If you like blue cards, the latest work of Shota Yasooka is sure to reveal something special. This weekend, the control master took U/B Faeries into the tough field of the MOCS Monthly and emerged with a qualification for the Playoff. Time to dust off those Bitterblossoms!
Bitterblossom was the best card in what was one of the best Standard decks of all time. Bitterblossom was so good that it never had the chance to dominate in Modern, and earned its spot on the banned list before the format rolled out. Since becoming legal, Bitterblossom has been an okay role-player, but hasn’t come close to influencing the format. Control strategies haven’t been successful for most of Modern’s existence and, despite being one of the best cards in W/B Tokens, that’s yet another deck that hasn’t had success. An additional creature, with evasion, on every turn of the game, can be too much for many decks to handle. You may be losing a life each turn, but this is a great way to defend yourself and a win condition.
Jace, the Mind Sculptor has really changed the Modern world we’re used to. Blue decks have been on the rise even before we got Jace back, and having access to a planeswalker of this power level is amazing. Conveniently, Jace and Bitterblossom happen to play really well together and go in similar shells. The Bitterblossom tokens can protect the Jace, and both cards capitalize on cheap interaction to take over the game.
Discard can help clear the way for these threats. You go heavy on Inquisition of Kozilek since you’re most concerned about not falling too far behind early, but a copy of Thoughtseize and a couple copies of Collective Brutality help out. Brutality gives you some reach as well as a cheap removal spell, making it one of the most flexible spells in Modern.
For additional cheap removal, look no further than Fatal Push. This is a great tempo spell that kills almost every relevant creature in Modern. For the few creatures that get out of range, you have a copy of Murderous Cut.
For traditional countermagic, you don’t have much. You can present a pretty quick clock and are looking to dominate the middle stages of the game. Mana Leak is the perfect counter for the job to keep them off early spells. Cryptic Command does everything. Whether you’re countering spells, bouncing problematic permanents, tapping their team, and/or drawing a card, Cryptic does it all.
You also have Spellstutter Sprite as a cheap counterspell that also provides a threat on the battlefield. With so many cheap spells in Modern, many of which only cost 1 mana, Sprite needs little help to be solid. With access to Bitterblossom, Spellstutter quickly becomes a hard counter that also provides a 1/1 flyer for 2 mana.
Your other Faeries happen to provide some additional interaction. Vendilion Clique can break up an opponent’s plan by taking their most powerful spell, their removal, or a piece of their combo. In matchups where you have dead cards, Clique will let you cycle one of them for a fresh look. Mistbind Clique provides you with a large flying threat out of Lightning Bolt range. Tapping an opponent out during their upkeep can provide tempo, and ambushing a creature in combat with a 4/4 flyer can be an excellent removal spell. Clique can exile your Bitterblossom before you take too much damage or tuck away a Vendilion for value in response to removal.
Snapcaster Mage, with so many cheap spells, gives you an additional flash threat and more card advantage. While you don’t have much in the way of cheap card draw, you do have a couple copies of Opt to help you find the spells you need and continue to play at instant speed.
U/B Faeries is a deck we rarely, if ever, see in Modern, but if Shota is adding Jace to this classic archetype, maybe there’s something special here!