The game plan consists in ramping turns 1-3 while digging for the missing pieces of the combo, which often means having 5 lands on board, casting Heartbeat of Spring, untapping with Early Harvest, casting Tooth and Nail.
The creature pack used to win the game consist in Emrakul and Xenagos, that should be a very hard combination to disrupt, being one not targetable by spells and the other one an indestructible enchantment. A hasted flying 30/30 with annihilator 6 usually guarantees and immediate win.
Ideally a turn 4 Gifts allows to setup a turn 4 Tooth and Nail. Additonally the Modern meta is not exactly counter heavy now, and there are several cards included that let you cast a Tooth and Nail card more than once grabbing it back from the graveyard. Check out this example on YouTube of how the deck plays through some disruption.
Main ==== 4 Heartbeat of Spring 4 Early Harvest 4 Tooth and Nail 4 Search for Tomorrow 4 Sakura-Tribe Elder 2 Rampant Growth 4 Gifts Ungiven 3 Peer Through Depths 2 Anticipate 1 Revive 1 Noxious Revival 1 Mystic Retrieval 1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn 1 Xenagos, God of Revels 4 Misty Rainforest 16 Forest 1 Mountain 3 Island Sideboard (stub) ========= 4 Pyroclasm 2 Gutshot 2 Ancient Grudge 2 Dispel 1 Echoing Truth 1 Into the Roil 1 Past in Flames 1 Peer Through Depths 1 Emrakul, The Promised End
Any scenario of the following allows you to cast Tooth and Nail:
- 5 lands in play, Tooth and Nail, Early Harvest, Heartbeat of Spring in hand.
- 5 lands in play, Tooth and Nail, Early Harvest, Early Harvest in hand.
- 6 lands in play, Tooth and Nail, Early Harvest in hand.
Possible sequences to get to one of them on the 4th turn:
T1 Search for Tomorrow T2 Card selection to find Gifts, Hearthbeat, Early Harvest, Tooth and Nail T3 Gifts for missing pieces T4 Scenario 1 or 2
T2 Sakura/Rampant Growth T3 Gifts/card selection T4 Scenario 1 or 2
T2 Sakura/Rampant Growth T3 Sakura/Rampant Growth T4 Scenario 3
The deck can win on the third turn with an optimal combination of cards:
T1 Search for Tomorrow T2 Sakura/Rampant Growth T3 Scenario 1
Gifts packages really depend on how many lands you will have in play on the next turn and which pieces you have in hand. Remember that your opponent does not know which cards are in your hand, so if you have already Tooth and Nail and really need to go off the next turn but need two more pieces, you can try trick him into giving what you need directly in the hand by grabbing:
Tooth and Nail, Heartbeat of Spring, Early Harvest, Noxious Revival
You opponent will give you Noxious Revival + another card, which if is not Tooth and Nail means you can go off by casting Noxious Revival EOT and grabbing what you need. Other times you will simply want a land because you have already 5 in play and have Tooth and Nail and Early Harvest in hand, in that case a Gift loaded of goodies will ensure that you opponent gives you the land. Depending on the three scenarios described above other typical packages to grab are:
- Tooth and Nail, Early Harvest, Revive, Noxious Revival
- Tooth and Nail, Heartbeat of Spring, Revive, Noxious Revival
- Heartbeat of Spring, Early Harvest, Revive, Noxious Revival
- Tooth and Nail, Revive, Mystic Retrieval, Noxious Revival
The deck has no real sideboard yet, that’s something that can have a large positive impact as in my test games I often won game 1 while struggling a bit more in the second/third because of hate cards (Rule of Law, Rest in Peace). I considered a trasformational sideboard that removes anything that interacts with the graveyard but it feels a bit too random. Also it is not yet clear whether to play 8 or 10 ramping spells, on game 2 and 3 I tend to go down to 8 to make room for pyroclasms or more card recovery/selection, depending on the matchup.