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Tough Enough


There have been a lot of "toughness matters" cards printed in Modern-legal sets. It all started with Doran, the Siege Tower, but now that we have access to the likes of Assault Formation, the gameplan is a lot more consistent. It also helps that we have plenty of creatures with high toughness and powerful effects to choose from. Can these creatures keep up with the likes of Death's Shadow and Burn? There's only one way to find out:

Doran, the Siege Tower
One of the most exciting things about this deck is the possibility of curving Treefolk Harbinger into Spellskite into Doran, the Siege Tower. This curve puts enormous pressure on your opponent while also stopping dead most draws that include cards like Goblin Guide. Spellskite in particular is an incredible card in this deck, as it gives you maindeck counters to cards like Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, Arcbound Ravager, and all the auras in the Bogles deck. It also serves to protect your Doran or Assault Formation against decks like Jund.

That said, decks with a high density of removal can still keep your high-toughness creatures off the board, thanks to Fatal Push, Abrupt Decay and Path to Exile. Enter Lingering Souls. This is your answers to decks that go wide like Affinity, or decks that want to trade one-for-one with all of your creatures. That said, Lingering Souls has to be a much slower clock than beating down with Spellskites and Dorans, right?

It's actually not as slow as you might think. It turns out that it's really easy to pump toughnesses quite a bit for very little mana. Tower Defense and activations of Assault Formation threaten enormous amounts of damage, particularly in conjunction with Lingering Souls, and also make combat a very difficult prospect for your opponent.

If you're looking for a more aggressive take on midrange, this seems like a very fun place to start. Lingering Souls seems great in this format, and maindeck Spellskite is absolutely backbreaking in a number of matchups. The combination of disruption, removal, and a very fast clock has traditionally been a good one, and this doesn't seem to be an exception.

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