Welcome back for another edition of The Rogue Report! I’m still Cody, and this week I’ll be taking a look at a really fun, semi-competitive strategy in modern. Although it’s true this deck doesn’t pop up often, it still does pop up. I’ll be reviewing a Enduring Ideal deck that made it to top4 of an SCG Classic in Roanake (aka. MagicTown, but not really.) On Dec. 3rd, 2017 Shayne Morris piloted Enduring Ideal to this respectable finish. Let’s take a look at his 76…yep, 76:
2x Simian Spirit Guide
4x Lotus Bloom
2x Blood Moon
2x Form of the Dragon
4x Ghostly Prison
4x Leyline of Sanctity
1x Oblivion Ring
1x Overwhelming Splendor
3x Phyrexian Unlife
4x Runed Halo
1x Sphere of Safety
4x Suppression Field
The idea here is to use the fast mana from Simian Spirit Guide and Lotus Bloom to cast some really powerful enchantments ahead of schedule. Another really cool form of built in ramp here is provided by Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. Sometimes you’ll start a game 1 with 1-4x Leyline of Sanctity in play and from there’s it’s pretty easy to abuse white devotion to ramp harder or cast an early Enduring Ideal.
It’s all about stayin’ alive with this prison type strategy!
This deck has some backbreaking early game spells such as Suppression Field and Blood Moon that can steal wins early, although going late is more the plan. This deck’s late game is looking to harness the power of the Epic ability on Enduring Ideal. Once an Enduring Ideal has resolved, on our upkeep we’ll proceed to grab a Phyrexian Unlife, and a Form of the Dragon. Form of the Dragon is likely a 3-4 turn clock on our opponent by shooting them for 5’sies, and keeps resetting our life total every turn so it’s difficult to beat us through a Phyrexian Unlife. One small criticism I have of this list is it does not play Solemnity. If you add Solemnity to the combination of Phyrexian Unlife and Form of the Dragon, you just can’t lose the game. You’ll never take poison counters for our Phyrexian Unlife and you’ll still be under a Form of the Dragon bubble. This is all assuming our opponent cannot interact with any of the pieces of our combo, which is usually the case in game 1.
Going forward, as this list is from December 2017 I think it is definitely worth taking a look at Blood Sun. It’s easy to include as a one of, completely hoses commonly played strategies that abuse a greedy manabase and decks such as Scapeshift/Valakut. It also draws a card. I hear that’s very powerful. I think I would also personally play 1x Form of the Dragon mainboard instead of 2, because even if somehow the first one gets dealt with, you can still use Mistveil Plains to put it back in your deck. Note that you can use Mistveil Plains even when you’ve Epic locked yourself (can’t cast spells for the rest of the game after casting Enduring Ideal). This neat little combo with Mistveil Plains gives the deck some crazy resilience, and I think a Blood Sun or a main board Greater Auramancy could fill the spot better. Probably Blood Sun.
If you suspect your opponent has a spell that can deal with the enchantments that are a part of the combo, you can grab a Dovescape first (while in Epic lock), to negate the effects of their enchantment removal.
Leyline of Sanctity mainboard also can be really fun in the face of Burn opponents, as well as opponents looking to capitalize on the effects of hand disruption like Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek.
Ghostly Prison, Blood Moon, Phyrexian Unlife, Suppression Field etc. are all cards that are designed to make games go longer. They are prohibitive effects that do a very good job of slowing the opponent down. One of the real true gems of this deck though, is it’s inclusion of 4x Runed Halo. An extremely powerful card that makes for very difficult games, that is finally starting to see some price growth again. I recommend grabbing them before they approach Karn Liberated territory. Did I mention it’s really fun naming Grapeshot?
Speaking of fun, I’ve always wanted to play Zur’s Weirding in some form of this deck …
One thing that still surprises me to this very minute is the fact that Enduring Ideal is a sorcery spell. I haven’t been playing magic much longer than four years and fortunately missed Kamigawa block. However, somewhere along my experiences in Magic I was definitely convinced that Enduring Ideal itself was an Enchantment card. This is certainly not the case and explains the inclusion of Boseiju, Who Shelters All in the sideboard. The ability to cast Enduring Ideal through counter magic is fantastic out of the sideboard in this deck.
This deck is not typically something I’d tell someone to play at a competitive tournament, but as it turns out… some people post good results with it. I personally enjoy this strategy and think it has some legs in the modern format. It’s an incredibly fun, disruptive, trollesque deck which I think should always be on the modern radar. It’s close to being really good.
Go forth and cast Enduring Ideal, let me know how it feels!
Epic is a very interesting mechanic and part of my inspiration for this weeks article.
Thanks for dropping by,
if you have any experiences you’d like to share, comments, or suggestions please comment below!