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By: olaw, Oliver Law
Jun 04 2019 12:00pm
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Hello!

Welcome to the second installment of Rogues' Gallery.  In this edition I take a look at the hottest decks from the month of May.  With War of the Spark being released this month there are plenty of exciting new decks to talk about looking to abuse the new tools in the format.  So lets dive right in:

NeoBrand/Allosaurus Evolution

Our first deck to look at has had a lot of talk around it.  The deck is based around Neoform and uses it to turn Allosaurus Rider into a Griselbrand.  With Neoform and Chancellor of the Tangle this can be achieved as early as Turn 1.  If the London mulligan comes in then the early combo kills are a lot more consistent but the Vancouver mulligan is making it look a bit more tricky but it's still a powerful two-card combo.  This deck is going to be a big winner with the London mulligan coming back though. 

There are a number of lists floating around and by no means a consensus on the best build for the deck.  The decklist below was piloted by kanister, aka MPL player Piotr Glogowski, to a 5-0 run in the MTGO Modern Leagues.


With the Vancouver mulligan gone it's more important than before to have ways to dig so having Serum Visions, Dissenter's Deliverance and Manamorphose as ways to dig deeper to find your combo pieces is a good plan.

If you want to see the deck in action, you can check out my article on it here.

Bant Neoform

For a more honest use of the Neoform, we have cavedan's Neoform deck, which they call Bant Monkeyform.  The deck is a riff on the Evolve/Undying based decks that have been around in Modern, which use Rapid Hybridization/Pongify on their own undying creatures to make a rapid board presence.

 

Pitch Blue

The following list comes from renowned rogue deckbuilder Conley Woods and popped up on my Twitter feed.  I always immediately interested as this is an extremely spicy brew based around Narset, Parter of Veils.  I regret to say that I overlooked the new Narset in my set review and that could have been a mistake.  So this deck uses the new Narset and/or Notion Thief to prevent the opponent from drawing more than one card per turn.  This can then be combined with cards like Lore Broker and Day's Undoing to basically lock the opponent out of the game.  Lore Broker suddenly becomes a repeatable source of instant-speed discard and Day's Undoing has the opponent discard their hand and draw either 1 or 0 cards.


The deck also uses a bunch of 'pitch' spells, that can be cast by exiling other cards, to ensure it gets the upperhand from the cards it draws and can deal with anything that slips through the Prison.  The deck is actually much more effective than it looks and a really genius innovation.

A primer for the deck can be found at MTGSalvation.  I also covered this deck in the last edition of Becoming A Modern Man.

Teferi Pool

This decklist was run to 9th Place by Alan Gray at the SCG Modern Classic event in Richmond.  Alan Gray is only 16 years old and posted his tournament report on Reddit if you want to check it out.


The deck is a UW Control shell but is focused on the combo with Knowledge Pool and either Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir or Teferi, Time Raveler.  If you cast Knowledge Pool with a Teferi in play your opponent can no longer cast spells as they are not able to cast spells at instant speed, which Knowledge Pool forces them to try and do.  This effectively locks the opponent out of the game, meanwhile you are free to take advantage of the cards under the Knowledge Pool and should be able to pick up the win from there.  The list is very interesting but feels like it could use some tweaks.  4 Knowledge Pools main deck seems like too many and I think I would cut these for Karn, the Great Creator in some number who can then give you an artifact silver bullet sideboard and a way to find Knowledge Pool when required.

Niv-Mizzet Reborn Control

Just when you thought the decklists couldn't get spicier we get to cavedan's magnificent brew based around Niv-Mizzet Reborn.

 

Mono-White Legends

Mono-White Legends was a deck that briefly emerged after Mox Amber was released in Dominaria.  It never quite made it but the deck has had a ton of new tools from War of the Spark which may have upped its playability.  Spiderspace's decklist uses a trifecta of War of the Spark planeswalkers and new creatureland Mobilized District to power up the deck.


You can check out Spiderspace's Twitch channel to watch him discussing and running the deck here.

Goryo's Breach

Griselbrand has found a lot of new friends in War of the Spark.  The 2018 Magic Online Championship saw Bernardo Torres and Joao Andrade both bring this tasty brew to the tournament.  Bernardo managed to make the Top 4 of the Championship and ultimately finished in fourth place losing to Kenji Egashira in the semifinals.


The deck uses our new pig overlord Ilharg, the Raze-Boar as an additional Through the Breach effect.  It plays Generator Servant as ramp that also grants haste to Ilharg; making the Raze-Boar so much more potent.  Ilharg being legendary makes it a viable target for Goryo's Vengeance, which is another upside for the deck.

Kirin-geddon

The printing of Ugin's Conjurant allowed for the rather degenerate ability to cast it for 0 with a Celestial Kirin to Armageddon.  Kirin doesn't state non-land cards in its ability and now there is a 0-mana Spirit you can practice some serious land death.  Wolvenjoe1984 is the first person to have managed to post a 5-0 decklist with this spicy combo:


The deck also uses the new Vivien, Champion of the Wilds as a way to cast creatures, and the combo, at instant speed and to dig for creatures.  The deck seems super fun and it will be interesting to see if a consistent performing version of this deck can be made.

CONCLUSIONS

It has been an exciting month for Modern brews with War of the Spark having a really substantial impact on the format.  Long term it looks like Karn, the Great Creator is going to have a big impact on the format.  A lot of the other planeswalkers are finding there groove too and utility cards like Dovin's Veto and Blast Zone are also finding their homes.  It still feels like there is plenty of brewing potential with the set but there have been tons of exciting lists showing up all over.  Modern Horizons will be hitting shelves in the middle of next month so I expect to have lots more new brews then.

Lots of credit to Conley Woods, cavedan and spiderspace for building my favourite decklists of the month.  All of those brewers could have appeared in this article more than once.  Hopefully as this series progresses I will be able to pick the brains of some exciting deck brewers.

Until next time, thanks for reading,

Oliver Law (olaw on MTGO)
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