It all started with preparation for the second WMCQ in Sweden, which was Modern. Everyone has felt the impact of Reflector Mage in Standard, and just as an impressive Limited card can get you thinking about its potential for Standard, Reflector Mage’s dominance had me looking to find it a home in Modern. Reflector Mage naturally goes with Collected Company as everyone already knows, and that’s where my research began. After some tinkering, I remembered Alessandro Lippi’s success with Bant Company from GP Bologna, back when the Eldrazi winter was upon us.

Bant Company

This list is obviously heavily influenced by the Eldrazi menace, featuring main-deck cards such as Intrepid Hero and Phantasmal Image. There’s a lot of interesting synergies going on here that I would like to take advantage of, though.

Reflector Mage is a beast in this deck. Aside from being a great hit off Company, you can Meddling Mage the bounced target, negating them from replaying it, and you can copy Reflector Mage with Phantasmal Image to get the effect once more, leading to powerful tempo plays. If Phantasmal Image is killed, you can also retrieve it with Eternal Witness, which lets you get another effect or a huge creature at a low cost, or just get another 2/1 for 2 mana copying the Eternal Witness to return what you actually wanted. Phantasmal Image is also great with Meddling Mage to name a lot of cards, sometimes just shutting an entire deck out preboard, like Living End, or naming all the removal spells from a removal-light deck.

Since it wasn’t Eldrazi winter anymore and more like non-Eldrazi summer, I updated the deck into something more fitting for the format. This is what I had before the WMCQ.

Vial Company

It’s hard to contain myself from giggling like a school girl every time I get to tap my Aether Vial for a Reflector Mage and then cast Collected Company—sometimes getting another Reflector Mage or copying my first one. Adding Aether Vial and Flickerwisp, a neat trick from Death and Taxes in Legacy, gives the deck another angle of attack. All of a sudden, it’s extremely hard to play against between the enters-the-battlefield effects that can come in at instant speed with either Collected Company or Aether Vial. Voice of Resurgence is here to force your opponent to cast their spells on their turn, making it easier for you to punish them at instant speed and gives you a little déjà vu of playing Faeries. Scavenging Ooze, as well as Knight of the Reliquary, help you finish the game once you’ve entered your happy place.

Did I play the deck at the WMCQ? No.

Why? First off, I felt like the deck was good, but it didn’t have that finishing touch to make me confident enough to run it at the event. Second, Suicide Zoo was still underrepresented and underestimated, so there wasn’t reason enough to stray from that. So that leads to the question: Why did I choose to write about the deck now and what has changed?

Two words: Spell Queller.

Spell Queller fits perfectly here. It plays well with your flash game, it’s a 0-mana Counterspell with Aether Vial, it’s a good hit off Collected Company, and can be copied with Phantasmal Image to counter a spell if Aether Vial is on 2 or via Collected Company.

Bant Flash Company

Before the updated build, the number of hits in the deck for Collected Company was a bit low, but since you were not a combo deck like Abzan Company to win on the spot, you needed a bit more interaction, so it was an necessary evil to run at least 3 Path to Exile. Spell Queller solves this problem and lets you go up on hits once more while packing even more interaction. With the addition of Spell Queller, I’ve moved a Spellskite from the sideboard to disrupt my opponent from easily interacting with Spell Queller. It gets especially nasty when you can get their Lightning Bolt at instant speed with Aether Vial and Spellskite.

Sideboard Guide

These are the 5 most common matchups I expect to face at a Modern event.

Jund

Out

In

The matchup is mostly about card advantage and creating velocity on the board. Cards that naturally do that are Eternal Witness, Collected Company, and Gavony Township.

Reflector Mage is another card that you might not think is great in the matchup but actually is. Jund is a lot about presenting 1 or 2 threats, then dealing with everything you do. If you remove one of these powerful threats, they are usually fine with it since they will try to grind you out in the long run anyway. So if you spend time and a card on removing their threats, you play into their game plan.

Reflector Mage lets you deal with their threat while presenting one of your own, which is exactly why it’s so good in the matchup. Meddling Mage, however, isn’t great in the matchup because Jund runs so many different removal spells, meaning it will never really lock them out of anything in particular and the body is kind of weak.

Aether Vial is good in the matchup because you can create velocity and gain advantage by making your threats harder to play against. Drawing 2 copies isn’t great though, which is why you go down to 3. Reveillark is a nightmare for Jund, especially when you run high-value targets such as Phantasmal Image, Eternal Witness, and Knight of the Reliquary. Kitchen Finks is a hard-to-deal with threat while Path to Exile is insurance against Dark Confidant or Olivia Voldaren.

Affinity

Out

In

As with almost every deck, the matchup against Affinity preboard is much tougher than post-board, when you bring in a lot of powerful cards in the matchup. Reflector Mage, Spell Queller, and Phantasmal Image are great here. Reflector Mage because the game is about tempo, and Spell Queller and Phantasmal Image because of Affinity’s lack of interaction. As long as you keep up, your more powerful cards such as Collected Company and Knight of the Reliquary will get you there in the end.

Bant Eldrazi

Out

In

The only really bad card you have in the matchup is Spell Queller, because of their high converted mana costs. You can’t counter Reality Smasher, Elder Deep-Fiend, or Drowner of Hope. The deck also runs Eldrazi Displacer, which can release the card exiled by Spell Queller. With that said, you also have a lot of great cards in the matchup. Remember that the first iteration of the deck was actually built to survive the harsh climate of Eldrazi winter. Phantasmal Image becomes a huge creature in the matchup for a low mana cost. Reflector Mage is naturally great versus huge threats and since their creature suite is so streamlined, it’s easy to get them with a couple of Meddling Mages.

Dredge

Out

In

The matchup can be a nightmare without Scavenging Ooze. It gets a bit better post-board with Relic of Progenitus, but might still be hard. On the play, you do have Spell Queller, which can really get them because of their lack of interaction, giving you the potential to tempo them out.

Suicide Zoo

Out

In

The plan is very similar to playing versus Infect, except it’s easier to block in this matchup. The plan revolves around trying to get a board where you can block while keeping mana up for cards to interact with them, like Collected Company or Path to Exile so they can’t combo you out with a pump spell and Temur Battle Rage. This is where Aether Vial truly shines, since it lets you interact with their combo at instant spell through Reflector Mage, Spell Queller, Spellskite, or Flickerwisp, as well as Phantasmal Image if you have any of the targets on the board, while tapping out to advance your own board.

If you want something new and exciting, or if you’re transitioning into Modern after playing Bant Company in Standard, try this deck out. It’s hard to play against, it’s powerful if played correctly, and incredibly fun to jam games with.