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The Cat and the Furious

At one point, Wild Nacatl was one of the most powerful cards in Modern. Various takes on the card were a dominant presence in the format, including builds featuring counterspells like Bant Charm and Unified Will as well as hyper aggressive builds with Geist of Saint Traft, Tribal Flames, and Snapcaster Mage. Wild Nacatl was banned for awhile, and that style of deck fell out of favor as a consequence. Since the unbanning, Wild Nacatl hasn’t seen a ton of play because of how much faster the format has become, but perhaps The addition of yet another super efficient Green threat to the format can change that:

This combines pieces of two powerful decks in Modern, from the various BGx decks that are now playing Grim Flayer and the super aggressive Wild Nacatl decks. The power of this deck is in the efficiency of its threats and interaction spells. With Wild Nacatl, Tarmogoyf, and Grim Flayer as efficient threats, you can pretty easily get on board ahead of or at pace with all the fast decks in the format. That, combined with Lightning Bolt and Path to Exile as removal, plus five one-mana discard spells gives you plenty of early interaction to prevent your opponent from interacting with or racing your threats.

The updside of adding Wild Nacatl and Tribal Flames to this strategy is that you can more effectively race opposing decks, and are better at leveraging the time that disruption buys you to try to get your opponent dead. The problem is that you’ve cut all of the Planeswalkers, Abrupt Decays, and creature lands that make the midrange decks favored against the late game decks in the format. That means that the deck is going to be at least a little soft against Snapcaster Mage decks that are packing Path to Exile. Sure, you’ll steal some games with timely Tribal Flames, but you were always more likely to win by grinding out games with Raging Ravines.

If you’re expecting to have to play a lot of games where you need to race, this seems like a fantastic choice. Even though the raw power of Tribal Flames and Siege Rhino will just kill plenty of more controlling opponents, this is a worst choice than the true midrange variants against a slower field. That said, if you’re looking to play with Wild Nacatl and bring Tribal Flames back to the forefront, this is a great way to do it.

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