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Much Abrew: Vizier Ooze Combo (Modern)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week, things were a bit weird during our Instant Deck Techs. In theory, Venser Bant came out on top, but we ended up playing it last week thanks to some Magic Online bugs with Grixis Showdown (the winner from the previous week). The good news is that our runner-up—Vizier Ooze Combo for Modern—wasn't far behind and looks pretty spicy! As such, this week, we are going to take the graveyard-based combo deck out for a spin in Modern to see if we can pick up some wins by using Necrotic Ooze as a one-card combo. While the deck is convoluted, the plan is pretty simple: resolve a Necrotic Ooze and get some creatures in the graveyard so the Ooze can steal their abilities, before hopefully winning by making infinite mana and using that mana to either make our Necrotic Ooze into an infinitely big attacker by stealing Walking Ballista's ability to put counters on itself or by exiling our opponent's entire library by using Ooze as an Oona, Queen of the Fae. Can the plan work in a format as powerful as Modern? Let's get to the videos and figure it out!

Oh, one other piece of business before getting to the videos. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to handle Fishbowl Thursday decks as far as making videos. Since the decks are usually janky and fun, they make for really popular deck techs, but I don't want Much Abrew to be just Fishbowl Thursday decks. I was thinking about maybe having the Fishbowl Thursday decks compete among each other and playing one a month, but if you have other ideas about how to handle the Fishbowl Thursday decks as far as making gameplay videos, make sure to let me know 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.

Vizier Ooze (Deck Tech)

Vizier Ooze vs. WB Enduring Ideal (Match 1)

Vizier Ooze vs. GB Tron (Match 2)

Vizier Ooze vs. U-Turns (Match 3)

Vizier Ooze vs. RB Graveyard (Match 4)

Vizier Ooze vs. Abzan Rites (Match 5)

Vizier Ooze (Wrap-Up)

The Deck

  • As far as wins and losses, we managed to eke out a 2-3, and while that probably doesn't sound very impressive, I was actually pretty happy because heading into our games, I was worried we might be looking at a 0-5 or a 1-4. 
  • Let's start with the good news about Vizier Ooze: the combo does work, and there are actually some sweet synergies in the deck that aren't all that apparent at first glance. For example, getting a Fauna Shaman in the graveyard along with a Devoted Druid lets us tutor up an entire graveyard full of of combo pieces and pretty much win the game on the spot.
  • This being said, three main issues with the combo keep it from being overpowered (or arguably even good). First, it's slow, since Necrotic Ooze is four mana. Second, it's even slower because we need to untap with Necrotic Ooze, so we not only have to play it but also need to wait another entire turn before comboing off. We could solve this problem by playing a creature with an activated ability that gives haste, but then we'd be making the deck even less consistent, which is worrisome. Third, and maybe most importantly, it's fragile. Not only does graveyard hate destroy our deck (and we don't really have a good backup plan) but spot removal like Lightning Bolt, Fatal Push, and Path to Exile gets us too. The combination of these three things means it's hard to imagine that Vizier Ooze Combo could ever move from the world of sweet, janky, fun combos and into the realm of competitive, tournament-winning decks. 
  • As for this specific build of the Vizier Ooze combo, it feels really scattered. Pretty much everything is a three-of, which isn't ideal, since it leads to a deck that really lacks consistency. The idea seems to be that by playing a bunch of three-ofs, we can play more random creatures that combo with Necrotic Ooze, but the deck would probably run more smoothly if we cut some cards altogether and turned the good cards into four-ofs. Having three copies of Birds of Paradise specifically is pretty crazy, since we either want a mana dork on Turn 1 or we don't. 
  • We probably don't need to have all of the different Necrotic Ooze combo pieces, since every time we won with the combo, it was by making infinite mana with Necrotic Ooze, and at that point, we can win in any number of ways. It's hard to envision too many situations where making Necrotic Ooze into an infinitely big Walking Ballista isn't enough to win the game, which means we probably don't need Oona, Queen of the Fae in the main deck. We also never used Morselhoarder for anything, so it probably isn't really necessary (or if it is needed, it might be better as a one-of tutor target for Jarad's Orders.
  • Speaking of Jarad's Orders, it's good in the deck, but overall it felt like we were lacking consistent ways to get cards into the graveyard in some matches. It might be worth trying to find room for Commune with the Gods or Satyr Wayfinder to go along with Grisly Salvage
  • Finally, our interactive spells (Abrupt Decay and Gaze of Granite) were pretty lacking, and having four colorless lands in our mana base was painful. Abrupt Decay is in a weird place right now in Modern, and it isn't as strong as it has been at some points in the past. While getting rid of Rest in Peace is nice, having some discard or Path to Exile would be helpful. As for Gaze of Granite, we mostly just sideboarded it out every game. Land wise, Cavern of Souls sounds good on paper, but a lot of the time, it made it hard to cast our spells. It might be fine if there are a lot of control decks in your local meta (although against control, even if we force Necrotic Ooze through counters, they can often just kill it before we untap), but in general, I'm not sure it's worth the cost of clunky mana. 
  • I tried to build an updated version of the deck, but it always ended up morphing into a fairly typical Vizier of Remedies / Devoted Druid combo deck with Necrotic Ooze- and Grisly Salvage-type cards in the Collected Company / Chord of Calling slots. If you have some ideas on how to update Vizier Ooze Combo into a more consistent and competitive deck, make sure to let me know in the comments!
  • So, should you play Vizier Ooze Combo? It feels like a really fun and unique kitchen-table deck, and it's probably perfect for playing for kicks at an FNM, but if the goal is to win a tournament, you're probably better off just playing a Devoted Druid / Vizier of Remedies deck without Necrotic Ooze

Conclusion

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 SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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