It’s been a little while gang, so I hope y’all are anticipating something fun. Many of you know me well enough by now to know that I usually have many projects on the burner. Hopefully, you also know me well enough to be aware that I like what I call “real combo” decks: cerebral magic that rewards skill and heuristic mathematics applied on the fly. Decks where you have to earn the right to take the win.
Editor’s Note: KAKA takes his time in this piece, but we promise, it’s worth it. The payoff in future parts is a doozy.
The little project that I would like to introduce today is an ocean of shenanigans that I first began working on conceptually about 2 years ago. Coincidentally, it happened when one of the players at my LGS said the fateful words, “Kaka, you can’t build that. It’s not possible in EDH.” If there is one thing you can say to me to get my hackles up, it’s to tell me something cannot be done.
So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to the concept of my new deck, a little something that I like to call “Full Metal Pavlova.”
The Thing That Should Not Be
If you’ve been paying attention and know what a Pavlova is then you might have an inkling about what I am about discuss. However, before that, I’m going to take you all on a bit of a ride, a magical journey through time and space, to the land of delicious treats.
The Pavlova is something that Australia and New Zealand have been fighting over for about a hundred years, each claiming to be the originating nation for this delicious dessert (of course the Kiwis are wrong, as usual). Essentially, a Pavlova is meringue based dessert, which is topped with fruit and cream. For those of you who know your desserts, I can hear your brains all clicking into gear. For those who do not…meringues are formed from beaten egg whites and sugar. It takes skill and knowledge to get them to the perfect consistency. The forming of the meringue takes patience, but the baking requires exquisite timing to execute, timing so that it resolves in the perfect crispy outside with the soft gooey inside. If you haven’t had a Pav, then I hope you take a quick peek at Google as there are some great recipes out there – passion fruit and kiwi fruit are to die for on one.
So now that I have you all up to speed, yes, we’re talking about Eggs in EDH.
A Historical Interlude
I first encountered the concept of “Eggs” after returning to Magic from one of my many hiatuses over the years. I’d just moved states to live with Pigtail (aka “Wifey”), and I’d been scouting around for a new geek family to assimilate into. My old cards had been gathering dust until I found a Vintage group playing monthly at a comics and games store called Games Quest. At the time, I was playing a little, sodding awful monster of a deck that I’d been tinkering around with back when the original Mirrodin was in Type 2, menacing board states with indestructible Nevinyrral’s Disks and Tinkering out and going sideways with Darksteel Collossus. This was where I first encountered Vintage Storm and fell in love with combo. Specifically, it was my first encounter with Long.dec. If you’re not familiar with the archetype, then I would highly recommend reading some of Stephen Menendian’s work from over the years, especially this.
The concept evolved into a list again developed by Steven Menendian and his team which they called “Meandeck Tendrils.” The list tried to make plays in a cohesive sequence that created a situation where the “golden ratio” was exceeded. The golden ratio is a topic that I’ve spoken about in the past, but not one I’ll be elaborating today. Notably, the list featured several “eggs” in the form of Darkwater Egg and Chromatic Sphere, and later versions featured Chromatic Star.
In more recent years, a similar deck gained popularity in Modern when Stanislav Cifka dominated a pro tour event with a list called “Second Breakfast.” Sadly for me, this deck was banned, one of the reasons I find little to interest in Modern (I told y’all I’m a dirty combo player in competitive formats). I found a mechanical and mathematical beauty in these lists, in that they have multiple viable paths to victory. The lists reward both the play skill and ability to apply heuristic mathematics on the fly to make the right decisions. They are decks that for me, if I win a game with them, then I have had to earn my victory.
Where to from here? Well I hope you’ll enjoy coming on this journey with me. When I first postulated the idea of building Eggs in EDH, I was told it had been done. When I said I was going to build Second Breakfast in EDH, I was told that it could not be done. How could a deck that relies on manipulation of the probable contents of its cards, drawn through density of effects, to sequence its plays, be viable in a singleton card format? How does this monstrosity work? What demon did Kaka summon and listen to the gibbering tongues of? These are all questions I hope to answer for you all in an entertaining as possible way.
This is the thing that should not be.
Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Kaka R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn