Ponza is a classic Magic deck. It has 2 axes of gameplay that it uses to win the game. First, it generates a ton of mana to get ahead of the opponent. Then it starts blowing up all the lands the opponent controls to keep them from playing Magic. Then you slam down a huge threat like Inferno Titan and clock your opponent. Ponza is a very fun strategy (for the one employing it that is) and I believe that one new card from Modern Horizons can do a lot for the strategy. That card is the already dismissed Collected Conjuring, a spell that is excellent at casting 3 mana Stone Rains.
Collected Conjuring has gotten a lot of flack for being a bad Collected Company and this makes a lot of sense. Collected Company is an insanely pushed Magic card, and Conjuring was obviously based off of the original CoCo but pulled back in almost every way. It can only cast sorceries and it itself is a sorcery. Collected Company has 1,606 potential cmc 3 hits whereas Conjuring can only hit 293 different cards in Modern. With all of this said, Collected Conjuring just seems like a bad card. However, if Collected Company can nearly break a Standard environment and support several different decks in Modern, I don’t see why Collected Conjuring isn’t worth looking into.
When I looked at all the 3 cmc sorceries that Conjuring can cast, time and time again I came across land destruction spells. With Modern Horizons there are now 3 different Red sorceries that blow up lands, which gives us enough density to start nuking our opponent’s mana base. Turn one Arbor Elf, into turn 2 Stone Rain, into turn 3 Collected Conjuring that grabs 2 more Stone Rains means that your opponent will have 0 lands if you are on the play.
However, playing Collected Conjuring comes with its own deckbuilding constraints. Since we are playing a card that needs sorceries to be the top 6 cards of the deck we have to forgo a lot of the creatures Ponza is used to playing such as Tireless Tracker and even Inferno Titan. And vital cards to the strategy such as Blood Moon are left at home due to not being sorceries. This leaves us with Bloodbraid Elf as our only wincon, which is not a very fast clock. However, Modern Horizons has another card up its sleeve for us in Crashing Footfalls. Collected Conjuring can cast the card for free, meaning we can Stone Rain the opponent and play out two 4/4’s that can also survive any Anger of the Gods we might cast. If we aren’t casting them from Collected Conjuring, waiting 4 turns isn’t unbearable if you can keep on Stone Raining your opponent and keeping them out of the game.
This version of Ponza focuses a lot harder on blowing up your opponent’s lands instead of just casting a single Blood Moon and locking them out completely. If your opponent can string several lands together they can get out from the lock you created and can start casting spells of their own. Not having massive haymakers like Inferno Titan is a real liability of the deck, but we make up for that by being able to cast Stone Rain twice in one turn. I can’t tell if this version of the deck is more or less competitive than traditional Ponza, but it’s a fun take and brings a lot of new things to the table. Thank you all for reading, I hope you all have a great week and an amazing Tuesday!