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There are very few things that most players can agree on about what kind of Magic is fun. I think most of us can come together and agree that having a whole mess of Planeswalkers on your side of the board is an absolute blast. This weekend, Chris Lansdell set out to show us that there are a number of exciting things that you can do with Planeswalkers in Modern, and that many of your opponents may not be prepared for them:


The backbone of this deck is the high density of mana acceleration. With Utopia Sprawl, Arbor Elf, Birds of Paradise, and Sylvan Caryatid, you have a full thirteen mana accelerants, eleven of which cost just one mana. Arbor Elf and Utopia Sprawl in particular allow you to do some enormously degenerate things early in the game, like casting a Jace, Architect of Thought or Chandra, Torch of Defiance on the second turn. This deck does a number of very powerful things, but you have to be able to do them quickly enough that you aren’t just dead.

Beyond that, this deck is looking to resolve a bunch of Planeswalkers and use the synergy between them to stall out the ground and take over a long game. You have Planeswalkers like Nissa, Voice of Zendikar and Xenagos, the Reveler who are great at making chump blockers. You combine those with Jace, Architect of Thought, Tamiyo, Field Researcher, Gideon Jura, and others who make combat exceptionally difficult for opponents, and it forces them to play into the likes of Chandra, Flamecaller and Nahiri, the Harbinger. Jace, Architect of Thought in particular is a powerful card in Modern as it completely shuts down the offense of decks like Affinity and Infect unless them have their various pump effects, which substantially narrows the scope of cards you have to worry about.

The real power of this deck is in what happens when you resolve a Doubling Season. Suddenly, you have the ability to all manner of degenerate things, many of which lead into Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. Jace, Architect of Thought can ultimate immediately, allowing you to cast your opponent’s best card and another Jace, Architect of Thought. You can keep doing this until your last Jace ultimate, which can fetch your Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. Nahiri, the Harbinger can similarly just go get you an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and decimate your opponent’s board. Your other Planeswalkers will lead to more drawn out, but potentially more fun games. Tamiyo, Field Researcher lets you do all manner of absurd things given the density of Planeswalkers in your deck. Nissa, Vital Force and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon both get you out of the red zone against aggro decks and let you fuel up. There’s no end to the absurd possibilities.

What’s important to note here is what the sideboard is trying to accomplish. You have a couple of ways to go over the top and fight against Blood Moon decks. You’ve got Ajani, Mentor of Heroes and Worship to protect your life total against aggressive decks. Mark of Asylum protects your mana creatures from sweepers like Pyroclasm and Anger of the Gods. Then you’ve got Idyllic Tutor to tie it all together. If you can focus your sideboard such that you play more copies of the cards that matter most in your metagame, that’s probably for the best. But for a wide open format, it makes some sense to play a few high impact enchantments and Idyllic Tutor to provide redundancy for all of them.


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