This week will not be the first time I’ve played a Human-based deck or a 5-color creature deck in Modern, and it will not be the last. As with all decks I revisit, this one has some upgrades over previous iterations in the form of Thalia, Heretic Cathar, Thalia’s Lieutenant, and even a couple copies of Kambal, Consul of Allocation in the sideboard.
The deck we’re looking at was played by Magic Online user Naemen to a 5-0 League finish, and it looks straightforward, as most base 2-color aggressive decks do. See for yourself.
There was a similar list that also went 5-0 about a week prior, piloted by user zOOrg89. That one had a few notable differences that I’ll touch upon below.
Typically when I play decks like this, I end up pleasantly surprised. There are several lands, like Ancient Ziggurat, Cavern of Souls, and Pillar of the Paruns that make these decks function efficiently, allowing them to play all variety of creatures. This looks like a tamer version of those decks, where you’re mostly focused on white and green Humans while splashing for Sin Collector and Reflector Mage. Let’s see how that works out.
Well, I wasn’t expecting to have to deal with protection from white creatures, or creatures that exile themselves when you target them, or main-deck Anger of the Gods in round 1, but there I was. While I lost, I was thrilled about the Ad Nauseam game, which was great, so be sure to check that one out.
The strongest feeling I had was that the mana base was a little odd and gave me a bit of trouble at times. As far as sideboard cards go, you already have a Godless Shrine in the main deck for the Kambal, Consul of Allocation, but if you want to cast Izzet Staticaster or Vithian Renegades, you basically have to draw a Cavern of Souls, which makes for a weird 2-card combo. Of course, you could always hit them off of Collected Company, but it’s not guaranteed, and sometimes you want to cast them inresponse to something, not randomly with Collected Company.
Additionally, with only 7 noncreature spells in the deck, I could see adding an Ancient Ziggurat or two. Not only would this help with some of those obscure sideboard Humans, but it would also guarantee you being able to cast any of your 1-drops on turn 1. 3 Gavony Townships might also be one too many when you’re trying to cast 4 colors of creatures in your main deck alone.
I’ve played similar lists that were based on Humans, and one of those versions had a slightly different mana base to accommodate cards like Mantis Rider (which is oddly a Human) and Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy, two cards that felt sorely missed here as they provide a nice amount of reach.
I also wasn’t fond of having 3 of each legendary Thalia in the deck. Sure, they both serve a purpose, but I found myself stuck with all 3 copies of either Thalia more than once. Let’s slide in another Mayor of Avabruck or two in their place (which somehow isn’t legendary—multiple mayors?). Now those are some hard workers, and are two of the differences in the zOOrg89 list that I was referring to.
As you could tell from the matches, the deck seems to struggle against combo. I think Stony Silence is one of the strongest sideboard options white has, completely shutting down multiple archetypes, from Tron to Affinity to Lantern, and whenever a deck runs fewer than 3, it shocks me.
Other than that, I enjoy aggressive, tribal strategies like this, so if you’re looking for something similar, give it a spin and make a few changes. Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you later!