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Much Abrew: Expertise Fuse Reanimator (Modern)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week during our Instant Deck Techs, we had a super-close battle between Hardened Constrictor and Expertise Fuse Reanimator, but in the end, it was the deck that can potentially get a hasty Emrakul, the Aeons Torn on the battlefield as early as Turn 1 that came out on top! Meanwhile, if you are interested in the Hardened Constrictor deck, we played it on stream a few days ago, so head over to the MTGGoldfish Replay YouTube if you want to check out it! 

As far as the deck we are playing today, it's essentially an all-in combo deck. We have eight expertise cards (and four Brain in a Jar) that allow us to cast our eight fuse cards (Beck // Call and Breaking // Entering) as early as Turn 1 (but more commonly Turns 2 or 3), and hopefully these fuse cards will win us the game, either by getting us a huge, hasty threat or by making us a bunch of Bird tokens and refilling our hand. And that's basically all our deck does. We don't have a real backup plan or any ways to interact with our opponent, so we are pretty much hoping that we get good draws and that doing our thing is enough to win us the game, regardless of what our opponent's up to. Will it work? We're about to find out!

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Expertise Fuse Reanimator: Instant Deck Tech

Expertise Fuse Reanimator vs. Red Deck Wins (Match 1)

Expertise Fuse Reanimator vs. GW Humans (Match 2)

Expertise Fuse Reanimator vs. Eternal Command (Match 3)

Expertise Fuse Reanimator vs. Jeskai Copy Cat (Match 4)

Expertise Fuse Reanimator vs. Bant Spirits (Match 5)

Expertise Fuse Reanimator vs. U-Tron (Match 6)

Expertise Fuse Reanimator: Wrap Up

Discussion

  • Let's get this out of the way first: we simply couldn't win with this deck, no matter what we tried. We started off with the build from the Instant Deck Tech, promptly went 0-3, and realized that we often had big creatures rotting away in our hand. So we changed things up, dropping Brain in a Jar for Through the Breach, and proceeded to go 0-3 yet again, bringing our overall record with Expertise Fuse Reanimator to a record-setting 0-6. 
  • At the risk of coming across as salty, part of our problem was that we simply didn't get very lucky. We had at least three times where we managed to cast a Breaking // Entering to hopefully get an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or Griselbrand and win the game. On each of these attempts, we had between a 75% and 85% chance of hitting one of our big finishers, but we whiffed on all three, either getting nothing or ending up with a Dryad Arbor or Birds of Paradise
  • That said, we didn't lose just because we ran bad. If we were crushing it in our other games and sometimes lost by not hitting 80 percent-ers with Breaking // Entering, we could just laugh it off as bad luck, but there were some much bigger issues with the deck. 
  • When I initially built the deck, I ran the numbers and figured that we would be 75% to win the game when we resolved a Breaking // Entering, which sounds pretty good on Turn 2 or 3. However, what I didn't take into account is that these draws don't happen that often. Maybe the biggest problem with the deck is that it loses to itself—a lot. There's this old saying about ramp decks that they sometimes lose by drawing the wrong half of their deck (either drawing all ramp and no finishers or all finishers and no ramp), and Expertise Fuse Reanimator has a similar issue. We had a lot of times where we'd draw our expertises but not have any fuse cards; then, we had other times where we had our fuse cards but no expertise to cast them. This isn't even to mention all of the times we just drew big Eldrazi and Griselbrands (which feels especially bad in our deck because not only are they dead draws but every time we draw an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or Griselbrand, our Breaking // Enterings get weaker because we are less likely to mill and reanimate a finisher.
  • Having our finishers rotting away in our hand is what led us to switch to Through the Breach over Brain in a Jar. If you really think about what Brain in a Jar is in our deck, it's essentially another expertise (i.e., a way to cast a fuse card for free). The problem is that we already have eight literal expertises, so having more isn't really that helpful (since we still have to draw a fuse card and then hit off the fuse card). Through the Breach, on the other hand, is almost like having more fuse cards, since it gives us another way to cheat a huge finisher into play. 
  • The bad news is that Through the Breach didn't fix the deck (although I do feel like the deck ran better with Through the Breach, even though our record was the same). 
  • Also, the sideboard was pretty questionable. While we do want some artifact and enchantment destruction to deal with cards like Rest in Peace and Ensnaring Bridge, we probably had more than we really needed, and Chancellor of the Annex was just downright bad. Chancellor of the Annex is widely known as a Turn 1 combo protector in Legacy, so I assume that the original build of the deck was hoping to use it for the same purpose in Modern. The problem is there's no [[Force of Will] or Daze in Modern, so Chancellor of the Annex doesn't really do anything. 
  • Basically, the deck is just incredibly inconsistent. When it happens to draw all of its pieces in the right order, it can close out a game faster than any deck in Modern, but this doesn't really happen all that often, at least in our experience with the deck. 
  • The biggest question is: can we fix these problems? If we stay on the all-in combo plan, we might have to play both Through the Breach and Brain in a Jar, which would give us (essentially) 12 fuse cards and 12 expertise cards to cheat the fuse cards into play. With 12 of each in the deck, the odds of having one of each in our opening hand goes up significantly. 
  • On the other hand, a better plan might be to move away from the all-in combo build of the deck and instead play something like Esper Bird Brain (check out old stream highlights here!) (sort of a Brain in a Jar control deck with removal, discard, and wraths) and add in a reanimator package around Breaking // Entering. We'd lose the explosive Turn 1 kills, but we'd have a much more resilient deck and we wouldn't simply scoop when we draw our cards in the wrong order. 
  • So, should you play Expertise Fuse Reanimator? I think the answer is yes, but in the same way you'd play an Against the Odds deck (which is really what this felt like). While it does crazy, absurdly powerful things some small percentage of the time, these things don't really happen often enough for sustained tournament success. That said, I can see how the deck could win a GP Trial (which is how it ended up an Instant Deck Tech in the first place)—the deck can be extremely powerful if you run well and draw your pieces in the right order. 

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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