Renegade Rallier isn’t the only powerful card coming out of Aether Revolt. One of the most exciting things for Modern is the new expertise mechanic as seen on the likes of Sram's Expertise. This mechanic allows you to cast cheap cards for free. Typically, this will lead to mana-efficient double-spell turns, like Sram's Expertise into Kitchen Finks or Lingering Souls. Or, we can get a little more crazy and add free spells like Ancestral Vision and Restore Balance to the mix. Of course, if you’re Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, you might try to take it one step further:
Fuse Combo - Modern | Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa|
- Creatures (20)
- 2 Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
- 3 Griselbrand
- 3 Noble Hierarch
- 4 Birds of Paradise
- 4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
- 4 Simian Spirit Guide
- Artifacts (4)
- 4 Brain in a Jar
I’ve touched on the interaction between Brain in a Jar and fuse spells before. Whenever you get to cast a fuse spell without paying its mana cost, you can choose to cast the cheap half and then cast it fused without paying its mana cost. With just Brain in a Jar powering this deck, it wasn’t really consistent enough to keep up with the rest of the format. With these new expertise cards functioning as additional Brain in a Jar effects that don’t require quite as much finagling, things look a little more interesting.
Sram's Expertise and Kari Zev's Expertise are the two cards you can cast most easily off of the mana provided by Noble Hierarch and Simian Spirit Guide. Both of these cards let you cast crazy things like Beck fused or Breaking fused as early as turn one or two. We’ve touched on just how crazy fusing Beck is early in the game. Four creatures plus four cards is absolutely absurd, and will frequently win the game on the spot. We haven’t touched on what casting an early Breaking can do.
If this deck casts an early Breaking // Entering, you’re hoping to cheat Griselbrand or Emrakul, the Aeons Torn into play. Griselbrand lets you set up additional fuse spells and generate overwhelming advantage heading into the next turn, while Emrakul or Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre let you annihilate your opponent out of the game. Much like with Goryo's Vengeance, the timing here is a little weird. Entering doesn’t target, and you put the creature onto the battlefield as part of the resolution of the spell, which means while Emrakul will trigger upon hitting the graveyard, that trigger doesn’t even go on the stack until Emrakul is in play and ready to rumble.
This deck is moderately vulnerable to the discard and counterspells already present in Modern. The actual Expertise spells are not particularly powerful so long as you can deal with the fuse spells. However, the ability to cheat on the costs of these fuse spells so early in the game is absolutely huge. This deck has the potential to be one of the most degenerate things we’ve seen in Modern in quite some time, and I can’t wait to see it in action.