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Much Abrew: Trash for Juggernauts (Modern)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. A little while ago, a player named Kahluah777 posted on Reddit about the Trash for Treasure reanimator deck they played during a recent Magic Online challenge to a winning record. The idea was to flood the board with creatures and then use Trash for Treasure to reanimate Graaz, Unstoppable Juggernaut to turn them all into 5/3 Juggernauts to (hopefully) win the game with one big, gloriously janky attack! The idea was so funny that I knew we had to give it a try, so we're heading to Modern today to turn our Trash into Juggernauts! Is it really possible that Graaz, Unstoppable Juggernaut is Modern playable? Let's get to the video and find out on today's Much Abrew About Nothing!

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Much Abrew: Trash for Juggernauts

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Discussion

  • Record-wise, we ended up 2-3 with Trash for Juggernauts, but the record really undersells the absurdity of our league. I was expecting a bunch of fast Reanimator-style games, but instead, we ended up taking more than three hours (before editing) to complete our five matches, with most of our games being super close and long. We could have very easily had one or two more wins if things broke right, so even though 2-3 doesn't sound super exciting, the deck felt like it had potential.
  • The game plan is pretty simple: fill the graveyard, flood the board with creatures, and then reanimate Graaz, Unstoppable Juggernaut to turn all of our creatures into 5/3 Juggernauts, hopefully letting us finish off our opponent with just one attack. While Graaz is our main reanimation target, we also have a couple of solid backup reanimation targets in Sundering Titan and Portal to Phyrexia, which is important because there are some situations where Graaz itself won't be enough to win the game. With our best draws, we can play a random artifact on Turn 1, play Goblin Engineer on Turn 2 to tutor a reanimation target into the graveyard, and then Trash for Treasure something like Graaz, Unstoppable Juggernaut into play as early as Turn 3!
  • Of course, we need two things for our plan to work: ways to get Graaz into the graveyard and a board full of creatures to turn into Juggernauts. Thankfully, we've got a bunch of creatures that do both at the same time. Alongside Goblin Engineer, which can tutor Graaz into the graveyard directly, cards like Voldaren Epicure, Scrapwork Mutt, Seasoned Pyromancer, and Phyrexian Dragon Engine do double duty by letting us rummage cards into our graveyard to reanimate while also adding bodies to the battlefield to eventually become Juggernauts. 
  • Our backup plan is Urza's Saga, which synergizes with all of our artifacts and also can tutor up The Underworld Cookbook as a discard outlet. If our graveyard gets shut down, being able to make a couple of massive Construct tokens and then trample them up with Shadowspear is a pretty legitimate way to close out the game!
  • As far as the deck goes in general, some aspects I really liked but others not so much. Let's start with the good news. Maybe the biggest takeaway from the deck is that Trash for Treasure is really good. Thanks to a bunch of new additions like Voldaren Epicure and Scrapwork Mutt, we now have a bunch of cards that add artifacts to the battlefield while also stocking our graveyard, making the reanimation plan much more synergistic and powerful than it was just a couple of years ago. I also like that the deck has a solid backup plan in Urza's Saga and random board-clogging creatures.
  • On the other hand, Graaz, Unstoppable Juggernaut itself was a bit hit or miss. When things go well, it is a great way to close out the game with just a single attack, but without a board full of creatures, it is pretty underwhelming as a 7/5 that can be blocked forever. We also had one game where Graaz's ability forcing all of our creatures to attack each turn was so much of a downside that we actually had to sacrifice Graaz just to get it off the battlefield. I could see adding more copies of Sundering Titan or Portal to Phyrexia to the deck for situations where we don't really want to reanimate Graaz.
  • The other aspect of the deck that I'm not sold on is the mana base. While it seems like the idea is to minimize the number of basic lands in our deck to avoid blowing up our own lands with Sundering Titan, a more traditional fetch-land and shock-land mana base might be better. One of our losses came to Tron, where we played a Blood Moon but then got locked under an Ensnaring Bridge that we couldn't destroy because we had no way of making green mana. The pathways didn't impress me (although Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep to give Graaz, Unstoppable Juggernaut first strike felt great as a way to protect our big Juggernaut from dying in combat). 
  • One other card that I'd really like to see in the deck is Fable of the Mirror-Breaker. I think there's an argument that it might just be better than Seasoned Pyromancer since the Goblin token can make an artifact for our Trash for Treasure plan, although, really, just playing both is probably the way to go. The saga is a super-strong individual card but also sneakily synergistic with the deck. Finding a way to squeeze it into the list (maybe by cutting back on Experimental Synthesizers) seems worth the trouble.
  • So, should you play Trash for Juggernauts in Modern? I think the answer is yes-ish. In all honesty, the deck worked better than I expected despite our middling record. I came away from our league feeling like the archetype has a lot of potential and, with a bit more tuning, could be really solid in Modern! While the idea of reanimating Graaz, Unstoppable Juggernaut sounds like an Against the Odds episode, it's actually a surprisingly realistic way of winning games of Modern!

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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