second with a massive X, in theory making enough 1/1s to win the game with Dryad Arbor beats. If that doesn't work, we can also win with Zacama, Primal Calamity or by using Titania's Command to put two +1/+1 counters on all of our Dryad Arbor tokens, turning them into solid 3/3 threats.
  • Speaking of Titania's Command, it's actually really solid in the deck because, along with being graveyard hate and a finisher, it can grab two copies of Lotus Field with the help of Awaken the Woods, which, assuming we have a Blood Sun on the battlefield, will make a massive six mana!
  • Overall, I really like the idea of the deck, and considering we posted a winning record, it is solid enough in its current format. But I think a couple of things about it can be improved. First, Gideon, Ally of Zendikar felt really bad. I'm not sure it's really Modern playable anymore, and doubly so in a deck like this that doesn't exactly flood the board early in the game with creatures. The other issue with the deck is somewhat related: it can get off to super-slow starts. We have zero one-drops and only a handful of two-drops (with one being Cleansing Wildfire, which doesn't really do anything unless we also have Flagstones of Trokair). Often, we don't really do anything impactful until Turn 4, which is just super slow against aggro. I think the easy way to solve this problem is by cutting Gideon for some early-game removal like Prismatic Ending.
  • One other possible improvement is adding Emeria's Call to the mana base. The deck felt a bit light on white cards to support Solitude. The white MDFC seems like a good way to up our white card count, and considering how good we are at ramping, there's a reasonable chance we'll actually hard-cast it sometimes. The same is true of Shatterskull Smashing. While these cards are good in general and work well with the pitch Elementals, they are even better in our deck than in most because if we have Blood Sun on the battlefield, we can play them untapped without taking three damage.
  • So, should you play Awaken the Woods in Modern? I think the answer is mostly yes. While the deck feels like a work in progress and definitely can be improved, it was more competitive than I expected, and killing a Modern opponent with 20 or more Dryad Arbors is hilarious!


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

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