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Much Abrew: Final Parting Combo (Modern)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone play Final Parting, at least not in 60-card formats...until now. So, how can we turn the double tutor into a game-ending combo piece? The idea is actually surprisingly simple: get up to seven mana, use Final Parting to tutor Goryo's Vengeance to our hand and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn (or, sometimes, Griselbrand) into our graveyard, and reanimate Emrakul, the Aeons Torn with Emrakul's "shuffle your graveyard into your library" trigger on the stack, giving us a hasty way to annihilate away our opponent's board and maybe win the game on the spot if our opponent is at 15 or less life. While the combo itself has existed in Modern for a while now, it has had a big problem: how can a black-heavy deck get to seven mana fast enough to make the combo matter? Well, Modern Horizons 2 offered a solution to this problem by unleashing the Commander-y combo of Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and Cabal Coffers on the format. Thanks to Coffers, we can now get to seven mana much faster than we could in the past, which might mean it's finally time for Final Parting to be a real card in Modern! Is Final Parting playable now? How consistent is the combo?  Let's get to the video and find out on this week's Much Abrew About Nothing

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Much Abrew: Final Parting Combo

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Discussion

  • Record-wise, we ended up 3-2 in a Modern league with the deck, playing some incredibly long, grindy matches along the way, which was somewhat surprising. I was thinking that the deck would be more likely to pick up free, fast wins with the Final Parting combo. While this did happen on occasion, we ended up in grind fests more often than not. While these games still sometimes ended with the Final Parting combo, it was on Turn 10 or 15 rather than on Turn 5.
  • As far as the combo itself, the plan is pretty straightforward: Use Cabal Coffers and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth to ramp us to seven mana. Cast Final Parting to put Goryo's Vengeance and either Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or Griselbrand in the graveyard. Most often, Emrakul is our first choice. If our opponent is at 15 or less life, it likely just wins us the game outright when we reanimate it with haste thanks to Goryo's Vengeance. If our opponent has more than 15 life, well, then annihilating away our opponent's board is still often enough to get the concession. 
  • Griselbrand is interesting. If Emrakul, the Aeons Torn can't win us the game and our opponent has a bunch of permanents to sacrifice to annihilate, then it can be right to try to reanimate Griselbrand instead of Emrakul, especially if we have a bunch of extra mana available so we can draw cards and immediately cast some removal and Thoughtseize effects. If we reanimate Griselbrand first and draw 14 or 21 cards, we can usually set up for the Emrakul kill the following turn.
  • Speaking of Griselbrand, it works incredibly well with March of Wretched Sorrow. Remember the Grishoalbrand combo that looked to use Nourishing Shoal to gain a bunch of life to keep drawing with Griselbrand? March can do something similar. We can draw something like 14 cards with Griselbrand, cast March of Wretched Sorrow for one mana and pitch a bunch of black cards from our hand we'd have to discard to hand size anyway, and gain back most (or even all) of the life that we spent with Griselbrand, which potentially lets us draw a bunch more cards and repeat this process while killing our opponent's best creatures along the way.
  • Another note on the combo: it is possible that we can reanimate both Griselbrand and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and not end up winning the game. We had one game where our opponent had a bunch of permanents, so they survived an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn attack and dropped to five life and then followed up by playing a flier that could block Griselbrand. This matters because Griselbrand and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn are the only cards in our main deck that can actually damage our opponent. We literally can't win the game if we end up with both of them exiled to Goryo's Vengeance and our opponent is still alive. If this happens, the best plan is to avoid reanimating our second threat and instead try to build up our Cabal Coffers mana so we can hard-cast Griselbrand or Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and try to win fairly. 
  • As far as Final Parting, while its main purpose is to combo off, there are games where we need to use it fairly to tutor up a wrath or removal spell. Oh yeah, and if you play the deck on Magic Online, make sure to click the cards in the proper order—the one you want to go into your hand first and the graveyard second. The first time we cast Final Parting, I was thinking that we'd select both cards and then choose the one we wanted to put into our hand after, but we learned the hard way that not only does this not work but also there's no "undo" option once you click the first card, so you're stuck. Thankfully, we still ended up winning the game anyway, but casting Final Parting to put a second copy of Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth into our hand rather than an important removal spell was rough.
  • As far as the rest of the deck, it's mostly good black interaction. Liliana of the Veil is especially important because it gives us a way to discard Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or Griselbrand if we happen to draw them, which would otherwise fizzle our Final Parting combo. 
  • Oh yeah, one last note on the deck: outside of Profane Tutor, we don't really have a way to tutor up Cabal Coffers, Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, or our other combo pieces. This makes the Coffers / Urborg plan somewhat inconsistent, which is fine in general since we can play the control game for a while as we get things set up. But it does mean that Cabal Coffers can be a really bad draw in our opening hand. It's important to remember that Cabal Coffers doesn't make any mana at all until we get three Swamps on the battlefield. We had one game where we kept Cabal Coffers and a single Swamp, ended up stuck on one mana for the entire game, and lost without doing much of anything. Oddly, since Cabal Coffers isn't a land, we sometimes have to mulligan away otherwise good hands in the early game just because it doesn't make mana. 
  • So, should you play Final Parting Combo in Modern? I think the answer is yes. I'm not sure the deck is broken or anything like that, but it did feel solid. That said, it might be worth adding one more copy of Griselbrand to the deck, just in case we find ourselves in the awkward position of exiling all of our finishers to Goryo's Vengeance without winning. While another Emrakul could be fine as well, the upside of Griselbrand is that it isn't that difficult to hard cast if we manage to get Cabal Coffers going. Otherwise, the deck felt powerful, fun, and pretty competitive too!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. 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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