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Much Abrew: Irencrag Dragonstorm (Modern, Magic Online)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week during our Instant Deck Techs, our Fishbowl Thursday deck tech Irencrag Dragonstorm came out on top. As such, we're heading to Modern today to see if we can use Irencrag Feat to get up to nine mana to Dragonstorm and tutor out a lethal board of hasty Dragons to close out the game. Is our new ritual enough to (finally) make Dragonstorm work 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: Irencrag Dragonstorm

 

Discussion

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  • Before talking about the deck's performance, I should say that we made a change to the deck by dropping Simian Spirit Guide for Lotus Bloom. While Irencrag Feat is the best way to get nine mana for Dragonstorm in Modern, back in the old days (like a month ago), Lotus Bloom was the best Dragonstorm ritual in the format. Now, it offers a solid backup plan for games where we don't find Irencrag Feat. While it doesn't allow us to win until Turn 4 (unlike Irencrag Feat, which can get us to Dragonstorm on Turn 3), the redundancy it adds greatly improves the deck. Meanwhile, Simian Spirit Guide was the worst ritual in our build. While adding an extra mana is fine, the fact that it isn't a spell means it doesn't up our storm count, making it the easiest cut to make room for Lotus Bloom.
  • With that out of the way, as far as our record, we ended up going 4-1 in our five matches, only losing to UW Control, which feels like a really rough matchup. While Dragonstorm itself is hard to counter thanks to the storm mechanic, Irencrag Feat and Lotus Bloom are very counterable, and if our opponent can keep us from resolving our rituals, then getting to nine mana for Dragonstorm is basically impossible.
  • On the other hand, we managed to race Eldrazi Tron and Storm while overcoming both Soulherder and Abzan Vizier Druid combo.
  • Playing the deck is actually really simple: we're basically trying to do two things: find a Dragonstorm with our ritual and count up to nine mana with our various rituals. 

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  • That said, getting the storm count to three or more allows us to strengthen our combo kill. If we have a high enough storm count (and our opponent has mana up), we usually get Dragonlord Dromoka to shut down whatever interaction our opponent might have. Thundermaw Hellkite gives us an answer to flying chump blockers like Spirits or Lingering Souls tokens by tapping them down, while Bogardan Hellkite can throw damage directly at our opponent's face or deal with any annoying creatures. 

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  • Grozoth is weird. In theory, it's another copy of Dragonstorm thanks to transmute, but it might be better as an additional cantrip. 
  • Pentad Prison does double duty in our deck. If we're looking to win on Turn 3, it's essentially a source of mana. We can play it on Turn 2 with two charge counters, which gives us to five mana on Turn 3 (assuming we make our land drops). This means just a single Pyretic Ritual or Desperate Ritual along with Irencrag Feat gets us to the nine mana we need to Dragonstorm and win the game. 

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  • Turn 3 is about as fast as we can win the game. In theory, it's possible to win on Turn 2 if we have an insanely ritual-heavy draw (something like four Pyretic Ritual / Desperate Ritual, Dragonstorm, Irencrag Feat, and two lands), but Turn 3 is more practical with the help of Irencrag Feat, and Turn 4 is probably average with a reasonable draw. 
  • In general, I'm pretty happy with the main deck, although the sideboard could use some work. Control / counterspells seem to be our biggest issue. While Pact of Negation is technically an answer, something like Defense Grid might be better.
  • So, should you play Irencrag Dragonstorm in Modern? While I don't think the deck is necessarily top tier, thanks to the addition of Irencrag Feat, it is competitive and fast enough to keep up with the best decks in the format. While counterspells are a problem (we are a bit of a glass cannon), it's a problem that should be fixable with enough sideboard cards. If you like the idea of tutoring out a huge, game-winning board of Dragons, maybe as early as Turn 2 or 3, give it a shot! With a bit of luck, I could see it 5-0'ing a league on Magic Online or performing well at a Modern FNM, although it probably needs more tuning to be able to compete at the format's highest levels.

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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