Foods and Clues and Treasures Oh My!
Updated: Aug 23, 2021
Hey team, David here with another deck. This time I’m writing my article with the other members of our team here at Showtime showing off our decks from the Modern Horizons 2 commander game on our Youtube channel. It was a really fun and close game so make sure to check it out and the other articles on the site that go in depth on the other decks too. Now let's get into my deck.
During Modern Horizons 2 spoilers the Food, Clues, and Treasures theme jumped out to me as really interesting. Looking through Magic’s history for support for these themes is an interesting balance of the color pie. Food is almost exclusively in green, Clues are in blue green and white, while Treasures show up everywhere except green. For the first two themes we kind of have to be in at least green and blue. In my mind the white Clue cards aren’t very good but white gives your Treasures access to cards like smothering tithe and more token doublers. Red allows you to play with the pirates from Ixalan that introduces Treasures as well as powerful new cards like Dockside Extortionist. And black lets you play with the other side of the Ixalan pirates as well as with new win conditions like Revel in Riches. In my opinion blue, green, black is the best combination for this kind of deck, but any third color works fine. When you’re only looking through the Modern Horizons 2 commanders however, there is an obvious choice that synergizes with the Food, Clues, and Treasures theme, but it’s only two colors. Let's see how we make it work anyway.
Both of Lonis’s abilities are interesting on their own. The first half gets you free value to dig through your deck by creating Clues whenever you play a creature. And the second half can turn a mass of Clues into an opponent’s card. In practice, especially at higher level tables, the second ability never really came up outside of a last ditch attempt as she was being removed to salvage to value. Which is not bad by any means, just that the first ability is really the star of the show. That’s because the name of this particular show is “Combo as Soon as Possible” and playing your opponent’s cards often won't help with that. What does Lonis do really really well that other simic commanders don’t do? Well for one, Lonis is the only green and blue commander to work with artifacts, as Clues are artifact tokens. She is also one of only a few such commanders to work with tokens. But the real star of the show, and the card that starts to make comboing possible is another new Modern Horizons 2 card, Academy Manufactor.
Academy Manufactor turns any creature we play into generating not only the Clue from Lonis, but a Food token to gain life with and most importantly, a Treasure token for mana. The Clues are important parts of our combo because with enough mana, we can very aggressively dig through our deck to find our pieces, while the Treasures can act as fuel for our clues and our infinite combos. Shrieking Drake and Dream Stalker fulfill very similar roles in this deck, one is just a bit easier to utilize than the other. Shrieking Drake is a standout card in many infinite combos because of its cheap way to cause many enter the battlefield triggers. And with Academy Manufactor and Lonis out on the battlefield, Shrieking Drake enters and creates a Food, a Clue, and a Treasure before returning itself to our hand with its own trigger. Then using the Treasure we just made, we can recast Shrieking Drake and repeat this process making infinite Food and Clues. By itself this doesn’t do anything, but having infinite artifacts, infinite tokens, and infinite permanents are all things we can use to turn into a game winning play. Dream Stalker works the same way as Shrieking Drake, we just need one of our token doublers on the battlefield first. And with one of those doublers, Shrieking Drake lets us draw our entire deck too since we make infinite Treasures resulting in infinite mana to use our infinite Clues. Now what to do with all this value.
There are a few ways to get to our infinite mana goal but all of them use Lonis and Academy Manufactor so make sure not to play Academy Manufactor until you are ready to combo off or you can get it back quickly if it dies. After seeing this deck a few times, opponents will realize that your deck doesn’t do a whole lot without the Manufactor on the board and will kill it quickly. The easiest way to go infinite is Shrieking Drake and a token doubler. A little harder is Dream Stalker, a token doubler, and Urza who can turn our infinite Food and Clues into mana. Deadeye Navigator, a token doubler, and Urza also works and has the benefit of creating infinite Construct tokens that are infinitely big. There is no way to actually utilize that in this deck to win the turn you do this but it’s a nice insurance policy in case something happens to Walking Ballista or Thassa’s Oracle. These are the go to ways to go infinite and win the game on the spot in this deck, but this is not the only game plan available to us. Sometimes we just drown our opponents in value with a small energy package courtesy of Kaladesh.
Firstly, all of these cards are excellent on their own in our deck. Panharmonicon doubles Lonis’s investigate trigger allowing for our combos. Gonti’s Aether Heart gives us six energy with academy manufacturer out whenever a creature enters the battlefield and by itself can let us take an extra turn to use the army of constructs or go to the next upkeep for Mechanized Production to win the game. Aetherworks Marvel also works whenever any of our tokens are sacrificed, using two Treasures to draw a card from a Clue nets us 3 energy, do that twice and we are spinning the aether wheel. With all three of these on the board at the same time, you functionally have infinite energy and can spin the Aetherworks Marvel every turn as well as utilizing other powerful energy outlets like Confiscation Coup.
The rest of the deck is filled with cards to make Food, Clues, and Treasures. Most of these cards are not very good in a commander game while we are limited to just green and blue but with the value of Academy Manufactor, they get a bit better. The deck is very open ended, you honestly don’t even need to play other Food, Clues, and Treasures cards if you don’t want to, all of our combos don’t require the older cards for this archetype. My decklist has some of the better versions of these cards throughout magic’s history and cards that can utilize our mass amounts of artifacts. Affinity, Improvise, and Metalcraft are mechanics that are almost always online even when you haven’t gone infinite yet. Below is my current decklist made to show off Food, Clues, and Treasures with the capability of going infinite but not too many tutors to find it super quickly. Using the typical 1-10 power scale this deck is a solid 9 that, with good hands, can compete with power level 10 decks though it won’t be easy.