A Guide to White-Black Eldrazi

by Terry Soh on 13 June 2017, Tuesday

Terry Soh


A Guide to White-Black Eldrazi 

A couple of weekends ago, my brother Joe Soh took down Grand Prix Kobe 2017. Coincidentally, he was also in the finals of Grand Prix Kobe 2015, also wielding a White-Black aggro deck, but he finished one place higher this time round. 


Joe often brews his own decks. He always plays something aggressive, outside of the usual metagame, and has a knack for identifying which unorthodox cards work well. Joe loves Eldrazis and he always try to make it work even after the banning of Eye of Ugin

When I saw Joe playtesting a week ago on MTGO, I asked him, "what pile of junk are you playing"?

He then calmly replied me, "Well, White-Black Eldrazi. I just went 5-0, 5-0 and 4-1". I raised an eyebrow and said nothing more than "good job". A few days later, he hoisted his first Grand Prix trophy. That's pretty impressive in my unbiased opinion. 



About White-Black Eldrazi

Basically, White-Black Eldrazi functions like a Jund deck, except it doesn't have Liliana of the Veil and instead plays Eldrazis. The double black requirement could be an issue in a deck that has 8 colorless lands. Besides, the 3 mana slot is also pretty stacked with 2-for-1 cards in the form of Wasteland Strangler and Lingering Souls.


Lingering Souls


Speaking of 2-for-1 cards, almost every creature falls into that category, including Lingering Souls. The deck is designed to grind out opponents in the early and mid game and they generally have to rely on topdecks to deal with your Eldrazis and Lingering Souls, which are pretty heavy hitters by themselves and don't leave much room for your opponent to maneuver. 


Tidehollow Sculler Wasteland Strangler Thought-Knot Seer

Tidehollow Sculler happens to curve out and play very well alongside Wasteland Strangler, as your opponent won't be able to retrieve their exiled cards even if they kill Tidehollow Sculler later in the game. Being down 2 cards and facing 2 creatures on board by turn 3 is quite hard to overcome, not to mention the bigger incoming Eldrazis that are hard to deal with. 

Wasteland Strangler was Joe's MVP. The deck has 4 Relic of Progenitus, 4 Tidehollow Sculler and 4 Thought-Knot Seer to go along with it, and that's quite a lot of ways to utilize it. 

The deck is very heavy on discard. Joe's deck features 5 early discard spells and 8 discard creatures (11 if you include Reality Smashers, they have to deal with it anyways most of the time or succumb). Discard effects disrupt your opponent's curve and is especially powerful against against combo and control decks.


Path to Exile Fatal Push

The deck also have access to the two premier removal spells in the format: Path to Exile and Fatal Push. The deck initially have a playset of Fatal Push, but Joe decided 2 was the right number after some testing.

The lack of fetchlands in the deck really hurt the efficiency of Fatal Push as opposed in decks that has 8 - 10 fetches. The lone Ratchet Bomb serves as a catch-all card against permanents like Blood Moon, while the Dismember is there against opposing Eldrazis. 


Reality Smasher Shriekmaw

There were initially a playset of Reality Smasher, but Joe felt it was hard to cast sometimes if you don't draw Eldrazi Temple and he would only needed one in the mid game. Hence, he swapped one away for Shriekmaw, and he liked the flexibility of it. 

This is the 75 which Joe registered: 



Simple Sideboarding Guide


Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet

Most of the sideboarded games tend to be grindier and you try to go over the top with Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet instead of Reality Smasher. Joe mentioned that Kalitas was integral to his game plan and he would consider moving 1 copy to the main.



Thoughtseize is also a card he wanted more often than not in the maindeck, as you really want to hit Collected Company, Cryptic Command, Scapeshift and all of the big spells in Tron matchups. Joe felt that Eldrazi Tron and Scapeshift are the tougher matchups, and he would like some extra tools against them. 


Cast Out

Cast Out is another expensive catch all, but Joe felt the flexibility to cycle it away early is slightly more valuable when compared to similar effect spells like Anguished Unmaking or Oblivion Ring. Generally, matchups where Tidehollow Sculler and Wasteland Strangler matters are easier, while matchups unaffected by them would be tougher.

Anyway, here are a few guides on how to sideboard against a few popular decks in the metagame right now.

Against Death's Shadow
-3 Reality Smasher 
-1 Shriekmaw 
-1 Collective Brutality 
+2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
+1 Thoughtseize 
+2 Blessed Alliance 

Against Abzan 
-3 Reality Smasher 
+2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet 
+1 Thoughtseize 

Against Eldrazi Tron
-3 Inquisition of Kozilek 
-2 Fatal Push 
-2 Relic of Progenitus 
-1 Ratchet Bomb 
-1 Collective Brutality 
+1 Thoughtseize 
+1 Cast Out 
+2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet 
+3 Fulminator Mage 
+2 Blessed Alliance 

Against Burn 
-1 Thoughtseize 
-4 Relic of Progenitus
+ 1 Cast Out 
+2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet 
+2 Blessed Alliance 

I do think there is still room to improve upon the deck, as there are many one-ofs which can be streamlined against more known metagame, especially if the field is small. In a diverse field like Grand Prix, being prepared for a large field is a better hedge, but if you know your metagame well, a streamlined strategy could be more rewarding.

For example, if your metagame is primarily Death's Shadow, Abzan and Burn, going up to 4 Fatal Push might be correct. Give it a try, and tweak it to your own liking.

After all, this is a home brew! Great job Joe!

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