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Scorched Earth


Modern is a format full of glass cannons. Affinity, Infect, and Collected Company are all enormously powerful decks, but they are also very vulnerable to specific pieces of hate. That means that if you can find a deck that can play all the efficient interaction and hate cards, you’re going to be very well-positioned. The issue then is control and midrange decks, which are less vulnerable to narrow hate cards like Stony Silence and the like. But those decks still have their own vulnerabilities, and TheAgent002 may have found a way to attack both the linear and non-linear decks of the format. Let’s take a look:

The exciting thing about this deck is that it combines the ability to attack the linear, creature-based decks with the ability to deny colors to the three-color midrange and control decks. The deck has all of the efficient interaction that you need to keep up with the aggressive decks in the format: Lightning Bolt backed by Lightning Helix and Anger of the Gods in the main deck backed up by effects like Declaration in Stone in the sideboard. On top of that you have Boom // Bust, Blood Moon, and Molten Rain to fight against the likes of Inkmoth Nexus and to deny opposing control and midrange decks the ability to cast their powerful three- and four-drops.

The critical card for this deck is Boom // Bust. Boom // Bust is particularly powerful in this deck, given that you can use Flagstones of Trokair, Darksteel Citadel, and even fetch lands to turn it into a two-mana Stone Rain. You can target your fetch land with Boom // Bust and then fetch another land. As long as your opponent’s land is still a legal target, Boom // Bust will destroy and you’ll be ahead a land drop. All of these ways to cast Boom // Bust for value early on in the game are important because of the presence of Goblin Dark-Dwellers in this deck.

On its face, Goblin Dark-Dwellers is a great way to use Molten Rain and other spot removal to keep your opponent's mana constrained. However, Goblin Dark-Dwellerscan target Boom // Bust because the "Boom" half of the card costs two mana. Upon resolution, you can choose to cast the "Bust" half of the card and resolve an Armageddon with a 4/4 menace in play. It’s usually going to be pretty tough to come back from that, especially since Goblin Dark-Dwellers is a pretty absurd clock on its own.

That’s not the only way for this deck to close out the game though. You also have access to Nahiri, the Harbinger to control the board and help filter your draw so you can find enough spot removal and land destruction to prevent your opponent from clawing their way back into the game. Once the game is locked up, you’ve got the new classic finisher of using Nahiri, the Harbinger's ultimate and putting a hasty Emrakul, the Aeons Torn onto the battlefield.

All of this disruptive power, combined with the powerful top end, and Simian Spirit Guide to cheat ahead on the curve means that this is a deck that can aggressively deny opponents the resources to play the game as early as turn one. All of this, and I haven’t even touched on the power of Blood Moon to randomly steal games from opponents who aren’t being careful. As long as Modern is defined by linear decks and three-color midrange decks, I think that this combination of mana denial and efficient hate cards is a fantastic way to gain an edge on the format.

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