It’s been awhile since I’ve really dug into Modern, and it’s partly thanks to a lack of professional events. When I’m only playing 3 or 4 Modern Grand Prix a year, I didn’t think that trying to learn every tier 3 deck was worth my time.
Now that the Modern Pro Tour is back, that gives me an incentive to learn new niche decks. I don’t want to eliminate decks that I could play based on lack of experience—I want to be able to make a deck choice knowing all the variables.
There are 5 decks I have my eye on. Three of them are rather new, one of them is a new take on an old archetype, and one of them is really spicy—I’d be surprised if you had ever seen it before last week. Can you guess those 5 decks?
U/R Gifts Storm
LuisMJ, 7-0 at a Modern Challenge
I have played a fair amount of Pyromancer Ascension Storm, but this new mainstream version of Storm is probably the most drastically different we’ve seen since Rite of Flames and Seething Song were legal.
This list above is streamlined, yet you can’t call this archetype solved. I’ve seen lists running Apostle’s Blessing as a way to protect its Goblin Electromancers and Barals for free, some lists with 0 Remand or 2 Remand—even Merchant Scroll and Peer Through Depths have made their way in here.
First of all, I want to learn how to play this deck. By that I mean, what should my Gifts Ungiven look like?
What are the upsides and downsides of this version over the classic Pyromancer Ascension build? Instinctively, I’m guessing it’s a little slower, but much more consistent.
In any case, its been posting reasonable results recently and should be at the top of my priority list.
IxidorsDreams, 4-3 in a Modern Challenge
Whenever a deck has Thoughtseize, Fatal Push, Liliana of the Veil, and Lingering Souls, you are rarely doing something wrong. Despite this particular way of rounding out the last cards, I believe this deck is quite good and that’s only based on the matches I’ve played against it.
Having played some amount of Faeries recently, I would start with Bitterblossom in the main deck. It is phenomenal against Grixis Death’s Shadow.
Then I want to figure out if this is just a cute version of other decks that play with the package of efficient black spells such as Abzan or Death’s Shadow. I’m taking an educated guess that it’s good in attrition mirrors, but I’ll have to find out.
Todd Stevens, 1st Place at an SCG Team Constructed Open on 7/22/2017
Todd Stevens is essentially the only person I’d ever heard of playing this deck. He ran it months ago with Crucible of Worlds, except now, it has Ramunap Excavator! A little more fragile, yet more versatile as it’s a creature, which happens to be another Collected Company hit.
When I look at a pile of Courser of Kruphix, Knight of the Reliquary, Eternal Witness, and Tireless Tracker, I’m wondering if this isn’t just way too durdley. On the other hand, Modern has become a lot slower and creature-based, so Path to Exile, Kitchen Finks, Scavenging Ooze and Voice of Resurgence are probably enough to survive and get to do your thing.
Most of the unfair decks are land-based, and this deck is really good at Ghost Quartering people.
I’ve had very good results when trying anything that Todd Stevens plays, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this green-white strategy was actively good. I’m pretty excited to Strip Mine lock my opponents.
Black-Blue Taking Turns
Daniel Wong, 7th place at Grand Prix Las Vegas 2017 – Modern
I have been giving archetype zero credit ever since it popped up. To be fair, it did not have many competitive results until Daniel Wong Top 8’d Grand Prix Las Vegas with it. I’m still highly skeptical that this is anywhere near tier 2, but I’ll give it a shot.
This specific 75 gives me a headache just looking at it… 2 Fatal Push!? Censor!? Snapback!? Commander!? Don’t even get me started with the mana base. I will still copy the list for the first League because I’m not one to make changes to a deck I have no experience with.
For about a year or two, “Turns” has been associated with something similar to the list above, but someone out there has a different take on it.
Blue-Red As Foretold Turns
I have no idea what to call this deck. It’s essentially a Turns strategy mixed up with As Foretold.
Whoever designed this is a mad scientist and I like it. I like the look of this deck much better than the blue-black version. Why? It actually looks like it can do broken things.
Madness… Zombies… Discard…
Speaking of mad scientists… this is something.
This deck sounds pretty bad against any combo not relying on creatures, as this black deck doesn’t even have much hand disruption. Still, as I said above, Modern has never been that fair. It could be time for a weird strategy like this to shine.
It should be my last priority, as this is nowhere close to being a popular deck, but I can’t resist—it looks like too much fun.