Modern Inventiveness

While Kaladesh cards were filling almost every spot on our Highest Percentual Stock Reduction table yesterday, the best seller was actually from another set.

While Kaladesh cards were filling almost every spot on our Highest Percentual Stock Reduction table yesterday, the best seller was actually from another set.

Intervention Pacts have been vanishing from MKM very fast. While the table indicates a reduction from 474 copies down to 318, we are already down to 211 available copies a few hours later.

This was a card selling between 50 cents and 1 € until very recently. By now English copies start at 4 €!

English copies are are mostly gone already, but you might want to consider getting cards from other languages, as they are still cheap. At the current rate the less desired versions will have left the market as well by tomorrow, spiking prices across all languages.

What is the occasion for this fresh interest in this old card?

Madcap Experiment

This card is really inspiring the deck builders out there. By not putting a lot of artifacts in your deck, you get exactly the card you want from your deck at the expense of potentially taking a lot of damage in the process.

Platinum Emperion was the first plan of the hivemind to just not take that damage. Putting this Golem into play for 4 mana is strong, but in a format featuring Path to Exile as the most played card, this really doesn't win the game as often as you would like it to. Platinum Emperion still saw some significant value gains although the combo is too weak.

With Intervention Pact or the overcosted Hallow you can turn the potentially lethal damage of your Madcap Experiment into a lot of life, while you can also build your deck around any other artifact, instead of that useless 8/8.

Which artifact would you like to find at the bottom of your deck after gaining lots of life? This sounds like a job for Kaladeshian inventiveness:

Aetherflux Reservoir

I will soon update this article with a longer explanation why I believe this strange combo could actually become the engine of a relevant Modern deck, turning the Pact hype into an appropriate permanent price change.

I just wanted the article to be out there before there were no copies left.


Update:

In Modern a lot of different decks are viable, but all of them have some things in common. Ideally you should be able to win on turn 4 or earlier. Most decks use creatures to accomplish this, even if those creatures just create a winning loop or combination, instead of attacking regularly.

Combo decks without creatures are rare in Modern and therefore are very interesting and can be very powerful, as they don't have to deal with main deck disruption in the form of Lightning Bolt and Path.

To analyze the strength of a combo it is important to look at the card types it needs to play and the casting costs of the essential cards. Ad Nauseam is one of the best combo decks in the format despite using a combo that costs either 3 and 5 mana over two turns are 6 in a single turn. This is possible because the combo doesn't necessarily require permanents, and even if it does, at least it isn't creatures.

So as Madcap Experiment is a Sorcery and Intervention Pact and Hallow are Instants, we are in great shape against any decks relying on permanent removal as their disruption. At 4+0 or 4+1 the total mana cost to combo is quite low as well.

It might take a while for players to find the ideal shell, but the engine looks promising to me:

  • fast (low total casting cost)
  • resilient (not permanent based)
  • adaptable (few deck slots required - just one kill card required besides the combo)
  • reliable (combo colors are decent for card selection)
  • disruptive (combo colors are great for early game defense)
  • well-positioned in the metagame (combo colors are great for sideboarding)

While red cards may even be better at drawing into specific cards in Modern these days than blue, the deck will probably end up Jeskai anyway for Serum Visions and Peer Through Depths. But I digress – for finance decisions you don't need to figure out the entire deck, you just need to correctly rate the potential of card interactions.

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