Welcome back to another Modern Monday here on ChannelFireball! Today I’m taking a look at something familiar, but different. I’ve tried a handful of B/W decks in the past six months, including B/W Smallpox and a very successful B/W Control deck. The control deck surprised me because dedicated control decks with removal and disruption and limited win conditions tend to struggle in Modern. It was so straightforward. It wasn’t trying to do anything unfair in a format of otherwise unfair decks.
Today’s deck looks a lot like that, only with more planeswalkers (as you may have surmised from the title). It’s definitely different enough from previous iterations to warrant its own Modern Monday, especially now that the legendary planeswalker rule is implemented. The deck was played by CharkAttack to a 5-0 finish on Magic Online. Take a peek.
Upon initial inspection, there are some very interesting inclusions here. Upon second and third inspection, however… yeah, they’re still there. The deck having 6 Leylines—of Sanctity and the Void persuasion—in the main deck is super neat. These are not great against all decks, but against the decks they are great, they might as well be blowouts. Of course, this is also a deck where you have alternatives if you draw them against the wrong decks. Specifically, discard them to the 3 main-deck Cryptbreakers, the Collective Brutality, or the single Liliana of the Veil.
What really sold me on the deck was its 9 planeswalkers. In Modern, this is almost unheard of. I wonder if I want more Liliana of the Veil, or even a couple of Liliana, the Last Hopes. I’m not sure, but I imagine that I’ll be able to tell after my matches.
Another B/W deck, another successful series of matches. Again, I’m impressed by how the deck performed. The benefit of playing black and white in Modern is that you have so many answers for everything. That being said, I’m not thrilled about only having 1 Disenchant in the sideboard, but it’s better than nothing. I have an Anguished Unmaking, which is also helpful.
It’s interesting to me that the deck doesn’t have any main-deck discard, like Thoughtseize or Inquisition of Kozilek. I don’t think this is a mistake, but it is fascinating. The 4 Duress in the sideboard, along with the Collective Brutality in the main deck, were all I ever really needed.
The Cryptbreakers were… weird. I like that they’re an engine unto themselves, what with making Zombies and drawing cards, but it always felt weird that I had no other Zombies in the deck. They also die to everything. I was a big fan of 1 Baneslayer Angel when I played the other list, and I could see doing a 1-for-1 swap here. That being said, I didn’t hate them. Being able to make a Zombie with excess lands or half of a Lingering Souls was decent—being able to draw extra cards is even better. Is it possible that you just want 1 Baneslayer and the other 2 Night’s Whisper instead? Maybe, but I’m unsure.
Ultimately, this deck was straightforward and efficient. I was surprised that my one loss was to Elves. Ordinarily, this deck should have a great matchup there, but who knows! Either way, B/W decks are my new go-to in Modern, and I strongly recommend you check this one out if you’re looking for something unique and powerful!