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Much Abrew: Sunforger Combo (Modern)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. If you listen to the Commander Clash Podcast, you'll know that I think Sunforger is one of the most overrated equipment in the Commander format. But could it be that it's secretly a busted Modern combo piece? That's what we're going to find out today as we take a viewer-submitted Sunforger Combo deck from eg_ville out for a spin! The idea is to be able to equip Sunforger for free, either to Fervent Champion or with the help of Puresteel Paladin. If we can do this and also have four mana available, we can tutor up a chain of spells that lets us win the game on the spot! Is Commander's most overrated equipment a secret Modern all-star? Let's get to the video and find out on this week's Much Abrew About Nothing

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Much Abrew: Sunforger Combo

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Discussion

  • Record-wise, we finished 3-2 with Sunforger Combo (the one match not included was a rematch against Burn where our opponent just killed all of our creatures with random burn spells to keep us from comboing), which is a surprisingly solid record for the deck. 
  • In case you missed it in the video, here's the plan and primary combo of the deck. We get Sunforger on the battlefield along with a way to equip it for free (most often Fervent Champion, but Puresteel Paladin can work as well) and four free mana. We then can equip Sunforger and remove it to tutor up Repeated Reverberation to double-copy our next spell. Then, we can use our remaining two mana to tutor up Unexpected Windfall. Thanks to Repeated Reverberation, we'll get three total copies of Unexpected Windfall to draw six cards and make six Treasure tokens. The six Treasures give us three more Sunforger activations, so now, we tutor up two more Repeated Reverberations and finally a Lightning Bolt, which will be copied six times, giving us a total of 21 damage! 
  • If our primary combo is off-line, our backup plan is to copy Unexpected Windfall to draw as many cards as possible and then tutor out Lightning Storm, discard all of the lands from our hand, and hopefully have enough damage to kill our opponent.
  • If those aren't enough ways to win the game, there's also an outside chance that we can win by beating down with random creatures. While the main purpose of Sunforger is to tutor up instants, it also gives +4/+0, which turns our random creatures into surprisingly powerful attackers. The creature-beatdown plan is especially helpful when things go wrong and we find ourselves a bit short of damage from winning with one of our combos (maybe we draw too many copies of Repeated Reverberation or all of our Lightning Bolts, for example). Combining janky beats with random Sunforger spells can be enough to get the job done.
  • As far as some of the other weird cards in the deck, Angel's Grace felt pretty bad. In paper, it's a way to fizzle an opposing combo turn or Fog an attack, untap, combo, and win, although in practice, it felt underwhelming. On the other hand, Chance for Glory was a sneaky all-star in the deck, giving us a way to fizzle removal spells and protect our combo pieces. It's also really good with our backup, backup creature-beatdown plan.
  • While the deck was surprisingly good in its current format, I think there are still some improvements that can be made, with perhaps the biggest being an improved Stoneforge Mystic package. While we'll usually want to snag Sunforger with Stoneforge Mystic to support our combo, we had quite a few games where we already had a Sunforger in hand (and multiples don't do much) when we resolved a Stoneforge Mystic and our only option was to tutor up another Sunforger or grab Shadowspear. We also had a game where we drew a ton of Stoneforge Mystics and ended up with all four Sunforgers in hand. Adding a single copy of Batterskull and / or Kaldra Compleat seems like a really easy way to power up the deck, giving us not only more Stoneforge Mystic targets but also, thanks to living weapon, Stoneforge Mystic targets that can steal wins all by themselves. 
  • Another interesting option is Silence (or more copies of Ranger-Captain of Eos, which not only finds Fervent Champion but also works as a pseudo-Silence for non-creature spells). By far the biggest challenge of the deck is finding a window to combo off against decks with lots of instant-speed removal because killing our Fervent Champion or Puresteel Paladin in response to a free Sunforger equip fizzles our entire combo. The one Silence in our sideboard was essential to us winning against control, giving us the one-turn window we needed to go infinite and win. It might be better in the main deck than Angel's Grace, and more copies of Ranger-Captain of Eos could also be good (potentially with a copy of Giver of Runes as a backup tutor target that can also protect against removal on our combo creatures), although it's difficult to find room in the deck because pretty much everything is a combo piece, a tutor for a combo piece, or a mana-producing artifact that helps us ramp into our combo and also turn on Puresteel Paladin
  • Oh yeah, and some planeswalker removal could be necessary. Apart from instant-speed removal, the strongest hate cards against Sunforger Combo are Stony Silence and Karn, the Great Creator. We've got Stony Silence covered with Portable Hole and Wear // Tear, but Karn, the Great Creator basically felt unbeatable. Fateful Absence might actually be better than Path to Exile in the sideboard just because it can kill a Karn. We also had a game where we almost lost to Ashiok, Dream Render keeping us from tutoring up our combo pieces, although we got pretty lucky to be able to kill it with combat damage with the help of Chance for Glory. But it's another planeswalker that pretty much hoses our entire deck, which is another vote for some planeswalker removal in the sideboard.
  • One word of advice about playing the deck: value your combo creatures highly, and don't just run them out to their likely death. My technique is to try to hold Fervent Champion until the turn we are ready to combo off. While it could chip in for damage earlier, this incidental damage doesn't do anything if we combo, and running our Fervent Champion early makes it more likely to die. In general, I think the best way to play the deck is to spend the early turns finding combo pieces with tutors and getting Sunforger on the battlefield. Then, once we get up to five mana, we wait until our opponent taps down (if possible), then play Fervent Champion, and immediately win with the combo loop.
  • So, should you play Sunforger Combo in Modern? I think the answer is yes. The deck was a lot more competitive than I expected, and I think that it can be even better with a bit of brewing! The combo was super reliable and consistent too, thanks to all of our tutors. The biggest problems we ran into were hate cards and removal-heavy decks, but I think something as simple as adding Kaldra Compleat and Batterskull to the main deck and Fateful Absence to the sideboard could solve almost all of these problems. Most importantly, the deck is really unique and fun to play! Nobody expected to get got by the most overrated Commander equipment in Modern. It's glorious when it happens, and it happens more often than you'd expect!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. 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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