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Much Abrew: Creative Mining (Modern, Magic Online)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week during our Instant Deck Techs, our Modern deck—Creative Mining—came out on top. As such, we're heading back to Modern today to try to figure out if Dwarven Mine is actually a playable card in the format. The main plan of Creative Mining is to get three Mountains on the battlefield as quickly as possible (potentially with the help of Farseek and then use a fetch land to find a Dwarven Mine to make a 1/1 Dwarf token. We can then use Polymorph or Indomitable Creativity to upgrade the Dwarf into the only creature in our deck—Emrakul, the Aeons Torn—and hopefully annihilate our opponent out of the game with just one or two big attacks! Is Dwarven Mine actually a Modern-playable card? How good is this new take on a Polymorph deck in the format? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Creative Mining (Modern)

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Discussion

  • Record-wise, we played a league with Creative Mining and ended up going 3-2, which isn't insane but is a fairly solid record in a format as diverse as Modern.

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  • The goal of our deck is pretty simple: get Emrakul, the Aeons Torn on the battlefield by Turn 4, or on Turn 3 with our best draws, with the help of Indomitable Creativity or Polymorph and the Dwarf token from Dwarven Mine. One of the upsides of putting Emrakul, the Aeons Torn into play with Polymorph or Indomitable Creativity is that Emrakul actually sticks around, unlike with something like Through the Breach, where Emrakul would go away at the end of the turn. While just one attack with Emrakul is enough to finish many games, there are times where an opponent can survive 15 damage and sacrificing six tokens.
  • One thing we learned during our league is that Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, especially on Turn 3 or 4, is still very good in Modern. While a few decks can potentially deal with a massive protection-from-colored-spells threat (like Tron with Karn Liberated and various Teferi, Time Raveler decks, which can bounce the flying spaghetti monster), in most matchups, an early Emrakul is game over.

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  • One question that came up during the original deck tech for Creative Mining was whether having just Dwarven Mine as a way to make a token to Polymorph or Creativity away was enough. After playing some games with the deck, the answer seems to be yes, mostly because we have 11 fetch lands, which are essentially additional copies of Dwarven Mine, making the deck a lot more redundant than it looks at first glance. 

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  • Farseek is weird. It can't actually get Dwarven Mine (well, it can, but you don't get a token because Mine comes into play tapped), which means it's purely in the deck to speed up our combo. I'm not sure whether it's actually worthwhile. There are some games where getting Emrakul on Turn 3 rather than Turn 4 is important (especially against other combo decks), but with just four Farseeks in the deck, that Turn 3 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn plan is somewhat inconsistent, and in the mid- to late game, Farseek is our worst top-deck. 
  • Thanks to Dwarven Mine's restriction (needing at least three other Mountains on the battlefield), our mana base is really weird, consisting almost exclusively of fetch lands and Mountainous shock lands. This means we have to take a lot of damage from our lands, which can be problematic, especially against more aggressive decks.

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  • The biggest drawback of our Polymorph / Dwarven Mine plan is that if our opponent can kill our 1/1 Dwarf token in response to our Polymorph effect, the entire spell will fizzle and we will end up with nothing, which can sometimes lose us the game on the spot. This means that it is really risky to try to "go off" if our opponent has mana open, especially if our opponent is playing a removal-heavy deck. As a result, one of the biggest challenges of playing the deck is figuring out when we have to go for a Polymorph or Indomitable Creativity into a potential blowout and when we can afford to wait until after we find some protection, like Silence or Teferi, Time Raveler
  • Speaking of Teferi, Time Raveler, keep in mind that it allows us to cast Polymorph or Indomitable Creativity at instant speed. This means we can keep a fetch land on the battlefield and wait until our opponent's end step to crack it, fetch out Dwarven Mine for the 1/1 Dwarf token, and then turn it into Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, which will allow us to untap and immediately attack with Emrakul to either win the game or at least annihilate away most of our opponent's board. 

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  • One thing it felt like the deck was missing was a way to deal with bigger creatures. While Lightning Bolt and Abrade are good for the early game, when we run into bigger creatures like Rhino tokens from Crashing Footfalls or Death's Shadow, we don't really have any way to get rid of them. Finding room for something like Path to Exile somewhere in the 75 might be a good idea.

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  • Finally, as far as sideboarding, we brought in the Through the Breach package almost every game. I'm not 100% sure if that's correct or not, but it felt like we usually had some bad cards that we really wanted to take out (like Abrade against control or Remand against some aggro builds). And since a big chunk of our sideboard is dedicated to Through the Breach and more copies of Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, bringing it in often feels like the best sideboarding plan. Apart from allowing us to beat things like Grafdigger's Cage, it also allows us to fight through removal on our Dwarf token, which is helpful in removal-heavy matchups.
  • So, should you play Creative Mining? The deck is powerful and fast enough to keep up with many of the best decks in the Modern format, although it plays a lot of unique cards and is fairly hard to play. While it can win a lot of matches, if you do decide to pick it up, I'd recommend playing a bunch of practice games to get used to how to protect the Polymorph coming. The timing of when you get Dwarven Mine and whether you just go for the fastest Emrakul, the Aeons Torn possible or wait for a slower Emrakul that is protected by Teferi, Time Raveler or Silence can be the difference between winning or losing a game and match. 

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, options, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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