This week’s deck is like nothing I’ve ever seen in Modern. That’s not exactly unusual, though, and I don’t always know whether this is a good thing or a bad thing before I actually put the deck in question through its paces. I’ve gone and named the deck Gideon Snow, a reference to the King of the North himself, for reasons that will become apparent soon enough.

While the deck we’re looking at is an unknown quality, I am quite familiar with the pilot of today’s deck. None other than Magic Online mainstay Tulio_Jaudy himself played this list in this past weekend’s Modern Challenge on September 2nd.

Gideon Snow

Gideons.

And snow cards.

Usually I present a little more fanfare before showing off the deck, but I didn’t feel like that was necessary here. Besides, without just showing you the deck, I wasn’t sure how much I would actually have to work with.

One thing to keep in mind is that Tulio went 4-3 with the deck in the event, which is still a winning record, but not an incredibly impressive one. And that’s fine. Sometimes you want to test new ideas and have fun with them. I think that’s what Modern Monday is all about, so when I get to play cards like Wall of Shards, Emrakul, the Promised End, and Gideon’s Intervention in Modern… well, consider me sold.

I have to assume this deck was at least in part influenced by the new planeswalker rule because as soon as it was announced, Gideon was the first planeswalker that popped into everyone’s head. Being able to have two Gideons on the field is a decent benefit, especially when you have an emblem from Gideon of the Trials.

Otherwise, this is basically a mono-white control deck with a snow package to give you a form of card advantage. Your late-game threats are solid and you have a lot of ways to deal with some of the more problematic cards in the format, so let’s see if I’m able to do  that.

Well unfortunately, the new planeswalker rule hasn’t been implemented yet on Magic Online, as I learned the hard way. I would have assumed this was one of the main reasons for playing a deck like this, but alas… no. This caused me to lose a Gideon of the Trials for practically no reason and couldn’t have been beneficial for my record. It actually makes me wonder if Tulio also thought it was in place when he chose to pilot the deck—typically, Magic Online makes changes like this earlier than usual, so I wouldn’t have really been surprised if this was the case.

All that aside, I don’t think not being able to have two Gideons in play at the same time was really the big issue here. Believe it or not, this deck was surprisingly difficult to play. You have a lot of great removal that’s all very specific. Sometimes you might play a Wrath of God when you should have instead played a Gideon’s Intervention. Sometimes you play a Blessed Alliance when a Condemn was ideal. And I still had a hard time finding the time to play the Wall of Shards.

The problem is that Modern is a format of turns. What I mean by that is that, given enough turns, most of the better Modern decks can find a way to win. They can sculpt their hand into exactly what they need, or they can amass all of the combo pieces they’re looking for. Without a guarantee that it’s going to be destroyed, Wall of Shards is a scary proposition, allowing opponents to amass a crazy amount of life, and buying them numerous turns when your most common clock is 4 or 6 damage a turn.

Was this deck fun to play? Most definitely! Do I think it gets better after the rules change? Also yes! Do I think it’s competitive and in need of some tweaks? Well, that’s two questions, so no and yes. Give it a shot though and let me know what you think! Thanks a ton for reading and I’ll catch you later.