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Much Abrew: Cremator Evolution (Modern)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Starting next week, we'll have new Dominaria cards to mess around with, but for this week, we're heading to Modern to play one of our most popular Instant Deck Techs of the week: Cremator Evolution! In the recent past, we've had some success throwing big burn spells like Sorin's Vengeance and Blast of Genius at our opponent's face, and today's deck is looking to do something similar by setting up a situation where we can discard a Ghalta, Primal Hunger or Worldspine Wurm to Cragganwick Cremator, which will hopefully kill the opponent on the spot thanks to some incidental damage from our other creatures or even from our opponent's fetch lands and shock lands. The interesting part of Cremator Evolution is that the rest of the deck is essentially just a solid GR Midrange build, which means rather than being reliant on the combo kill, we can play like a fair creature deck with a combo kill built in to surprise our opponent and close out the game. Is Cragganwick Cremator actually Modern playable with the right support? Let's get to our video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

Oh yeah, one other thing. If you were hoping for Goblin Storm, don't worry—it's still coming! Even though the Dominaria cards in the deck are reprinted, they weren't legal in Modern in time for this week's episode, but expect to see some Goblin Storm videos soon!

Just a quick reminder: if you enjoy the Much Abrew About Nothing series and the other video content on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish YouTube channel to keep up on all the latest and greatest.

Much Abrew: Cremator Evolution (Modern)

The Deck

  • Heading into our matches, I had no idea what to expect, but after playing our league, it became apparent that the deck is a lot better than it looks on paper. We finished 4-1, only losing to UW Control.
  • This being said, to some extent, the record should be taken with a grain of salt, since we did get a bit lucky with our Cragganwick Cremator discards.
  • Speaking of Cragganwick Cremator, the main plan of the deck is to make sure that we are always discarding a Ghalta, Primal Hunger or Worldspine Wurm, and while there are games where we can guarantee a huge amount of damage, we also had a lot of games where we had to cast our Cragganwick Cremator with one big finisher and one dead card in hand, which gives us a 50% shot of winning the game. In our league, we hit just about all of our 50% odds and even some Cragganwick Cremator discards with worse odds, which is part of why our record ended up being solid. With worse Cragganwick Cremator luck, we likely would have lost at least one more match.
  • Despite the fact that Cragganwick Cremator often has some amount of variance build in, the good news is that a 5/4 for four mana isn't that bad, so even if we miss on literally winning the game when we cast Cragganwick Cremator (for example, by discarding a random land rather than a Ghalta or Worldspine Wurm), we still have something left over for our efforts.
  • A big part of the consistency of the deck is the combo of Fauna Shaman and Eldritch Evolution, and both cards were pretty solid at setting up our combo. Eldritch Evolution was especially impressive because we can just use it as a value tutor if we aren't in a position to try to win the game with Cragganwick Cremator by tutoring up things like Scavenging Ooze, Tireless Tracker, Huntmaster of the Fells, and Thrun, the Last Troll. We even won a game by casting Strangleroot Geist and immediately sacrificing it to get a second copy to attack for five hasty damage and close out the game! 
  • Some YouTube viewers pointed out that Crocodile of the Crossing can reset a Strangleroot Geist by removing the +1/+1 counters, which is worth keeping in mind, although overall I'm still not 100% sure that playing Crocodile of the Crossing in Modern is the right choice. There are so many powerful four-drops in the format that it's hard to imagine Crocodile of the Crossing is the best, even though a hasty 5/4 is a lot of damage.
  • If you decide to pick up the deck, try to think of it as a GR Midrange deck with the combo as the backup plan. Cremator Evolution can win a lot of games just by casting and attacking with efficient creatures, without any help from Cragganwick Cremator
  • Along the same lines, don't be too focused on winning the game with Cragganwick Cremator. There are times when it is perfectly fine to just run it out as a 5/4, discard a random land, and try to beat down. 
  • Overall, Cremator Evolution was surprisingly good. It felt like it had something for most matchups, and the ability to steal games when everything goes wrong by throwing 12 or 15 damage at the opponent's face is a nice upside compared to other creature-based aggro decks, which can struggle to close things out in the late game. 
  • So, should you play Cremator Evolution? I think the answer is yes. While the deck looks a bit strange on paper, it works surprisingly well in practice. The combo of good creatures with an unexpected 12 or 15 damage burn spell in Cragganwick Cremator is good enough to win a lot of games in Modern, even against tier decks. I could certainly imagine having a lot of success with the build, both in the paper world and on Magic Online. Plus, the surprise Cragganwick Cremator kill has to be one of the sweetest ways to win a game in all of Modern!

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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