The success of Modern Humans is no fluke. Access to all 5 colors lets you fill your deck with strong, efficient threats throughout the mana curve. Ancient Ziggurat, Cavern of Souls, and Unclaimed Territory make for 12 lands that can cast any creature in your deck. Can a deck that wants to upgrade in power level by moving away from Humans function?
You have a number of other lands that produce five colors, not to mention some incredible mana creatures in the Modern format. Ancient Ziggurat will still help cast most of your spells, and you add Pillar of the Paruns to make it easy to cast your many gold creatures. Gemstone Mine and Mana Confluence give you additional color fixing at a cost, and Reflecting Pool is as good as they get if you’ve drawn any of your special lands. The playset of Birds of Paradise and Noble Hierarch you’re running can’t be cast off your Pillar, but the rest of your lands get the job done. Once in play, you have plenty of color fixing and some ramp to get out your fantastic creatures.
Because of Pillar of the Paruns, you want to play as many gold cards as possible. Luckily for you, because of the “increased” difficulty to typically cast gold spells, the gold creatures just happen to be more powerful on the curve anyways. You get to play Qasali Pridemage to give you additional exalted triggers next to your Hierarchs, as well as a way to interact against opposing enchantments and artifacts. As a creature that can attack for 3 for just 2 mana, it’s ahead of the curve. Voice of Resurgence is a nightmare for decks that rely on Snapcaster Mage. Players are even moving to Opt over Serum Visions to leave mana up on the opponent’s turn, and Voice punishes that to the max.
With 8 mana creatures, your 3-drops are likely to come down on turn 2 and make an immediate impact. Curving Noble Hierarch into a turn-2 Mantis Rider allows you to attack for 4 in the air and still have a large flying creature back to block. This is extremely hard to race.
Speaking of hard to race, Kitchen Finks will gain you a bunch of life and create a tough-to-deal-with threat. A single removal spell doesn’t stop creatures with persist, and Finks will be back for more life and more problems.
Anafenza, the Foremost provides a large body as early as turn 2, and an ability that can take over the game. Exiling creatures does a real number on decks like Dredge or anything with Goryo’s Vengeance, and the 4/4 body is out of range of removal like Lightning Bolt. Once Anafenza starts attacking, you get to spread +1/+1 counters onto your creatures for a super fast clock.
Remember Siege Rhino? The little card that ruined the days of Abzan opponents in Standard for oh so long is still a potent threat in Modern. The size of a Rhino is out of range for removal spells like Lightning Bolt and Abrupt Decay, and the drain makes racing extremely tough as they’re taking a large hit to their life total and you’re getting a comfortable buffer.
If Mantis Rider is good, Falkenrath Aristocrat has the chance to be great. You have plenty of other creatures to give it indestructible, and a 4-power flying haste creature will end the game quickly. You even have some Humans in Noble Hierarch, Mantis Rider, and Anafenza to pump your Aristocrats.
Abrupt Decay is a nice removal spell, as it answers many problems and can be cast off your Paruns. The playset of Path to Exile helps to clear the way for your oversized creatures. The 1-mana cost is a great tempo play to let you continue adding to the board while keeping the coast clear.
Accelerating out huge creatures on turns 2 and 3 is a great way to win a quick game of Modern. When your creatures also have evasion, haste, and can drain a player out, you’ve got a viable and effective weapon.