My goal was to feature Modern decks that take nothing or very little from Death’s Shadow. If Death’s Shadow is the consensus best deck in Modern, you'll want to find cards that don’t overlap if you're planning to play Team Unified Modern this weekend. That said, today's deck is too sweet to not take a closer look.
Bitterblossom’s removal from the banned list didn’t result in a big shakeup. Faeries was not the dominant deck it had been for so long in Standard, despite having all the same tools and more. Bitterblossom certainly wasn’t the problem there, as this card is quite powerful. For just 2 mana, you’re getting an army with evasion that slowly grows each turn. This was the best card in B/W Tokens strategies, but that deck is lacking right now. If Faeries has what it takes to compete with the top decks, then Bitterblossom is going to be the reason why.
Most of the new tools Faeries received are in its spells, as the Faerie tribe hasn’t added many noteworthy creatures lately. Fatal Push means it's no longer a mistake not to play Lightning Bolt or Path to Exile. A weakness to Tarmogoyf was too much to overcome, and Fatal Push shores up that shortcoming. A 1-mana removal spell that kills almost everything in the format is incredible for tempo, and that’s a key to Faeries. Unfortunately, this spell looks too important to cut, but perhaps Death’s Shadow can use a different removal spell if you decide to completely change the Faerie sideboard to make it happen.
Snapcaster Mage with Fatal Push is amazing. Snapcaster has been utilized with the red and white 1-mana removal spells for so long, and this is an upgrade in many matchups. It also encourages rewards you for playing even more cheap spells.
The counter suite in this Faerie deck includes lots of ways to interact early. A full playset of Spell Snares stops a plethora of powerful Modern options. At 2 mana, 4 copies of Mana Leak will put your opponents on the back foot while Remand often acts as Time Walk.
Spellstutter Sprite might be a good enough card to play in a deck without Faeries. There are a lot of cheap plays across Modern in all flavors of decks (think Goblin Guide, Lightning Bolt, Chromatic Star, Serum Visions, Fatal Push, Death’s Shadow, etc). With additional Faeries, and especially Bitterblossom, it just becomes a 2-mana hard counter.
Vendilion Clique is perfect for its combination of disruption plus pressure. Clique hits hard, is the perfect play when you don’t need to cast a counter, or can just come down on upkeep to mess up a curve.
Faeries is playing a bunch of cards that were banned in Modern not too long ago. Turn-1 Ancestral into Bitterblossom is a tough curve to beat as you’ll be churning out creatures and drawing cards without investing any additional mana. With all of your interaction, you’ll have the tools to protect both.
A full playset of Cryptic Commands was a sure thing in all sorts of blue decks not too long ago. This is one of the best spells ever printed and each mode is relevant. You get a hard counter, you get a Fog effect, you can bounce problematic permanents, you can set up an alpha strike, and you can always draw an additional card if you don’t need to double down on any of these things. This is the top of the curve and the only spell that costs 4 or more mana, so it still works well with the tempo plan. You can also set up loops using Snapcaster and Cryptic to bounce them back to your hand and maximize the number of Commands you cast.
With Mutavaults and Creeping Tar Pits to pressure opponents in any grindy matchup, Faeries looks to be able to capitalize on some of the best tempo options in all of Modern. Fatal Push may be the card that puts Bitterblossom back on the map.