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Much Abrew: Wu Charbelcher (Modern)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week during our Instant Deck Techs, one deck crushed the rest: Wu Charbelcher for Modern! Generally, when I think of Goblin Charbelcher I think Legacy, a big pile of rituals, and Turn 1 kills (assuming the opponent doesn't have a Force of Will), so today's deck is quite unique. It's basically an enchantment prison deck looking to stay alive with Ghostly Prisons and Sphere of Safety, and then using the combo of Endless Horizons (to get all the lands out of our deck) and Goblin Charbelcher to close out the game quickly when our opponent least expects it. Can this plan actually work in Modern? Does the Goblin Charbelcher / Endless Horizons combo make the deck better then other enchantment control decks? Let's get to the videos and find out; then, we'll have some brief thoughts on the deck!

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Wu Charbelcher (Instant Deck Tech)

Wu Charbelcher vs. Titan Breach Scapeshift (Match 1)

Wu Charbelcher vs. All-In Goblins (Match 2)

Wu Charbelcher vs. Mono-Red Burn (Match 3)

Wu Charbelcher vs. Seasons Past (Match 4)

Wu Charbelcher vs. Hardened Snek (Match 5)

Wu Charbelcher (Wrap-Up)

Discussion

  • First off, we finished (or maybe escaped) with a 3-2 record, which isn't exciting, but I was very happy with the result in this case because it felt like we had to get lucky (by top-decking Goblin Charbelcher at exactly the right time in multiple games) to come out of our matches with a winning record.
  • Before we talk about some of the individual cards, I should mention that this seems like a budget build, which sort of changes my perception of the deck. Take the sideboard, for example—it's very much not optimal if budget isn't a concern, but many of the choices make more sense if you think of this as a Budget Magic deck.
  • As far as the deck itself, it felt clunky, but the combo was powerful enough to give us a winning record even through the clunkiness. One of the challenges is that we don't really have any way to dig through our deck to find our combo, so we are often at the mercy of the top of our deck. While clearing away all of our lands with Endless Horizons helps to improve our draws, we still need to get a bit lucky to find both combo pieces at the same time.
  • As for the combo, it's pretty much guaranteed to win the game, although neither piece is very impressive on its own. As I mentioned before, Endless Horizons does help improve our draws (and is an enchantment to power up our Sphere of Safety), but Goblin Charbelcher does literal nothing until it wins us the game. 
  • The other thing I really like about the combo is that it offers the deck a way to close games quickly. We've played similar enchantment prison decks in the past, and they sometimes struggle to close out the game in a timely manner—Sphere of Safety and Goblin Charbelcher solve this issue.
  • Maybe the bigger problem with the main deck is the mana. In theory, 20 lands and six mana rocks should let us cast our spells, but we had a ton of one- and two-land hands filled with really expensive cards that we had to mulligan (which isn't a surprise with only 20 lands). I think the deck would run a lot smoother if we cut about half of the mana rocks and replaced them with more lands (Hallowed Fountain would be ideal, since it's a Plains for Endless Horizons that gives us more blue mana sources, but basic Plains could also work if budget is a concern). 
  • From a more meta perspective, the deck seemed really matchup dependent. We have a ton of ways to fight creatures but very few ways to deal with spell-based combo (a playset of Mana Leak, and that's about it). This means our matchups are really inconsistent—things are great if our opponent is looking to beat us down with creatures, but we don't have enough ways to interact if our opponent is Storming off or trying to win with Ad Nauseam. One easy improvement is to turn some (or all) of the Mana Leaks into Negates. Since we already have so many ways of dealing with creatures, a hard counter for non-creatures is probably better for the deck.
  • Back to the sideboard—if you're looking to stay budget, there aren't a ton of changes to be made (although Mana Tithe seems really bad in this deck—it loses a lot of surprise value in blue decks, since opponents are already expecting counters, and it should probably just be Negate). On the other hand, white has the best sideboard cards in the format if you don't care about budget, so playing some Rest in Peace, Path to Exile, and the like would up the power level of the deck (just don't play Stony Silence because it stops our Goblin Charbelcher kill). 
  • Finally, one thing I like about this deck is that it plays a lot of the same pieces as the Nevermore deck we played on Budget Magic a few weeks ago, so keep in mind that if you already have that deck, it's pretty easy to throw in some Endless Horizons and Goblin Charbelchers and have two decks for the price of one.
  • So, should you play Wu Charbelcher? I think the deck we played on video is a fine budget option, but I would want to make some significant upgrades to both the main deck and the sideboard before taking it to real tournaments. The biggest and easiest improvement is upping the land count, but playing more ways to deal with spell-based decks (like Leyline of Sanctity and Negate) is also important. If you want to get the "I won with Goblin Charbelcher in Modern" merit badge, this deck can get you there, but it's a bit too inconsistent and matchup dependent to have consistent tournament success in its current form.

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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