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By: olaw, Oliver Law
Sep 10 2019 12:00pm
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Hello!

Welcome to another Rogues' Gallery.  August has proved an eventful month for Modern with some major events and a very significant ban list update.  Hogaak was hit with the much touted banhammer after a spell of dominance since being released in Modern Horizons and, more surprisingly, Faithless Looting was banned which has left graveyard-based decks reeling.  An equally unexpected unbanning of Stoneforge Mystic also opens up some exciting brewing options for next month.

With all that said, let's take a look at some of the sweetest brews of the past month.

Bant Soulherder

This is a deck that has popped up over the last month and put in some good showings.  I believe the original design comes from Gabriel Nassif but it was SaffronOlive who managed to take it to a 5-0 in the MTGO Modern Leagues:


The deck capitalises on some unexpected Modern Horizons cards in the form of Soulherder and Ephemerate.  Ephemerate and Soulherder have some excellent blink interactions, particularly with Eternal Witness and uninterrupted can just take over the game with an endless run of value.  This can be interrupted in various ways but the deck plays an impressive grindy game that is surprisingly competitive.  Nassif's list also runs Time Warp as an end game with Eternal Witness allowing you to take infinite turns in combination with Soulherder.

You can check out Nassif taking the deck for a spin in the video below:

Elementals

Perseel took a spicy five-coloured Elementals deck to a 5-0 record in Modern.


This deck is a real ode to M20 with 12 main deck cards from the set.  The deck is much akin to Humans in that it is a Vial deck which is looking to play power all of the best cards of its tribe.

Variants of this list have continued to make 5-0 finishes so perhaps this deck has some legs as a long-term option.  Certainly with Hogaak leaving the format it may leave room for this type of strategy to thrive.

SaffronOlive took a version of this deck for a spin which you can check out in the video below:

Twiddle Storm

There was a lot of talk about the potential power of Lotus Field when it was released in M20.  It appears the card has now found a home in the following Storm variant.


The deck uses Lotus Field as its key combo piece, which thanks to Hexproof is difficult to answer.  The deck then uses a collection of Twiddle effects to untap the Lotus Field, each time allowing you to tap it for three more mana.  One of the keys cards is Psychic Puppetry which can be spliced onto Arcane spells, hence the slightly odd inclusion of Ideas Unbound, Reach Through Mists and Peer Through Depths as cards to splice Puppetry onto.

I am not sure whether the deck is truly superior to more traditional incarnations of Storm but it does rely less on cost-reducers like Goblin Electromancer and Baral.  It certainly is continuing to put up results and I guess we will see whether it has the legs to go the distance in the format.

You can check out Jeff Hoogland running the deck in the video below:

Eldritch Horses

There was a Modern Grand Prix in my current city of residence, Birmingham, UK.  Sadly, due to other commitments I was unable to attend but it was good to see some sweet brewing going on.  Martin Colding-Jorgensen brought pet deck Eldritch Horses and took 146th place in the Grand Prix overall.  The deck looks to abuse Crested Sunmare by putting it in play as early as Turn 3 and generating a big board presence.


The deck is certainly capable of making a big board presence and apparently even taking on Hogaak.  The deck looks super fun and was one of the cooler innovations coming out of the Grand Prix.  You can check out the video deck tech here.

Foretold Footfalls

A number of decks have been built to abuse the Suspend mechanic cards.  The latest addition to the pack, Crashing Footfalls, is also looking to be abused and gives a traditional beatdown option to the decks.


With Faithless Looting now banned I am not sure how well this deck performs.  Certainly Finale of Promise looks a lot less impressive in a world without Faithless Looting.

CONCLUSIONS

The banned and restricted update and particularly the banning of Faithless Looting is likely to have a significant impact on the Modern format.  Graveyard-based decks are all significantly less viable.  What will fill the void previously occupied by Hogaak, Phoenix and Dredge decks?  Well that remains to be seen.  It will be interesting to see how the format shakes out in the coming months and hopefully becomes more competitive and diverse than it has been in more recent times.

The majority of the decks that I have showcased are not effected by the bannings and so are potential options for the format moving forward.

Thanks for reading,

Oliver Law (olaw on MTGO)