We went pretty deep recently trying to find some of the coolest decks in a brand new Frontier format. In some ways that was fantastic, as that is a format that has yet to be deeply explored. In other ways, it felt like delving through old Standard decks with new broken synergies. I don’t know what the future of Frontier holds, but I think it’s awesome that a new format can emerge and so many people can get excited by it (and so many people can post about how much they hate it every single day!)
We’re moving on from Frontier for the time being, although I can certainly see returning to it should the format continue to thrive and have some more big tournaments. This last weekend, a huge tournament happened on Magic Online that involves some of the biggest names in online and professional Magic. It also happened to feature Modern with a new banned list as Gitaxian Probe and Golgari Grave-Troll were no longer legal. CFB’s own Corey Burkhart emerged on top with his version of Grixis Control (surprise), and Steve Rubin took the other slot with his version of Bant Company.
You already know what Collected Company is capable of, and even though Modern is a more powerful format and you’re going to contend with lots of efficient removal and Thoughtseizes, this is still a great card. It hits every single creature in the deck, it’s an instant, and you get to play more hits due to the presence of awesome mana creatures.
Birds of Paradise and Noble Hierarch provide all of your colors, evasion or exalted, and are turn-1 accelerators. With lots of great 3-drops, being able to consistently have a turn-1 play is what makes this deck so explosive.
Knight of the Reliquary is the heavy-hitter. This thing will often start as a 4/4 since you have double-digit fetchlands to help fix your mana. Knight helps thin your deck, it’s a ramp spell, and can search up silver bullet lands for specific situations. Gavony Township is often the best with all of your Birds and Hierarchs laying around ready to be pumped. Ghost Quarter adds lots of utility and can break up Tron, Horizon Canopy can draw a card, and Kessig Wolf Run can end the game. After sideboard, Bojuka Bog can come in to really mess your opponents up.
The combo with Retreat to Coralhelm will produce a massive Knight. With the ability to get a Wolf Run after sacrificing all of your lands, you can end the game in 1 swing. It won’t do much without Knight, but with it it’s game-winning.
Bant gets to play Path to Exile, and in a deck that’s trying to establish tempo before running people over with a horde of creatures, this is the perfect removal spell.
There are lots of creatures that combine for both utility and efficiency. Scavenging Ooze is just a good card in general, even when it isn’t back-breaking for a deck relying on the graveyard. Same for Qasali Pridemage, which can get in damage early or kill a problematic permanent. Selfless Spirit can protect the team, Voice of Resurgence can really put a damper on interaction, and Vendilion Clique can do some serious work at breaking up combos. Spellskite can stop infect or Bogles, and Tireless Tracker is just pure value.
Steve Rubin may have really made his mark on Magic by playing G/W Tokens and winning a Pro Tour that was flooded with Bant Company, but he showed he can make that very deck work in Modern!