Hey Everyone! Welcome to another Modern Musings! This week we are going to talk about Heartless Summoning and the update it got from M19. The card I’m referring to is of course, Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma. One of the ongoing problems with Heartless Summoning decks is that there aren’t enough Heartless Summoning effects to make the deck consistent enough. One of the ways that I’ve tried to solve this in the past is by making the deck Eldrazi-based and adding Eldrazi Temple as another way to cheat mana. I still think that this is probably the best version of the deck, so this is the list I’m going to update first.
The Cost Reducers
These cards are the core of the deck, allowing us to cheat out our big threats out very early. Heartless Summoning comes down the earliest, enabling our most busted plays, but comes with a drawback. Goreclaw, our newest addition, not only gives us the cost reduction that we want, since all our dudes are more than 4 power, but also gives most of the creatures in our deck trample when it attacks as well. One of the nut draws involves casting a Heartless Summoning on turn 2, then turn 3 tap two mana for Goreclaw, play Eldrazi Temple and cast Conduit of Ruin, Fetching Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, which is now castable with the three lands we have.
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger is the most obvious payoff, and probably the most powerful one as well, as it usually ends the game when cast. Elder Deep-Fiend might seem a bit weird at first since our deck is not blue and has no blue mana in it, but we just ignore its emerge cost and cast it for 8. The utility of tapping four permanents at instant speed is very powerful and gives our deck some much needed interaction. Ulamog’s Crusher might seem like another strange one, but very often you end up with 4 mana in lands and 4 mana in cost reductions making 8 mana spells very attractive. Ulamog’s Crusher is one of the bigger threats at 8 mana. Finally we have World Breaker, which gives us some utility in removing problematic artifacts, enchantments, or lands.
These are our smaller creatures that help gum up the board and disrupt our opponents. Matter Reshaper is such a fantastic card in our deck since it ramps us about half the time and the other half it draws us a card, both modes we love. Oblivion Sower acts as another ramp Eldrazi as well as a difficult-to-kill creature with its obscenely high toughness. Endbringer adds a little bit of utility to the mix while being a threat on his own. Usually, if you get to untap with Endbringer the opponent quickly gets buried under the avalanche of card advantage he provides. Thought-Knot Seer is a classic, as it runs disruption against your opponent while still being big enough to deter attackers or provide a quick clock.
Other Notable Cards
Ancient Stirrings is one of Modern’s most powerful and ubiquitous cards, it allows us to get either a land or colorless creature from the top 5 of our deck. Considering that most of our creatures are colorless, this hits a very large percentage of our deck. Sanctum of Ugin lets us tutor up an Ulamog or one of our utility creatures. Cavern of Souls allows us to force our Eldrazi through opposing counterspells.
This is the deck once you put it all together. The rest of the lands are pretty much self-explanitory, lots of colorless lands to support Endbringers and Thought-Knot Seers. There are 3 Dismembers in there over Fatal Pushes, mostly because we don’t really have enough fetches to trigger the revolt. I’ve played a ton of iterations of this deck, and the initial goldfishing with Goreclaw looks to be pretty good. While I don’t think this deck will be making the rounds in big competitive tournaments anytime soon, it is a blast to play at your local FNM and I can’t wait till M19 releases so I can get my Goreclaws in paper.
Anyway, that’s all for this week. Join me next week when I take a look to see if Sarkhan Fireblood has what it takes to be competitive in Modern.