Spreading Algae Deck
Posted on Nov. 21, 2020, 7:04 p.m. by Reznorboy
So, I don't really play Modern much, BUT,
This combo seems just too good to pass up, too good to be be ignored, too good to... not have already existed?
I know it seems meme-tier, but hear me out.
If your land base is mostly forests, you play a ramp package such as Utopia Sprawl, Explore, or whatever green players do these days in Modern, you use Sylvan Scrying and Expedition Map to go get Urborg, and, use the black for stuff like Wishclaw Talisman to get the Algae with mind games with Shadow of Doubt, you might already have a potent deck.
Maybe some of the better Golgari cards, like Nissa of Shadowed Boughs to close out the game, (or again, whatever people think is good in Modern these days.)
What do you people think?
I have seen that combo floating around for a while, (and even tried to make it work myself) but in general it's pretty meh. Urborg is a okay card by itself, (not amazing but okay) but when you add in mostly dead tutors outside of your combo you end up with a ton of bad draws. Spreading Algae however is increddibly weak unless you play against a deck that went turn one swamp and didn't Thoughtseize or Inquisition of Kozilek Algae away. I can even see scenarios where they don't take Algae because it's so underwhelming. At the end of the day, the combo gives your opponents fetch lands the ability to tap for mana and gives you a 1 mana LD spell. Unless you add in somthing that can force them to tap their land (Icy Manipulator maybe? That makes an already bad two card combo a worse three card one) it's just a 'this land can't tap for mana spell' but worse since when they need it they can sac the land for the mana. Devoting card slots to dead cards and tutors for LD is really bad, some decks will have already devoloped their board by the time you start Algaeing their lands. Even worse, if they start stockpiling fetchs (that can now tap for black mana) algae is useless because they can crack in response to algae and it will fizzle and not return, preventing you from locking most decks out of black mana.
Basically you have to play 1 card that is dead in most matchups and 1 okay card, it's mostly limited to Golgari colors, it dosen't win you the game (far from it in fact), and isn't consistent enough to just 'stumble' upon without devoting slots to tutors for again, a combo thats rather underwhelming.
All that said, it's certainly a fun little combo that I would love to see do something.
November 21, 2020 7:29 p.m.
That's interesting. I'm glad to hear a thought out response. I'm probably not the best suited to make it happen due to my limited knowledge of Modern.
November 21, 2020 8:36 p.m.
The real problem, like Flooremoji pointed out, is that you cannot force them to tap their land unless you add more cards. To stall your game plan, they just need to not tap the land enchanted with Spreading Algae. Once you start losing more card slots just to make it work then it starts looking like a bad combo.
Instead, try something like Kormus Bell + Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and Cower in Fear. You can replace Cower in Fear with a lot of other cards like Doomwake Giant, Ethereal Absolution, Festering March, Profit / Loss, Make Obsolete, Plague Mare, Zealous Persecution and even Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite.
Though, I am guessing, a deck built like this wouldn't be popular with the people you play with.
November 21, 2020 8:51 p.m.
Maybe it could work in legacy where Rishadan Port is a thing, iirc Modern decks used to play Eye of Ugin and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth so maybe some sort of Eldrazi deck with white tax cards to stop fetchlands? Sounds like it would be spread pretty thin but it would probably have a better chance in legacy than in modern.
November 21, 2020 9:17 p.m.
It’s a great green natural disaster, so I do like that. If you’re going to go full-theme, at the peril of losing with STYLE, you could poach a bunch of other fun ones from my Natural Disasters - GREEN! deck. Cards like Mwonvuli Acid-Moss and Kudzu could keep you ahead of them, maybe. My (extremely) limited experience with those high-speed formats, though, lead me to believe that you’d want to focus more on enjoying being the weirdo rather than racking up wins.... BIG FAN OF THE IDEA THOUGH!!!
November 21, 2020 9:36 p.m.
while the above suggestions are interesting, since you aren't well versed in modern i'll mention Kormus Bell and Kudzu are not modern legal, so all of the above posts are mentioning things from a legacy perspective. which is fine, just thought i'd make it clear to you in case you didn't notice the legality of those cards.
to try and give you some hope for your idea, whats likely the best place for algea is the sideboard of an RG, or jund LD deck. then you could bring it in against decks that play black such as death's shadow or BW eldrazi. RG utopia decks that slam down T2 Blood Moon or T3 Acidic Slime exist, generally under the name Ponza. so if that interests you perhaps you could make a Jund (R/G/B) variant of ponza that plays a few urborgs in the main and algae in the side. boom you got a reasonable deck that gets to play the combo every so often.