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Much Abrew: Four-Color Acquisition (Standard)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. This week during our Instant Deck Techs, we didn't have one deck that was clearly most popular, but Four-Color Acquisition sneaked out a close win over the other options. As a result, we are heading to Standard this week to see if the crazy four-color ramp and tutor-based deck actually has what it takes to compete in the format. The basic plan of the deck is pretty simple: we have a ton of ramp and use Mastermind's Acquisition to tutor up copies of Approach of the Second Sun to win the game, or if that doesn't work, we can tutor up finishers from our sideboard like Nezahal, Primal Tide, The Scarab God, or Regal Caracal. Can we tutor up the right pieces at the right time and steal some wins? Let's get the to the videos and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck.

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Much Abrew: Four-Color Acquisition (Instant Deck Tech)

Much Abrew: Four-Color Acquisition (Modern)

 

Discussion

  • First off, the record: we played a league and finished 1-4, but I had an issue with one of the videos, so I played an extra match in the two-player queues, which we ended up winning, bringing our overall record up to 2-4. All in all, the deck did some really good things but also had a couple of huge problems that kept it from really being competitive. Let's start with the good aspects of the deck before discussing the problems.
  • Mastermind's Acquisition was really powerful, even if we normally just used it as a Diabolic Tutor to make sure we had a wrath or find Approach of the Second Sun. If we can get to a spot where the game is stable, using Mastermind's Acquisition to get Wildest Dreams from the sideboard (to get back Mastermind's Acquisition and some other cards) is extremely powerful. 
  • Approach of the Second Sun is really good at winning games, and having eight copies (including Mastermind's Acquisition) means we find two copies with ease in most matchups. 
  • We have a ton of good removal if we can get to the mid-game while still alive. Vraska's Contempt and Ixalan's Binding kill everything, and Fumigate and Settle the Wreckage give us ways to sweep away an entire board full of creatures.
  • You probably noticed one small change in the deck from the Instant Deck Tech, with Spring // Mind replacing Beneath the Sands. Since our deck is already playing double blue cards, Spring // Mind seems almost strictly better. Our deck wants to ramp as much as possible, so it's actually pretty rare that we cycle Beneath the SandsSpring // Mind gives us ramp and then still draws us new cards from the graveyard. 
  • Now, let's talk about the bad news. The single biggest problem with the deck is that it doesn't have any early-game removal. None at all. The closest thing we have is Battle at the Bridge, which can technically kill an x/1 on Turn 2, but it's at its best when we cast it for a ton of mana and gain a bunch of life. Because we don't have any Fatal Pushes or Baffling Ends, we tend to get run over by aggro, especially after sideboarding. In game one, we can beat non-Ramunap(less) Red aggro (I don't think we will ever beat Ramunap(less) Red with this build) if we get the perfect draw (Turn 3 ramp into Turn 4 Fumigate), but after sideboarding, a lot of decks bring in Spell Pierce or Negate, which makes it really hard to win. 
  • The second big issue with the deck is the mana. While we have a ton of ramp for fixing, I'm not sure it's worth being a full four colors, especially since some of our splash cards (Pull from Tomorrow and Nezahal, Primal Tide) are double-blue. While we could usually cast all of our spells, assuming we stabilize, we also lose a lot of life to our Deserts, which makes the aggro matchup even worse. 
  • Speaking of the mana, it was also frustrating to not have some more tutor-target lands. Scavenger Grounds beats some decks all by itself, especially in a deck with a ton of Deserts, and Field of Ruin is a nice hedge against some of the powerful flip lands in the format. Hour of Promise is good as a ramp card but even better when it's both a ramp card and a tutor for powerful one-of lands, and since the mana in our deck is already so greedy, it feels like a waste to not have a single copy of Scavenger Grounds or Field of Ruin to tutor up when the situation calls for it.
  • The bottom line for the deck is that it felt like it did some really good things. A Mastermind's Acquisition ramp shell could be viable, but the overwhelming greed of the deck, combined with the complete lack of early-game removal, made this specific build fall somewhere between risky and unplayable on the competitiveness scale. Thankfully, both of these problems are pretty easy to fix. 
  • So, should you play Four-Color Acquisition in Standard? I think the answer is yes, but not this specific build because of the problems we've been talking about. If I were going to run a similar list again, I'd start with Chris Botelho's (probably better known as Cat Pact Guy) list:

Chris's list solves most of the problems we've been talking about with the build we played on videos. It has ample early-game removal in four copies of Fatal Push; it adds in Treasure Map for colorless card filtering / advantage, reducing the reliance on double-blue sideboard cards like Pull from Tomorrow; and it goes down to just five Deserts (and only three pain land Deserts), making the mana much less painful. Plus, while it does have an off-color Zacama, Primal Calamity in the sideboard, the mana is much more consistent and less greedy than the build we played for the videos. This is the list I'd play if I were going to give Four-Color Acquisition another run, which I might, because the underlying idea of the deck felt solid, even if the execution of the list we played for our videos was a bit lacking.

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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