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Rapid Evolution

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In a format where Infect and Affinity are two of the premier unfair aggressive decks, it’s no surprise that players are shifting to Abzan midrange over Jund in order to play Lingering Souls. What’s most interesting is the variety of shells in which one can play Lingering Souls, even staying in the Abzan colors. There are midrange decks featuring Siege Rhino and Collected Company. There are aggressive decks with Wilt-Leaf Liege. There are Collected Company decks playing the Melira, Sylvok Outcast combo. But with Eldritch Moon, there’s yet another take on Abzan that splits the difference between the midrange decks and the Collected Company decks thanks to Eldritch Evolution:

At a glance, big chunks of this deck look like a pretty typical aggressive Abzan deck. Voice of Resurgence and Kitchen Finks give you resilient attackers and blockers. This, combined with mana creatures, Lingering Souls, and Gavony Township gives you a way to go over the top of other players once you’ve stalled out the board. A smattering of removal spells, value creatures, and Siege Rhinos round out the list.

The big difference is the inclusion of Eldritch Evolution. This is a card which is absolutely horrendous in a format where Remand and Mana Leak are popular. Fortunately, as it stands, cards like Arcbound Ravager and Goblin Guide are much more popular in the format. Eldritch Evolution makes this deck into a pseudo Birthing Pod deck, able to tutor up game-breaking singletons as early as turn two by sacrificing a mana creature. Ideally, you’re going to be sacrificing Kitchen Finks, Voice of Resurgence, and Strangleroot Geist to find swingy cards like Orzhov Pontiff, Linvala, Keeper of Silence, and Reveillark, all of which can just end a game on the spot.

In addition to that, you can use Eldritch Evolution to stitch together the two-card combo of Archangel of Thune and Spike Feeder, which gives you infinite life and infinitely large creatures. If the format shifts back towards more reactive decks, then this kind of value-oriented approach to Eldritch Evolution is much less exciting. But as long as people are trying to play proactive strategies, the ability to tutor powerful, narrow effects directly into play is monstrously powerful against the plethora of powerful, linear strategies in Modern.


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