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Much Abrew: Heartless Summoning (Modern)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week during our Instant Deck Techs, we had a pretty clear winner with Heartless Summoning for Modern crushing the competition. We've played Heartless Summoning in the past, but today's deck is a bit different. Instead of using Heartless Summoning as a combo piece to loop Myr Retrievers for infinite damage (with something like Impact Tremors) or mill (with Altar of the Brood), we're playing Heartless Summoning fairly, and by fairly I mean to slam huge, powerful creatures extremely quickly. The main goal of our deck is to have a Wurmcoil Engine, Steel Hellkite, or Sundering Titan on the battlefield by Turn 3 or 4 and simply overwhelm our opponent was raw power. Can this plan work in Modern? Let's get to the videos and find out!

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Heartless Summoning (Instant Deck Tech)

Heartless Summoning vs. GR Monsters (Match 1)

Heartless Summoning vs. Affinity (Match 2)

Heartless Summoning vs. Gr Devotion (Match 3)

Heartless Summoning vs. Death's Shadow (Match 4)

Heartless Summoning vs. 8 Whack Goblins (Match 5)

Heartless Summoning (Wrap-Up)


  • First off, we finished our with a 3-2 record, which is solid, if unspectacular. 
  • More interesting is how the matches broke down. Both of our losses were to fast aggro decks (Affinity and 8 Whack Goblins), while all of our wins were against more midrange-style decks. While the sample size is small, when you combine our matches with how the deck looks on paper (having very minimal interaction and not doing anything too powerful until Turn 4 most of the time), it seems that aggro is one of the deck's worst matchups. The good news is that the aggro problem can probably be fixed by playing some Fatal Pushes or other early-game removal. While this might not make the aggro matchup great, it would at least give us some shot at winning.
  • As far as the deck itself, it does occasionally have the age-old ramp problem of drawing its cards in the wrong order. We really need a Heartless Summoning or Grand Architect for our deck to function, and Grand Architect isn't really a guarantee because it dies to Lightning Bolt.
  • On the other hand, when we have a Heartless Summoning on Turn 2, the deck can do some absurd things and take over the game really quickly.
  • One of the biggest surprises of the deck is just how easily it could Mindslaver people multiple times in the same game even without Academy Ruins. Sharuum the Hegemon looks weird on paper but actually provided a ton of value, especially since we can copy it with Phyrexian Metamorph.
  • Speaking of Phyrexian Metamorph, it's really strong in the deck. While we sometimes run into issues by having nothing good to copy, the risk is worth the upside of flooding the board with one-mana Wurmcoil Engines or Mindslavers in the late game. 
  • Heading into the matches, I was skeptical that 20 lands would be enough, but we didn't actually run into too many land problems; however, the low land count means it's really difficult to sideboard out Sanctum Plowbeast, even though Sanctum Plowbeast is the worst card in our deck by a wide margin. I'm not sure whether this means we should just drop it for another land. Being tutorable by Treasure Mage is an upside, but spending two mana to find our land is a bit clunky.
  • As for the rest of the deck. Steel Hellkite and Sundering Titan weren't especially good in our games, but they are probably fine as one-of tutor targets. Mulldrifter and Spellskite are great with Heartless Summoning, and Mind Stone feels like a necessary evil since our land count is so low, but it was often temping to sideboard out a copy or two, even though it's likely wrong.
  • Speaking of the sideboard, it could use some updating. Like the main deck, I'd probably gear it more toward beating aggro and combo, since we crush slower creature decks thanks to the raw power of our creatures. Fatal Push is near the top of the list of cards to add, along with a counterspell or two and maybe a sweeper like Damnation
  • So, should you play Heartless Summoning? I think the answer is yes. While the deck didn't feel absurd, it was functional and really fun to play, and although aggro is a problem with the current build, this should be easy enough to fix with some cheap removal. 


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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