While the most popular variant of Archon of Cruelty decks revolves around reanimating it with Persist, there has been a new take floating around, pioneered by Gabriel Nassif—an Indomitable Creativity shell. Magic Online user OnlyLandsDotCom took it to a Top 32 finish in the Modern Super Qualifier, which required them to win seven matches during the Swiss portion. The deck seems to have both been picked up and got some nice results along the way.
The key interaction is casting either Indomitable Creativity or Transmogrify on a token to flip cards until you find a creature. Coincidentally, the deck only contains one creature, and it's Archon of Cruelty, which means you always find it. The easiest way to get the token in question is by fetching a special kind of Mountain—a Dwarven Mine. This way you don't even spend a card to get the creature. In addition, in some long games you can fetch a few of them and have a bunch of small attackers. Prismari Command creates Treasure tokens, and Hard Evidence creates both a Clue and a Crab. Between all these tokens, you'll sometimes be able to cast Indomitable Creativity for multiple Archons!
The highlight is Fable of the Mirror-Breaker // Reflection of Kiki-Jiki. It does everything the deck wants. The first chapter creates a token, which creates more tokens upon attacking. Naturally, it fits into the plan and meets one of the two necessary conditions. The second chapter allows us to loot through unwanted cards and dig deeper. It helps you find the other half of the combo and potentially discards Archons otherwise stranded in your hand. The last chapter gives you the option of copying other Dwarf or Crab tokens, or Archon itself, which in most cases will result in an instant win.
All of the above is surrounded by planeswalkers and some interaction. And sometimes, if you really need to goldfish a fast win, Explore is here to help. It enables you to go Mine, Transmogrify/Creativity into Archon as early as turn three!
|Archon of Creativity by OnlyLandsDotCom, 32nd at Modern Super Qualifier, July 4|
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