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Much Abrew: Three-Drop Stompy (Modern)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. This week, we're heading to Modern for a deck that's playing literally all of the three-drops: the aptly named Three-Drop Stompy. The deck is actually very simple: it's all fast mana and three-drops, along with Collected Company to get two three-drops. Ideally, we'll play three-drops from Turns 1 through 3; then, we just cross our fingers and hope that our powerful three-drops are good enough to win the game. The big question is whether our three-drops are powerful enough to make up for the fact that our deck is overloaded with rituals that are great when we are are casting a Goblin Rabblemaster on Turn 1 but less great when we are drawing them off the top in the mid- to late game. Is the deck's raw power and speed enough to overcome this inherent inconsistency? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk a bit about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Three-Drop Stompy (Modern)

Discussion

  • First off, I apologize for my voice. This week's Much Abrew is the last of the videos I recorded when I was really sick, so if I sound like I'm dying, that's why.
  • As far as the record, I actually played two leagues with the deck, with both ending 2-3, which isn't great but about right, considering the issues with the deck. However, the first league had a duplicate UW Control matchup, so I replaced it with a match from the second league.
  • As for the deck, it's amazingly high variance. Basically, there are three outcomes with the deck: First, thanks to the weird mixture of rituals and creatures, we sometimes get clunky hands and lose to ourselves. Second, we play a fast three-drop (often spending two or three cards in the process); our opponent has a Fatal Push, Lightning Bolt, or Path to Exile; and we lose, since we three-for-one'd ourselves. Third, we play a fast three-drop, our opponent doesn't have an answer, and we win. 
  • Basically, the deck is really good at doing what it's trying to do (play two or three three-drops, starting on Turn 1 or 2). The problem is that playing these three-drops isn't enough to win the game in all matchups. While we had some spectacular wins (see: the game against UW Control, where we played Turn 1 Goblin Rabblemaster and Turn 2 Goblin Rabblemaster, and our opponent pretty much just died), we also had some frustrating losses where our opponent killed our stuff and we spent several turns drawing useless rituals and did nothing as our opponent beat us down. 
  • Speaking of rituals, Chancellor of the Tangle is really, really bad. While it looks a bit like a Simian Spirit Guide (which is our best ritual), the problem is that it does nothing if we don't have it in our opening hand, and even if we have it in our opening hand, we need a second ritual to play a three-drop on Turn 1, so even then it doesn't always work out. When you combine this with the fact that we have zero removal spells in the main deck, cutting it for Lightning Bolt seems like a good plan. 
  • Otherwise, the rituals are mostly fine, although it's possible we might have too many in the deck. Going down to eight would mean that we would rarely play a three-drop on Turn 1 but would still often play one on Turn 2, while reducing the number of dead draws we have in the late game. 
  • As for our three-drops, Goblin Rabblemaster and Hanweir Garrison are our two best aggressive options—they are the three-drops we want to play on Turn 1 as often as possible. Meanwhile, Captain Lannery Storm was way better than it looks, mostly because making one mana is really important to the plan of playing a three-drop for turns one through three. Rishkar, Peema Renegade is basically a backup (although mostly worse) Captain Lannery Storm. Magus of the Moon offers free wins, although with only four Blood Moon effects in the main deck, it doesn't happen all that often. Tireless Tracker is weird, since we don't play that many lands and ritualing it out on Turn 1 isn't great. In theory, it helps if the game goes long, but we're losing anyway if the game goes long, and drawing an extra card or two won't be all that likely to turn the tide of the game.
  • Meanwhile, the sideboard was weird. The random Chalice of the Void / Blood Moon package (as strange as this sounds coming from me) didn't feel right. Having some graveyard hate and more real interaction would be helpful. This being said, Goblin Chainwhirler was very impressive and might be worth moving into the main deck if we can find the room.
  • Finally, Collected Company isn't as good as it looks, mostly because we are a bit light on hittable creatures. With just 24 creatures with converted mana cost three or less in our deck, we'll only get one creature with Collected Company about 22% of the time, and this is including Simian Spirit Guide, which isn't a very exciting hit (without Simian Spirit Guide, the odds of hitting only one creature jumps to 34%). While it still might be worth it, finding a way to up the creature count would be helpful.
  • So, what do we do with Three-Drop Stompy moving forward? We have a couple of options. First, cut Chancellor of the Tangle—it's horrible. Second, it's worth considering whether playing Birds of Paradise and Noble Hierarch over the rituals is the correct plan. Having creature-based ramp both increases our odds of hitting with Collected Company and gives us slightly more relevant top-decks in the late game (where at least a Birds of Paradise can chump block for a turn). Maybe this is a bad idea—it would take away from the all-in feel of the deck, although it's the all-in aspect of the deck that made it so inconsistent. Third, add some removal. At least play Lightning Bolt in the Chancellor of the Tangle slot, and finding a bit more room for a secondary removal spell might be worthwhile as well.
  • So, should you play Three-Drop Stompy in Modern? Probably not, if the goal is to win consistently. It seems like Three-Drop Stompy is the latest in a long line of Much Abrew decks that are actually Against the Odds decks in disguise. While you'll win some games in spectacular fashion, in general, the deck is simply too inconsistent to win on a regular basis. If you want to try something similar but more consistent and a bit slower, maybe start with something like this:

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. We'll be back next week with some sweet Core Set 2019 action! 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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