With the recent change to magic with the London mulligan, Modern has become a combo wasteland with people dying as soon as turn 1 with new cards like Neoform, turn 2 with Grishoalbrand, and turn 3 with Dredge. To compete with this blistering fast metagame, we must fight fire with fire. Today, I am introducing a combo deck that goes off not on turn 1, not on turn 2, not on turn 3, but on turn 5! With the power of Leveler, a 5 mana 10/10 you can remove your entire library and win with Laboratory Maniac! This deck will easily warp the Modern metagame and you best be prepared for it.
In all seriousness, this deck is not very good. However, thanks to the printing of Jace, Wielder of Mysteries I do think that this deck deserves looking at again. We now have 2 modern legal effects that win the game if you draw a card with no cards in your library. We also have 2 five mana cards that can remove your entire library in one go, Leveler and Mirror of Fate. With more redundancy, we are much less reliant on Laboratory Maniac then we were in the past, allowing us to devote fewer cards to protecting our mad scientist and add more generically powerful stuff.
The main goal of this deck was trying to get it underneath $100. While there are plenty of amazing blue cards that would fit very well in this strategy such as Cryptic Command, Remand, and Pact of Negation I imposed a budget on myself because I don’t believe this deck deserves a big budget. If we can’t play with the above cards, what is available to us in this price range?
We can start with one of the best cantrips in Modern in Serum Visions. Seeing 3 cards deep will help us get closer to finding our combo pieces. Combined with Opt we have a nice suite of cantrips that can help us to win the game the turn we play Leveler, instead of having to wait a turn until we can draw a card on our turn. The nice thing about Opt is if our opponent is holding a removal spell and we cast Leveler if they try to end step remove Lab Man we can respond with an Opt and win the game right on the spot.
Next, come the counterspells, and as a mono-blue deck with most of our deck being cantrips and combo pieces, counterspells are basically all that’s left. Disallow is a hard counter for everything and has the upside of stifling nasty triggers such as Griselbrand’s draw 7 or Narcomeba. We also play Mana Leak as a cheap counterspell we can play on the early turns, where we have nothing better to do. Finally, we have Dispel as a very budget version of Pact of Negation that can still counter a lot of relevant spells in the format. And in the sideboard, we have a little bit of graveyard hate and a lot more counterspells. We are playing mono-blue, it’s kind of what we do.
This is an Against the Odds™ budget deck if I have ever seen one, but Jace at the very least makes this fragile combo much more consistent. In many cases, it’s much easier to protect a Planeswalker then a 2/2 creature, and Jace allows us to win 1 turn earlier by drawing a card after you have removed your library. Spreading your combo pieces across 2 separate permanents helps to diversify your threats, and put your eggs in more than one basket. You just gotta hope your opponent is not playing Dreadbore. Thank you all for reading, I hope you have a great week and an amazing Tuesday!
Link to Decklist: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1867847#paper