Hey everyone! Welcome to another Modern Musings!  This week I’m going to walk you through a new brew I thought up: Eternal Bloodbraid.  If the name sounds someone reminiscent of a deck called Eternal Command, it’s because this deck has an extremely similar strategy.  With Eternal Command, the idea is that you loop Cryptic Command with Snapcaster Mage and Eternal Witness out-valuing your opponent to death.  This works because Cryptic Command is such a versatile card it can solve most situations you find yourself in.  So this week I am going to try and formulate a deck whose sole purpose is to cast Bloodbraid Elf every single turn.

Building with Cascade

Cascade is arguably one of the more powerful mechanics that Wizards has ever printed, and I think the most interesting to build a deck around.  If you don’t know what cascade does, take a quick look:

Cascade (When you cast this spell, exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a nonland card that costs less. You may cast it without paying its mana cost. Put the exiled cards on the bottom of your library in a random order.)

So for example, if you cast Bloodbraid Elf, then you flip cards of the top of your deck until you get a nonland card that costs 3 mana, 2 mana, 1 mana, or 0 mana.  And this is what makes cascade such an interesting mechanic to build a deck around, because it just randomly hits things of the top of your deck, the best way to ensure that it doesn’t hit something you don’t want it to is to not put it in your deck.  Of course this is much harder than it sounds because there are some good spells that just don’t work well with cascade, so before I get to talking about today’s deck, here’s a quick list of things that can’t be run effectively alongside cascade:

  1. X” spells – Sadly, because cascade casts the spell without paying its manacost, X is always assumed to be 0.  Sorry Chord of Calling and Walking Ballista, no fun for you today.
  2. Counterspells – Usually, if you cascade into a counterspell, the only availiable spell to target is the one that your counterspell cascaded from.  Of course, if your cascade spell somehow could be played at instant speed, this would be different, but outside of whatever very strange Violent Outburst deck you’re playing, it’s not a good idea.
  3. Spells with additional costs – This rule isn’t as universal as the last two because there are cards like Collective Brutality that are fine with cascade.  Mostly I’m talking about spells like Altar’s Reap that require you to have specific board states.

The Deck

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, we can move on to talking about the deck itself.  First things first, if we are going to build a deck around Bloodbraid Elf, then we need to make sure that we draw one every game.  We can either go heavily into blue with filtering spells like Serum Visions and Opt, or we can take a different approach and use Traverse the Ulvenwald to find them.  I prefer the Traverse gameplan a little more because it doesn’t junk up our deck with a lot of mediocre cascade hits.  This does add in another tricky element to deckbuilding in that we are also now a delirium deck as well.

Ways to Get Back Bloodbraid Elf:


All powerful cards in their own right, these make the game-plan of playing a Bloodbraid Elf every turn a reality.  Traverse doesn’t technically get back Bloodbraid from our graveyard, but getting one from our deck helps us cast one every turn anyway, so I put it in this section.



Wait, is that a Lingering Souls? Why yes, yes it is.  I think that adding white and Lingering Souls is exactly what this deck needs.  Not to mention cascading into Lingering Souls just sounds super sweet.



Fairly standard save the Shriekmaw, who is there to help us turn on delirium.

The List:




In case you’re wondering, the Architects of Will is there to help us achieve delirium.  I have to say that while building this deck I had a ton of choices in what I could put into each slot and honestly, I feel I’ll probably try out a couple more iterations of this deck.  I think that a few strong card choices that were left out of this build were BlightningLiliana of the Veil, and To the Slaughter.  In addition, I could easily see this deck putting in blue instead of white for cards like Izzet Charm and Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy // Jace, Telepath Unbound.  Maybe even put in an Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver or Jace Beleren.  Maybe in the future I’ll do a Bloodbraid Superfriends or something. Kinda sounds like fun.

Anyway, that’s all for this week, I hope that you enjoyed the deck, and I’ll see you next time!




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