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Bringing Shahrazad to Modern
By Dan Freagarthach
Shahrazad is an iconic card from the early days of Magic, one with a unique effect that makes it one of the few non-ante cards that is banned in every format of the game. Having examined some implications of Modern decks without mana or permanents in MetaEsper, then worked out some implications of exiling all decks face up in a Modern game with Abolisher, Shahrazad inspired me to ask a third question in seeking the boundaries of the Modern format. What if a deck, instead of attempting to construct a particular outcome with particular qualities, aimed at shifting the game outside the realm of outcomes indefinitely?

The following is a Modern legal deck that utilizes the 'cast without paying mana cost' triggers of either Galvanoth or Wildfire Eternal to cast Sway of the Stars during an upkeep or declare blockers step respectively. The deck attempts to control the game until Sway of the Stars can be cast, which can occur as early as turn 3 using a Generator Servant, and gains increasing advantage over time by exiling opponent artifacts, creatures, and lands before and between casting Sway of the Stars, such that it faces fewer threats on probability for each iteration of reshuffling. If successful, the deck will lead to each player reshuffling their hands, permanents, and graveyards into their libraries and effectively restarting the game with 7 life an indefinite and unbounded (by game rules) number of times.

Eternal Sway - Modern legal deck (60 cards)

Lands

4 Grasping Dunes
20 Mountains

Creatures

4 Galvanoth
4 Generator Servant
4 Wildfire Eternal

Spells

4 Abrade
4 Anger of the Gods
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Magma Spray
4 Structural Distortion
4 Sway of the Stars

Comments welcome here

Read More Articles by Dan Freagarthach!

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