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Much Abrew: Yawgmoth Hapatra Combo (Modern, Magic Online)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week, we had a couple of popular Instant Deck Techs, with one being Bonus Round Storm in Legacy and the other being Yawgmoth Hapatra Combo for Modern. Since Bonus Round Storm seems like a perfect deck for Series TBD, we're going to hold a bit on that one (but it will be coming before long) and will head to Modern today to see if we can win some games with the combo of Yawgmoth, Thran Physician, Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons, and a bunch of undying creatures. The main plan of the deck is to assemble, with the help of Neoform and Eldritch Evolution, an infinite self-sacrifice combo driven by Yawgmoth, Thran Physician, and then use something like Blood Artist or Obelisk Spider to turn our infinite sacrifice into infinite damage. Can the plan work? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Yawgmoth Hapatra Combo

Discussion

  • As for our record, it's complicated. Technically, you're seeing parts of two leagues. I recorded the episode right around Mythic Championship IV and, as a result, played against the Hogaak deck roughly a million times (or actually more like four), losing each time. Instead of posting a video of Yawgmoth Hapatra Combo losing repeatedly to Hogaak, I decided to keep recording and include just one Hogaak match. While Yawgmoth Hapatra Combo might not be good enough to keep up with a deck that will almost certainly be banned in the next month, outside of the Hogaak beat down, it was solid, as we finished 3-2 in our video matches and 3-3 in non-Hogaak matches overall.
  • Speaking of the Hogaak matchup, if you decide to pick up this deck in the next month, add Leyline of the Void to the sideboard. While it's cute that we can tutor up Scavenging Ooze with Neoform, two-mana graveyard hate just generally isn't fast enough (especially on the draw) to keep up with Hogaak. 
  • Outside of the Hogaak issue, Yawgmoth, Thran Physician is one of my picks for Modern Horizons cards most likely to break out once the format normalizes. The four-drop is extremely powerful. Across our matches, it won us games with the help of our infinite combo but also beat decks like Affinity fairly by killing all of their small creatures. It's a very strong card but just isn't quite as broken as Hogaak or Urza, Lord High Artificer, which means it hasn't found its footing in Modern quite yet. But with time and some more bannings, I think that it will.
  • Speaking of our infinite combo, since it's a bit convoluted, here's what we need. The most straightforward way to go infinite is Yawgmoth, Thran Physician and two undying creatures (Strangleroot Geist or Young Wolf), which allows us to infinitely sacrifice our undying creatures by using Yawgmoth, Thran Physician to sacrifice one and put a 1/ 1 counter (and counteract the +1/+1 counter from undying) on the other. If we toss in Blood Artist or Obelisk Spider, we not only negate the damage we take from Yawgmoth itself but also kill our opponent with infinite drain. We can also substitute Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons for an undying creature, using the Snake token it makes every time we activate Yawgmoth, Thran Physician as sacrifice fodder. Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons also makes infinite Snakes with the two-undying-creatures loop, which is a nice backup plan for winning the game.
  • Heading into our matches, I was mostly thinking of Yawgmoth Hapatra Combo as a combo deck (as the name suggests), but after playing a bunch of matches with the deck, I think it's more of a creature-value deck with an infinite combo thrown in. While there are games where our primary focus is setting up the combo, in a lot of matchups, the combo is more of something we backdoor into after building a board of weird value-centric creatures.
  • Keep in mind that unlike Eldritch Evolution, Neoform doesn't exile itself on resolution. This means that with a single two-drop on the battlefield, we can use Neoform to chain our way up to Yawgmoth, Thran Physician (our best and most important card) for just four mana by sacrificing the two-drop to get Eternal Witness to get back Neoform and then sacrificing the Eternal Witness to get Yawgmoth, Thran Physician.
  • One thing that might improve the deck is an additional four-drop. Since Yawgmoth, Thran Physician is legendary, if we already have one on the battlefield, we don't have any four-drops to tutor up with Neoform or Eldritch Evolution. While there are tons of possibilities, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet seems like a solid silver bullet in our current meta.
  • So, should you play Yawgmoth Hapatra Combo? The deck was really fun and super unique, but sadly, it didn't feel like it could keep up with Hogaak specifically. Outside of the Hogaak matchup, the deck felt solid and competitive, but with so many Hogaak players these days, it seems hard to consistently post good results with Yawgmoth Hapatra Combo. While adding Leyline of the Void to the sideboard would help quite a bit, the good news is that Hogaak will almost certainly be banned in less than 30 days, so having a bad Hogaak matchup (like everyone else) isn't really disqualifying for a fun Modern deck. So I would way that if you choose to play Yawgmoth Hapatra Combo now, make sure to have a better Hogaak plan. But the deck felt strong enough (and was fun enough) that it's definitely worth revisiting in a post-Hogaak world.

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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