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Bridging Into Modern


By now I'm sure you've already heard. There's a new menace on the street of Modern and it's drastically raised the price of Vengevine and Bridge from Below. Let's take a look at this new menace of the format.

In Modern's past, we've seen some Dredgevine variants where the deck milled itself with Dredge cards and used cheap creatures like Gravecrawlers to try and power out Vengevines. This is a super charged variant of those decks that powers out Vengevines as early as turn one thanks to the sheer number of cheap creatures. The deck looks like a well oiled machine that is still evolving and getting better, which is honestly terrifying. The version that Brennan played at the Pro Tour was already old news at that point. And by the time this article goes live, the differences I'll be discussing will be old news as well.

The deck follows another long line of powerful Modern decks that try to avoid interacting with their opponents and kill on turn three/four. The first game I played with the deck, I killed my Tron opponent on turn three, on the draw. Viscera Seer is an incredible Magic card and provides this deck with key consistency while maximizing Bridge From Below. The card does enough work that I wondered why there weren't Greater Gargadons as well. I noticed Jacob Nagro had Gargadons in his deck during the Pro Tour and saw some neat interactions with it. It makes a card like Bloodghast that much more appealing. Since Gargadon can't be interacted with, your opponent can't kill it to get full value out of an Anger of the Gods or a Settle the Wreckage. However, I think Viscera Seer wins out by providing a ton of value and helping to filter your draws. The deck really requires a certain set of cards to function consistently and to be able to present attackers every turn. Viscera Seer helps set up sick turns to present lethal with Bridge from Below and Goblin Bushwhacker. Sequencing is vital to the deck, and I like that Seer makes your turns clean while maximizing information.

Perhaps the future of the deck is to look backward a bit and borrow tech from one of the first versions. Will Pulliam, of SCG Atlanta finals fame, has been hard at work playing a variant of Bridge Vine and one that he was quite happy to share with me.

Bomat Courier is a cheap spell and lets you do some crazy things. If your hand is chock full of cards you need in the yard, it helps you clean that up instead of having to find a Faithless Looting or Insolent Neonate. Being a cheap creature means it turns on Vengevine and sacrificing it can give you free Zombies and cards. That's hard to pass up. On the other hand, it gets stopped up by every creature in the format and eats a removal spell without a ton of value gained, possibly more often than not.

I'm unsure how I feel about playing the Bloodghast. I think the ghast plus a sacrifice outlet let's you do some nice things with Bridge. It might not be incredibly noticeable, it makes your discards better and your Bridge/Sac outlet draws better.However, I also think it makes the deck a tiny bit slower; and, without Goblin Bushwhacker, it makes those Bridge turns just a tiny bit worse. I don't want to really play a slow game with the deck.

Neat Tricks

There are a couple of neat tricks I've picked up playing the deck. If you discard a Bridge from Below with Insolent Neonate you'll get a zombie token. Discarding is the first part of Insolent Neonate's cost, so the Bridge is already in the yard when you sacrifice the Neonate. Another neat trick I've been enjoying is sacrificing all of your small creatures for more zombies with a Goblin Bushwhacker trigger on the stack. Letting that Bushwhacker trigger resolve when you've just made two to four extra zombies is WONDERFUL.


While I don't think this deck needs to be banned, it does continue to present the same problems that have plagued Modern. I expect the Vengevine decks to make their mark, just like every other deck in Modern, until something with a good matchup comes along to put it in its place. Unfortunately, the decks that don't interact are the best ones by quite a bit. Even a deck like Humans, which has some minor interaction, still doesn't feel like it really interacts. It continues to feel like the best way to do well in Modern is to not interact with your opponent at all. The five best decks in the format are Tron, Bridge Vine, Humans, KCI, and Hollow One and there is no real interaction in any of those decks. They all seem fairly resilient to hate and have this game plan that involves what amounts to goldfishing and hoping to do so faster than your opponent does. I'm unsure how to go about fixing that, but I get the impression it involves unbanning some other unfair cards.

Let me know in the comments where you stand on Modern. What can we do to fix it?