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Much Abrew: Fauna's End (Modern)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week during our Instant Deck Techs, we had a bunch of decks all bunched together at the top, but in the end, the crazy Fauna Shaman / Living End build for Modern was declared the winner. As such, we're heading to Modern this week for a deck that feels like it's probably more at home in Commander and is overloaded with one-of creatures to hopefully tutor up with Fauna Shaman and eventually reanimate with the combo of As Foretold and Living End. Can the "play one of everything" plan actually work in Modern, or will the inherent inconsistency of the deck be its downfall? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Fauna's End (Modern)

Discussion

  • That was rough. Technically, we finished 0-5 in our video matches, but it was even worse than that in reality. We started off going 0-5 in a league but played against Titan Shift and Ponza twice, which made me wonder if maybe those were just bad matchups and we got unlucky. So, I decided to play a couple of two-player matches to see if we could find some different matchups, and while we did manage to play different decks, we lost to those as well. As such, it's pretty safe to say that it wasn't the matchups but the deck itself.
  • To understand what went wrong with Fauna's End, let's look at the deck piece by piece. First, we have the Living End / As Foretold package. We know this package is at least somewhat good, since other builds have found success with it, although even here, our deck struggled with consistency. Apart from some random one-of loot creatures like Jace, Vryn's Prodigy and Champion of Wits, we don't really have a way to consistently find either part of our reanimation combo, which means it doesn't actually happen all that often.
  • Meanwhile, Fauna Shaman is great as a toolbox piece, helping us find and cast the right creature in the right situation, but it's pretty slow at filling our graveyard for Living End. Plus, it dies fairly often, which makes it somewhat inconsistent itself. 
  • The rest of the deck is pretty hard to talk about because it's all one-of creatures. Pretty much all of the creatures are good in specific situations. The problem is that since they are all one-ofs, our odds of finding the right creature in the right situation are pretty low. It can work if Fauna Shaman sits on the battlefield for multiple turns, but otherwise, we're just hoping to beat the odds and get lucky. 
  • I've talked before about trying to learn at least one thing from each deck, even if the deck ends up being bad, and thanks to the endless one-of creatures, we did find some sweet and potentially powerful synergies that could be worth exploring (hopefully in more consistent builds). 
  • Scryb Ranger was the breakout star of the deck. Untapping Fauna Shaman is really sweet, and even just adding some extra mana with Birds of Paradise is really helpful in some situations, especially considering our deck is only playing 21 lands for some reason (while also trying to cast seven-drops like Sheoldred, Whispering One and Hornet Queen). 
  • Liliana, Heretical Healer was also surprisingly good, even with a deck only halfway built to support her flipping. The payoff is a planeswalker close to Liliana of the Veil in terms of power level, with the upside of also reanimating creatures. Imagine what the flip-walker could do in a deck really built to harness her power! 
  • Squee, Goblin Nabob is probably a bit too cute for its own good. While having a free discard every turn for Fauna Shaman is nice, the problem with the deck wasn't that we didn't have enough creatures to discard with Fauna Shaman but getting Fauna Shaman to stick on the battlefield long enough to be relevant. When we don't have Fauna Shaman, Squee, Goblin Nabob is the deadest of dead draws, since outside of Birds of Paradise, we don't even have red mana to cast it.
  • The end result is that Fauna's End is a deck that can do really powerful things if it happens to get lucky and draw all of its cards in the right order and at the right time. Unfortunately, as our matches showed, this doesn't happen all that often, which makes sense considering just how inconsistent the deck looks on paper.
  • So, should you play Fauna's End? I think the answer is pretty clearly no, at least if your goal is to win games. While tutoring up the right creature in the right situation is a fun idea, the end result is mostly just frustration, as you rarely have the card you need when you need it. Probably the easiest solution is to port the deck over to Commander (maybe with Muldrotha, the Gravetide as your commander). The one-of, tutor-up creature theme would be perfect for the format, and the deck would probably be a lot of fun. Discounting Commander, I'm not even sure it's possible to fix this deck in Modern. The "we're playing all one-ofs" is what makes the deck unique, but it's also what makes the deck inconsistent and bad. While I'm not sure the end result would be good, the easiest way to make the deck better would be to just pick your favorite five or six creatures, play them as four-ofs rather than one-ofs, and then fill in the gaps with a few tutor targets for specific situations, perhaps with Chord of Calling or Collected Company to tie everything together in place of the Living End package. Would this Sultai Company deck still be Fauna's End? Probably not, but it would be a lot better at winning a game every now and then, if that's part of your goals.

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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