Modern Misers – Living End

Hello again Modern fans. There have been some pretty big shakeups in the format since my last video. As most people who follow the format are already aware Splinter Twin and Summer Bloom were banned. Summer Bloom because it was too fast and consistent, and Splinter Twin because, according to WoTC, it hurt diversity by encouraging every U/R/x deck to jam the combo. The deck we are going to be looking at this week stands to benefit from fewer copies of Remand running around.

Living End is a combo deck that looks to abuse the interaction between suspend and cascade to cheat out a bunch of big dumb beaters and quickly end a match. Living End has been a Tier 2 deck floating around the fringes of both Modern, and before that Extended. Living End costs 2{B}{B} to suspend, but has no actual casting cost, so when we utilize one of our two cascade spells we are able to cast it for free because it technically has no casting cost. This does impose one pretty severe restriction on us when deck-building; an inability to play any cards with CMC less than three.

Living End

Creatures:
4 Deadshot Minotaur
1 Architects of Will
4 Street Wraith
2 Jungle Weaver
4 Monstrous Carabid
2 Pale Recluse
3 Avalanche Riders
3 Simian Spirit Guide
2 Twisted Abomination
1 Faerie Macabre
2 Shriekmaw

Spells:
3 Living End
4 Violent Outburst

4 Demonic Dread
3 Beast Within

Lands: Violent Outburst
4 Forest
1 Bloodfell Caves
4 Mountain
1 Blood Crypt
1 Stomping Ground
1 Overgrown Tomb
4 Swamp
1 Rugged Highlands
1 Jungle Hollow

Sideboard:

2 Slaughter Games
3 Ricochet Trap
3 Ingot Chewer
2 Dismember
3 Brindle Boar
2 Faerie Macabre

 

Our goal with the Living End deck is to spend the first few turns cyclingPale Recluse creatures to ensure that we hit our land drops while digging for our cascade spells. There is also a small land denial package headed up in our budget version by Avalanche Riders. In a non-budget version this spot would be filled by the more efficient Fulminator Mage. The main sacrifice that we’ve had to make due to budget is in the mana base. Without fetchlands we are relying on our land-cyclers to fix our colors, which does slow us down a bit, but rewards us with very large creatures.

Graveyard Hate – A big misconception about Living End is that th
e deck automatically folds to graveyard hate. With three Beast Within mainboard, and Ingot Chewers available after sideboard we have a lot of answers to graveyard denial. Living End decks can usually push through an early Relic of Progenitus, and kill an opponent with the second Living End. Some players also think that they can keep a slow hand as long as it’s got a Rest in Peace, but eventually the Living End player can just start hard casting creatures that are much larger than what most Modern decks are bringing. Another thing to remember is that Grafidggers’s Cage does absolutely nothing against Living End because the creatures are exiled from the graveyard before they are returned to the battlefield.

Sideboard – Living End sideboards are often filled with cards that you won’t see in any other decks, and this is due almost entirely to the fact that we can’t have any spells that cost less than 3. Brindle Boar or Gnaw to the Bone are our main answers to Burn, which can be a nightmare of a matchup. Ingot Chewers are our best way to fight Artifacts. Ricochet Trap is a card that is a blast to use against an unsuspecting Blue Mage, because you can redirect a counterspell to the Ricochet Trap, causing it to fizzle. Slaughter Games helps out against Combo decks, and Faerie Macabre is great against opposing Graveyard or Snapcaster decks.

Ricochet TrapIngot ChewerFaerie Macabre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s take the deck for a spin on MTGO!

As you can see in the videos the deck can be a lot of fun to play. I had some trouble against the Big Mana decks, but those matchups become much more even when you add in a playset of Fulminator Mages. Living End is best in a meta full of creature based mid-range decks without a ton of graveyard recursion.

Where do we go from here? This deck is basically complete Fulminator Mageminus a playset of Fulminator Mages and some lands. We were fortunately never really punished by our budget mana base, but in a perfect world we would have 4-6 fetchlands, a playset of Blackcleave Cliffs and 3-4 Copperline Gorge. With those exceptions we are looking at a fully functional Tier 2 Moder
n Deck at a great price.

Final Note: Living End has long been considered one of the best budget decks in Modern. The fully optimized list barely cracks 400 dollars, which is less than some Standard decks, and less than half of most top tier Modern decks. If you’re looking for a deck that is functional right out of the gate, and won’t break your bank to finish, then Living End is an excellent choice. This list will cost you about $130 and can easily be added to over time as you get additional pieces.

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