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5 Decks You Can't Miss This Week: #PTBNG Edition Redux


Sixteen rounds in the books and just eight players left. Modern has become an incredibly fresh and exciting format in the wake of the recent bannings and we're just getting started exploring. Today, Wizards released five more awesome decks from the Pro Tour with promises of more to come over the course of Sunday. Watch some of these decks in action over on the official coverage starting at 4:00 AM EST.

What do Zoo, Birthing Pod, and Blue-White-Red variants have in common? Not only were these decks anticipated to be the big winners in a world without Deathrite Shaman, but all of these decks have very weak manabases. Lee Shi Tian and his team capitalized on this weakness by building an incredible Blue-Red Control deck featuring maindeck Blood Moon that really punishes people for stretching their manabase too far. All you're looking to do is buy enough time to stick a Blood Moon, which turns your Spreading Seas, Remand, and Vapor Snags into straight up Time Walks while you win the game with whatever random creatures are handy. This plan, backed by the formiddable clock and removal suite of Snapcaster Mage and Lightning Bolt gives the deck formidable play and reach.

This deck may be here to stay, and I'm certainly excited to see how the metagame adapts to the presence of maindeck Blood Moons.

Sometimes you don't want to play a fair game of Magic and you just want to get your opponent dead. Enter Hexproof. You get all the best auras, all the Hexproof one drops, and totem armor to protect yourself from sweepers of all kinds. This deck is fast, powerful, and steals an awful lot of games from some of the best decks in the format. If Liliana of the Veil isn't seeing as much play and the format shifts towards midrangey Wild Nacatl and Supreme Verdict decks, then building your own Baneslayer Angel may just be the best thing you can be doing in Modern.

Maybe you don't expect to be facing down a ton of aggressive strategies. If you think you're going to see a lot more midrange and control, then Arjan Van Leeuwen has a sweet deck for you. Arjan's deck features all twenty playable discard spells in the format, ranging from Thoughtseize to Wrench Mind to Liliana of the Veil, and wins the game with eight copies of The Rack and Shrieking Affliction. On the off chance your opponent wants to get aggressive, you have Smallpox and Ensnaring Bridge to punish them for trying to play with creatures.

This deck is very narrow, and can be very easy to hate on, but if you expect to play against decks that try to sculpt their hands and Splinter Twin or Storm you out, then maybe you want to be maxed out on disruption and minimize the elements that interact with creatures.

If you expect a lot of midrangey creature decks, you could play a deck with Anger of the Gods. Or you could just kill your opponent with Living End. This deck is deceptively powerful, particularly in a format that is expected to be defined by Birthing Pod and Wild Nacatl. The ability to play a giant pile of Wrath of Gods that also generate a game-ending board presence is very powerful, particularly without Deathrite Shaman to keep your graveyard in check.

This deck is deceptively tricky, with cards like Architects of Will to mess with the top of your opponents deck, and has a surprpising amount of play. Even if you can't combo off, your creatures are rather large for the Modern format, and it's not out of the question to just start casting Pale Recluses after getting hit with one or two Path to Exiles. This deck has always been very solid, and it's not surprising to see it at the top tables again.

Finally, we have the new take on RUG Delver of Secrets, Patrick Dickmann's Splinter Twin deck with Tarmogoyf. The problem with many of the Splinter Twin decks in the format is that they're all in on the combo. They don't do a whole lot of anything, don't apply a ton of pressure, and just try to cantrip into their combo plus some disruption. That's all well and good, except that you have Abrupt Decay and its like to compete with.

Patrick's solution? Add real threats. Force your opponent to interact with your powerful creatures to create openings to jam the combo and kill them. Alternatively, you can force your opponent to live in fear of the combo and give yourself opportunities to burn them out in a flurry of Lightning Bolts and Snapcaster Mages. Is this the new face of Splinter Twin combo? We'll find out tomorrow on Pro Tour Sunday.

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