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A Monumental Martyr

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As Modern skews increasingly towards aggressive decks and combo decks with fixed amounts of damage output, Martyr of Sands becomes an increasingly interesting card. The card Martyr of Sands can buy you quite a bit of time against decks like Humans and Burn, as well as just ending the game against decks like Scapeshift. The problem is that Martyr of Sands strategies tend not to be good against control decks. This week, Lear_The_Cat has a build that may solve some of these problems:


Martyr of Sands
The core of this deck is the combination of Martyr of Sands and Squadron Hawk. Squadron Hawk fills your hand for Martyr so you can gain the maximum amount of life. Squadron Hawk also pairs well with your Mistveil Plains to give you recursive threats against grindy matchups.

The key difference between this deck and other Martyr of Sands decks is that you aren't dependent on gaining a bunch of life and attacking with Serra Ascendant. Instead, your Ranger of Eos targets are Thraben Inspector to grind out value and Hex Parasite to shut down cards like Arcbound Ravager and planeswalkers.

Your end game is also bigger than most Martyr of Sands decks. Most builds top out with Ranger of Eos and Archangel of Thune. This build goes even bigger, with Thalia's Lancers helping to find cards like Archangel Avacyn to shut down sweepers, as well as Gisela the Broken Blade and Bruna, the Fading Light. These big cards pair well with your Emeria, the Sky Ruin to give you an indomitable end game of putting a giant meld monster into play and endlessly recurring your threats.

The interesting part of this deck is that it plays so little removal. Most Martyr of Sands decks play some number of Wrath of Gods to shut down Humans and other beatdown decks. Instead, this build goes wide with Oketra's Monument. This lets you generate additional value off of your Squadron Hawks and Whitemane Lions. Whitemane Lion gives you the option of chaining it to generate tokens or picking up value creatures like Thraben Inspector and Ranger of Eos.

If you're looking for a way to grind out a ton of value in long matchups and while locking out aggressive decks by gaining a billion life, this seems like a strong choice. As long as you're not expecting a ton of decks like Tron and non-interactive combo decks.