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By: jay85, Jay Nelson
Apr 30 2015 12:00pm
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If I was asked what my favorite nonblue color combination in Magic is, I'd have to say Junk. This archetype has the strongest colors at its disposal. Green for big fatties, Black for removal and hand disruption, and White is probably the best sideboard color. The most hated sideboard cards are White, hands down. Rest in Peace, Stony Silence, Rule of Law, Kor Firewalker, Leyline of Sanctity. The list can go on. I'd say it's the strongest reason to play White, bar none.

I'm not afraid to venture away from Blue for a little bit. That is as long as I'm playing Junk. 

Doran, the Siege Tower

Doran sees a lot of play in Commander. He is a strong general and the decks people build around him can be very devastating to play against. But just how good is this guy in other formats? Say Modern, for instance?

I was fishing around looking for decks that I could build and came across this gem down toward the bottom of Mtggoldfish.com. I like Doran, I really do. I think he has potential here. By himself he is a creature that can be very hard for your opponents to deal with. Attacking for 5 each turn is no joke.

But the real reason why I just had to build this deck...

Spellskite

Yep! When I saw the decklist running two Spellskites mainboard, I fell in love with it. I've already wrote extensively about how awesome Spellskite is in another article, so I won't repeat myself here. But what is so cool about him in this particular deck is Doran, the Siege Tower. Thanks to Doran we now get to attack with Spellskite!

 

I like the layout of this list. It has a lot going for it. I especially like the fact that it doesn't run Tarmogoyf. Not saying the Lhurgoyf wouldn't be good here. He actually has synergy with Doran, the Siege Tower and the other spells Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek. I'm just glad Tarmogoyf is excluded from the list because I currently don't own him.

 

Birds of Paradise Siege Rhino Restoration Angel Tasigur, the Golden Fang 

These creatures, along with Spellskite and Doran himself, have a higher toughness than power, which is perfect for this deck. What I really like about this list is that it turns our 3/4's and 4/5's into 4/4's and 5/5's, respectively. We shouldn't forget that Doran, the Siege Tower's ability is universal. Keep that in mind when facing off against these same creatures.

Doran is a beautiful creature and he can change the entire game just by sitting on the Battlefield. I have to say, it's pretty good when our Angel can trade with something like an Obstinate Baloth, whereas before we would have to simply chump with her under normal circumstances.

What's also nice is Birds of Paradise is not just a source of ramp here. In the late game, with Doran out, the creature becomes a Flying Men.

 

Loxodon Smiter Qasali Pridemage

Rounding out our creature base is Loxodon Smiter and Qasali Pridemage. Doran doesn't do much for these guys. They are included more as value creatures than anything else. Loxodon Smiter is strong by himself and he is great against Junk decks running Liliana of the Veil and Control decks since it's guaranteed we will be able to resolve him no matter what counter spell our opponent may be holding.

Qasali Pridemage is a nice addition when faced against Splinter Twin, Affinity, Bogles, and Eidolon of the Great Revel. Against all the nonenchantment based archetypes he can still prove useful thanks to his Exalted ability.

 

Lingering Souls Timely Reinforcements

I don't know many people who dislike Lingering souls. The card is great. It allows us to put out attackers or blockers (depending on our situation) two at a time, and we get to do it twice. It's also a good card to discard when up against an out of control Liliana of the Veil and we don't have Loxodon Smiter in hand.

I wanted Timely Reinforcements in the main simply because the spell can be nuts in a ton of matches. Up against Burn? Gain six life. What about aggro? Gain six life and make three dudes. I also like the fact that if, for instance, you and your opponent are both at six life you can activate Spellskite, lose two life then gain six, netting you four life in total. The situation is narrow and requires some planning, I'll give you that, but it is a great play, none-the-less. Going up to ten life while your opponent is still at an uncomfortable six can feel good, and could also very easily win you the game.

 

Path to Exile Abrupt Decay Maelstrom Pulse Murderous Cut

This is our removal package. I believe Abrupt Decay is the best removal spell in Modern, and I'm happy to be playing it here. It has so many targets in this format it's insane. Path to Exile is also a good option, though sometimes it may not feel all that great to give your opponent an extra land. I do like, however, using the Path on one of your own creatures as a way to ramp. Keep that in mind when battling a deck that doesn't have very good targets for it.

The more I play with Murderous Cut the more I like it. It's Instant speed removal for only one mana a lot of the time. This and Tasigur, the Golden Fang are the reason why you should overload on fetchlands nowadays. I'll give it to Wizards, they were smart for reprinting the Onslaught fetches in a block that utilizes the Delve mechanic so heavily.

I like Maelstrom Pulse because it is like Abrupt Decay in the sense that it can target a nonland permanent. It's also handy when facing an army of Young Pyromancer tokens. What I don't like about it is it's Sorcery speed. I'm on the fence if the Pulse should just be Zealous Persecution. I'm not sure yet what the better option would be.

 

Thoughtseize Inquisition of Kozilek 

We are trying to fight with a fair deck in a very unfair environment, which means we are at a severe disadvantage in a lot of match ups. We need these spells in order to stand a chance. Both Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek are vital in stopping an opponent from potentially goldfishing. This is the real reason why I'm a little hesitant with this deck. I don't know if we can defeat combo decks like Ad Nauseam or Scapeshift. I've been beating my head against the wall trying to determine if the list should run a third Thoughtseize just to stand a better chance against combo. It may be the correct thing to do.

 

Garruk Wildspeaker

Garruk is good. He can summon 3/3 Beasts which can win you the game by itself if he's left unopposed for a couple turns. I also like that you can untap a Forest and an Overgrown Tomb in order to hold up Abrupt Decay. And his ultimate is easy to reach and can end the game in one fell swoop if you got some Spirits and other creatures on the board. I wouldn't have more than one of him in the deck, though. Like I said, he's good but I don't think he's at his best in this particular deck.

 

Gavony township Stirring Wildwood

Gavony Township is one of my favorite utility lands. It can be just what you need to finish a game. I do, however, like Township more when I'm using Kitchen Finks. You could run a Tectonic Edge over it. A lot of decks are using manlands in Modern. I wouldn't argue with you if Tec Edge was your choice instead.

Stirring Wildwood though is a solid choice. It's a 3/4 so it works well with Doran, the Siege Tower. It also has Reach which is not something to scoff at, especially now that Grixis Delver is tier 1.

 

Sideboard:

Pithing Needle Duress

Added protection against the unfair decks. Duress is also brought in against Burn and Control. Pithing Needle can be used to name Deceiver Exarch or Pestermite (granted it requires you to see into the future to know which creature to name). Don't name Splinter Twin with it! It won't work the way you think it would if you do this. You have to name a creature that could be enchanted by Splinter Twin. Since most Twin builds use a playset of Deceiver Exarch and only a couple Pestermite, I would usually name Exarch when going blind.

Pithing Needle is also great against Planeswalkers, Grim Lavamancer, manlands such as Inkmoth Nexus and Celestial Colonnade, etc. The list goes on...

 

Kor Firewalker Nyx-Fleece Ram

Burn hate. It is nearly impossible for a Burn deck to beat you when you have Kor Firewalker out on the Battlefield early. It can be done but it's unlikely as long as you play smart and they don't get super lucky. Another way for them to win against it is if you get unlucky and don't draw him until you are pretty much already dead. Nyx-Fleece Ram is another source of constant lifegain. She's also great against aggro decks and becomes a clock against your opponent with Doran, the Siege Tower. I advise you to not bring the Ram in against decks running Tarmogoyf. They destroy Nyx-Fleece Ram and now you've effectively given their goyf +2/+2 because the Ram counts as both a creature and an enchantment. This is also the downside with Spellskite, but I think the Artifact Creature's versatility is well worth keeping in, even when facing off against Tarmogoyf.

 

Zealous Persecution Golgari Charm

These two spells act as our sweepers against token laden decks involving Young Pyromancer and Lingering Souls. Though Golgari Charm is kind of a nonbo with our own Spirits and Birds of Paradise, I think the utility we can get from the Charm is well worth its inclusion.

 

Aven Mindcensor Leyline of the Void

Aven Mindcensor is here to give us a little bit better of a chance against Scapeshift, Tron, Bloom Titan, and Gifts Ungiven. I believe these are going to be our worst matchups and we really need to have Aven Mindcensor in order to stand a chance.

Leyline of the Void is simply for Graveyard shenanigans like Storm, Dredgevine, Snapcaster Mage, etc.

 

Creeping Corrosion Stony Silence Putrefy

Affinity hate. I don't know of any deck that doesn't have at least three sideboard slots dedicated to beating Affinity, and yet it still puts up results. It's a deadly deck, better prepare for it!

 

Round One:

 

Round Two:

Round Three:

 

Conclusion:

Yikes! Well, that didn't go exactly as planned. I think the biggest problem with this deck is it's a fair deck trying to fight too fair a game. The reason why the bigger, badder Junk deck is more popular and can compete in Modern is because, sure, it's also a fair deck, but its strategy is to out value its opponents and it does a good job in doing that.

It pains me to say this but I think this deck really needs Tarmogoyf and Liliana of the Veil. Nothing in this list can out value most other decks. The synergy with Doran, the Siege Tower is there but sadly that is where it ends. I guess if you want to be fighting fair than you need to be utilizing the best fair cards the format has to offer. To make this deck more competitive we need cards like Kitchen Finks, Voice of Resurgence, Scavenging Ooze, or even Tarmogoyf, but then we probably won't have room for Spellskite and Doran, the Siege Tower and that's why I really wanted to play the deck in the first place. Sad day.

However, I still think this Doran deck has a huge advantage against Burn and Splinter Twin. With Siege Rhino, Timely Reinforcements (and Kor Firewalker and Nyx-Fleece Ram post-sideboard) we got a lot of lifegain. And the few creatures Burn uses are all stopped dead in their tracks thanks to how tough our creatures are.

Against Splinter Twin we have enough disruption to pick apart their hand. Abrupt Decay usually leads in our opponent being two-for-one since they can't counter it with Spell Pierce or Dispel, and Qasali Pridemage in the main for Splinter Twin. After game one we also have Golgari Charm, Pithing Needle and Duress to bring in to make it even better for us.

I'm pretty sure Doran can handle a lot of Burn and Twin decks, but unfortunately it kind a gets stomped on by many other archetypes. Though I did lose to Grixis Delver, I still think it would be a close game. We got Golgari Charm and Zealous Persecution for their 1/1's, and our creatures match up nicely with theirs. The only problem I see is without Doran, the Siege Tower our Siege Rhinos can't take out Gurmag Angler or Tasigur, the Golden Fang. Delver decks are also known for being able to turn up the heat fairly quickly so maybe I'm wrong about it being close.

Anyways, if your local meta consists of a ton of Twin and Burn I'd say give this a shot. But on Mtgo, I just don't think so.