Magic: The Gathering - Core Set 2020
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A Vacation to Modern


Hello everyone and welcome back! I hope you all had a great Holiday. We had a lot of Modern events happen this past weekend so I’ve decided that will be the topic for today. We will be taking a break from Standard and going on a long and needed vacation. Standard hasn’t had many changes. It’s still dominated by Aetherworks Marvel with some ur Control thrown in and whatever flavor of hyper aggro you want to play, be it Mono-Black Zombies or some Mono-White Always Watching deck. I used to not be a fan of Modern but right now it seems great. Modern has a plethora of decks you can play and any one of them can win a tournament. On top of that new decks keep popping up or some tier two decks will all the sudden become tier one because of some new cards it gains from a new set. Today I’m here to talk about all these new decks and some that have just gotten a lot better thanks to some new cards. I don’t know about you but I’m a lot more thankful for Modern now and all the available strategies and decks you can play in the format. Make sure you’ve got your passport and flight ticket, because we’re off to Modern land for a nice and relaxing vacation!

First up is a deck that gained some new toys from the past couple of sets. It’s a combo deck that revolves around the card Krark-Clan Ironworks.

This deck aims to generate a bunch of mana through Krark-Clan Ironworks and then proceeds to draw a bunch of cards with Chromatic Sphere, Chromatic Star, and Terrarion. Then it kills you with Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or it can kill you by making a huge Hangarback Walker that makes a bunch of Thopters to kill you in the air. Scrap Trawler is what has pushed this deck so far. With Scrap Trawler you start recurring so many artifacts to draw a lot of cards and generate a bunch of mana then when you have another Scrap Trawler you can go nearly infinite. Sanctum of Ugin backed with Hangarback Walker lets you find Emrakul faster whenever Hangarback Walker is on the stack for eight or more. Hangarback Walker well always net you two mana when you’re comboing off, so keep that in mind. This deck has a lot of ins and a lot of outs. I would highly recommend you playing this deck before taking it to any tournament, at the very least make sure you goldfish it. If you liked playing the deck “Eggs” in the past or just like comboing off with artifacts, I’d highly recommend giving this deck a spin!

Next up is the deck that won Gran Prix Kobe.

Concealed Courtyard
This deck might not have many cards from new sets however, it did gain a lot of consistency thanks to Concealed Courtyard. It’s interesting because we keep seeing all sorts of Eldrazi decks keep popping up. First, we had Mono-Black Eldrazi, then Bant Eldrazi, followed by Eldrazi Tron and now wb Eldrazi is on the map as a Tier one deck that took GP Kobe by storm. So, what does the deck gain by going wb over Bant or Colorless Eldrazi? Well I would say Tidehollow Sculler, Wasteland Strangler, and more importantly, Lingering Souls was what it gained. This deck has access to Eldrazi Displacer but opts to not play any at all. A very powerful trick this deck can do is Tidehollow Sculler you on turn two and then on turn three it can cast Wasteland Strangler and process whatever card Tidehollow Sculler took so that your opponent can’t get the card back by killing Tidehollow Sculler. Speaking of ripping your opponent’s hand apart, this deck does it extremely well and often. On top of Thoughtseize, Inquisition of Kozilek, and Collective Brutality it has Tidehollow Sculler and Thought-Knot Seer. You thought Reality Smasher and Lingering Souls was hard to deal with before? Well, try to deal with them with few to no cards in hand. Decks that play a bunch of discard tend to have a lot of dead draws mid to late game, however this deck bypasses that a little bit because eight of its discard spells are in the form of creatures and a creature is never totally a dead draw.

The only thing I’d really want to play in this deck is at least one Vault of the Archangel since that card is amazing with Lingering Souls and Reality Smasher. Outside of that, if you already own the Eldrazi cards, you won’t have too far to go. Def give this deck a spin if you love the spaghetti monsters.

This next one is a doozy. We’ve seen two and three-color Control decks but Travis Perlee has decided that it wasn’t enough and has opted to play Four-Color Control. And no, we aren’t playing Vivid lands and Reflecting Pool.

Gifts Ungiven
So many singletons. I feel like Travis did what any sane magi player would do. He opened his trade binder and started flipping through it. As he was going through it he would pick cards that he liked or he thought were decent in the Modern format. Some of the card numbers are obviously only because he just owned one or two. Two Think Twice because he couldn’t find anymore and one Thought Scour because, YOLO. Gifts Ungiven? Sure, it’s a sweet card in my deck that is already full of singletons!

Seriously though, I’m giving this deck a tough time but I would 100% play it or play something extremely similar. I love playing a deck that has a lot of singletons that do similar things. It allows you to cover more things. For example: Think Twice and Thought Scour are both draw spells but Thought Scour does fuel Think Twice, Snapcaster Mage, Tasigur, Logic Knot, and Lingering Souls. Mana Leak is a fine counterspell early and mid-game where Logic Knot is okay early game but is assuredly a hard counter late in the game. However, the removal is some of the best, if not the best in the game. Travis may have been four colors but he had a playset of both Fatal Push and Path to Exile. The deck will slowly grind any creature deck to dust by killing everything and then either re-buying things with Tasigur and Snapcaster Mage or just burying you in card advantage with a Sphinx's Revelation. A super sweet and fun take on the Control archetype in Modern.

Want to play four Colors but don’t want to play Control? How about combo? Well, dust off those banned Felidar Guardians because they’ve made their way into Modern! Modern saving you from Standard in more ways than one. Heck, it will even let you play your banned Standard cards!

Saheeli Rai
This deck is very similar to a Chord of Calling deck but, instead of running Chord of Calling or Collected Company, the deck has Saheeli Rai and Felidar Guardian as a combo finish that can also be used for value if you can’t or don’t want to combo off. I really like this deck and love the inclusion of Meddling Mage. Meddling Mage is a tough card to play correctly because it requires you to know so much information. You need information not just on your deck about you also need to know what your opponent may have. I imagine Meddling Mage here will normally name a removal spell like Fatal Push or Path to Exile to protect your combo and creatures. However, against a combo deck you can also opt to name the combo pieces your opponent needs to combo off. That where the hard part comes in and it requires you to know what your opponent is trying to do. You can also just name value cards like Collected Company, Kolaghan's Command, or Snapcaster Mage. The other option you have is to simply Reflector Mage a creature and then name that same creature with Meddling Mage so your opponent can’t play it again.

This deck obviously has the combo of Saheeli Rai and Felidar Guardian to make an infinite number of cats but it also has another one in Saheeli Rai and Sun Titan. For you to get this combo to work, you’ll need to have two Saheeli Rais in your graveyard or one in your graveyard and another on the battlefield. When Sun Titan comes into play you’ll bring back a Saheeli Rai and then clone your Sun Titan to bring back a different Saheeli Rai from your graveyard then rinse and repeat to make an infinite number of Sun Titans. What’s always been great about Saheeli Rai, Felidar Guardian, and Sun Titan is that they’re not only combo cards but they are also fantastic value cards.

I really like the looks of this deck and it will be the one I most likely sleeve up and try. However, I feel like I will want a more value approach so while things like Kitchen Finks, Meddling Mage, Spreading Seas, and Reflector Mage are all good cards, I’d want things like Blade Splicer, more Eternal Witness, Wall of Omens, Scavenging Ooze, Restoration Angel, and possibly even Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker as another infinite combo piece. You have so many options and flavors that you can choose from. I feel like this deck has potential to be the second coming of Splinter Twin. If not now then surely in the future when the deck just gets more and more toys.

Well ladies and gentlemen, I hope you’ve enjoyed this break from Standard as we explored some awesome Modern decks. Hopefully you’ve found a deck to your liking. As always, thank you so much for being here and reading. It’s time to pack up and go back to Standard next week.

Much love,

Ali Aintrazi

@AliEldrazi on Twitter

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