When Magic was relatively young, cards were far more powerful and quite imbalanced compared to today’s more moderated cards. Despite the smaller card pool, a lot of professional players tried to break cards to their limit, abusing certain formats with them, and some even led to cards getting banned.
Goblin Welder is a good example of a broken card. For 1 mana and zero activation, you have yourself a very efficient reanimator engine all on its own. By swapping useless artifacts for powerful artifacts in the graveyard, you can abuse a lot of ETB (enter the battlefield) and LTB (leaves the battlefield) effects.
Bringing Goblin Welder to Modern sadly is not possible. But thankfully, he has a little brother that does almost the same thing but is a little less efficient.
Goblin Engineer does get a valid target in the bin when it hits the battlefield, but its not able to bring just any artifact back to life. Thankfully, there is an artifact it can get and reanimate to copy what his older brother could.
Protomatter Powder provides the missing piece to allow us to reanimate any artifact. Conveniently it also costs 3 mana which allows Goblin Engineer to get it back as well. So the question now is, what do we reanimate?
Modern is filled with a lot of color-intensive decks. But at the same time, Modern decks play with very ambitious mana bases mostly comprised of shock lands, triomes, and almost any land that can be tutored by fetchlands. This gives Sundering Titan a lot of targets. Even if you only destroy 2 lands when it enters, and 2 lands again when it dies, that’s 4 lands destroyed and can usually set the opponent back several turns until they recover. Against 3C/4C color decks like Esper Reanimator, Jund Midrange, Mardu Control, 4C Yorion, 4C Omnath, and 4C Creativity, the targets are plenty.
Wurmcoil Engine adds a very different value by itself. Cheating it to play early gives you the edge in combat, allowing you to take down any non-indestructible creature on the table thanks to Deathtouch. You also gain a lot of life back thanks to Lifelink. And when you do decide to swap it with Engineer to get something else, it leaves you with 2 bodies that you can sacrifice later on to keep your welder-loop going.
To let us throw our threats out, we got Cathartic Pyre and Thrill of Possibility to let us unload and find our combo piece. Good to note that Cathartic Pyre also serves as early removal against aggressive decks which buys us extra turns to assemble our engine.
Trash for Treasure is our 5th-8th copy of Goblin Engineer, which offers the redundancy we need in case our opponent has a way to kill our Engineer before we get to activate it.
Surprise! We’re also using the Tron shell to give us some explosive starts and a scalable end game by playing Modern’s most oppressive planeswalkers earlier than you should. Ugin synergizes well with playing colorless threats and Karn just demoralizes anyone who sees him on turn 3.
We chose to play white as our secondary color because we need ways to activate Powder. But it also gives us access to some nice utility to fight against hosers. Fateful Absence to kill off any early walkers like Wrenn and Six or Karn, or early must-kill threats like Murktide and Death’s Shadow. On the sideboard, white gives us access to Leyline of Sanctity to help protect our hand from disruption.
Looking inside our sideboard we can also find some answers to very popular archetypes. Chalice of the Void comes in against cascade decks like Living End, Rhinos, and Glimpse. Trinisphere offers both redundancies to Chalice, and also shuts down low-curve decks like Storm, Burn, Infect, Elves, White Weenies, Murktide, Mill, and more.
Sunset Revelry is the flex spot which you can swap out for other cards that are more attuned to your local meta. But as is, this card helps us against Burn, Aggro, and Discard all in one so I think it deserves a spot in the 75.
Now before you call me out, I am aware that Sundering Titan also hits us if our opponent isn’t playing Red or White, but that’s not that bad. Us losing a bit of color isn’t going to decapitate our plans thanks to some color fixing from Chromatic Star/Sphere, and we’re intentionally running some non-basic that produces Red and White mana without having the basic land type so we can dodge Sundering Titan’s effects.
The deck surely looks interesting, and if you can manage to pull this off, you can potentially stop your opponent from playing magic. That’s not fun for them, but it’s super fun for you. But heck, you’re going to earn your opponent’s respect no matter what.
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