Naming this deck Mardu is kind of a misnomer, I’ll admit, but to be fair, I do have black, red, and white cards in it. That being said, I'm rarely casting anything other than black cards. The list I'm looking at today is absolutely bonkers. I have no idea how it’s going to perform, and it was a genuine treat to find. It’s the kind of deck that makes me feel like Modern will never be solved and that there are always new and unique decks to try out.
The deck in question went 5-1 and was piloted by Magic Online user Tenshi in a Modern Challenge. I don’t even know how to explain this madness (ha, that was totally unintentional), so just take a look.
So, to be clear, this is a player who virtually sleeved up cards like Grave Scrabbler, Ruthless Sniper, and Call the Bloodline in Modern. I don’t really know how to process that, and I play all kinds of garbage in this format! These are cards that have been relegated to Draft chaff boxes for most of their existence, not top-tier Constructed formats! Yet here we are.
I got into a discussion this past week on Magic TV about the Modern format and someone commented on how it’s basically solved. I feel like decks like this, that regularly pop up with some metric of success, greatly disprove that. I don’t think Modern has ever really been solved, and I think Modern Monday, where I’m able to play a new and unique deck, week after week, is a testament to that.
But seriously, I want to see what this deck is capable of, so let’s find out.
Well, there were definitely times I felt like I was powerless, but there were also definitely times where I knew exactly how this deck managed to go 5-1. The synergies are through the roof, but there’s no mistaking that this is a deck that shines against creature-based decks more than control decks. I say this as I ended up rarely being able to profitably cast my Big Game Hunters and never being able to flip my Voldaren Pariahs. That didn’t affect things too significantly, though.
Instead of going over it week after week, please insert rant here about how I wish I had a way to deal with artifacts or enchantments. While dealing with enchantments is a little harder to come by in black and red, I can see adding something like Kolaghan’s Command to the side board for things like Pithing Needle (which are actually quite good against me). I do wish I had an efficient answer to cards like Ensnaring Bridge and Rest in Peace.
The deck is surprisingly more mana intensive than I thought it would be, especially if I'm leaning on Call the Bloodline and not Zombie Infestation. The mana for activations really starts to add up. One thing I did wish was that I had a single green source to cast the Driven half of Driven // Despair. If you have 5 or so tokens out, being able to swing through and draw some cards could be great at the cost of seemingly 1 Overgrown Tomb.
In conclusion, this deck was awesome and it’s such a great representation of what Modern is capable of. I’ve never seen anything like this deck and I was super impressed by it. Just think how good those Big Game Hunters would have been against cards like Tasigur and Death’s Shadow! I think this deck definitely has legs, and if you’re looking for a way to play some obscure cards in Modern, in an obscure deck, give this a try.