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By: olaw, Oliver Law
Jun 08 2020 12:00pm
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Hello!

Welcome to another Rogues' Gallery!  Companions continued to rule Modern over the past month.  However, the recent Companion rules change, issued on 1 June, may serve to change that.  However, whether paying 3-mana at sorcery speed to put your companion into your hand is truly enough to reduce the effectiveness of the companions has yet to be seen.

Let's take look at some of last month's best brews:

Orzhov Copter


This is an interesting deck that  seems to have been putting up some performances in the new format.  It's a grindy graveyard recursion deck that also capitalises on Lurrus of the Dream Den

I put together a version of this deck and gave it a quick test.  It's certainly more powerful than it looks on face value though it's a very different strategy that takes some getting used to.  You don't overpower your opponent so much as you grind down their resources while getting value out of your graveyard.

Four-Colour Winota


A spectacular brew.  ManaCymbal brings us a Yorion, Sky Nomad companion deck which looks to abuse new legend Winota, Joiner of Forces.  Special targets for Winota's ability include Agent of Treachery, to steal a permanent, and Auratouched Mage, which can tutor up Colossification for an immediate attack for 23 damage.  Cards like Seasoned Pyromancer, Blade Splicer and Pia Nalaar ensure that you have the non-Human creatures required to trigger Winota's ability.  It's an ingenuous brew!

Obosh Twin


Last month, I featured a popular Gruul Midrange deck which was using Obsoh, the Preypiercer.  The latest innovation has been to make that deck into a combo deck using Hyrax Tower Scout and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker to create a Splinter Twin style combo kill.

UB Slitherwisp


I felt that Slitherwisp had some potential when the Ikoria spoiler came out.  Thankfully Damon Alexander, of the Faithless Brewing podcast (which I have featured previously), managed to realise some of that potential with this sweet flash-based brew.  The deck uses a slew of powerful flash creatures and also the Omens to maximise the cards it can draw off Slitherwisp.

Lurrus Smallpox


This sweet list is a dedicated land killing Lurrus deck, using Smallpox and little used spell Crack the Earth to destroy opposing lands cheaply.  The deck then uses Lurrus to gain huge advantages as the opponent ideally flounders unable to cast spells.  Kroxa also helps the deck to finish off the game.  It's a sweet and powerful brew for those cruel enough to love land destruction.

CONCLUSIONS

The Modern format has been dominated by companions since Ikoria's release.  Thankfully at least some preliminary action has been taken to address this issue with the Companion rules change on 1 June.  I am skeptical whether this will be enough to curb the power of a companion like Lurrus, who still seems like a pretty sweet deal even in its amended form.  It does mean that you should get a draw step to find an answer to the companion and opens the possibility to use hand disruption to answer an incoming companion, which is nice. 

Slowing companions in a format that has the potential to be as fast as Modern may be enough though to give non-companion decks a chance to fight back.  I guess we'll find out next month what effect the rule change has on Modern decks.

Thanks for reading,

Oliver Law (olaw on MTGO)