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Four Brave New Modern Decks


With the recent changes to Modern, including the neutering of Hogaak and the unleashing of Stoneforge Mystic, there were sure to be some new decks popping up or even some old sweet decks that were suddenly rejuvenated by the update to the format.

Today, I'm going to look at four very different decks that have shown up in Modern in the past week and have definitely piqued my interest. Some of them are plays on older archetypes with a few updates, and some of them are new and exciting ideas that are the result of cards from the past month or so entering the format. Either way, I hope they end up getting your creative brewing juices flowing the same way they did mine, because I think these are a breath of fresh air in the format.

I've probably played and written about Smallpox decks in Modern about five times at this point on various sites. They're always kind of middle of the road, but they always manage to eke out a good number of wins while being a really unique option in the format, which is nice. Jacob managed to do more than that with the deck, thanks to the addition of none other than Stoneforge Mystic herself, netting him a sweet 9th place finish this past weekend.

The deck looks pretty standard, as it's basically a bw Control deck, with lots of Planeswalkers, and ways to take advantage of Smallpox, such as Flagstones of Trokair, Bloodghast, and Lingering Souls. As I mentioned, this deck isn't exactly new, but it does have a sweet new angle to attack from as it's now able to search up things like Sword of Fire and Ice and Batterskull. Additionally, when you've drawn both of your equipment, the extraneous copies of Stoneforge Mystic are great cards to toss into the trash can with cards like Liliana of the Veil or Smallpox itself.

While interesting, this is likely the most boring of the decks we're going to be taking a look at today, but despite that fact, it's still a nice change of pace from your typical Modern fare.

The next deck I want to look at has a special place in my heart. Way back in April of this year, one of the first few articles I had written for CoolStuff was about Niv-Mizzet Reborn in Standard. The card is just immensely fun, and I couldn't wait to try it out. The best part was how many different combinations of cards could be included in the deck, along with how many you could likely draw off of the Dragon.

It was such a complex card that it was almost impossible for there to be a perfect configuration of the deck, and that was in Standard. Take a look at what MTGO user Perfection was piloting for Modern Niv-Mizzet Reborn!

Niv-Mizzet Reborn
Now I'm not sure if Perfection was the creator of the deck, or simply someone who picked it up and took it for a spin, but this is basically a work of art. Like I said earlier, the impossibility of choosing the perfect configuration of cards in Standard was hard enough, but within the Modern card pool? It basically feels like a crapshoot. Just pick whatever you like or feel comfortable with and roll with it. One thing to remember is that you want to make sure and distribute the ten color pairs evenly enough so that you maximize the cards you draw with our dragon bro.

The best part about running five colors is that you basically get to include answers for everything in your deck, and whenever you don't have an appropriate answers for something, you can use Glittering Wish to go find it. I'll also add that having a copy of Unmoored Ego in the main deck is super spicy, and should be great at dealing with a ton of Modern strategies. And can we talk about how sick it is that Bring to Light gets basically any card in the deck aside from Planeswalkers, including Niv-Mizzet himself?

As usual, this is a deck that has four copies of both Arcum's Astrolabe and Ice-Fang Coatl, two of the most popular and well-represented cards from Modern Horizons, and this deck is likely the most fitting one I've seen for the pair.

Yes, this is the second deck on the list that has four copies of everyone's favorite snake, Ice-Fang Coatl. And with good reason! LordoftheLobsters is piloting a deck that focuses around the obscure Modern Horizons uncommon, Soulherder, which is basically doing its best Modern-legal Brago, King Eternal impression.

The goal of the deck is obviously to play a bunch of creatures with enters-the-battlefield abilities, then blink them with either Soulherder or Ephemerate, the latter of which can also manage to protect your Soulherder, or any other creature that may need protecting.

While the deck only has one copy of Watcher for Tomorrow, this is another hit from Modern Horizons that has been sneaking into Modern decks. It's basically a two-mana 2/1 that lets you Impulse whenever it enters the battlefield, with the caveat that your card is on layaway. So, you can see how good this could be when you're able to trigger it every turn.

Just as the previous deck had a ton of different multicolored spells for every occasion, this deck is focused on having a ton of different enters-the-battlefield triggers for every occasion, from Knight of Autumn, to Deputy of Detention, to Eternal Witness. The deck is primarily focused on amassing card advantage and overwhelming with tiny bodies or sizable Soulherders. Either way, it looks fantastic.

Here we have another five color deck, but this one is a little more shocking to see. I was well aware of the menace that is Risen Reef in Standard, but I wasn't expecting to have to deal with a full playset in Modern too!

I know I talk about the impact Modern Horizons has had on Modern quite a bit, but this deck is basically a who's who of Modern Horizons rejects! Just take a look at all the gems in here: Vesperlark! Unsettled Mariner! Lightning Skelemental! Full playsets of each! Thankfully we have tons of ways to get these beauties into play with cards like Aether Vial, Cavern of Souls, Ancient Ziggurat, Unclaimed Territory, Reflecting Pool, and even Primal Beyond! Finally, the Elemental land has a home! This is just an incredible amount of mana fixing.

Just like some of the other decks on this list, this one looks like a card-advantage-generating extravaganza, which is of course what drew me to it. There's basically no spells in the deck other than the sideboard and the Aether Vials, so we're pretty much relying on the power of all of our elementals to deal with opposing threats and strategies. The deck does have a ton of sick synergies though, like Vesperlark and Thunderkin Awakener, or Lightning Skelemental and Thunderkin Awakener, or Risen Reef and...well, you get the idea. While the Awakener seems kind of lackluster on the surface, nearly every creature in our deck (19 in total) is an Elemental and has a toughness less than two.

Every one of these decks excites me and I'm eager to try them on stream sometime. Head on over during Subtember and show some support! Definitely let me know what you think of these lists in the comments below, let me know if you've found any other interesting Modern offerings, and be sure to use promo code FRANK5 to get 5% off your purchase! Thanks a ton for reading, I love you guys, and I'll catch ya next week!

Frank Lepore



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