Understanding Modern Up The Beanstalk Decks - What Makes Them So Good
Modern Beans decks are the talk of the format at the moment. They're certainly good, and they see play all over the place. So much so that many players wonder if the build will lead to a ban on one of the support cards in the future. The deck has several variations, but they're all built around and a pile of cards that trigger it.
Today, I'll cover what makes the decks so good, the different ways they can be built, the cards that support them, and more. You're in the right place if you're interested in Modern Up the Beanstalk decks. So, without further ado, let's get started.
Modern Up The Beanstalk
The namesake card of the deck(s) is an uncommon enchantment from Wilds of Eldraine,. When it enters the battlefield, you draw a card. Then, whenever you cast a spell with a mana value of five or greater, you draw a card. The fact that this ETB draws a card, replacing itself, is pretty huge.
If it didn't, it would be much worse if your opponent destroyed it before you could cast another spell. Much like a pet card of mine,. Heartless Summoning does nothing all alone. If you tap out for it on turn two and it gets blown up, well you're down a card. This isn't the case for Beanstalk... It will always draw you that initial card if nothing else.
The card goes crazy in Modern because there are a ton of powerful spells with a mana value of five or greater that can be cast for much less. The three most notable ones being,, , and .
All of these cards can be cast for very cheap or even free and have potent effects. And they all draw you a card with the Beanstalk in play. In the case of the elementals, Up the Beanstalk eliminates the built-in downside that balances the fact you can cast them for free. Usually, you have to go down a card to evoke them. With the Beanstalk out, you replace the card you pitched. With more than one copy out, you can actually gain a card for casting them this way.
Gettingdown to a one mana (with flash) isn't hard in Modern, and that's nothing new. Thanks to fetch lands ( ), triomes ( ), and similar lands from New Capenna ( ), you can get up to where you need to be as early as turn two. This was already good in the format, and now it has card draw tacked on, too.
I would say these three cards are the heavy hitters for the archetype, but there are many other things, too. X spells, things that let you cast five mana value spells for free such as(which you'll also draw for), Miracle cards, Affinity for Artifacts, and Delve, all work great with Up the Beanstalk.
I'm sure you're starting to catch on. In short, the already strong evoke Elementals and Domain cards now have "draw a card" tacked on, which is pretty serious - Especially when you have multiple Beanstalks in play. With the general idea out of the way, let's look at a few deck lists.
Up The Beanstalk Decks
Main 60 cards (24 distinct)
|Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (16)|
Side 15 cards (8 distinct)
This version plays the big three that I mentioned:, , and . It also plays and . The idea here is that Shardless is guaranteed to cascade you into an . Bloodbraid will also snag you a copy 50% of the time as it either gets or Shardless Agent, which then hits Beanstalk. The cascade package goes a long way in ensuring you have multiple copies in play early.
Considering the deck plays a land base capable of supporting the Domain mechanic on, playing Omnath, Locus of Creation gives the deck access to a lot of value for minimal downside. The only other noteworthy card is the singleton . With 11 fetch lands, triggering Nissa twice is relatively easy, and she can be used to find Fury or Solitude.
This version usually wins by attacking with the cascade creatures and elements after accruing some significant late-game value and drowning opponents in card advantage.
Main 64 cards (32 distinct)
|Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (23)|
Side 15 cards (12 distinct)
This is a bit of a strange-looking Modern deck. We've got several one-of-cards, 25 lands, and 64 cards total.plays the same role in this deck as the one above but isn't as much at the forefront. , , , , and will all draw you a card with Beanstalk out.
So, what's the plan beyond that? This version also plays 11 fetch lands, so you'll also seehere. A high number of fetches is made even better by a full playset of . If you've played Modern for a while, you know the drill here. If you're new, Wrenn can recur your fetch lands each turn. This fixes your mana and puts you way ahead on land.
Once you've got access to WUBRG mana, you can castfor five. First, this will trigger any Beanstalks you have, and then you'll get to tutor for and cast another five-mana creature, instant, or sorcery for free. Once again, drawing from Up the Beanstalk if it's out. Usually, what you'll get with BtL is , which will bank you an extra turn.
Another spicy option is gettingbut casting the side, which is still free. This works because Valki is a legal target for BtL, and when something says, “You may cast that CARD without paying its mana cost,” it doesn't care which side you're casting. It's still free.
Oh yeah, and this version plays four whole copies oftoo. Overall, the number of powerful cards packed into this build is through the roof. And nearly all of them are made even better with Up the Beanstalk.
Main 60 cards (23 distinct)
|Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (19)|
Side 15 cards (8 distinct)
Affinity can make use of the Beanstalk, too. With enough cheap artifacts in play, the deck can power out high CMC spells likeand pretty quickly. plays an engine-like role in this build - First, you'll need your affinity to artifacts high enough to start slamming your more expensive spells for almost no mana. This is pretty easy with 14 zero or one mana artifacts in the deck.
With a few land drops and Cheerios (free artifacts), you can have the Beanstalk triggering within a few turns. The beauty here is that every card you draw will likely reduce the cost of future spells. So, once you get the ball rolling, you can often create a chain where you cast several spells, draw into cards, cast a few more, draw a few more cards, and so forth, until you have a massive board.
Lands like, , , and accelerate the process significantly because they tap for mana and count toward affinity as well. In the first few turns of the game, dropping these feels a lot like getting to play two lands. And can turn your zero-cost artifact creatures mana dorks.
The creatures themselves may be a bit of a motley crew of 2/2s, but when they're nearly free 2/2s, they can't be taken lightly, especially when awill draw three cards with a Beanstalk in play. A few other threats worth mentioning are , which can get huge, some massive Construct tokens from , , and the classic affinity win-con ! Suffice it to say that the deck has plenty of threats.
Isbroken? No, not all by itself. Is it problematic that it makes many of the best cards in Modern ( , , and ) automatically better by adding ETB draw a card? Yeah, maybe so. You've got to consider that the card pretty much negates the downside meant to balance evoking out elementals. To me, that's the issue, if there is one.
Will it be banned? I don't think so... Unless people start playing it even more than they are now. If WOTC sees it as a problem moving forward, the ban hammer would probably hit the beanstalk. After all, they aren't going to ban Fury, Solitude or Binding. On a positive note, I think these decks have led to a slight decrease in the number of decks playingand .
Now I want to hear from you. What do you think of? Have you played the card? Do you like it? And do you think it's actually problematic for Modern?