Tasigur is the more versatile creature, but Soulflayer has much higher potential power level, if we work for it. This new rare is worth working for. The explosion payoff is high.
I recently wrote about a few Modern options for Soulflayer and I have since taken a close look at aggro options for the card to tune a deck that can burst out fast turn-3 and turn-4 kills with souped-up Soulflayers.
I’ve found fitting this in a Dredgevine shell to be perfect. There’s a lot of overlap to create a consistently fast and powerful deck that plays strong cards that combo even stronger.
Let’s take a look at some of the enablers.
For a Soulflayer, double Strike + haste punches 8 damage now and 8 damage next turn which is good enough for a kill in Modern. Turn 2 Soulflayer swing, turn 3 finish is what we’re hoping for.
For double strike, the best two options are Viashino Slaughtermaster and Prophetic Flamespeaker. While Flamespeaker can offer trample and draw, Slaughtermaster is cheaper and hits harder. Cheaper is very important in a Vengevine deck that tries to play 2 creatures in the same turn.
Both work but Slaughtermaster is the faster, more aggressive option.
Flying is an important ability for Soulflayer to soar over Siege Rhinos and various grand chumpers. We have tons of great flying options.
Birds of Paradise fits in perfectly to give us a speed boost, bring back Vengevine, and grant flying. Stinkweed Imp similarly lets us dump a good chunk of our deck into the graveyard, dredges back to be cast for Vengevine, and flies.
Vault Skirge is another flyer that is important for granting lifelink. Lifelink is a great ability against lots of Modern decks, providing a buffer for our life total. Vault Skirge is also another 1-drop for Vengevine.
Trample is necessary to crash through Lingering Souls tokens, and these are our best options.
Lotleth Troll is a great aggressive weapon that lets us discard key pieces from our hand—great tool.
Faithless Looting and Grisly Salvage are two great spell enablers to get our graveyard engine going. Faithless Looting is an easy inclusion. Grisly Salvage can be a bit slow, but looking at 5 cards to find a Soulflayer and dumping the rest can set us up to win later.
While there’s multiple ways to build the main this is the 60 that I’ve been liking. This build is extremely fast with multiple routes to victory. The biggest potential room for improvement is leaning the curve toward 1, but this version is built for power.
For the mana base, fetchlands are great as they fix our mana and feed delve if we need it. Verdant Catacombs and Wooded Foothills turn on our Birds of Paradise, but Bloodstained Mire could be good as well.
With this build I chose to play a minimally interactive game 1, hellbent on speed. It may be wise to play disruption in the main but I choose to keep mine in the sideboard.
Souflayer Dredgevine Sideboard
Abrupt Decay is a versatile answer to most things in Modern. Especially great for breaking up Twin or Infect combo, but this spell has a myriad of uses.
Turn 1 Birds of Paradise turn 2 Blood Moon is GG against a lot of decks so this card is perfect in the board. Blood Moon is still one of the most powerful/obnoxious sideboard options available and this deck makes good use of it.
Grudge and Darkblast are two highly synergistic removal spells. Meant to be brought to kill troublesome creatures for + value.
If you want to grind out and beat any control deck this is an engine to do it. It may not be necessary for every sideboard but I am a big fan of playing highly synergistic cards over more individually powerful options. I am a team player and this is a good team.
If you wanted to just play the best cards, selective discard is about as good as it gets in Modern so I wouldn’t fault anyone for playing these in the 75.
This is the sideboard I’ve been playing with. Trying to sideboard in minimally and lean on our speed as much as possible. This sideboard package gives us a lot of adjustive power to various strategies.
That’s my take on the Soulflayer Vengevine deck. I’ve found this deck to be extremely fast. A great option for impatient aggro players that like to start playing right away, especially if you want to try out a new card like Soulflayer.
Have your own version? Think there are some important enablers that haven’t been mentioned in this article? Would love to hear.