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Much Abrew: Obzedat's Vengeance (Modern)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week during our Instant Deck Techs, it was Obzedat's Vengeance—one of our Modern options—that came out the clear winner. As such, this week we're heading to Modern to see if we can reanimate our way to some wins. The main idea of Obzedat's Vengeance is to use Goryo's Vengeance to reanimate Obzedat, Ghost Council and Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, both of which work strangely well with the reanimation spell. Normally, Goryo's Vengeance exiles the creature it reanimates at the end of our turn, but both of our reanimation targets break this rule—Obzedat, Ghost Council by exiling first to its own ability (and then returning the next turn) and Jace, Vryn's Prodigy by flipping into a planeswalker. Can this plan work? Let's get to the videos and find out!

Oh yeah, one last thing. I decided to give recording in leagues another shot for this episode, and the end result is we have one duplicate matchup (Affinity). The upsides of leagues are that we can win (and open) Treasure Chests and the matchups are often a bit more competitive, but the downside is we can't really control the matchups, which means we'll occasionally run into the same deck more than once. Make sure to let me know which you prefer in the comments!

Just a quick reminder: if you enjoy the Much Abrew About Nothing series and the other video content on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish YouTube channel to keep up on all the latest and greatest.

Obzedat's Vengeance (Instant Deck Tech)

Obzedat's Vengeance vs. Jund (Match 1)

Obzedat's Vengeance vs. Abzan (Match 2)

Obzedat's Vengeance vs. Affinity (Match 3)

Obzedat's Vengeance vs. Affinity Again (Match 4)

Obzedat's Vengeance vs. Madcap Titanshift (Match 5)

Obzedat's Vengeance (Wrap-Up)


  • So, the deck is pretty insane. Not only did we cruise through the league with a 5-0 record, but we only lost a single game across all five matches. It doesn't get much better than that!
  • As for the deck, on paper it seems really strange to use Goryo's Vengeance to reanimate anything other than Griselbrand, since Griselbrand is clearly the most powerful legend to reanimate in Modern. However, in practice, reanimating Jace, Vryn's Prodigy and Obzedat, Ghost Council is great. While not as immediately game ending as Griselbrand, Obzedat, Ghost Council usually gets the job done, and the ability to gain a bit of life each turn helps keep us alive against aggro. Meanwhile, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy allows for some crazy lines like reanimating it, flipping it, and immediately flashing back the Goryo's Vengeance to get back Obzedat, Ghost Council as well—all in the same turn and for just four mana!
  • The biggest upside of playing these reanimation targets is we can actually cast them when we don't find a Goryo's Vengeance, which almost never happens with Griselbrand. It also helps solve the problem of graveyard hate. While Rest in Peace and Grafdigger's Cage are still good against us, we can win though them, which isn't true of the more combo-reanimator builds of Goryo's Vengeance.
  • All things considered, it doesn't even feel like we are playing a reanimator deck most of the time—we're actually more of an Esper Control deck that uses Goryo's Vengeance for value. 
  • Considering how well the deck performed, it's really hard to think of many things to change, although Ultimate Price was pretty miserable (partly because we ran into Affinity twice, where it's a dead card). It's hard to imagine this is the best removal spell for the slot. When I play the deck again, I'll probably just run another copy of Collective Brutality in its place.
  • Speaking of Collective Brutality, the other thing that felt odd about the deck is that we only have a single copy. It's super good in the deck because along with killing stuff and Duressing the opponent, it gives us another way to discard an Obzedat, Ghost Council on Turn 2. We can slot one in over the Ultimate Price, but I'd really like to find room for three or four copies—it's that good.
  • Pieces of the Puzzle is one of the most contested cards in the deck, but I felt like it was really good. Not only does it help us stock the graveyard, but it was great just grabbing a couple of removal spells or cantrips for the Esper Control plan.
  • So, should you play Goryo's Vengeance? I think the answer is pretty clearly yes. The deck played great, felt great, and was unique, interesting, and a ton of fun! It really felt like it could compete with the top tier of Modern, and I could imagine it becoming a "real" deck in the format in coming months. It seems like other people agree too, as people like Jeff Hoogland have been working on the deck, so let's wrap things up today with his build, which incorporates a Gifts Ungiven / Unburial Rites package over Pieces of the Puzzle


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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