When I think of players who understand deck building, Gerard Fabiano is high on my list. His decks don’t always look like everybody else’s, and he has some pet cards other people are rarely high on, but his decks make sense. When Gerard was able to capitalize on getting to play two formats into a Top 8 and a dominating finish at the Invitational this weekend, earning himself the top seed, I was far from surprised. His Temur Moon deck has a lot to like.
The focal point of the deck isn’t Blood Moon, but it’s a viable win condition against enough decks in the field that it merits some inclusion. You’re playing heavy blue with good mana, so you’re able to play plenty of basic Islands to facilitate the Moons. Even when it isn’t locking your opponent out, it’s still putting in work by shutting down their creaturelands, Valakuts, Tron, and Azcantas.
A large number of blue decks that lean on Blood Moon have been putting up results in Modern. The decision to go a third color is solely for threats. The green creatures cover various points on the curve and can put the opponent in a spot where they don’t have any answers. This starts with Tarmogoyf being the largest creature available for 2 mana. While Fatal Push and Path to Exile are efficient answers to this threat, they’re not necessarily the most played right now. Many decks are leaning more on Lightning Bolts, and if they don’t have Push, then Tarmogoyf can take over. Many Rakdos and Mardu lists I’ve seen don’t even have main deck Fatal Pushes due to their weakness against key delve creatures like Gurmag Angler, and this just adds value to the ‘Goyf.
Tireless Tracker and Huntmaster of the Fells both add value and quick clocks. They both trade well against spot removal, as getting a Clue or Wolf token will put you ahead on cards in those exchanges. If left unanswered, both win the game in short order. Huntmaster isn’t a commonly played card, but it provides a life buffer, multiple threats, and the ability to take over just about any game by flipping it. And in a deck with as many instants as this one, you can pass on your turn and still interact on theirs.
The other creatures are the value blue creatures. Snapcaster Mage is the king of Modern right now. Less seen is Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy, but it’s a fantastic card. This deck can’t utilize Jace to his fullest potential with mostly just some card drawing ability and a little bit of burn to flashback, but it’s still a valuable looter and strong planeswalker.
Fabiano’s split in card draw spells is a bit unexpected, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see other decks go down a similar path. He has the full playset of Serum Visions, 3 Opts, and 1 Thought Scour. Scour is the least powerful of the bunch, giving you no card selection whatsoever, but it can combo super well with Snapcaster, Jace, and Tarmogoyf. Serum Visions gives you the ability to set up your draw, but it’s also important to have some number of sorceries in your Tarmogoyf deck. Having access to 8 total draw spells for a single blue lets you go down on lands a little bit while still being likely to hit your curve.
The countermagic here is a mix of Mana Leaks, Spell Snares, and a single Remand. Remand can be incredible as a tempo play in decks like this, but not being able to fully stop the spell from resolving is far from amazing if you can’t close the game quickly. Having a harder counter in the early stages helps to make sure your powerful creatures can survive while also not dying to combo.
Your removal suite focuses on Lightning Bolt as a way to kill most early creatures or burn your opponent out. Pairing Bolts with Snapcaster Mage can equal a lot of damage out of nowhere, and this is valuable in a deck with ‘Goyfs and Huntmasters that can close a game quickly. You also have 3 Engineered Explosives—a critical weapon against a variety of decks. This will be your MVP against Affinity or Bogles where you can completely wipe their board, but even against U/W Control you can kill Detention Spheres or other problematic permanents to get you back in the game.
Temur Moon looks like a deck full of good cards that work well together, and that’s a solid place to be in Modern right now!