Crucible of Words – Dusk ‘Till Dawn: UB Combo by Cyrus Bales

Crucible of Words – How do you solve a problem like a Mindsculptor? By Cyrus Bales

Crucible of Words – Dusk ‘Till Dawn: UB Combo by Cyrus Bales

This week I thought I’d share my thoughts on a potential new combo deck for Modern. The most notable thing about the deck, is that it’s UB, the colour of busted combo decks,  Thopter-Depths and Mystical Reanimator spring to mind.

This combo is building on an existing combo that doesn’t see play, Mindcrank and Bloodchief Ascension. With an active ascension, these two cards mill your opponent out and deal damage equal to the cards in their library as soon as they lose life or have a card hit their graveyard. Pretty neat, but the set up was a little tricky, which is why it never took off. However a new card has given the deck some fuel.

Duskmantle guildmageDuskmantle Guildmage

This card does half of the combo and can set up a chain, if you have Mindcrank out, you can trigger the life loss of any card that hits their graveyard and start the whole chain. If you have an active Bloodchief Ascension, you can pop cards into their bin and have a four point drain life at the cost of four mana, effectively giving you Drain Life on a stick.

That still sounds tricky right? So why am I looking at this? Being blue and black is a big boon, the ability to have discard and disruption around is very strong, Thoughtseizes and Spell Pierces aplenty. We also get to run Muddle the Mixture to tutor for our pieces, very reminiscent of Thopter-Depths indeed!

4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Duskmantle Guildmage
4 Dark Confidant
4 Mindcrank
3 Bloodchief Ascension
3 Compulsive Research
2 Muddle The Mixture
3 Thoughtseize
2 Inquisition of Kozilek
Mindcrank1 Dismember
2 Remand
4 Liliana of the Veil
4 Verdant Catacomb
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Darkslick Shores
4 Watery Grave
1 Breeding Pool
4 River of Tears
1 Swamp
1 Island

So, what’s going on here? The deck plays out as expected, discard spells  and card advantage till you hit the combo, with a bit of disruption. Liliana of the Veil is a good way to start the chain or keep you alive and pluck their hand apart. Because the deck can run well off of three land, Compulsive Research is ideal to get rid of unwanted lands.

Deathrite Shaman is the best card in modern, so it makes sense to run this powerhouse, it can also speed up your kill by a turn, or cause life lose, whilst hosing graveyards as you go, heck, why not grab an extra bit of life here and there as well!

River of TearsRiver of Tears is a nice land to have, I was tempted by Creeping Tar Pit to knock away life and charge up Bloodchief Ascension or just as an alternate win condition, this may better, but the original version of combo decks should go for speed then tweak via testing.

Extra green mana could provide Abrupt Decay and maybe Tarmogoyf for good measure if you want that route. Even Life From the Loam with Syphon Life and Raven’s Crime to charge up the Ascension, keep you alive, provide disruption and start a kill chain could be the way to go.
Anyway, I thought I’d share this basic kernel of a deck and see what happens, enjoy!


As promised in my last article, my Junk deck from GP Bilbao:

Linvala4 Deathrite Shaman
1 Noble Heirarch
4 Dark Confidant
4 Tarmogoyf
2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
3 Doran, the Siege Tower
4 Loxodon Smiter
2 Kitchen Finks
2 Linvala, Keeper of Silence
3 Thoughtseize
2 Inquisition of Kozilek
4 Path To Exile
1 Maelstrom Pulse
2 Abrupt Decay
4 Verdant Catacomb
4 Marsh Flats
Path to Exile1 Misty Rainforest
2 Overgrown Tomb
1 Godless Shrine
1 Temple Garden
1 Murmuring Bosk
1 Forest
1 Swamp
1 Plains
2 Stirring Wildwood
1 Treetop Village
1 Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers
1 Shizo, Death’s Storehouse

2 Kitchen Finks
Kitchen Finks1 Thoughtseize
1 Stony Silence
1 Kataki, War’s Wage
1 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
1 Torpor Orb
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Gaddock Teeg
1 Creeping Corrosion
4 Fulminator Mage
1 Engineered Explosives

“The healt of the salmon, the help you a long.”

Cyrus Bales

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