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Much Abrew: Blood Moon Surprise! (Modern)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. One of my favorite parts of the Lurrus of the Dream-Den banning in Modern is that decks like Amulet Titan and Tron are back, which also means that Blood Moon is a real card again in Modern! The question is how best to take advantage of the enchantment. Thanks to popular cards like Force of Vigor and Boseiju, Who Endures, we can't really trust that Blood Moon will stick on the battlefield forever, which means having a way to close out the game quickly is essential. This leads us to today's deck: Blood Moon Surprise! The deck starts off looking like a pretty typical Gruul Blood Moon deck, with ways to ramp into Blood Moon like Arbor Elf and Utopia Sprawl, planeswalkers like Chandra, Torch of Defiance, and filtering in Seasoned Pyromancer and Fable of the Mirror-Breaker. So, what's the surprise? Well, since Seasoned Pyromancer and Fable of the Mirror-Breaker are both good at filling our graveyard, we have Archon of Cruelty and Persist to reanimate it, which gives us a super-fast clock for closing out the game before our opponent can break free of our Blood Moon lock. How good is Blood Moon in post-Lurrus Modern? Can the surprise reanimation plan work? Let's get to the video and find out on this week's Much Abrew About Nothing

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Much Abrew: Blood Moon Surprise

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  • Record-wise, we finished our league 3-2 with Blood Moon Surprise, although we awkwardly lost to Amulet Titan, which should be one of the deck's better matchups, along with Burn, which seems like a tough matchup with the deck's current sideboard. On the other hand, we took down Tron, Hammer Time, and Izzet Murktide, all without dropping a game.
  • The deck's plan, as I mentioned in the intro, is pretty simple: hopefully stick a Blood Moon on Turn 2 with the help of Turn 1 ramp like Arbor Elf or Utopia Sprawl and then hopefully reanimate Archon of Cruelty to close out the game quickly before our opponent can get out from under Blood Moon. It's worth mentioning that we can win without Archon of Cruelty by playing random dorky creatures like Seasoned Pyromancer and Fable of the Mirror-Breaker or with the help of Chandra, Torch of Defiance. Oh yeah, and we do sometimes just hard-cast Archon of Cruelty with the help of our Arbor Elf ramp package.
  • On paper, at least (and maybe in practice, given our experience with the deck), the surprise-reanimation package solves one of Blood Moon's biggest problems: it's not a hard lock. In the past, there were some matchups where you'd stick a Blood Moon and expect it to stay on the battlefield for most of the game, but now, most decks can kill Blood Moon thanks to cards like Boseiju, Who Endures and Force of Vigor, which means rather than hard locking the opponent for the rest of the game, it generally buys us a few turns as our opponent looks for an answer. This means that having a way to close out the game quickly once we drop Blood Moon is more important than ever, and Archon of Cruelty is one of the faster clocks in Modern, making it a perfect fit for the deck.
  • The downside is that the mana can be a bit inconsistent. We need to play several basics to fetch out so we won't get locked under our own Blood Moon as well as a bunch of fetch lands to find them, which means we have relatively few dual lands. This occasionally means we need to mulligan hands without the proper colors of mana and sometimes have a difficult time hitting the double red mana of Seasoned Pyromancer or Chandra, Torch of Defiance on time. But Blood Moon's power more than makes up for this clunkiness.
  • One card that was super impressive and that I expect we'll see a lot more of in Modern moving forward is Fable of the Mirror-Breaker. While it might look like Seasoned Pyromancer with extra steps, it's Seasoned Pyromancer with upside in a lot of situations. The backside is a must-kill threat, or else we'll be able to start copying cards like Seasoned Pyromancer, Fury, and Archon of Cruelty, which is an almost unbeatable amount of value. The only downside is that unlike Seasoned Pyromancer, which refills our hand if we have no cards, we need to have cards in hand to discard in order to take advantage of Fable of the Mirror-Breaker. It also works super well with Seasoned Pyromancer—especially in a deck like ours that wants to fill the graveyard—by adding some redundancy. 
  • In general, I really liked Blood Moon Surprise, although I do have one big complaint: the sideboard felt really bad. We've got a ton of artifact and enchantment hate, a random Garruk Relentless, and some graveyard and counter hate. But we've got essentially nothing to bring in against decks like Burn or various combo builds. More diversity in the sideboard seems like it would be helpful.
  • So, should you play Blood Moon Surprise in Modern? I think the answer is yes. The reanimation plan fixes one of Blood Moon's biggest issues, but unlike dedicated reanimator decks, we can easily win without our graveyard, which makes graveyard hate less of a concern. The deck seems like a solid option in Modern if you like janking out opponents with Blood Moon or reanimating big things. Our three wins were all pretty easy 2-0s, and our two losses were close three-game matches. I think the deck certainly has the ability to go 5-0, especially with an improved sideboard. Plus, who doesn't love getting fools with Blood Moon?


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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