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Herbert West Foretold Our End

Modern Control Living End W/U/B (Esper)



That is not dead which can eternal lie

"Of Herbert West, who was my friend in college and in after life, I can speak only with extreme terror. This terror is not due altogether to the sinister manner of his recent disappearance, but was engendered by the whole nature of his life-work, and first gained its acute form more than seventeen years ago, when we were in the third year of our course at the Miskatonic University Medical School in Arkham. While he was with me, the wonder and diabolism of his experiments fascinated me utterly, and I was his closest companion. Now that he is gone and the spell is broken, the actual fear is greater. Memories and possibilities are ever more hideous than realities. The first horrible incident of our acquaintance was the greatest shock I ever experienced, and it is only with reluctance that I repeat it. As I have said, it happened when we were in the medical school, where West had already made himself notorious through his wild theories on the nature of death and the possibility of overcoming it artificially. His views, which were widely ridiculed by the faculty and his fellow-students, hinged on the essentially mechanistic nature of life; and concerned means for operating the organic machinery of mankind by calculated chemical action after the failure of natural processes. In his experiments with various animating solutions he had killed and treated immense numbers of rabbits, Desert Ceradon|guinea-pigs, cats, dogs, and monkeys, till he had become the prime nuisance of the college. Several times he had actually obtained signs of life in animals supposedly dead; in many cases violent signs; but he soon saw that the perfection of this process, if indeed possible, would necessarily involve a lifetime of research."

With the recent popularity of the monoU As Foretold/Living End build, I thought I'd put forth my rendition. It, in my opinion, is possibly the best rendition of the Living End combo decks, as you're given a wealth of options to do outside of just assemble the pieces. You don't rely on conditionals like Cascade, you don't have slots full of durdly creatures.

Instead, we're a control deck, wrapped inside of Living End's combo structure.

One of the more prominent aspects about this variant is that it can be tailored to your needs, as you see fit. You can slow an opponent down to a halt before giving yourself away, or go all in if you have that nut draw.

For those who may not know, Living End was a traditional build that relied on the Cascade mechanic, allowing us to flip our deck until we found the only card with a lower CMC - Living End. The issue was most of those builds were quite fragile in nature, and with the rise of many different archetypal builds that rely on a functional graveyard, it was tough to protect in Game 2.

With the release of Amonkhet, As Foretold was a wonderful enchantment that allowed us to do what Cascade does. Not only that, but it can also allow us to play spells like Ancestral Vision for free.

Since we're not restricted by CMC with the removal of Cascade, we can then use our remaining slots to control and shape the battlefield as we see fit. Cryptic Command, Remand, Mana Leak and Spell Pierce are all inserted now to ensure that we're controlling our opponents board state, and to also receive some card advantage.

Our landbase is primarily mono-blue, so we'll have a ton of islands, which also help in any Blood Moon matchups. Our utility lands provide graveyard removal Bojuka Bog, land destruction Ghost Quarter, and the ability to transmute and tutor for our Living End Tolaria West.

With that, our core strategy remains in tact; cycle or discard our key creatures, control our opponent's board, and cast Living End off of As Foretold to reanimate all of our creatures.

Hurkyl's Recall is primarily for Affinity, or any artifact-reliant deck.

Nimble Obstructionist is an additional cycler that can be quite oppressive as it stifle's an opposing ability.

Dismember is primarily for larger threats, especially Eldrazi Tron.

Leyline of the Void is for the Mirror Matches, Delver, Dredge, or any Graveyard reliant decks.

leyline of the sanctity is for 8-rack and Burn.

Torpor Orb should shut down the Vizier combo, and the aggressive Humans build that's gaining popularity.


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Okay, so is there any reason the build needs to be mono blue beyond the consistency it adds? Also would self milling be effective in filling the grave with cycle creatures faster? Would Drake Haven be useful as a sideboard answer to hate on your reanimation strategy?

Lastly, am I right in thinking that you've got the creature choices purely for the single mana or less cycle costs and not for the bodies of said creatures?

January 9, 2018 7:03 p.m.

There are versions around that all have their sources stretched out with fast lands, filter lands, and even Future Lands like River of Tears or Nimbus Maze. But tbh, the biggest benefit white ran was Path to Exile - which is totally fine. Blacks only benefit was the ability to hardcast the Black spells - which to me seems as though Id be in a bad position to be considering that alternative.

Both of their downsides to me seems to be the crippling effect of Red Prison decks, Blue Moon and Game 2 Affinity - anything involving Blood Moon. It would just shut down those lands.

These were kind of all the thoughts when considering this against the grain version of LE. Normally its Jund, or splashes another colour, and uses Cascade as a way to bring out LE. As Foretolds problem is that it really is a build around me card - which is kinda how MonoU came to be.

Self milling was thought of, but it wont work as well as youd want. Id rather focus efforts on digging through our deck while countering or controlling their board. It seems like the most reactive strategy that buys you the time you want. Again, comparing to older LE decks, you kinda did nothing until you tried your Cascade spell, as your deck cant afford to have any slot that costs less than 3 for this to work, meaning all of Moderns staples are essentially locked out of the build.

The best piece of anti GY hate would probably be to outpace it via counters. Our leylines should be sufficient vs storm, burn and 8rack. Faerie Macabre is the oddball here; great for target removal if need be, and another body to reanimate, but I can see it becoming a Surgical Extraction or something down the line.

And yes youre correct; all of these can be cycled for or for free. That being said, theyre all some of the strongest cyclers. Architects gets to mess our opponents top deck, the Sphinx is an evasive beater with an okay Scry trigger. The Serpent is a real deal though. 5/5 with hexproof is hard to deal with, and not every deck is running edict effects or global board wipes these days so it gets to last.

January 9, 2018 11:05 p.m.

...and with strange aeons even death my die.

January 15, 2018 4:59 p.m.

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Date added 1 week
Last updated 4 days

This deck is Modern legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 3.75
Folders Uncategorized, Mythos: The Gathering
Top rank #7 on 2018-01-16
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