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Aristocratic Method

Modern is in an exciting place right now. There are a myriad of viable strategies coming from every possible angle, and no one deck comprises more than a tenth of a typical metagame. With the format being so wide open, there are opportunities for all manner of interesting strategies as long as you’re willing to put in the work to figure out the optimal configuration. <a href = "https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/mtgo-standings/competitive-modern-constructed-league-2018-02-09" target="_blank">Here’s one</a> interesting take on the format from Zemonck:

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<a target="_blank" href="http://www.coolstuffinc.com/p/Magic%3A+The+Gathering/Blood Artist">

Blood Artist
</a>Several years ago, we saw a number of exciting takes on an Aristocrats strategy, named after Cartel Aristocrat. These decks relied on cards like Young Wolf and Skirsdag High Priest alongside Lingering Souls using sacrifice outlets and morbid effects to do all manner of crazy things. This deck follows in that tradition, but has the entire Modern cardpool to make it happen.

Doomed Traveler and Blisterpod are your one-drops of choice, giving you plenty of value while you block to keep your head above water. Viscera Seer and Cartel Aristocrat are your sacrifice outlets. Voice of Resurgence and Tidehollow Sculler are your two-drop value creatures, both of which play very nicely with your sacrifice outlets.

All of this leads into different endgame plans depending on what you’re playing against. If you have to be the beatdown deck, then you’re looking to follow up your early pressure with Abzan Ascendancy. This pumps your team and gives you even more value when your opponents start trying to leverage removal spells. Alternatively, you can use Blood Artist to start draining your opponent out, particularly with Collected Company to help find additional Blood Artists or just bodies that you can sacrifice more than one time.

Otherwise, if you’re playing a more controlling game or the board stalls out, you can try to combo. Your combo involves Return to the Ranks, which you can cast for huge quantities. This can buy back any number of Satyr Wayfinders and Blood Artists so you can try to drain your opponent out all in one shot.

If you’re looking for a resilient aggro deck with a combo finish, this seems like an interesting approach. Most of your cards are good on their own, and you can do all manner of tricky things by sacrificing creatures at different timings to fight various removal spells or trigger your own effects. There’s a lot of nuance here, and plenty of angles ranging from Collected Company to Abzan Ascendancy to Return to the Ranks. It’s hard for opponents to interact along all of these axes, and with so many different aspects and on-board tricks, it’s not unreasonable to figure that you’ll find many opportunities to outplay opponents who are unfamiliar with what you’re trying to do.

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