Splinter Twin may no longer be a part of Modern, but that doesn’t the remaining pillars of the deck still make for an effective weapon. Playing spells at instant speed with the ability to combo off on your own turn is still a recipe for success in Modern, it just takes a bit more creativity.
Without the prospect of playing a turn-4 Splinter Twin against a tapped out opponent who can’t interact, you don’t need to go quite as heavy on combo pieces. That said, both Deceiver Exarch and Pestermite are reasonable cards. Exarch blocks well, and Pestermite flying through for damage is a very real way to win games (and was even with Splinter Twin in the format). These cards tap down opposing creatures, keep the opponent’s mana locked down for a turn, or simply add a threat while untapping one of your own lands. Untapping Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, is the best use, however.
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker is an infinite combo with any of your flash creatures. You can continuously make copies and untap the Kiki-Jiki each time. All of the copies have haste, letting you attack through for any amount of damage you can think of. Kiki is also a good value play and can combo with any of your other creatures and their enters-the-battlefield effects to bury your opponent in card advantage. Kiki is susceptible to cheap removal like Lightning Bolt, but is a game-winner otherwise.
The other creatures in this deck are part of the value package, and demonstrate why this deck is so powerful. The only creature that gets the full playset is Snapcaster Mage, and it’s so good that there’s even a Torrential Gearhulk. These can act as removal spells, permission, card drawing, and burn spells. On top of that, it’s another way to allow the deck to win the fair game through value, burn, and damage. Force your opponent to deal with these creatures, and they may leave themselves open to Kiki combo’ing off.
This deck also does a great job of playing the mana denial plan. Blood Moon can be lights-out against a number of decks, and Spreading Seas can really mess with both colored mana or lands with powerful abilities like Tron, creaturelands, or Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle while drawing a card to replace itself. Shutting down your opponent’s mana will slow them down even if it doesn’t completely shut them out, and makes it a challenge for an opponent to keep up multiple spells to interact with the combo at any time.
The permission gives this deck the ability to both interact and gain a nice tempo advantage. Remand slows your opponent down before you shut off their mana, and stopping a spell for a single turn when you’re combo’ing off is more than enough. Cryptic Command provides a hard counter that can win the game by bouncing key permanents (including land) or tapping down your opponent’s team. Mana Leak and Logic Knot provide some additional cheap interaction, and Snapcaster Mage plays well with all of these cards.
The only spells of which you’re playing the full playset are Lightning Bolt and Opt. Lightning Bolt is great for stopping the early rush and combos well with Snapcaster to end the game. Opt is interesting. Combo decks usually prefer the raw card selection of Serum Visions, but in a deck with 4 Snapcasters and tons of instants, Opt is a fantastic addition. You can leave up the ability to Snapcaster plus Opt or cast a flash creature, and casting a flash creature on 3 to untap a land and still play Opt gives you a valuable new dimension.
You have enough card selection that some 1-ofs can add a bit of excitement to the deck. Electrolyze will help burn an opponent out, clear the board, and draw a card. Dead // Gone is a nice removal spell that can also clear out a problematic larger creature. Engineered Explosives will be the best card in your deck in a variety of matchups that go wide, such as Affinity, Infect, Tokens, or Bogles.
Splinter Twin may be dead, but the strategy is alive. Interaction, card advantage, and a combo kill combine to make an awesome Modern strategy!
10189011, Qualified MTGO RPTQ