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Much Abrew: Five-Color Umori-One (Modern)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Hollow One and Vengevine have been playable Modern cards for a long time now, but normally, they require spells like Faithless Looting (rest in peace), Burning Inquiry, and friends to power them up. Today's deck, while still built around getting Vengevine in the graveyard and casting Hollow One for free (possibly to get back Vengevine), also features Umori, the Collector as its companion, which means we are restricted to playing only creatures. As a result, we have to play some weird, janky cards to fill our graveyard for Vengevine as well as discard cards for Hollow One, like Lotleth Troll, Bazaar Trademage, and Noose Constrictor. Can a strange all-creature version of Hollow One work? How good is Umori, the Collector in Modern? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Five-Color Umori-One

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  • As for our record, the video is actually a mashup of two leagues. When I recorded this about a week ago, I was still under the illusion that it was possible to play against a reasonable number of non–Lurrus of the Dream Den decks. But after playing against Lurrus twice in a row, I started scooping whenever I saw it revealed as a companion, not for power-level reasons but to try to have a somewhat diverse video to show all of you. Now I realize that, at least for the time being, Lurrus of the Dream Den is Modern, and there isn't really a way to avoid playing against it multiple times a league (outside of pure luck). 

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  • As for the deck itself, it worked surprisingly well. On paper, it looks extremely janky, but in practice, it can get some incredibly strong nut draws, with 12 or even 15 power of creatures on the battlefield as early as Turn 2! The best thing our deck can do is play a mana dork on Turn 1 into Bazaar Trademage on Turn 2. Since Bazaar Trademage allows us to discard three cards (after drawing two) all by itself, it makes any Hollow Ones we have in hand free, while the discard allows us to pitch up to three copies of Vengevine. Then, when we cast a Hollow One, it's automatically the second creature we cast during the turn, which means we get back all of our Vengevines to build a massive board and hopefully beat our opponent to death in just a turn or two. 

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  • While being all creatures does mean we're lacking some Hollow One / Vengevine staples, it also opens up some cool tricks that other similar decks lack. For example, Bloodbraid Elf is guaranteed to cascade into a creature, which means just a single Bloodbraid Elf will give us two creatures in a turn to get back our Vengevines. 

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  • The other interesting card in the deck is Brokkos, Apex of Forever, which is a bit expensive but surprisingly synergistic thanks to its ability to mutate (which counts as casting a creature) from the graveyard. This gives us another way to trigger Vengevine when we run low on cards in hand while also giving us another massive trampling threat (that works especially well with the +1/+1 counters Lotleth Troll gets from discarding creatures). 

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  • As for Umori, the Collector, it's mostly just a big body. The discount on our other creatures wasn't relevant too often, although much like Brokkos, Apex of Forever, having a card hanging out someplace other than our hand to cast and to help trigger our Vengevines is helpful. Plus, having eight cards in hand is never a bad thing.

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  • Probably the hardest part of playing the deck is figuring out when to aggressively discard cards for Hollow One. We occasionally have hands with no Vengevine but a Hollow One, and figuring out if we should discard two or three cards to Lotleth Troll or Noose Constrictor for minimal value just to play Hollow One is tough. In all honesty, I'm not sure I made the right choices most of the time.

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  • In general, I think the main deck of Umori-One is very strong and fairly innovative. On the other hand, the sideboard was really, really clunky. Perhaps the biggest downside of our deck is that we simply don't have a way to kill an opposing creatures (or really interact with our opponent much at all), which is especially problematic against decks that are both aggressive and evasive (see: our match against Bogles). In theory, this could be fixed with cards like Plaguecrafter or Shriekmaw as removal spells in our sideboard, which is probably worth considering, at the very least. 

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  • As for the rest of the sideboard, as much as I love Blood Mooning people out of the game, Magus of the Moon in a deck with a single basic land feels risky, to say the least. Meddling Mage is fine combo hate, but I can't help but wonder if something like Kitesail Freebooter might be better. Meanwhile, Grafdigger's Cage is mind-boggling. Not only does it make us lose Umori, the Collector as our companion if we sideboard it in, but it also shuts down our own Vengevines, Brokkos, Apex of Forevers, and Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath. I have to imagine that basically any other graveyard-hate spell in the format would be better (although we did win a game against Neobrand by sideboarding out Vengevine and aggressively mulliganing for Grafdigger's Cage
  • So, should you play Umori-One in Modern? I think the answer is yes but with some updates to get more interaction (specifically interactive creatures) into the sideboard. I was surprised at how powerful the deck played, and there are more than enough good discard creatures to support the Hollow One / Vengevine plan (Bazaar Trademage specifically was great and probably should be explored more in Hollow One / Vengevine shells). If you like getting free wins on Turn 2 but also want to do something unique, Umori-One is more than good enough to 5-0 a league on Magic Online, with a bit of luck and some good matchups.


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

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