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Much Abrew: Neoform Evolve (Modern, Magic Online)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Modern Horizons is just around the corner, but we're heading to Modern this week to play a deck that's built around a sweet War of the Spark card: Neoform! While it is true that we played a Neoform deck just a couple of weeks ago, today's deck is a lot different. Rather than using Neoform as a combo piece to get Griselbrand onto the battlefield on Turn 1, Neoform Evolve uses the two-mana sorcery for value, as a way to kill our own creatures and to tutor up some powerful silver bullets from our deck. While Neoform itself is new, the deck we're playing today is actually pretty similar to one we played on Budget Magic a while ago, in Pelt Collector Evolve. If you remember that deck, it has the potential to be very aggressive and quite powerful, but things fall apart just as quickly when things go wrong (especially if we flood out or get hit by a sweeper). Can the addition of Neoform (and being non-budget) solve these problems?  Let's get to the video and find out; then, we can talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Neoform Evolve



  • As for our record, we played a league with Neoform Evolve and ended up going 3-2, which is a solid if unspectacular record. One of our losses came to Grishoalbrand, which is a rough matchup since we don't really have many ways to interact with fast combo and aren't often going to be able to race a Griselbrand, while the other came against The Rock (GB Midrange), which had seemingly infinite removal spells for our threats. On the other hand, we managed to take down Vannifar Pod, UW Control (even though Timely Reinforcements and a bunch of wraths), and Hollow One.
  • The core and most exciting part of Neoform Evolve is still the combination of evolve creatures, undying creatures, and Pongify / Rapid Hybridization. These cards give us the ability to get off to blazingly fast starts, with something like Turn 1 Pelt Collector into Turn 2 Young Wolf plus Pongify our Young Wolf, leaving us with three bodies and eight power on the battlefield at the end of Turn 2. These starts are good enough to take down just about any deck in Modern.
  • On the other hand, the traditional problem with decks like Neoform Evolve is how it performs when it doesn't have a great starting hand. Things can go poorly in a hurry if we flood out or draw a bunch of Pongifys but no threats. The deck can also struggle against fast combo since a lot of the time, decks like Storm can goldfish into a kill a turn faster than we can. Thankfully, Neoform goes a long way to solving both of these problems while also being a fine addition to our primary beatdown plan.
  • The biggest upside to Neoform being in the deck is that it allows us to play a handful of silver bullets in the main deck and a bunch more in the sideboard. Having access to Deputy of Detention as a catch-all answer and Evolution Sage as flood-out protection (since extra lands end up proliferating counters onto our team) allows the deck to move beyond being just a beatdown deck. Plus, simply sacrificing a Young Wolf to get a Strangleroot Geist is a fine way to force through extra damage.
  • After sideboarding, Neoform has a bunch of targets to help solve the combo issue, with cards like Eidolon of Rhetoric, Kataki, War's Wage, Gaddock Teeg, and Lavinia, Azorius Renegade all being great in specific matchups. And thanks to Neoform, our deck does a good job of finding our answers consistently even though they are just one-ofs. 
  • In general, Neoform Evolve felt solid, and I don't think I'd make a ton of changes, although Dryad Arbor is frustrating. Drawing it naturally and having to play it from your hand is often pretty painful and sometimes game-losing if the opponent has a removal spell. While being able to grab a creature at instant speed is nice, I'm not sure there's enough synergy in the deck to make Dryad Arbor worth the risk.
  • Speaking of the mana base, Waterlogged Grove seems like a great addition to the deck once Modern Horizons is released. Neoform Evolve is the exact type of deck that can benefit a lot from Canopies since it's aggressive enough to not care too much about its life total and one of the most common ways it loses is by flooding out (although Neoform does help in this regard). Playing a playset over Botanical Sanctum seems like an easy place to start.
  • So, should you play Neoform Evolve in Modern? If you're a fan of the Pelt Collector Evolve style and already have the budget version of the deck, I think the answer is clearly yes. This build seems like a very solid non-budget upgrade path that goes a long way toward fixing some of the deck's issues while still keeping the super-fast starts. That said, with Modern Horizons only a week away, it might be worth waiting to see how the format shakes out before spending a bunch of money on upgrades. While there isn't anything in Modern Horizons that will invalidate the deck and it will get a handful of upgrades (especially Waterlogged Grove) from the set, at this point, it's anyone's guess what Modern will look like a month from now, with so many powerful new cards entering the format. That said, Neoform Evolve felt competitive enough to win a reasonable amount of games and seems like a great upgrade path from some of the budget versions we've played in the past.


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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