There is a routine to being a brewer. Whenever a new set is spoiled, I have a handful of cards, or powerful interactions, that I take out of storage (storage being that part of your brain you return to on elevators, waiting in the checkout aisle in the grocery store, or while stuck in traffic) and I run through the new set to see if these pet cards of mine have found the counterpart they need to jump from the shadows to tier 1.

I usually find a card or two to run with for a time until I decide that nothing has been broken, and lock my pet cards away for 3 more months. At this point, I’ve probably done a Gatherer search for [“Creatures” + “:” + “Modern”] more than any person alive (in case you’re wondering, a search for “:”shows you any creature with an activated ability, perfect for those of us waiting for the one day when the Development team slips up and Necrotic Ooze becomes the most powerful card in all of Magic).

This time though, I think I’ve found something exciting.


The Grand Architect and Pili-Pala combo is nothing new. It’s been around the kitchen tables for years as a 2 card infinite mana combo. The biggest problem has always been finding a supporting cast to make it worthwhile. I think the last two years may have finally given us the cards necessary to make it a worthwhile attempt in Modern.

First up, Collected Company. The word on the street is that this card is busted, already contributing to the format’s OTHER most popular infinite combo. Pili-Pala and Grand Architect both are at play here, and casting Collected Company at the end of your opponent’s turn can set up the infinite mana combo. Spellskite and Kira do a great job of insulating your fragile combo pieces from removal (and both are/can be pumped with Grand Architect to beat down in a pinch).

The other card that plays so well with the combo is Duskwatch Recruiter. Once we get all that mana, how are we going to use it? Duskwatch Recruiter with infinite mana allows you to dig for every creature in your deck. It can also be sued to dig for the combo if you’re missing a piece, can be hit off Collected Company, and just all around fits like a glove.

At this point, you can cast everything in your deck, or you can just cast Valakut Invoker and dome your opponent with all the damage necessary. Some decks use Emrakul, and I have one in the board in case you have a frisky opponent with Cranial Extraction-like tendencies, but I prefer the crispy, clean method of turning your opponent to cinders.

As a last caveat: this deck is fun, resourceful, and a delight… unless you’re playing on MTGO. I’ve won quite a bit with it, but you have to get very good at making your clicks, otherwise you WILL time out.

If you like my suggestions, you can follow me on Twitter: @travishall456. I throw around random observations and deck ideas every day.

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