Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger and it’s place in Modern RG Tron
Since the announcement of Battle for Zendikar I was very excited. As a RG Tron player in Modern I felt safe in the knowledge I could expect some cool new Eldrazi toys.
And I was not disappointed, [card]Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger[/card] is what we were all gifted with. Lets take a look at what we’ve got: a ten mana 10/10, sure it passes the vanilla test but that isn’t what we are in the market for. So what else does it have? Well, what it doesn’t have is the Annihilator ability or the shuffle clause of [card]Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre[/card].
What it does have however is a superior cast ability – exiling two permanents is huge, in a format with [card]Tasigur, the Golden Fang[/card], [card]Celestial Colonnade[/card] and [card]Keranos, God of Storms[/card]. A no-nonsense permanent answer to any problem is excellent. And costing only ten mana is a benefit too as you can cast it by tapping 4-5 Urza lands. This makes great for bridging the gap when your end game is [card]Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[/card].
So what does it do for you? Well when you’re ahead the game is straight up over, you have a huge threat and likely just cast double [card]Stone Rain[/card] on your opponent. When you are at parity with your opponent with a clogged board of [card]Wurmcoil Engine[/card] Vs some [card]Tarmogoyf[/card]s and other creatures, you’ve suddenly removed two of their best threats and took a huge advantage in the game.
If you’re behind in the game you can usually catch up as you’ve now put a huge road block in the way of your opponents progression. In a recent match I was facing down a [card]Lilliana of the Veil[/card] and a 6/7 Tarmogoyf, the game very quickly swung in my favour.
I’ve not had the opportunity to play it for long on Magic Online but I did manage to craft this game state in a match against Grixis Twin, I think this highlights the power of a cast trigger when facing down permission spells like [card]Remand[/card] and [card]Mana Leak[/card].
The attacking ability of Ceaseless Hunger is arguably worse than that of Infinite Gyre but it is a static ability that always has the same effect of typically ending the game in two attacks regardless of chump blocks or chump sacrifices to the Annihilator trigger. I can definitely see you attacking a deck like[card]Scapeshift[/card] and leaving them unable to cobble together a victory as they don’t have a critical mass of [cards]Mountain[/cards]s to finish you off. Though the argument of mill your bomb/combo piece is definitely a loose one, it’s still a corner case in this specific matchup that could be worth exploring – not to mention if you actually exile the first copy of [card]Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle[/card].
Currently I’m uncertain if this is better than [card]Ugin, the Spirit Dragon[/card] but I definitely see them working together. [card]Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger[/card] also works very nicely with what your [card]Karn Liberated[/card] plan is against any combo decks which is just remove of their lands and win with an overwhelming advantage of powerful spells, which is currently a plan that Ugin doesn’t typically help support.
This is the list I currently run [card]Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger[/card] in, as a powerful bomb it was really easy to slot in – with all the tutors and impulses you have in the deck you have a realistic chance of playing it in games.
[deck]4 Ancient Stirrings
4 Sylvan Scrying
4 Chromatic Sphere
4 Chromatic Star
4 Expedition Map
4 Oblivion Stone
3 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 Karn Liberated
2 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
4 Urza’s Mine
4 Urza’s Power Plant
4 Urza’s Tower
4 Grove of the Burnwillows
2 Ghost Quarter
1 Eye of Ugin[/deck]
I’m excited to see what Oath of the Gatewatch brings for us, hopefully Kozilek and Emrakul return and I can have some more new additions.
Thank you for reading, what was your most anticipated card from Battle for Zendikar and for what format?