In the Modern format decks can move in and out of popularity. That flux can make certain decks good for a certain time and I believe now is a time for Death and Taxes.
As I looked through the top decks being played online a few things stood out. In the top 8 were things like Tron, Burn, and both Bant Eldrazi and Eldrazi Tron. Looking a little further down the list there were 2 forms of Primeval Titan decks. What kind of deck can function well against such a variety of decks? What kind of deck can pack enough answers to make multiple decks fail at their game plan? Well I think you already know the answer. Here is my current list.
Last week I posted the list the Craig Wescoe had and my list is a bit more budget. 4 Horizon Canopy and 1 Cavern of Souls are not in my budget and are not completely needed to succeed with the deck. However if it is in your budget then I would highly suggest getting these utility lands.
Let’s take apart the deck by going over how it is trying to attack the metagame. This decks sets out to disrupt your opponent and it can do that in a few ways.
This is the one of the best ways the deck throws a wrench in the plans of your opponent. Leonin Arbiter is an annoying card to play against especially on MTGO. I cannot tell you how many times my opponent paid 2 mana but never actually clicked on the Arbiter to activate the ability to search. It can be quite frustrating. Most times though they will not have the mana to pay and your Ghost Quarter is a Strip Mine and your Path to Exile is the best removal spell ever printed.
There are plenty of times you can win games because on turn 3 you play the Arbiter and ghost quarter one of their lands. Sometimes they just cannot recover. You also have Tectonic Edge to continue putting the pressure on their lands and a lot of Modern decks already have a mana base that is stretched thin enough.
With all of that pressure on your opponent’s mana this next card can be a game ender.
Playing a Thalia after you successfully destroy a land is a great feeling and sometimes that can be enough to make sure your opponent never gets back into the game. Thalia is also a threat that makes your opponent act leaving a lot of your other creatures to survive another day to continue the fight.
Just like in the Legacy version Vial is how you want to start every game. It makes every spell you have unable to be countered and causes your opponent to fear every time you tap it. Unlike in Legacy there are a few less tricks but you do still have access to a few.
These are the main two creatures that you can cheat in with Vial. Serra Avenger can be cheated in and be a very aggressive attacker and an effective blocker.
Flickerwisp is the real star when paired with Aether Vial. It is an instant speed flyer that can remove attackers or blockers, save your creatures from removal, remove tokens, or get you another enter the battlefield trigger. I always love drawing Flickerwisp and would never go below 4.
Both of these creatures are your value creatures they are great the turn they come down and still have value due to them getting their effect again when they are blinked. I have played Thraben Inspector in Modern before and was surprised about how great it is to have the clue.
Blade Splicer is already a good deal but in this deck it gets much better. It is a way for you to block Etched Champion but more importantly you can blink and make more golems sometimes even at instant speed. Flickerwisp is not the only way to do so. You also have this duo.
The Skyfisher does not really blink but it can return your creatures so you can replay to capitalize on their ETB effects. It is also a 2/3 flier which is a great deal for 2 mana.
Restoration Angel sits at the top of your curve and adds even more tricks to your arsenal. Being a 3/4 that flies is already an amazing card but when you throw in flash and the ability to blink your other non-angel creatures the Angel gets so much better.
The last card in the deck is Honor of the Pure and sometimes there are games where you just are an average white weenie deck and having the anthem really gets things done.
The main deck is strong and there is not really a lot to change. I tested putting Brimaz, King of Oreskos in the list because sometimes he can really take over a game but I think the creatures that are in it are the right choices.
Sideboard is a whole other issue. Currently it is built to beat the decks I mentioned at the beginning of the article. A lot of the cards are good against multiple decks and that is exactly what you want in a board. I think I would like a 3rd Stony Silence and perhaps a Mirran Crusader or 2 if Jund, Abzan, and Fatal Push decks pick up popularity.
So far I have only been able to test this deck in some 2 man queues and in a couple of Friendly Leagues. In one of the Leagues I was able to go 4-1 only losing to a Goblin 8 Whack deck. I knew I could only lose to triple Goblin Grenade and that is exactly what my opponent had. I was however to beat Tron and a variety of Grixis Decks.
Actually Grixis Delver and Control are some of the best match-ups it seems. If you can cut off a color of mana or even just stop them from developing their lands you can really take over the game. They do however have a ton of removal and can also 2 for 1 you with Kolaghan’s Command.
Another deck I don’t mind playing against is Burn. I do not think I have lost a match to the deck yet. The mana denial is very effective against them because they need green or white for their really powerful spells and they only run basic Mountains.
Jund can be one of the tougher match-ups because they can come at you from various angles. They can pick your hand apart, play proactive threats, and kill yours. It is possible to win through their disruption but they still can just Jund you out of a game.
My plan is to keep playing this and picking up extra cards that will aid me in the journey. This is a deck that rewards you for knowledge of the format and knowledge of the deck. If decks like Tron and Titan are still popular than Leonin Arbiter looks better and better. I do know I want to stick with playing white in Modern though.
I have noticed a trend in aggressive decks like Affinity and Death's Shadow Aggro picking up popularity as well. Also Infect seems to be almost non-existent. If that is the case then perhaps another mono white deck can be viable again.
Soul Sisters has been hiding because it was just terrible against the combo and Infect decks. However it really excels against Aggro and Burn. That may be something I want to have access to as well. I saw it did recently 5-0 a Modern League.
That is all I have for now. I am looking to do a short series on prepping to win and working towards the goal. Also I want to continue with the Modern content. The bannings did help to shift things around a bit and Modern looks to be in a good spot.
In the paper world I am looking to prepare for GP Jersey. It is Standard which makes me wish I could practice online but I will have to test elsewhere. There is a lot going on in Magic and things at least for me, are fun again.
It feels good to be back in the swing of things and I hope you enjoyed reading.
Until Next Time!!