Matthew Johnson

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Bring to Light Scapeshift Primer

Bring to Light is a 4-colour combo-control deck centered around the ability to tutor up the best card for the moment with Bring to Light. It is a deck full of interaction that you can tailor for the particular matchup and metagame. You specifically want to be able to get Scapeshift to have a combo kill which you can use as early as turn 4. This commits you to running 4 colours. Blue and Green are required by Bring to Light and Red is implied by the number of mountains required for the Scapeshift kill.

White or Black

The question about which is the correct fourth colour to play is an interesting one. Both colours give you different useful cards both pre and post board. I think the two primary factors in deciding are the sort of main-deck removal you need and whether there's a significant combo presence in the expected metagame. White gives you Path to Exile for point removal and an uncounterable sweeper in Supreme Verdict where as Black gives you Fatal Push, Terminate and Damnation. On the other hand, with Black you get to sideboard Slaughter Games which is excellent in combo matchups and Maelstrom Pulse which is an answer for problematic permanents including Blood Moon.

I have run both versions in the past. Relevant cards from each colour to consider are:

White

  • Path to Exile
  • Ojutai's Command
  • Supreme Verdict
  • Timely Reinforcements

Black

  • Fatal Push
  • Sultai Charm
  • Terminate
  • Damnation
  • Slaughter Games
  • Maelstrom Pulse

Since the printing of Fatal Push I think that correct version to play is black and that's what this article will focus on. Some enterprising people might try running both to enable Bring to Light to find 5-drops, but the mana base is bad enough as it is (and you can't play rainbow lands because everything needs to have basic land types to support your ramp suite and valakut). It's also just not neccessary.

Deck list

Here's my current 75. I ran it through 15 rounds of GP Birmingham 2017 and I'm happy with all the card choices, I wouldn't change anything if I were to run it back again.

Land (26)

  • 1x Breeding Pool
  • 1x Cinder Glade
  • 2x Forest
  • 3x Island
  • 4x Misty Rainforest
  • 1x Mountain
  • 1x Overgrown Tomb
  • 1x Smoldering Marsh
  • 4x Steam Vents
  • 4x Stomping Ground
  • 1x Swamp
  • 2x Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
  • 1x Watery Grave

Instant (14)

  • 3x Cryptic Command
  • 2x Fatal Push
  • 1x Izzet Charm
  • 2x Lightning Bolt
  • 3x Remand
  • 1x Sultai Charm
  • 1x Terminate
  • 1x Worldly Counsel

Sorcery (14)

  • 4x Bring to Light
  • 1x Damnation
  • 1x Farseek
  • 1x Hunting Wilds
  • 1x Madcap Experiment
  • 2x Scapeshift
  • 4x Search for Tomorrow

Creature (6)

  • 1x Platinum Emperion
  • 4x Sakura-Tribe Elder
  • 1x Snapcaster Mage

Sideboard:

  • 1x Anger of the Gods
  • 1x Chameleon Colossus
  • 1x Crumble to Dust
  • 1x Dispel
  • 1x Glen Elendra Archmage
  • 1x Izzet Staticaster
  • 1x Maelstrom Pulse
  • 1x Negate
  • 2x Obstinate Baloth
  • 1x Pulse of Murasa
  • 1x Shatterstorm
  • 1x Slaughter Games
  • 2x Vendilion Clique

Game plan

The primary win condition is to ramp to 7 lands and cast Scapeshift, or Bring to Light for Scapeshift for 18 damage, assuming some damage from lands to your opponent already. If that's not enough damage then with 8 lands you can do 21 damage (1 valakut, 7 mountains) or 36 damage (2 valakut, 6 mountains). In order to get you to this point you have a suite of removal and counter spells to slow down your opponent and 10 ramp spells to accelerate you to 7 mana, ideally on turn 4 or 5.

Mana management is incredibly important in this deck. You have cards costing 1UUU, 1UU, 1RR, 2GG, 2BB, UBG and 1UBRG, so hitting your colours correctly is crucial. Typically your draw will include a Misty Rainforest, one or two shocklands and one or two ramp spells, most of which fetch basics. It's usually correct to fetch either the Breeding Pool or the Overgrown Tomb first, depending on whether you have access to a black shock land and whether you need the blue. If you have another green source then Watery Grave is a common fetch or Farseek target. After than you will normally be getting Islands from your Search for Tomorrows and Sakura-Tribe Elders. Post-board, however, you need to be thinking about Blood Moon. It is possible in this deck to play completely off basics. You have 3 Islands, 2 Forests, 1 Swamp and 1 Mountain. This is enough to cast all of the cards in the deck. The most important thing to secure access to is a basic Forest, since that gives you access to all of your ramp spells. Once you have U and G available then Bring to Light for 3 colours will get you Maelstrom Pulse or Sultai Charm to answer the Blood Moon. A Swamp allows you to cast them if you draw them naturally. It also gives you Bring to Light access to your alternative threats. There are some times you should consider fetching up to 3 green sources. At 6 lands you can steve into scapeshift, but you need 3 green sources for that already.

In many matchups the deck plays mostly like a Sultai control deck. You stabilise the game through Remands into Cryptics and Snapcasting Fatal Pushes. Sakura-Tribe Elder is a blocker which also ramps. Bring to Light gives you access to Damnation to clear the board. This gives you the time to make land drops until you can finish the game with Scapeshift.

The deck also contains a backup combo and win condition in Madcap Experiment into Platinum Emperion. This combo works because the damage from the Experiment won't change your life total because it puts Platinum Emperion into play first. As with all the singletons in this deck, Bring to Light makes them effective 5-ofs. There are some matchups who cannot beat this pre-board and you can make it as early as turn 3 on a good draw. Even decks which do have answers to Platinum Emperion it requires them spending time to deal with it which gives you time to put together your actual win condition. In particular, decks whose answer is Path to Exile can ramp you into your Scapeshift while trying to answer it. Some people will want to have this combo as an option in the sideboard. I'm convinced it should be main deck (some of which I'll explain in the matchup guide below) because it's been at least a little relevant in surprisingly large numbers of matchups and it gives you an out main deck to some strategies which would otherwise be difficult.

Post-board our plan pivots somewhat. The opponent will be trying to disrupt our primary plan so we bring in several creatures to pivot to a more midrange strategy. We also have several silver bullets which are excellent in specific matchups. Many games post-board are won by creature beat-down while the opponent sits with Negates in hand and Blood Moons in play. You also have the Hunting Wilds which can very easily be kicked in this deck, even off a Bring to Light, and provides another way to win the game if Scapeshift is not available.

Card choices

Number of Mountains: One of the most important questions in the Mana base is how many mountains to play. Many people play with a total of 10. I've had enough situations that I've needed the last mountain, when the game has gone long, when I've had all the Stomping Grounds or Steam Vents surgicalled or similar that I wouldn't ever run fewer than the 11 in this list. You also particularly need to have the basic Mountain in order to beat a Ghost Quarter with the triggers on the stack. It's also occasionally neccessary to tutor for it.

Tango lands: This deck will usually have 2 basics in play on all but the early turns and so can play the Battle for Zendikar lands to avoid some shocks. You're pretty locked on at least one Cinder Glade, since you need 5 RG lands. At times I've tried a 3/2 split or playing a Sunken Hollow instead of the Watery Grave. Currently the only other tango land we're playing is the Smoldering Marsh in lieu of a Blood Crypt. Smoldering Marsh has a slightly odd place. It's an additional black source so that you can more reliably cast Damnation should you draw it. However, since your only fetches are Misty Rainforests the only way to fetch it up is the Farseek when it enters tapped anyway. If you draw it early you can often sequence it tapped without a problem. If you draw it medium to late it'll typically end up untapped. In particular, on turn 4 against aggro if you're prioritizing basics it can give you a painless 4th mana and second black.

Hunting Wilds: This has varied between Kodama's Reach and Hunting Wilds. You want a spell you can cast which nets you two lands. Reach has the advantage that you can bring it to light if you've only got three colours and you can have one untapped (if you've not got a natural land drop). Hunting Wilds can fix your colours a little better (often fetching Overgrown Tomb and Breeding Pool) and functions as a backup win condition. I've had it be useful enough times that I'm in favour of Hunting Wilds.

Charms and Commands: All three modes on both Sultai and Izzet Charm are relevant. Sultai Charm gives you an out to random main-deck hate cards like Blood Moon and is hard removal for quite a lot of the format, notably the delve creatures from Grixis Shadow. It's also a draw spell which isn't card disadvantage. Izzet charm's main modes are Spell Pierce and Shock. It defends your combo and kills things like Leonin Arbiter, Eidolon of the Great Revel and Aven Mindcensor. The Faithless Looting mode isn't great, but you can often be in a situation that you have enough lands and just need to dig a couple of cards deeper for the lethal Bring to Light. Cryptic Command is obviously amazing in all four modes, with the somewhat prohibative mana cost being the main reason not to play four.

Removal: In the past I've played more lightning bolts and Anger of the Gods as the main-deck sweeper. The current metagame has too many things that don't die to either. That's also the reason for the 2/1 split of Push and Terminate. I want another answer to Eldrazi and delve creatures. It's worth noting here that while Fatal Push does kill 4-drops, it can be tricky. Your only ways to enable revolt are 4 Misty, 4 STEve and chumping with Snapcaster Mage. It sometimes requires careful thought to be able to turn it on. Some people are cutting all of the Lightning Bolts, but I want some way to interact with planeswalkers. It also kills Mindcensor when you can't make revolt and reduces your opponent from 20 to under 18 for a 7-land kill.

Madcap Experiment: Drawing the Platinum Emperion sucks and is basically an auto-mulligan in your opening hand. However, I believe it's imperative to have this in the main deck and it is totally hard castable. Yes people can have answers, but with the ubiquity of Fatal Push and Abrupt Decay it's not that many. I've had it hold of 20+ power of Eldrazi or Shadows for multiple turns. It basically wins the game on the spot against Burn. It beats Goblins out of Storm and it stops Ad Nauseam winning via Lightning Storm. It also gives you a way to win against main-deck land hate.

Scapeshift: You need at least two in case one of them gets exiled by Thought-Knot Seer, but six win conditions seems to be enough to draw them frequently.

Worldly Counsel: It's almost always Impulse (and always Anticipate). It's a great way to find what you need and I would run more, but there's no space.

Remand: All you want to do in this deck is draw cards and stall, which Remand does a good enough generic job at. There are some matchups that it's terrible in though, so it often gets cut.

Cards I'm not running

Abrupt Decay: Between delve creatures, creature lands and Eldrazi there are too many things it doesn't kill. You have more flexible answers for cards like Blood Moon in Maelstrom Pulse and Sultai Charm

Supreme Will: I like it in theory but I was always getting stuck with only 2 mana and not 3. I tried it in place of the Izzet Charm and the Worldly Counsel, but then went back to them.

Search for Azcanta: Again a card that is good on paper and I think in some metagames would be excellent. The reason I'm not running them is because I think it's a bit slow and this format is mostly about racing. There are certainly matchups where it would be good. It's also not a singleton you can fetch off bring to light which means you really want to run 3 and the list is too tight on space.

Other sideboard creatures: I've tried Pia and Kiran, I've tried Huntmaster of the Fells. They're fine cards and the exact breakdown depends on the expected metagame. I've also seen more expensive threats like Wurmcoil Engine or Grave titan. These are good cards, but the deck runs on having lots of things you can bring to light for, these either take up lots of sideboard slots or turn up rarely.

Other black removal spells: I've considered Doom Blade, Go for the Throat, Murderous Cut. Again it's metagame-dependent on the exact breakdown. Each has pros and cons.

Other sideboard bullets: At various times I've had a Back to Nature or a Melira in the board for Bogles or Infect. Neither are big enough in the current metagame to include.

Sideboard

Because of Bring to Light the sideboard is heavily one-offs. It also pulls us towards creatures, instants and sorceries, rather than enchantments. This is one of the weaknesses of the white version - you want to play sideboard enchantments, but you can't tutor them. The other restriction is that because of Madcap Experiment you can't play any artifacts, even if they're also creatures.

The sideboard is broken into several sections:

Silver Bullets:

  • Crumble to Dust
  • Shatterstorm
  • Slaughter Games

Alternate win cons:

  • Chameleon Colossus
  • Glen Elendra Archmage
  • Obstinate Baloth
  • Vendilion Clique
  • Pulse of Murasa

Better/more removal/counters:

  • Anger of the Gods
  • Dispel
  • Izzet Staticaster
  • Maelstrom Pulse
  • Negate

All of the creatures also serve additional purposes:

  • Chameleon Colossus - almost unbeatable against Grixis Shadow
  • Obstinate Baloth - life gain against burn/aggro and discard protection against Liliana and Kolagan's Command
  • Vendilion Clique - breaking up other combo deck's plans
  • Glen Elendra Archmage - protects your combo, beats their combo, eats burn spells

More details about each card are in the matchup guides below.

Matchups and Sideboard plans

Grixis Shadow

Grixis Shadow is the most important one in Modern at the moment. Unfortunately, it's also one of our harder matchups. I do believe that this deck is still reasonably well positioned, since you trade that for very good matchups elsewhere. It's also definitely beatable.

Main deck they have draws which are very hard for us to beat. Triple-discard, or T1 discard into T2 angler are tricky starts for most people. We do have live removal and most games you will have live draws for answers. Steve is also good at buying time in this matchup, since they will often be attacking with a single creature.

Games in this matchup can often go quite long and rely heavily on your top-decks. For sideboarding I want to maximize my live draws and hitting ramp early is less important. It's also a matchup where you don't need all 11 mountains, since the shadow player will have done most of the work for you. They do have answers to Platinum Emperion though.

In: 2x Obstinate Baloth, Chameleon Colossus, Maelstrom Pulse, 2x Vendilion Clique, Dispel, Negate, Glen Elendra Archmage, Pulse of Murasa

Out: 2x Lightning Bolt, Hunting Wilds, Farseek, Madcap Experiment + Platinum Emperion, 1x Remand, 3x Sakura-Tribe Elder (play), 2x Search for Tomorrow (draw), Mountain (draw)

The best card in the matchup and the one you should tutor for if you get the opportunity is Chameleon Colossus. Cliques you can end-step when they're on low life to finish them off and Pulse of Murasa allows you to rebuy something that's been discarded. The reason for the asymmetry of the cuts is that while STEve is better because it can block, their turn 1 discard will often take ramp spells. Search can get under that, but only on the play.

Burn

Burn is the primary reason to have main-deck Platinum Emperion. At GP Birmingham I lost my last two rounds to Burn. Both games followed the same pattern: Game 1 I kept blind and missed on an early Madcap or BTL and remands weren't enough to save me. Game 2 they scooped to a turn 4 Emperion. Game 3 they kept a 7 with path / destructive revelry and enough burn to kill me on turn 4 or 5after removing it, since they were on the play. Without the Emperion your game one is very hard against Burn and post-board they do have draws to beat it, so relying on winning both post-board games is hard.

With Emperion you get a lot of free game 1s and then they have to beat it in both of the game 2s. You do also have life-gain plans post board, but Skullcrack is omnipresent and sometimes so is Atarka's Command. I've lost games to them Cracking my Baloth as well. I will generally go for Madcap over Baloth if they've not seen it yet, or if they have mana up. It can be right if they're tapped out to make Baloth since you know the life gain will resolve, particularly if they have creatures in play.

Most burn players these days are not sideboarding blood moon, but you need to at least consider it.

In: 2x Obstinate Baloth, Glen Elendra Archmage, Negate, Dispel, Pulse of Murasa, Maelstrom Pulse

Out: 3x Cryptic Command, 3x Remand, Scapeshift

This matchup is all about early interaction and racing to Madcap or BTL. Remand is terrible against them and Cryptic is hard to cast when you're prioritizing basics over shocks and want to make GG for Baloths.

Titan Shift

They have a more reliable clock, but you have counterspells. It's a generally favourable matchup because of that. It is a matchup where you need to be very familiar with the lines in their deck so you know when you can tap out for your own ramp spells and when you need to hold up counterspells. It can be possible to buy yourself a turn by staying above 18, but shocking to have cryptic up is usually more important. In the long game they can win just by making natural Valakut and land drops, so your plan it to beat their quick combos with counterspells and then scapeshift yourself.

Post board you have even more ways to interact with them.

In: 2x Vendilion Clique, Glen Elendra Archmage, Slaughter Games, Negate, Dispel, Maelstrom Pulse, Crumble to Dust, Dispel (if through the breach)

Out: 2x Fatal Push, 2x Lightning Bolt, Madcap Experiment, Platinum Emperion, Farseek, Hunting Wilds, Scapeshift (if through the breach)

The Crumble is to go after Valakut if they have exactly 1 in play. What you name with Slaughter Games depends on the board state and what you think you can beat. Scapeshift is the thing that beats you on the spot so is the default thing to take.

Eldrazi Tron

Eldrazi Tron is a midrange creature deck with limited interaction. This makes it relatively favourable. Remand is usually very live since most lists at the moment only play a single cavern and it will buy their whole turn 3 tapping out for Thought Knot Seer. TKS is their main form of interaction, so you may find yourself having to top-deck a win condition. Platinum Emperion will buy you a lot of turns since Karn is their only out and they normally only run two. Sultai charm is a lot worse, but they do sometimes have chalices you want to get rid of.

In: 2x Obstinate Baloth, Chameleon Colossus, 1x Vendilion Clique, Maelstrom Pulse

Out: 2x Lightning Bolt, 1x Fatal Push, Izzet Charm, Farseek

A trick to watch out for: if you have to discard to Reality Smasher then discarding Baloth will trigger the put into play clause, since they control the ability of Smasher. Also don't forget that post-board they can have counterspells for your Bring to Light and Scapeshift.

Ad Nauseam

Ad Nauseam is a hard matchup. This is not to say necessarily a bad matchup, but it's very difficult to play. You're playing counterspells which they need to play around. On the other side, they have Angel's Grace, so tapping out to try and Scapeshift them is also risky. Madcap is good in this matchup since it turns off their main win condition. They will still have Laboratory Maniac to win with, but it buys you a couple of turns since they need extra mana and can often be awkward to execute. It also provides you a repeatable clock to beat with forcing them to use Angel's Graces. Main deck you also have a lot of dead cards.

In: Slaughter Games, Glen Elendra Archmage, Negate, Dispel, Maelstrom Pulse, 2x Vendilion Clique

Out: 2x Fatal Push, 2x Lightning Bolt, Terminate, Damnation, Farseek

Don't keep in answers to Lab Man, since if they get that far they have probably drawn their whole deck and have multiple pacts of negation to answer removal spells. The one thing to consider is that they probably have a Dromoka or a Sigarda to board in which can steal games if cast early. You do have a Maelstrom Pulse left to deal with it, however.

Slaughter Games will usually name Ad Nauseam unless you have a specific reason not to. The Vendilion Cliques gives you an early piece of disruption which can give you a clock while you hold up counterspells for their combo. Glen does the same while also providing counterspells that their Pacts of Negation don't answer and is possibly the best card in the matchup.

Storm

Storm plays similar to Ad Nauseam. Their answers to your combo are remand, which you can at least respond to, and your removal spells are not dead main deck since killing their creatures is crucial. Your Madcap answers Empty the Warrens if they try and win via that route. It's another deck that you have to be careful tapping out against, since they can win on the spot if they untap with a creature in play and sometimes with nothing in play if they have 4 or even 3 lands available.

In: Glen Elendra Archmage, 2x Vendilion Clique, Negate, Dispel, Slaughter Games, Maelstrom Pulse

Out: 1x Fatal Push, Terminate, Farseek, Damnation, 1x Scapeshift, 1x Sakura-Tribe Elder, Hunting Wilds

You need to leave in some point removal for their creatures and you still have Pulse and Madcap to answer goblins. Slaughter games will often go after Grapeshot since we have answers to Empty, but Gifts Ungiven is also a very reasonable target since it's hard for them to win without it. This is another matchup where Glen is MVP. You'll normally want to counter Gifts or Past in Flames, but do be aware that they can have a natural Empty the Warrens.

Gx Tron

Against us Tron is very much a combo deck. An early Karn is beatable but hard. Ulamog is almost always game over. To counteract that they have very little way to interact outside of that and all our counterspells are live. Remand is very good here because it will usually buy their whole turn. Game 1 is very dependent on the dice roll and their draw. If they make Tron on turn 3 on the play with a threat they're heavily favoured. If we can get a couple of ramp spells down and hold up counterspells before they make Tron it's a lot better.

In: Crumble to Dust, Maelstrom Pulse, Slaughter Games, Glen Elendra Archmage, Negate, 2x Vendilion Clique

Out: 2x Fatal Push, Damnation, Terminate, Madcap Experiment + Platinum Emperion, Farseek

Your main plan post board is to get an early Crumble to take them off making Tron. They can still make land drops and play natural 6 and 7 drops, but it gives you a lot of time. Draw-step Cliques can keep them off threats. Slaughter Games could name several things and is mostly there because the other cards are worse. Karn or Ulamog are most likely. You can afford to cut some of your removal that does work against them because Wurmcoils don't stop you winning and Ulamog is indestructible anyway. You keep bolts to kill a Karn that's gone -3.

They will bring in Thragtusk so watch their life total but also Warping Wail which can get both Scapeshift and Crumble to Dust.

Affinity

Pre-board this matchup is die-roll dependent and depends on our draw. Remand is terrible against them and cryptic often slow or they can play around it with creatur lands. An early Damnation is probably the best way to win, but can still lose to a Cranial Plating-heavy draw. As with any deck against Affinity killing Overseers on sight is required and we have many ways to do that. You also have Sultai Charm as a main-deck answer to plating.

Platinum Emperion is only OK against Affinity. They can still kill you with infect and they can also gain enough life with a plating on a Vault Skirge to put your Scapeshift out of reach while also presenting a blocker to trade with the Emperion.

In: Anger of the Gods, Maelstrom Pulse, Shattershorm, Izzet Staticaster, Glen Elendra Archmage, 2x Vendilion Clique, Crumble to Dust, Negate, 2x Obstinate Baloth

Out: 3x Remand, 3x Cryptic Command, Farseek, Hunting Wilds, 1x Scapeshift, Madcap Experiment, Platinum Emperion

This is the matchup most likely to board into Blood Moon. This is very beatable as long as you fetch lands appropriately. If you do then it will typically screw them more by turning off all their creature lands. It is why we board in all the creatures to have an alternative way to win. You do have Sultai Charm and Maelstrom Pulse to destroy moon if you can then win with scapeshift but often it will be better to leave them under the Blood Moon and win via an alternative route.

The flyers give you the ability to trade with their creatures and if you can stop them getting an active Master or Overseer Staticaster kills almost everything. Shatterstorm is obviously the MVP and you should try and turn-4 one as often as possible. They will sometimes have Welding Jars so it's important to be Shatterstorm and not Creeping Corrosion. They can still come back from that, so it's not a panacea. The most contraversial include is probably Crumble to Dust. I think taking away one of their two creature lands is potentially worthwhile.

R/G/W Land Destruction / Ponza

The main-deck blood moon and land destruction deck would seem to be good against us. However, it's a surprisingly winnable matchup, particularly if they don't know the matchup. You have Sultai Charm as a main-deck answer to Blood Moon and Madcap Experiment as an alternative win condition if all your lands are mountains. Fetching basics is very important pre and post-board to make sure that you can cast spells still but if you do, you should be in good shape. They have no hand disruption or counter spells so if you can get enough lands in play you're favoured.

Sideboarding depends on exactly their plan, in particular if they're playing Nahiri. A good rule of thumb is:

In: All of your creatures, Negate, Maelstrom Pulse and Pulse of Murasa

Out: 1x Scapeshift, 2x Fatal Push, 2x Lightning Bolt, 3x Cryptic Command

You're giving up on getting triple-blue in play against these decks and Scapeshift is very much the backup plan. They will probably go all-in in keeping you off Scapeshift, so get Forest Forest Island Swamp in play and just cast your other threats. Hunting Wilds is a very relevant alternate win condition under Blood Moon.

Mardu Pyromancer

(coming soon)

Sideboarding:

In: 2x Obstinate Baloth, Pulse of Murasa, Maelstrom Pulse, Anger of the Gods, Chameleon Colossus, Negate, Izzet Staticaster

Out: 3x Remand, 1x Fatal Push, Farseek, 1x Scapeshift, Madcap Experiment, Platinum Emperion

Others

For most decks you play against you can tune your deck post-board to answer their game plan or protect yours. In many matchups your post-board games will be won with creatures rather than Scapeshift. Here are some quick notes:

Hate bears: Removal is king. Leonin Arbiter and Mindcensor are their best carhs and must-answers. I cut a Bring to Light because of that. They will often also board in Canonist or Eidolon of Rhetoric as well.

Merfolk: Board in sweepers and answers to counterspells

Company Combo: The adage 'bolt the bird' is wrong in this matchup. Save removal for counterspells or sweepers for a board after they've used up their cards. Infinite life beats you even with a Platinum Emperion in play.

Bogles: Our removal is mostly dead. I'd consider a Back to Nature in the board if you expect this

Mono-blue Tron: It's a counterspell matchup first and foremost. Post board you have Crumble to make theirs all bad. Watch out for their fun-of artifacts they can loop. You can lose to mindslaver or jesters cap.

UWx Control: Getting your Platinum Emperion path'd isn't the end of the world, but it gets cut. Again you're the combo deck to their control, so board to beat their counters. Crumbling to dust their Celestial Collonades will significantly reduce their number of ways to kill you.

Gx Midrange: Discard is their only options to beat you. Bring in the Baloths for Liliana and Chameleon Colossus which can't be killed by Jund. Anger is good against Junk and Pulse of Murasa rebuys creature threats. Cut Madcap, they have lots of removal.

Lantern Control: This is a relatively good matchup. Bridge doesn't stop your combo. Shatterstorm is MVP and Pulse of Murasa can rebuy things which were milled. Do bring in creatures since you can answer bridge and you want to maximise threats.

Elves: Kill everything, board in all your sweepers. They can have quick draws, but they have few or no main-deck answers to Madcap. You can probably steal one game with that before they board in answers.

Dredge: We're playing to race dredge primarily. There's no graveyard interaction, so your main answer is Anger of the Gods.

Living End: Counterspells are excellent, particularly remand. We're the control in this matchup. Their only interaction is Fulminators. Slaughter Games for Living End is GG.

Goryo's Vengence: You're leaning on your counterspells, but a T2 or T3 combo on the play will kill you. Pulse of Murasa can give them back the card they're targetting with Vengence.

Final Thoughts

Modern is often a format of racing and being proactive and nothing else. This deck lets you interact with your opponent. It has a lot of strong matchups and no auto-losses. The trade off between this and traditional Titan Shift is that with this deck you are a little less consistent at comboing quickly and you don't have a natural Valakut plan. On the other hand your counterspells give you a game against Ad Nauseam and Storm that would otherwise be extremely hard. You are also very favoured against the RG Valkut deck.

Many thanks to Sebastian Wibmer (who has taken this deck to a GP 13-2 finish before. Both of us also have multiple MKM-series Top 8s) and Kevin Donkers for their help in developing this deck. I'm happy to talk further about the deck either via email btl@matthew.ath.cx or in the Reddit thread or /u/matt_alters