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5 Decks You Can't Miss This Week


It's time. Pro Tour Fate Reforged has come to Washington, D.C. and the spotlight is on the Modern format and all the wacky things that you can do in the wake of the recent bannings. We've seen Humble Defector in Splinter Twin. Tasigur, the Golden Fang has debuted in Abzan Midrange lists. Patrick Chapin cast Gurmag Angler in a Modern feature match. The possibilities are endless, and we'll have plenty to think about as results and decks from the Pro Tour start pouring in. In the meantime, I can't wait to start exploring.

The Abzan shell of Siege Rhino plus Courser of Kruphix poses a unique problem for aggro decks in this format. You have to sneak in underneath these cards with things like Hammerhand or risk getting locked out of the red zone and ground out by incremental lifegain. That means that aggro decks need to either go wide or get evasive. At least until now. Outpost Siege and Soulfire Grandmaster give midrangey takes on aggressive decks mechanisms of going into the lategame and still being able to steal games against bigger effects like Siege Rhino and End Hostilities. Get aggressive with Quitfish's take on Red-White aggro.

The basic shell is pretty typical. Efficient and resilient threats backed by burn spells and Hordeling Outburst. Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker and Stormbreath Dragon to give you extra reach. The difference is that this deck gets access to two big cards from Fate Reforged.

Soulfire Grand Master is an incredible way to swing races, particularly in conjunction with Stoke the Flames. Stoke is also a great option to use with Grand Master's ability to rebuy instants and sorceries, since you can dump your mana into activating his effect and use Goblin tokens to convoke your Stokes. This incidental lifegain and card advantage gives you mechanisms of grinding out the lategame besides Goblin Rabblemaster, which is something these decks have been sorely lacking.

Outpost Siege is the other big gain from the newest set, since both effects are extremely powerful. It's essentially a Chandra, Pyromaster that's more difficult to interact with and that also gives you the option to punish decks that plan on playing blockers or sweepers. This deck takes all of the most efficient and resilient threats available in red and white, backed by all the best removal, and ties it together with powerful card advantage engines that let you steal games that were previously out of reach. It may be time for aggro to return to Standard in a big way.

Many players were expecting Tasigur to make a big splash at Pro Tour Fate Reforged. A one mana 4/5 with upside? That's definitely Modern playable. But how many people were expecting Gurmag Angler? Patrick Chapin sleeved up a deck with the full four Anglers at Pro Tour Fate Reforged, and the deck that enables them is an exciting new take on Aggro-Control. Let's take a look at Patrick Chapin's Epser Delve deck:

Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time have been banned, but this deck is still all about delving. The plan is to chain together cheap spells like Mishra's Bauble, Thought Scour, and discard spells so you can play a delve threat on the cheap on turn two or three. From there you can leave up one-mana disruption like Stubborn Denial to protect your threat while you eat your opponent's life total in chunks of four and five.

The deck can play a either Angler or Tasigur on turn two a shocking portion of the time, and presents one of the fastest "fair" clocks in the format while still remaining fundamentally interactive. You get to play all the best card selection and interactive spells backed by what may be some of the most efficient threats in this format. This deck didn't put up a great performance at the Pro Tour, but that may be due to the prevalence of decks like Burn and Amulet Bloom rather than Splinter Twin and Scapeshift. Does Gurmag Angler have what it takes to be the new premier threat in Modern? Only time will tell.

Dig Through Time leaves an enormous gap in the format for instant-speed card drawing. In light of that, we saw shockingly few copies of Gifts Ungiven at the Pro Tour. With the format slowing down, one might have expected to see more people trying to set up Unburial Rites plus fatties. Butakov is trying to change that.

This deck seems like an awesome evolution of the base Green-White Abzan deck featuring Gavony Township piloted by Jacob Wilson and company at Pro Tour Fate Reforged. This deck eschews the aggressive cards in favor of a powerful late-game engine in Gifts Ungiven. You can set up Unburial Rites for game-ending fatties. You can set up Life from the Loam plus Raven's Crime, Ghost Quarter, or even Gavony Township. Your piles can even include random copies of Lingering Souls.

The best part about this deck is that you have a proactive gameplan besides Gifts. You can curve mana creatures into Knight of the Reliquary or Liliana of the Veil, or just use Lingering Souls to clog up the skies while you hit land drops and resolve Gifts.

Butakov has shown that there's still a lot of play to how Gifts is built and played, and that it may have a role in this new metagame. How big that role is has yet to be determined.

One of my favorite cards in Magic is Emeria, the Sky Ruin. For awhile now, there have been Sun Titan control decks featuring Emeria on the fringes of Modern play. It's been awhile since I've seen one putting up results, but Turbog73 might be on track to change that.

This deck does so many cool things, but it's fundamentally built around getting Emeria active. The engine of the deck involves using Wall of Omens and Pilgrim's Eye to hit land drops and buy time while you set up Flickerwisp and Sun Titan. Once you have enough lands, you can begin burying your opponents in cards.

Sun Titan rebuys all kinds of blockers, all of which draw cards. You can begin recycling creatures with Mortarpod, or Detention Spheres or Tectonic Edges. The exciting new technology here is Aether Spellbomb, which sits in play as a way of disrupting anything from Cranial Plating to Splinter Twin. There's a lot of small, cool interactions here that I'm excited to see more of.

I don't know that a deck that wants to hardcast six drops without any ramp is really a strong player in Modern, but I'd like to think that Sun Titan has what it takes to compete with the likes of Scapeshift and Splinter Twin. Maybe Turbog73 will prove me wrong.

Siege Rhino makes his triumphant debut in Legacy as a Green Sun's Zenith target! This awesome deck by Malhorn is a new take on the hateful Chalice of the Void aggro decks that we started seeing cropping up heading in to Grand Prix New Jersey. If you're looking to drain your opponent for three while Wastelanding them off of all their lands, this seems like a great place to start:

This deck is all about Wasteland and Chalice of the Void. All you're looking to do is jam early threats that require immediate answers. Chalice. Trinisphere. Knight of the Reliquary. These cards can all end the game on the spot or force your opponent into positions where you get to cast spells but they don't.

Green Sun's Zenith is the card that ties this all together, either fetching Dryad Arbor to fix your curve, Titania, Protector of Argoth to rebuy Wasteland, or Knight of the Reliquary to bring the Wasteland-backed beats. Add some value creatures, utility answers, and Sylvan Librarys to the mix, and you've got a deck whose raw power is off the charts,

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