My readers know I’m not a fan of Modern, but since I’ve finished school, I decided to dedicate all of my attention to Magic. That means I plan to attend every European GP, which is why I chose to leave my beautiful hometown in August to go to Prague and play Modern.
I knew weeks before the event that I would play Humans. Humans is a fun deck I love to play and it still puts up great results despite everyone knowing it will be the most popular deck. Seeing that two Humans decks made Top 4 at Pro Tour 25th Anniversary solidified my choice even more.
I played roughly 10 Leagues on Magic Online before the event, but I didn’t play against any Hardened Scales Affinity or Ironworks Combo deck, decks I knew would be popular at the GP. I did play against a huge number of Celestial Colonnade decks and Urza Tron, so I built my sideboard to beat those.
There’s nothing fancy in my main deck, which is, at this point, the unanimous 60 for every Humans player.
The sideboard, however, had something new: Stony Silence, which led me to cut the Island in the main deck to bring back the second Seachrome Coast and have one more white source to cast the powerful enchantment.
This card didn’t even cross my mind for a very long time, as you barely have 11 sources counting Noble Hierarch, but my good friend Adriano Moscato Top 8’d the MOCS Playoff with two Stony Silence and two Rest in Peace, which got my attention.
Stony Silence is now way better than Kataki, War’s Wage, since Affinity as we know it is basically dead. Hardened Scales Affinity replaced it, and its four copies of Walking Ballista and four Ancient Stirrings, make your hate card weaker. Ironworks Combo also has four Lightning Bolt and four Engineered Explosives, making Kataki less and less relevant.
Stony Silence has also been great versus Tron because the most annoying card on their side is Oblivion Stone. Yes, they will board in copies of Nature’s Claim, but you’ll overload that with must-kill threats such as Damping Sphere.
Speaking of Damping Sphere, I think Humans needed this tool too, because the matchup against Tron is bad without it, and even if Tron isn’t that well positioned in the metagame right now (I saw a huge number of U/W Control decks, especially at the top tables), people still love to play Tron and the deck is always very popular.
Another slot I was very close to cutting was Auriok Champion. I see less and less Burn around, but that card is surprisingly good versus Hollow One and Bridgevine, as being able to block Bloodghast, Gurmag Angler, and Greater Gargadon is valuable. The popularity of the Bridgevine deck convinced me to keep two copies of Auriok Champion in my sideboard.
Matchup vs. Control
I played versus four control decks in this League. That League can help guide you on how to play versus control.
As I mentioned, I played against this archetype many times, and I feel confident in saying that the matchup isn’t unfavorable. You might even be a slight favorite post-sideboard.
Militia Bugler gave a huge boost to this matchup and I could even see having a fourth in the sideboard if you expect a lot of control decks. I definitely do after GP Prague. Being able to create a swarm of 2/3s, forcing them to Wrath your board and then fill it again is just huge. You’ll guarantee lots of damage and then eventually get them with your card advantage since they will naturally draw more lands than you do.
This is how I sideboarded:
I firmly believe that cutting Noble Hierarch is right. You don’t want to flood and your opponent is always giving you an extra land with Path to Exile. They will have lots of Wrath of God effects and your Noble Hierarch will be gone very soon.
Dismember might seem bad, but Celestial Colonnade and especially Baneslayer Angel are very hard to deal with and having a way to remove them is great. Sometimes it might get stuck in your hand and you will wish that it was a Human, but I believe that flooding is how you lose, and I don’t want Noble Hierarch.
Humans is definitely my pet deck now. I always root for it whenever I see it on coverage and I won’t leave it for anything in the world. I have tons of fun playing it and I enjoy tuning it for every event.