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Much Abrew: Brisela's End (Modern, Magic Online)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week during our Instant Deck Techs, we had a clear winner: Brisela's End for Modern! While we've seen some Electrodominance / Living End decks in the past, this one is a bit different, being (almost) Mono-Red and looking to discard Bruna, the Fading Light and Gisela, Broken Blade to reanimate them and meld them together into Bruna, Voice of Nightmares! Our backup plan, should our graveyard get shut down, is to run out some cheap Hollow Ones, with the help of Burning Inquiry, Faithless Looting, and Cathartic Reunion—cards that also help us stock our graveyard for Living End. Can the plan work in our current graveyard-centric Modern format? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we can talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Brisela's End

Discussion

  • Brisela's End was a wild ride. We started off strong, going 3-0 in our first three matches, before stumbling down the stretch to finish our competitive league 3-2 overall. 
  • In general, the deck felt extremely powerful—we had a game or two where we basically got free wins by melding into Brisela, Voice of Nightmares as early as Turn 3. Brisela, Voice of Nightmares is close to unbeatable for many Modern decks since it locks the opponent out of casting spells altogether. On the other hand, the deck can also be extremely inconsistent, thanks in part to the random draw and discard of Burning Inquiry and also the fact that we only have four copies of Electrodominance to cheat Living End into play and four copies of Living End itself. 
  • Our two losses to end the league had one thing in common: we were playing against decks with main-deck graveyard hate, with Izzet Phoenix blowing us out with Surgical Extraction and UW Control locking our graveyard with Rest in Peace. While it's not impossible for our deck to win without access to our graveyard (we can get there with Hollow One, and we had one game where we actually hard-cast our Bruna / Gisela meld combo), things do get much, much harder if our opponent has graveyard hate.
  • The main idea of the deck, like most Living End decks, is that we can pick up free wins in game one when our opponents don't have graveyard hate and then hope that we sneak out a win in either game two or three by dodging the hate (or getting a hand that can win without the graveyard). The problem is that thanks to the prevalence of Izzet Phoenix and Dredge, people are moving their graveyard hate into the main deck, which shifts the math. Decks like Living End lose a lot of their appeal without the free game-one win. As such, Brisela's End might be a deck that is good but doesn't line up all that well with the current metagame since it picks up on so much hate for top-tier decks.
  • Perhaps the biggest way to improve the deck is to rebuild the sideboard. Right now, our plan is to fight through graveyard hate with Wear // Tear, but this plan has two problems. First, it doesn't help with main-deck graveyard hate. Second, while Wear // Tear is good for fighting against Surgical Extraction, it doesn't really do anything against Surgical Extraction. One possibility is to play something like Young Pyromancer or Monastery Mentor in the sideboard to have additional win conditions that don't care about graveyard hate, so that rather than trying to directly fight the hate, we sort of maneuver around it by being less reliant on our graveyard.
  • Of course, all this isn't to say that Brisela's End was bad. We ended up with a winning record in a hostile format, which does exemplify the power of the deck. It has the power to win super quickly with Hollow One or Living End and felt like a surprisingly competitive option, especially when we dodged the hate. Apart from randomly getting Terminused by UW Control, a Brisela, Voice of Nightmares felt unbeatable in pretty much every matchup. 
  • So, should you play Brisela's End in Modern? I think the answer is yes but with a couple of asterisks. The deck is powerful enough to win a lot of matches, and melding into Brisela, Voice of Nightmares is a super-sweet way to win a game of Modern. However, if you do decide to pick up the deck, the graveyard hate issue is a problem to solve. Playing Monastery Mentor or Young Pyromancer in the sideboard should go a long way. Be warned that there is a ton of graveyard hate in the format right now, so it might be that Brisela's End is a deck to keep in mind for the future rather than to compete with right now. If the format shifts away from main-deck graveyard hate, Brisela's End could certainly be a dark horse deck to pick for a tournament. But for now, the fact that you'll likely get blown out by Surgical Extraction or Rest in Peace every once in a while means that it's a risky strategy to take to a Grand Prix or another big tournament. Basically, the power level of the deck is high, but the format is hostile at the moment, so pick up the deck at your own risk!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck by liking, commenting on, 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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