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Much Abrew: Mr. Toad's Heartless Summoning (Modern)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. This week, we are heading to Modern to play one of the sweetest creatures in all of Magic: The Gitrog Monster (aka. Mr. Toad). Mr. Toad's Heartless Summoning is a value-heavy, land-based deck, looking to use multiple land drops a turn thanks to Wayward Swordtooth and Oracle of Mul Daya to ramp into The Gitrog Monster and Tireless Tracker to draw a bunch of cards before winning by beating down with a massive board of janky creatures or burning our opponent out of the game with Ob Nixilis, the Fallen. Heartless Summoning allows us to flood the board quickly by making our expensive creatures cost two mana less, while the downside of giving our creautres -1/-1 doesn't really matter since our creatures are either massive (like The Gitrog Monster) or so small that they aren't great attackers even at full power (like Oracle of Mul Daya). How good is The Gitrog Monster 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: Mr. Toad's Heartless Summoning

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  • We played a league with Mr. Toad's Heartless Summoning and ended up going 3-2, which is solid, if unspectacular. 
  • Digging into our matches, things break down pretty cleanly: the deck is great against midrange and control. The value generated by The Gitrog Monster and our other land synergies is almost unstoppable once it gets going. On the other hand, it struggles against aggro and fast combo, mostly because it can be very slow out of the gate, and even slower if we don't have Heartless Summoning in our opening hand. 
  • The most impressive card in the deck was Ob Nixilis, the Fallen. Assuming we can get our engine going, it's surprisingly easy to play a Ob Nixilis, the Fallen and essentially burn the opponent out of the game in one turn by making a bunch of land drops. Thanks to cards like Oracle of Mul Daya and Wayward Swordtooth, which let us play multiple lands, and Ramunap Excavator to play them from our graveyard, we can often just play and crack three fetch lands to deal 18 to our opponent directly. 
  • The biggest challenge for the deck is its speed. Mr. Toad's Heartless Summoning isn't especially fast over the first turns (our best draws involve taking Turn 2 off to play Heartless Summoning and then having a good Turn 3), and it's also not especially disruptive, with less removal and discard than you'd expect from a Golgari deck. This means that fast combo and dedicated aggro like Burn or Mono-Red Prowess are pretty tough matches. We're mostly hoping our opponent has a slow draw that allows us to get to the midgame and get our value engine running.
  • Vizier of the Menagerie wasn't very impressive. It might just be better as an additional copy of Oracle of Mul Daya or more early-game interaction. While playing creatures and lands from the top of our deck sounds sweet, with Vizier of the Menagerie being a one-of, it happens so infrequently that a more consistent option would probably be better.
  • So, should you play Mr. Toad's Heartless Summoning? I think the answer is yes. While the deck does have some really bad matchups, it is super fun to play and does some absurdly powerful things once it gets going. It might be a bad idea if your local meta is mostly aggro and fast combo, but otherwise, the deck is competitive enough to pick up a decent number of wins while also being super unique and fun!


Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck. 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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