Hello everyone! Welcome to another Modern Musings! This week I’m going to be talking about Induced Amnesia and its potential applications in Modern.
Induced Amnesia is an interesting card to brew with in Modern because it presents not one, but two unique problems to deck-builders. The first is: what do I do with all these cards I’m drawing? And the second is: Do I target myself or my opponent? The answer to the first question is fairly simple; just play lots of cheap spells. With the second question though, you may be wondering, “why would I ever want to windfall my opponent?” There are three reasons that I can think of:
- You have some way of stopping them from drawing cards i.e. Windfall
- You have eldrazi processors and you want cards in your opponent’s exile pile.
- Your opponent has a card in hand that either you can’t deal with or will end the game and you want to get rid of it.
Because I’m a fan of prison decks, locking people out with Notion Thief or Spirit of the Labyrinth sounds pretty sweet. Risky, since any removal spell in response to Induce Amnesia gives your opponent a free Windfall, but they will likely lose the game if they don’t have one. I especially like Notion Thief in the current Modern environment with the unbanning of Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Flashing a Notion Thief in response to Jace’s Brainstorm effect, drawing three cards and having your opponent put two from their hand back on top of their library and then getting to untap and kill their Jace with said Notion Thief sounds like a game-winning blowout to me.
That’s good enough reason to me to run at least a few copies of Notion Thief. But I do want the ability to target myself as well, so I’ll probably be running Perilous Research as well. So it appears that we are currently at least U/B. The question we have to ask ourselves is, do we want to add a third or fourth color? If we do, then what color(s) would we even add? Let’s see what each color brings to the table:
Red is an overall strong color that allows us to have a little more game against creature heavy decks. It gives us more removal with Kolaghan’s Command and Lightning Bolt and chump blockers with Young Pyromancer. Crack the Earth is an interesting card that works well with what our deck wants to do. It allows us to have a cheap, easy way to sacrifice our Induced Amnesia, while punishing our more permanent-light opponents.
The most exciting thing that green does for us is provide ramp to allow us establish our card advantage engine a turn earlier. It also provides us with good beaters in Grim Flayer and Tarmogoyf to try and actually end the game.
Red & Green – Gives us access to Bloodbraid Elf
Need I say more? Bloodbraid Elf allows us to cascade into Induced Amnesia and other powerful spells, letting us generate tons of value. Though I think if the deck goes this route, it has to drop black, as it puts a pretty hefty strain on the mana base and makes us too vulnerable to Blood Moon.
The Zur version of this deck has already been done, and I’m not sure that running Induced Amnesia is better than Ancestral Vision in Temur colors with BBE. But I haven’t found any Sultai or Grixis lists yet, and I think both of those color combinations are respectable choices for Induced Amnesia builds.
Our primary gameplan with this deck is to wipe out our opponent’s hand with Notion Thief + Induced Amnesia and then beat down with Grim Flayers and Tarmogoyfs. If we cast it on ourselves we can use Perilous Research to get our cards back. We can even use Jace, the Mind Sculptor‘s Brainstorm ability to protect our most important cards from Induced Amnesia if we don’t have a way to get rid of it.
A fun little interaction that I remembered when I was putting together the mana base for this deck was that using Geier Reach Sanitarium + Notion Thief can lock opponents out of their draw step.
The purpose of this deck is to just bury your opponent in card advantage, Notion Thief is still in here but he’s more of a side show attraction than anything. The deck utilizes Young Pyromancer alongside cheap spells to generate a token horde to take down its opponents.
Anyway, that’s all for this week! Let me know what you think, and enjoy the brews!