Finding a Home for Bloodbraid Elf

by Lee Shi Tian on 05 March 2018, Monday

Lee Shi Tian

Finding a Home for Bloodbraid Elf

Hello everyone,

As you know, Bloodbraid Elf and Jace, the Mind Sculptor entered Modern. Although we don't have any paper Premium Events yet, the unbans kicked in on Magic Online since 14 February 2018.

There was a lot of games involving a lot of Bloodbraid Elfs. Today, I'd like to share some lists which impressed me the most.


Bloodbraid Elf

R/G Eldrazi



First of all, we have one of the hottest decks in the format, R/G Eldrazi, a deck which won Grand Prix Lyon in Grzegorz Kowalski's hands. Themata added Bloodbraid Elf and went 5-0 in a Competitive Modern League.


Eldrazi Obligator Matter Reshaper

I enjoy cascading into power three-drops like Eldrazi Obligator and Matter Reshaper. Also, if you can also pay for Eldrazi Obligator's trigger, it will allow us to attack for lots of damage out of nowhere. With Reality Smasher also in the deck, racing against goldfish decks becomes more favorable. The high amount of haste also messes up combat math for your opponent.


Crumble to Dust Kozilek's Return

Another thing I like is the sideboard. A colored sideboard with colored cards is way more potent than a colorless sideboard. If you don't restrict yourself, there are some Devoid cards like Crumble to Dust and Kozilek's Return which are great because you can find them with  Ancient Stirrings.

It is a possibility that R/G Eldrazi will increase in popularity and it could even overtake the position of Eldrazi Tron in Modern.


Good old Jund is back!

As I mentioned before, Bloodbraid Elf will convince more players to play Red in their B/G decks instead of White. Reid Duke played this list at the recent Team Modern Super League.



Liliana of the Veil Liliana, the Last Hope


Bloodbraid Elf is especially great in Jund because the deck contains a large collection of high-quality spells. Also, Liliana of the Veil is arguably the best three-mana card in the format, and cascading into it often wins games. Liliana, the Last Hope also became popular recently because you can recur Bloodbraid Elf with her.


Kolaghan's Command Fulminator Mage

You also have Kolaghan's Command to abuse Bloodbraid Elf over and over again, which makes Jund the best home for Bloodbraid Elf
The sideboarded Fulminator Mages also fit into this "Resurrection" plan to stop Tron, one of the most dominant strategies in Modern at this time. Despite that, you might still not be able to handle a turn-three Karn Liberated if they are on the play.

5-Color Zoo


Wild Nacatl Mantis Rider Tarmogoyf

If you don't like midrange strategies, Bloodbraid Elf is also a good card in hyper-aggressive decks. This version of Zoo plays the best one-drops to complement Bloodbraid Elf's aggressive nature. Mantis Rider is great in decks like this because you're overloading the number of threats against your opponent's removal spells such as Lightning Bolt. With so many targets they need to Bolt, they're bound to run out of answers eventually.



Jeskai Charm


A card I would like to try would be Jeskai Charm. The deck already runs Mantis Rider, which makes it easy to incorporate Jeskai Charm. All three modes are quite relevant to your game plan and it acts like additional Boros Charms if you need four damage to the face. Griptide could be useful against bigger threats such as Wurmcoil Engine, while the Lifelink mode helps us race mirrors and Burn decks. Extra Lightning Helixes also help out these matchups.

One of the weaknesses is cascading into a poor one-drop in the late-game. However, I think this is inevitable, and variance is something you cannot avoid when running Bloodbraid Elf.




R/G Ponza



R/G Ponza took down the Dutch Open Series Season 1, which took place a couple of weeks ago. While I cannot find the exact winning decklist, there was a similar version on Magic Online. I think Ponza is a deck which arose as a result of Tron decks. This is the only deck which is capable of destroying lands on the second turn, making it one of the few non-Blue ways to beat a turn-three Karn Liberated draw.

Ponza has been in Modern for a while now and the addition of Bloodbraid Elf is a huge boost. Looking deeper, most of the cards in the deck which cost three or less mana help in gaining mana advantage, whether it gives you mana or takes mana away from your opponent. Bloodbraid Elf added a lot of consistency to the strategy while also allowing you to cast threats coupled with disruption.


Molten Rain Stone Rain Blood Moon

Arbor Elf or Utopia Spawl into Stone Rain or Molten Rain is already very brutal. Imagine a turn-three Bloodbraid Elf, cascading into another Stone Rain or Molten Rain!

While Bloodbraid Elf might narrow down the midrange decks, forcing them to play Bloodbraid Elf in order to compete, the addition of Bloodbraid Elf boosted numerous other strategies. Good luck finding your favorite home for your favorite Bloodbraid Elfs!



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