Kiki Chord is the archetype that I piloted in the last Modern Pro Tour. I liked a number of the things the deck could do and thought it could do well in a field where interaction was king. I was happy to have a toolbox full of creatures, a bunch of great synergies, and a combo finish. After starting 3-0 in Draft, things felt great heading into the Modern portion. I didn’t make Day 2 after going 0-5.

So why do I want to talk about the deck now? A lot of that I can attribute to negative variance. There were a lot of mulligans, bad matchups, and the other usual suspects associated with a really bad record. But far more importantly, it’s received some pretty massive improvements from recent printings!

Enter Nahiri, the Harbinger. Nahiri can act as a removal spell for a number of problematic permanents in the format, but that’s far from the highlight. A deck with toolbox creatures is susceptible to drawing the wrong ones at the wrong time, hopefully only in game 1, but there are situations where the creatures also aren’t doing much after sideboard, depending on the game state. Nahiri allows you to start churning through your deck to find more useful answers. Her loyalty starts high and grows fast. It only takes 2 turns to get Nahiri within ultimate range, and when that happens….

Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. Annihilator 6. Game over.

Chord of Calling allows a toolbox deck to work. Without convoke, the card is just way too overpriced to do much of anything, but in a deck filled with creatures that are all going to help you cast this, a big Chord is easy to cast early. You’ll Chord for everything between 1 and 5, so the utility is huge.

 

Birds of Paradise and Wall of Roots are your mana creatures. They get you started early and will make sure you can keep pace with many of the fastest decks in the format. The combo of Wall of Roots and Chord of Calling to produce 2 mana is a great way to speed up your own clock.

Wall of Omens and Voice of Resurgence are all-stars in different matchups, but both provide a good amount of card advantage and early interaction. Voice really messes up the plans of blue decks looking to do their dirty work on your turn. You definitely don’t need to combo to win the game, and Voice is a big reason why the Elementals can finish the game in a hurry.

Eternal Witness is the most common card searched up by Chord, and that becomes clear when you realize it will also just return that very Chord back to your hand. This is a key piece of the engine and a single Chord can win the game in a couple of turns.

How that works is the first Chord gets Eternal Witness. You can then block with that Witness next turn, use the Chord you brought back, find Restoration Angel to blink your Witness, and the Chord is right back in your hand, exactly where you want it.

From there you can get Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker for the infinite combo with Restoration Angel.

With other cool creatures to get, such as Spellskite to both protect your combo or stop a Bogles or Infect player from doing their thing, Pia and Kiran Nalaar to create an army, and Glen Elendra Archmage to shut down someone’s entire game plan or all of their interaction, the possibilities are pretty endless. With all of Modern’s creatures to choose from, sideboarded bullets such as Kataki and Eidolon of Rhetoric really get to shine!

While I’m a little down on this deck thanks to my own personal failures, it still does a ton of great things. The Nahiri combo elements have just added yet another dimension to an already solid deck!

Kiki Chord

Jeff Hoogland, Top 16 in a Modern Open