Usually, when you see Emrakul, the Aeons Torn in a deck, you automatically assume it's going to involve some way to cheat the thing into play. You couldn't be more wrong when it comes to this combo deck. Here, your whole creature base is used to enable the namesake, Calibrated Blast. It reveals cards from your deck until it reveals a nonland and then deals damage equal to that card's mana value to any target. In the perfect world, it will deal 15 damage to a player who has already fetched/shocked enough to kill them on the spot. This is why you want a high density of expensive spells, among which you find that beloved Emrakul.
What New Capenna has brought to the deck is a new fifteen-drop in the form of Shadow of Mortality. This card is by no means meant to be actually cast. It's purely here for that damage output. Nonetheless, it's a relevant improvement! Previous versions had to run Blinkmoth Infusion in its place, and that's clearly worse.
What's worth mentioning is that the Blast has flashback so you can do it twice—on turn three and again on turn five. And while one shot might not be enough, two ought to suffice. In order to maximize the number of Blasts, the deck also includes two Throes of Chaos to cascade into it, making the Blast count in the deck virtually six.
Almost two thirds of the deck are lands, which is important so you can mulligan aggressively to find the Blast. With so many of them, there is quite some room for utility too. Boseiju, Who Endures and Otawara, Soaring City are nice catch-all effects, and Gemstone Caverns can speed you up on the draw. Mishra's Factory, Sunscorched Desert, and Ramunap Ruins are sometimes able to contribute the missing damage to reduce the opponent to 0.
The deck does have downsides. First, the immediate turn three Blast won't killl often. Once your opponent knows what's up, they can avoid untapped shock lands, at which point you'll likely need to go off twice. In addition, you can barely combat hate because any additional spell in your deck would run the risk of disrupting your own combo.
That said, the deck did make Top 8 at the most recent Modern Challenge. It has legs and can catch unsuspecting people off guard.
|Calibrated Blast by Bob49, 6th at Modern Challenge, May 2|
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