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By: R Koster, Rob Koster
Oct 29 2019 11:00am
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So these past few days, I have been doing nothing but grinding the Pioneer queues. And I can say one thing for sure, the format is excellent! Most of the games have been a ton of fun, and I've just been throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks. So far nothing has, but I've found some things that did work, and some that... let's just say didn't.

I'll start off with what didn't work:

Last week I talked about wanting to play Merfolk in the format. I threw together a haphazard little list with some Blue and Green Merfolk and promptly got Felidar'd out of the game on Turn 4. After that, the Delete button was quickly found. If someone wants it, I can share the Merfolk list I played, but it felt woefully underpowered for the format, so I'm not even bothering right now.

The second thing I tried was Grixis Dragons. Because I love me some Counterspell, I mean Silumgar's Scorn. The deck definitely had its moments, but all in all, it felt underpowered when you didn't have a Dragon in play or your hand. The deck was definitely sweet, though, so if someone finds a good build, it won't be hard to get me back into it again. Here is the list I was playing:


The Sideboard was basically random cards. I just made sure at all times that I had at least 5 lifegain spells in Collective Brutality and Foul-Tongue Invocation. The rest of it was basically Grixis trade binder.

I played 3 leagues with that build. The first one I got paired against a bunch of Midrange decks and went 4-1. The second and third ones, I got paired against a lot of aggro and went 2-3 and 1-4. Losing to a lot of Affinity, Bogles, and Red decks. The matches against the Combo decks felt really close, but I was still just losing every single one of them. So I'm afraid I have to conclude that the power level just isn't there. But someone, please find it. I love this deck.

After that, I played some Jeskai Ascendancy Combo with Sylvan Awakening. That went fine, but I just threw together a build again based on what I had seen in other people's versions. So I won't post mine, because it's very likely to be sub-optimal. But just know that the deck is good.

After that, I played some Bant Spirits. That deck was perfectly reasonable as well, but not broken enough for my tastes right now. Here is the list I played, though.


The deck was fun, and once all the broken stuff has been hammered out of the format. I'll definitely be going back to it.

That's all the decks I got to play this week. I did, however, form some opinions on the format as a whole after playing.

- Deathrite Shaman, Treasure Cruise, and Dig Through Time are way less broken then people thought.

- I feel Green is the best color in the format by a lot. Veil of Summer And Oko, Prince of Thieves are absolutely broken cards. Especially my Grixis Dragon's deck just got utterly destroyed by Veil of Summer. 1 Mana Cryptic Command is not okay. Oko is just too good. It feels insane on turn 3 on the play. And completely unbeatable on turn 2 on the play.

- I think the 4 color Saheeli Rai and Felidar Guardian decks are the best decks in the format.

- Oko, Prince of Thieves and Teferi, Time Raveler are stupidly expensive. I mean come on, 80 and 90 tix for Standard-legal cards is just stupid. I know it isn't the spiky thing to do. But there is no way I'm shelling out that kind of money for those cards.

- Aggro decks are currently everywhere, which seems obvious, the control decks haven't been properly built yet.

One more thing, though, don't believe it when people tell you there is a metagame or a proper list of everything. This format is so new, just try what you want to play. All that can be determined at this point is that there are small spectacles of metagame forming in the distance. And we honestly should keep those away as far as we can. We should revel in the thought that we get to brew in an entirely new format for as long as we can because it's a very rare treat. The only thing that matters right now is that you play what you love. I personally have a list of cards that I still want to play before we know for sure that they are bad.

The first thing that I still want to try is some sort of Skirk Prospector and Grumgully, the Generous combo deck. I mean, there are a ton of legal Goblins. I didn't even realize how many there were until I had someone slam turn 2 Goblin Piledriver against me. I would bet that with the right configuration, there is a deck hidden there that could be some sort of aggressive version of the old Melira Pod decks.

We also have Prime Speaker Vannifar and Corridor Monitor and Bounding Krasis. I 100% won't be the one to figure that out, but that way, you can get from 1 to 4. Felidar Sovereign Costs 4. Just saying. Too bad we don't have Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker in this hot spicy little number. But the sky is basically the limit on this one.

Something else that piqued my interest is that Dance of the Manse and Refurbish are legal. That might give us a consistent enough way to get artifacts back into play. Which usually ends in bad times. Could be something with Scrap Trawler. We've all missed Scrap Trawler... right?

Another card that I tried brewing with in Modern is Shadow of the Grave, the card looks so sweet! The first thing that comes to my mind is using it with Jeskai Ascendancy. But it could just as well be that the Sylvan Awakening deck could be strictly better. Which would mean that we have to find something else for it to do. It would give you a Jeskai Ascendancy deck that would be able to run Thoughtseize, though. Which depending on how the format develops could be very interesting.

One really cool thing I did encounter in my travels in the format was a deck that used all the adventure cards with Possibility Storm in a Jeskai shell that also supports Teferi, Time Raveler. The combo's there being that every adventure card you cast for its non-creature side ends up being a Nexus of Fate, thus netting you a 2-3-4 mana Time Walk. The other little tidbit is that together with Teferi, Time Raveler, Possibility Storm locks your opponent out of casting spells for the rest of the game. The spell they play goes on the stack. The Possibility Storm trigger happens, but then the card that pops out of the deck can't be played because the ability is still on the stack. The deck looked really sweet and is high on my to-do list for this week!

Are any of these cards going to be a real deck together? I honestly don't know. But I will be brewing to find out for sure!

2 Comments

No Fires deck? ;) by CheshirePlaysGames at Tue, 10/29/2019 - 15:21
CheshirePlaysGames's picture

No Fires deck? ;)

Haha, no that kind of fell by R Koster at Sat, 11/02/2019 - 11:19
R Koster's picture

Haha, no that kind of fell apart when I actually RTFC. The card still is sweet though :p