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Much Abrew: Proliferate Engine (Modern)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week, we had a pretty clear winner for the title of most popular Instant Deck Tech deck: a sweet Modern combo build featuring Paradox Engine and a ton of charge counter synergies that we're calling Proliferate Engine! The idea is to use artifacts to ramp into Paradox Engine and then use Paradox Engine to make an essentially infinite amount of mana by tapping and untapping all of our mana rocks whenever we cast a spell before closing things out with Walking Ballista, Aetherflux Reservoir, or Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. The deck looks pretty janky on paper, almost like Lantern Control and Storm had a baby (which would be just about the strangest celebrity deck couple in Modern). Plus, we have to compete with one huge problem in Stony Silence, which not only locks down our deck but is also among the 10 most played cards in Modern. Can we dodge our opponent's sideboard hate and pick up some wins with Paradox Engine in Modern? Let's get to the videos and find out; then, we'll talk a bit more about the deck!

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Proliferate Engine (Instant Deck Tech)

Proliferate Engine vs. Zombie Pox (Match 1)

Proliferate Engine vs. Merfolk (Match 2)

Proliferate Engine vs. Boros Burn (Match 3)

Proliferate Engine vs. Lantern Control (Match 4)

Proliferate Engine vs. Gifts Storm (Match 5)

Proliferate Engine (Wrap-Up)


  • All in all, we finished our matches 4-1, which is a super-solid record. In fact, our only loss came in our very last match against Gifts Storm, where we managed to pull off our single fastest kill (on Turn 3) in game one, only to get out-goldfished in games two and three.
  • This being said, we also got a bit lucky in terms of our matchups. As I mentioned in the intro, the single best card against our deck is Stony Silence, and we didn't run into it once, even though it's the eighth most played card in Modern at the moment. 
  • Maybe the most surprising part of the deck is how consistent it was. We rarely had troubling finding our Paradox Engine thanks to Inventors' Fair and Ancient Stirrings, and then after we had a Paradox Engine, we pretty much never fizzled mid-combo with help from Hedron Archive, Tezzeret's Gambit, and Temple Bell.
  • Surge Node and Coretapper were especially impressive. While they don't look like much on paper, once you start playing with the deck, it quickly becomes clear that these are the best cards in the list, allowing us to play our Everflowing Chalice and Astral Cornucopia for zero mana and quickly add counters to produce tons of mana and combo off. Coretapper is also very important mid-combo, since it gives us a "free" card (since it costs two but immediately adds two charge counters that add two mana) to untap all of our artifacts with Paradox Engine.
  • As for speed, it felt like Proliferate Engine typically kills the opponent somewhere between Turns 4 and 5. We killed on Turn 3 once, but that took a super good draw that doesn't come around all that often.
  • As far as changes, there really isn't much to do to the main deck. Ensnaring Bridge could be a possibility—at least as a one-of, since we can tutor it up with Inventors' Fair—but for the most part, the main deck felt solid. On the other hand, the sideboard was weird. I was never really sure when Helix Pinnacle, Karn Liberated, and Wurmcoil Engine were supposed to come in. Plus, none of those cards help solve the deck's biggest problem, which is winning when our opponent has a Stony Silence. While the artifact and enchantment destruction are great, I might look toward a more traditional combo sideboard with counterspells and Leyline of Sanctity to fight opposing combo decks (which is important because we are about a turn slower than Storm's best draws) and to protect against Thoughtseize (which is strong against our deck).
  • Most importantly, the deck was super fun to play. Winning by infinite Planar Portal activations has to be one of the sweetest ways to win in all of Magic!
  • So, should you play Proliferate Engine? While I expect that the deck is slightly worse than it looked in our videos (since we dodged Stony Silence), I still think the answer is yes. It's fast and consistent enough to beat a lot of tier decks in Modern, and while getting wrecked by sideboard cards is annoying, that's pretty typical of all combo decks in Modern (think Rule of Law against Storm). While it looks super janky on paper, Proliferate Engine is actually quite powerful and a blast to play!


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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