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By: olaw, Oliver Law
Sep 04 2014 12:00pm
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Hello!

Welcome to another edition of Becoming A Modern Man!  In this article I am going to look at an increasingly popular take on the Modern Infect deck.  The deck forgoes a second colour to stay Mono-Green and uses land tutors and powerful pump spells.

Let's take at the list we will be using: 

Mono-Green Infect
rinazina (7th Place) Modern Premier #7263356 on 07/05/2014
Creatures
4 Glistener Elf
4 Ichorclaw Myr
8 cards

Other Spells
4 Rancor
4 Vines of Vastwood
4 Giant Growth
4 Sylvan Scrying
2 Dismember
4 Mutagenic Growth
4 Apostle's Blessing
4 Groundswell
30 cards
Lands
4 Cathedral of War
4 Inkmoth Nexus
1 Pendelhaven
13 Forest
22 cards

Inkmoth Nexus

 

DECK TECH

Creatures

Glistener Elf
Glistener Elf
Glistener Elf is the quintessential one-mana infect creature.  Generally, Glistener Elf is the source of the deck's fastest wins as you can attack with it on Turn 2 with two mana open for pump spells.

Ichorclaw Myr
Ichorclaw Myr
The second best Infect creature available to us without splashing into a second colour.  Ichorclaw Myr may only be a 2 mana 1/1 but it is very difficult to block it favourably.  Ichorclaw Myr is always a threat when its attacking and though it doesn't have the evasion of its competitors it is still very problematic for opponents.

Spells

Dismember
Dismember
Sometimes you just need to get creatures out of your way.  Dismember is a very powerful removal spell and one that is very good at clearing the way for you Infect creatures.

Sylvan Scrying
Sylvan Scrying
Sylvan Scrying is a very interesting inclusion in the deck.  It doesn't directly help us achieve our objective of poisoning our opponent to death, however, it is a tutor for the best card in the deck, Inkmoth Nexus.  Inkmoth is a really powerful card and being able to tutor up another source of Infect damage can be very valuable when your opponent has heavy removal.  Scrying can also tutor up our other utility lands in a pinch, including Cathedral of War and Pendelhaven, depending on what you need.  I've actually been quite a big fan of Scrying in this deck, though I've seen some critique its inclusion.

Vines of Vastwood
Vines of Vastwood
Vines, along with Apostle's Blessing, are the best ways the deck has to protect its Infect creatures.  Each has its own advantages but the fact that Vines doubles up as a pump spell gives it a bit of an edge, though the double green mana requirement can be awkward at times given the colourless non-basics the deck runs.

Apostle's Blessing
Apostle's Blessing
Apostle's Blessing is your other protection spell, unfortunately unlike Vines it isn't capable of pumping your guy but it is a great counter to removal spells.  The main advantage that Blessing has over Vines is that it can actually allow you to attack past potential blockers by giving you protection from that colour.  Also, thanks to its ability to grant protection from artifacts you can even attack through a Robot army.

Rancor
Rancor
One of the best one-mana auras ever printed.  Rancor gives a +2/+0 boost but rather more importantly it gives your creature trample which allows it to get Infect damage through a chump blocker.

Giant GrowthMutagenic GrowthGroundswell
Giant Growth/Mutagenic Growth/Groundswell
Now we have our selection of one-mana instant pump spells.  Giant Growth is the classic pump spell and may seem less preferable to say a Might of Old Krosa but the fact that Giant Growth is a counter to Lightning Bolt at instant speed is very relevant in this format, particularly as all our creatures are 1/1s and so a +2/+2 boost will be insufficient.  Mutagenic Growth may be somewhat low impact but the fact it doesn't cost mana to cast is a big deal as mana is almost always at a premium in this deck.  Groundswell is one of the bigger pump spells, the Landfall requirement can be a little awkward but generally it's not too bad, a +4/+4 boost is certainly a big deal when you only need 10 damage to win the game. 

Lands

Inkmoth Nexus
Inkmoth Nexus
The best card in the deck.  The power of Inkmoth is largely the basis for this deck.  Inkmoth has natural evasion and can't be killed by sorcery speed removal which makes it very difficult for opponent's to deal with.  Flyers aren't hugely popular in Modern so the way is often clear, at least in the early game, for it to get through.

Cathedral of War
Cathedral of War
I wasn't too crazy about this card when it was first used as a card in Infect decks.  The fact that it comes into play tapped is the major mark against it but playing more with it I have definitely come to like it in this deck.  It's always satisfying when Cathedral provides you with that 1 extra point you require to get the kill, which seems to happen more often than you'd think.  Not to mention that it can be devastating in multiples making your Infect threats even more powerful and much less likely to die in combat.

Pendelhaven
Pendelhaven
Pendelhaven is our final non-basic land.  It gives a free pump to your 1/1 guys, which is every creature in the deck, and the defensive buff can prevent them from dying in combat or to Shocks etc.  Pendelhaven can do some very valuable work.  Just remember to use it before you use your pump spell or your Exalted trigger resolves because as soon as your creature stops being a 1/1 you lose the ability to use Pendelhaven on it - which is a trap that's easy to fall into.

Sideboard

SpellskiteNature's ClaimCreeping CorrosionDismemberTormod's CryptGuttural Response

  • Spellskite is a great way of protecting your Infect creatures from removal.  Definitely worth bringing in against any removal heavy deck.  It's also incidentally very good against Splinter Twin, the Hexproof deck and opposing Infect decks.
  • Nature's Claim is an extremely cheap and efficient way of dealing with artifacts and enchantments.  It's even better here as the Infect deck doesn't care about its opponent's life total at all, so the 'drawback' is not even relevant.
  • Creeping Corrosion is another powerful artifact removal spell - a real blowout for Affinity decks.
  • Dismember comes in against decks with problem creatures, such as opposing Spellskites or more general problems such as Dark Confidant or Grim Lavamancer.
  • Tormod's Crypt is a slightly odd one.  I'm not sure there are too many matchups you would really be siding these in for but I guess it's not awful against graveyard-based decks.  Relic seems superior but I guess the thinking is that you don't have the mana to waste with this deck.
  • Guttural Response actually suprised me in my testing as actually being significantly better than I expected.  Being able to counter Cryptic Command and Electrolyze for just one mana is pretty nice.

COST
As Modern decks go these days Mono-Green Infect is a fairly budget friendly deck.  Inkmoth Nexus is the biggest expense and Dismember coming in a not too distant second place.  Spellskite in the sideboard will also set you back quite a bit, however, it is a very good sideboard card in general.  The rest of the deck is pretty much cheap commons and uncommons.  The fact that the majority of the deck comes from the not so distant Scars of Mirrodin Block means that players may still have access to some of the cards required which helps from a budget standpoint.

Main Deck

4 x Inkmoth Nexus= 37.60
2 x Dismember= 14.68
1 x Pendelhaven= 5.94
4 x Rancor= 1.00
4 x Sylvan Scrying= 1.00
4 x Glistener Elf= 0.60
4 x Mutagenic Growth= 0.56
4 x Ichorclaw Myr= 0.36
4 x Vines of Vastwood= 0.32
4 x Groundswell= 0.32
4 x Apostle's Blessing= 0.32
4 x Cathedral of War= 0.20
4 x Giant Growth= 0.08
Total: 62.98 tix

Sideboard

2 x Spellskite= 39.00
2 x Dismember= 14.68
1 x Creeping Corrosion= 2.43
2 x Guttural Response= 0.38
4 x Nature's Claim= 0.32
4 x Tormod's Crypt= 0.12
Total: 56.93 tix
Grand Total: 119.91 tix
 

GAMEPLAY
I actually started this article a while back when V3 was still live so the first three videos were made on V3.  I'm still struggling with the transition to V4 and replays really aren't working out great for me but I've done some experimental stuff with some replays I did get.  With replays as they are in V4 at the moment, at least as I'm experiencing, I don't think I am able to record in the way I used to for this article.  I have been considering live recording but it's not really my preference - I'll continue to try things out and see how it goes but not feeling massively motivated to play with V4 at the moment.


Our first matchup is against WG Hatebears.  This video helps show the power of the deck as in both games we pretty much steal the win from the jaws of defeat.  Sylvan Scrying actually did a lot of work here as Ghost Quarter is really bad news for our Inkmoth Nexus and it found me extra copies to keep me going.


Our second matchup is against Scapeshift.  This is an interesting matchup.  Generally they don't have a lot of removal so that certainly work in our favour, however, the Scapeshift combo doesn't take too long to put together and cards like Sakura-Tribe Elder and Remand are designed to buy them time.  This match was actually pretty close and Guttural Response put in a pretty good performance in Game 3.


Our third matchup is against RDW.  This matchup is kind of difficult to assess in that in theory they have all the answers for your threats but throwing burn spells at your creatures kind of throws them off their game.  I think we are generally favoured but Searing Blaze, Searing Blood and Eidolon of the Great Revel are all cards we want to avoid.


I haven't got very far with V4 recording.  This was my attempt to work with replays but they really just don't seem to be working very well.  I guess you get to see some assorted games anyway.  I guess I'll figure something out or do live recording like I've been talking about doing.  Sorry this isn't the best.

CONCLUSION
The Mono-Green Infect deck is a decent deck but not one that particularly excites me, though Infect has never really suited my play style.  I think it's a decent budget option that will certainly steal matches, however, it can be rather inconsistent.  That said I like how the deck capitalises on the power of Inkmoth Nexus and personally I quite like the use of Sylvan Scrying as a way to tutor up more copies of the card.  It's certainly a deck that is a bit deeper than it looks on the surface and definitely worth a try.

That's all for this article.  I'm sorry there has been a bit of a delay with getting this out but the switch to V4 has hurt my enthusiasm for the game somewhat.  I'm working on some new stuff and I think there is a lot of exciting stuff coming up for Magic, so hopefully Khans of Tarkir will give me some inspiration for more articles.

Thanks for reading,

Oliver Law (olaw on MTGO)