I haven’t played the format basically since Pioneer was announced, but this new card looks neat so might as well build a deck around it.
Hello and welcome to Only On Tuesdays, the content creator equivalent of a cheap ripoff of Pleasant Kenobi because I don’t know how to edit videos. Doing articles with a more humorous slant also helps people forgive me when I give them a bad deck. With that unrelated tangent aside, let’s move onto the deck of the day Hateful Tallowisp!
Hateful Eidolon is a card from Theros Beyond Death that immediately intrigued me. A major reason for that is because it says spirit on the creature typeline. If it’s not obvious yet that I like spirits a lot, it must be your first time here in which case welcome, I like spirits a lot. Hateful Eidolon is also neat because it’s a spirit that cares about auras. Hateful Eidolon isn’t the first spirit to care about auras either. Let me take you back to the first set that cared about spirits, and clogs up my scryfall search queries with useless cards every time I look for spirits, Kamigawa.
This card came out at a time when Magic still didn’t know what their definition of a spirit was, and as a result we got a really awesome looking pinwheel. Tallowisp was the first spirit to care about aura’s and does so utilizing tribal elements. (Ignore that arcane stuff, that only matters if you’re playing a good version of this deck that plays Shoals). Getting to tutor an enchantment just for playing spirits is a powerful effect, and would be much better if auras didn’t lose to a Path to Exile so easily.
Normally, Tallowisp decks play out as Delver style tempo decks, utilizing free counterspells in Force of Negation and Disrupting Shoal and recouping the card disadvantage with pinwheel. Hateful Eidolon can function as copies 5-8 of card advantage engine that cares about enchantments. This requires us to build the deck a little differently though as it doesn’t work with the shoals.
Firstly, Hateful Eidolon pairs reall well with auras that also kill creatures. Our best options are Dead Weight and Mire’s Grasp, truly cards that are on par with the Modern pedigree of removal spells. When they print the aura version of Fatal Push and this deck becomes tier 0 you can thank me for giving you the idea. In the meantime, I guess we just have to be happy with murdering Goblin Guides.
Second, because we are eschewing that Delver tempo gameplan in favor of something slower and more toolboxy, we get to throw in some jank. One of my first articles ever about spirits was actually a Tallowisp deck tech in which I unveiled my secret weapon of Selfless Spirit and Gift of Immortality. For the low, low price of 5 mana and 2 cards you can sacrifice Selfless Spirit every single turn to give your creatures indestructible.
The only reason I know this combo exists is because when I was first getting back into magic I was playing EDH with my Avacyn deck (It was literally the only legendary creature I had.) and I accidentally assembled this combo and the entire table all got excited about it. I honestly didn’t realize what I had did because I didn’t understand the rules, but I just nodded my head and was like “yeah, I’m that good at Magic.” Anyways, it’s much worse in Modern but that’s not going to stop me from forcing it into this deck.
Gift works with more than just Selfless Spirit too. On a Mausoleum Wanderer you can force spike an instant or sorcery every turn. With Spell Queller, they can’t get their card back. And with another spirit from Kamigawa, in Kami of False Hope, you can fog your opponent every single turn. Geist of Saint Traft becomes impossible to deal with outside of two board wipes. These are all just reasons to justify me playing my pet card, but if you are able to tutor up an enchantment with Geist on the battlefield I’d recommend Steel of the Godhead.
For the low cost of 3 mana over two down payments you get a 4/4 hexproof, unblockable, lifelink that creates a 4/4 flyer when attacking. Not bad, considering what 6 mana can get you in this format. Putting it on a Spell Queller isn’t nearly as exciting, but sometimes you’re at 2 life and you need to take the risk. Other auras include all-star Curious Obsession, and newcomer Staggering Insight which is basically just a better Curious Obsession. If you need to just slap the opponent, I’d recommend Unstable Mutation as the game will probably be over before it turns into a downside.
This deck isn’t going to break the format. It’s not even a budget deck so I can’t claim that excuse either. I guess that the main reason to build this deck is if you already have spirits and want to enjoy a different playstyle. If you don’t own spirits, well, um, I guess I hope this article was entertaining. Thanks for reading, and as always have a great week and an amazing Tuesday!