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A Mardu State of Mind


Modern has a plethora of viable midrange decks, ranging from various flavors of B/G and Blood Moon decks to Eldrazi and Life from the Loam variants. Despite all of these variations, one thing we haven’t seen much of in recent months is Mardu. That’s honestly pretty surprising for me, since that color combination allows you to combine Lightning Bolt, Path to Exile, and discard spells to give you all the most efficient interactive spells. This week, Sam Black put together an exciting list which combines efficient interaction with some aggressive elements. Does this spin on midrange have what it takes to keep up in contemporary Modern?

There’s a lot to like about this deck in the current Modern format. The density of efficient interactions makes it difficult for decks like Affinity and Infect to steal games before you can throw a wrench in their plans. On top of that, you have Thraben Inspector and Smuggler's Copter to apply early pressure or sculpt your draw while you block on defense. The lessened reliance on Raging Ravine and Treetop Village means that you can interact more proactively and efficiently than other midrange variants.

To me, there are three exciting cards in this deck. Soulfire Grand Master is a great card in the format. Giving your Lightning Bolts lifelink is huge against decks like Burn and other flavors of aggro. It also gives you an absurd endgame in Kolaghan's Command plus Soulfire Grand Master. You can keep a Grand Master on the board through all manner of removal or lock your opponent out of their draw step.

The other key card is Crackling Doom. This isn’t a card you can play a ton of copies of, but it is a spectacular card against decks like Infect, Eldrazi, and Affinity, which make up a reasonable portion of the metagame between them. The ability to kill your opponent’s largest monster, be it a Glistener Elf or Reality Smasher, without targeting it is a huge draw to playing this style of deck.

It’s also worth considering that this color combination has access to Lingering Souls to buy a bunch of time against aggressive decks that rely on the combat step. Given the current state of the format, I’d have a huge preference for decks that can interact early and often, and which minimize the opportunities for your opponent to steal wins. This deck does a great job of both, and would be high on my list of things to try if I was in the market for a Modern midrange deck.

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