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Much Abrew: Gigantosaurus Devotion (Modern)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week during our Instant Deck Techs, we had a clear winner: Gigantosaurus Devotion for Modern! The deck is strange. While green-based devotion decks have been a part of Modern for a long time (albeit at the lower tiers of the format), thanks to the printing of Gigantosaurus and Steel Leaf Champion, today's deck walks the line between being a devotion deck that's looking to make a ton of mana with Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and a weird beatdown deck that's just as comfortable playing a 5/4 on Turn 2 and a 10/10 on Turn 3 and hoping to smash the opponent to death with massive creatures! Can a new beatdown-heavy take on green devotion work in a format as fast and powerful as Modern? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Gigantosaurus Devotion (Modern)


  • First, the record, which is a bit complicated. The video is actually a combination of two competitive leagues, one that ended 2-3 and one that ended 0-3, making the total record a pretty bad 2-6. The first league was strange. We played almost exclusively Turn 3 unfair goldfish decks (KCI, Storm, Bogles, Bogles, and Ponza), and our interaction-light mono-green deck isn't great in unfair matchups, so I thought that perhaps the bad record was more a sign of bad luck with the matchups rather than of the deck itself, but after running it back and losing to Humans, Tron, and Jeskai Control, I figured that maybe the matchups weren't the problem. 
  • So, what went wrong with Gigantosaurus Devotion? As weird as it sounds, the deck is pretty slow for Modern unless it gets a great draw (with Arbor Elf and Utopia Sprawl). In Standard, a Turn 2 Steel Leaf Champion is great. In Modern, especially against the unfair decks, a Turn 2 Steel Leaf Champion usually gets in for one attack before you die to Krark-Clan Ironworks, Grapeshot, or a 10/10 Slippery Bogle
  • Perhaps the biggest issue with Gigantosaurus Devotion is that it really isn't committed to one plan. With only two copies of Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, we get some hands where we flood the board with cards like Burning-Tree Emissary but don't really have a payoff for all of the green mana symbols. Other times, we get beatdown hands where we don't really have anything big to cast with our Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx mana if we happen to draw it. Basically, the deck is partly GR Beatdown and partly Gr Devotion—committing all-in on one plan would probably make for a more successful deck. Either drop the expensive cards, add in more aggressive great creatures and Aspect of Hydra, and try to kill quickly or add in more copies of Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and more card draw and try to go over the top of the opponent with the devotion plan. 
  • As far as specific cards, Runic Armasaur was horrible. While it might have partly been the matchups we played, we didn't draw a single card off the Dinosaur, and with two power, it isn't really much of an attacker to help with the beatdown plan. There were at least a couple of games where we probably would have won if Runic Armasaur has been a Tireless Tracker, or at least drawn some cards and had a chance to win. While the sample size is pretty small, based on today's Much Abrew, it's hard for me to see Runic Armasaur as a legitimate main-deck option for Modern, especially when cards like Tireless Tracker and Courser of Kruphix exist. 
  • One card I really missed in this build of the deck was Primal Command. We had a lot of situations where we needed a specific finisher like Ruric Thar, the Unbowed or Craterhoof Behemoth to win the game, but with only one copy of each (and not much card draw, thanks to Runic Armasaur never drawing us cards), we rarely found the finisher at the right time. Having Primal Command in the deck to tutor up the right big threat at the right time would go a long way toward adding consistency and allowing us to win some games. 
  • We also ran into a bit of trouble thanks to a single Stomping Ground being our only red source, especially after sideboarding, when we often bring in more red cards. Playing an extra copy of the shock land is probably a good idea.
  • Otherwise, I think the deck is mostly fine. While it is light on interaction, green devotion decks are always light on interaction because they need to play a ton of green creatures to power up Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. This isn't a deal breaker. The deck just needs to be more focused on killing faster, either by cutting expensive stuff for more aggressive creatures and pump spells or by adding Primal Command and more Tireless Trackers so we can find our big finishers when we need them.
  • So, should you play Gigantosaurus Devotion in Modern? Probably not this build of the deck. It was just too unfocused, inconsistent, and slow, which leaves us in a weird purgatory where we aren't fast enough to goldfish for the win before our opponent, not disruptive enough to stop our opponent, and not good enough at making tons of mana to go over the top of the opponent. The good news is that something similar could work with more focus and tuning—Gigantosaurus is huge, as is Steel Leaf Champion—but it's going to take some work to find a functional build. And please, for the love of God, don't play Runic Armasaur over Tireless Tracker


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


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