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By: olaw, Oliver Law
Dec 17 2019 1:00pm
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Hello!

Welcome to another Rogues' Gallery!  November has been a relatively quiet month for Modern compared to the past few.  There haven't been any new cards entering the format and no banning or unbannings to mix things up.  At the end of month we had GP Columbus which is the first major Modern tournament for some time.  It was taken down by Sultai Urza and also hosted a few surprises in the Top 8, including an apparent revival for the Humans archetype.

So lets get into the decklist that caught my eye over the past month:

Aggro Loam


Aggro Loam is a deck that has been around for a really long-time, however, its success died out several years back and it hasn't really been something I have looked back on since.  However, hjedmondson's list brought my attention back to the deck.  The deck runs a series of large creatures, including Tarmogoyf and Countryside Crusher to bring the beatdown.  It then has the Life from the Loam/Seismic Assault package that can finish a game in a hurry.

The deck has had some upgrades since its earlier days.  Forgotten Cave and Tranquil Thicket provide a nice draw engine in combination with Loam and can also be used to get extra Dredge activations on Loam.  Also, Pillage and the unbanning of Bloodbraid Elf give some powerful additions to the deck.

The deck is also pretty budget friendly on MTGO at a cost of under 80 tickets.  Having tested the deck I have had some fairly middling results but the deck is definitely grindy and can outlast a lot of decks trying to play fair.

Kethis Combo


This is a fun new combo that has been ported over from Standard.  The deck is based around Kethis, the Hidden Hand's second ability to allow you to play legendary permanents from your graveyard for free.  In combination with a Mox Opal/Mox Amber and a Grinding Station you can then mill out your opponent by repeatedly sacrificing and recasting the Opal/Amber.

Emry is amazing in this deck as it fills the graveyard to assist with the combo and can also buy back your various artifacts.  There is also a tasty little combo with Hope of Ghirapur by which you can attack with Hope, sacrifice it and then recast it with Emry to soft lock your opponent out of casting non-creature spells.

Naya Landfall


It has been a  considerable amount of time since I have seen a Landfall-based deck.  There is certainly a drawback to having creatures that rely on Landfall triggers to mount a serious offence, however, the upsides is some very fast and impactful damage dealing when combined with multiple fetchlands.  Wrenn and Six is a wonderful addition to this type of strategy helping to keep the landfall triggers flowing.

Bant Defenders


Wall/Defender decks are super cool and this deck combines all sorts of Defender-based goodies into one exciting package.  While I can't imagine this deck being a long-term competitive option it does look like a lot of fun.

Niv-to-Light


Niv-to-Light is a brew that was popularised some time ago but I have never featured it before and it put up a good performance at GP Columbus last month.  Faithless Brewing podcast members Dan Schriever and Damon Alexander, who designed the deck, took the list to 40th and 42nd place respectively at GP Columbus which is a great showing for the deck.

The deck is an exciting five-coloured affair looking to capitalise on draw power of Niv-Mizzet Reborn, which rewards you heavily for playing slightly bizarre combinations of multi-coloured cards.  Utopia Sprawl and Arcum's Astrolabe help fix the manabase and then you have a combination of powerful gold creatures, spells and planeswalkers to support Niv.  Bring to Light is also a big part of the deck as it is a tutor for many of your silver bullets or can fetch out a Niv-Mizzet to restock your hand.

CONCLUSIONS

There isn't a ton of excitement around Modern with Pioneer certainly taking a lot of attention as the shiny new non-rotating format.  I think Modern has actually reached a fairly stable position - I think the Urza decks are ones to watch but certainly the results of the GP didn't indicate that it was overly dominant.  As such Modern seems to be in a relatively decent place after the past few months of imbalance.

I will be back with more brews next month!

Thanks for reading,

Oliver Law (olaw on MTGO)