We Have to Use Tybalt, Right?

Dmitriy Butakov

Dmitriy Butakov


Hello Everyone!

Kaldheim is at hand and it brings lots of interesting cards, but in this article, we’ll focus on just one: 《Valki, God of Lies》/《Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor》 and will try to fit it in different formats. First things first, why is this card good:

《Valki, God of Lies》

This card is exactly what can shake an 《Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath》-infested world, netting an 《Uro》 on turn 2 and attacking with it on turn 3 is crazy. Usually, if the opponent has untapped mana there gonna be a tough decision on your next turn to either activate 《Valki, God of Lies》 or not, but, luckily for you, their hand is revealed.

《Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor》

A cool thing about Modal Double-Faced Cards is that if the front side passes the CMC check of Cascade or 《Bring to Light》, you can cast any half. But the best part here is, unlike Living End, you don’t have to Cascade into 《Tibalt》 every time, it’s just nice addition and doesn’t require the deck to be built around it. If you fail to cheat it in, the 《Valki》 part makes sure the card won’t be a dead weight in your hand and for a midrange deck, 7 mana is not unreachable.

All 《Tibalt》’s abilities are actually good considering the emblem isn’t going anywhere. Draw 2 cards, stash any creature or artifact, draw like 7+ cards. All that combined with loyalty of a battlecruiser and resistance to 《Abrupt Decay》.

First, Stop Modern

I’d like to try it in a good old Jund


The world hasn’t been kind to Jund since the 《Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath》’s release and it got even worse after 《Omnath, Locus of Creation》 joined the party and the 4C Uro Omnath deck dominated the metagame. Jund was conceived with the idea of grounding opponents to zero resources, but a recursive 6/6 with a cantrip ability + a land win condition made it almost impossible to grind them out.

I think people playing Modern are familiar with Jund’s general card choices, so I won’t make a card-by-card analysis, we’ll just take a look at the general changes.

A discard spell followed by 《Valki》 fetching 《Uro》 will be a killer start.

Bloodbraid Elf

Keep in mind, when 《Tibalt》 connects, the 《Bloodbraid Elf》 will still be on the stack and the opponent will be able to interact with 《Tibalt》, they’re unlikely to deal 5 damage, but dropping him to 2(《Lightning Bolt》) or 1(《Omnath》) will shut his 2nd ability.

Grim FlayerTarmogoyfScavenging Ooze

There is no way to effectively orchestrate a right Cascade, 《Mortuary Mire》 and 《Witch’s Cottage》 will hurt you more than benefit. 《Grim Flayer》 seems a bit better, maybe I’ll give it a try one day. With lots of decks using the Escape mechanic they’ll be able to control your 《Tarmogoyf》’s size, never thought I’m gonna say that, but probably it’s finally time we part ways with 《Tarmogoyf》. 《Scavenging Ooze》, however, has all it needs to become a star 2nd drop.

If the new techs+a focused sideboard against 《Uro》 decks (I’d do + 《Choke》, 《Boil》, 《Rain of Gore》 and 《Klothys, God of Destiny》, -1 《Lightning Bolt》, -2 《Kolaghan’s Command》, -4 《Fatal Push》, -1 《Abrupt Decay》) will tip the scales in Jund’s favor, I believe the deck could become a top player again. Combo and aggro decks are mostly even to good matchups and the other midranges can be dealt with via sideboard.

Blood MoonStone Rain

I’ve tried to build some Living End with a reverse sideboard, like after game one you side in 《Valki》 as the only < 3 CC plus some other cards like 《Blood Moon》 or 《Stone Rain》 and side out 《Living End》 and some beef. It didn’t seem to interact with the rest of the deck and I’ve found relying on 《Tibalt》 alone too risky.

Orzhov Tokens

Windbrisk Heights

Cascade is not the only way to cheat Tibalt in, the other one is Lorwyn Hideaway land cycle, especially 《Windbrisk Heights》, let’s try to refresh the Orzhov Tokens archetype:

BitterblossomLingering Souls

Where are the red mana sources you ask? We don’t need them, it’s unlikely to hit 7 mana with this deck, and should 《Valki, God of Lies》 end up in your hand, 9 discard spells make it good enough on its own. Honestly, I don’t think 《Bitterblossom》 and 《Lingering Souls》 will fit the current Modern metagame, but it’s always good to keep in mind all the options.

Bring to Light

One more 《Tibalt》 enabler is 《Bring to Light》. Unlike the other means it can’t miss, but saving 2 mana off the 7 mana Planeswalker with no 3/2 haste bonus isn’t good enough for Modern, we’ll make some use of it in Pioneer.

Next Stop Legacy

My first serious deck in Legacy was Shardless Sultai and I still have a strong affinity for that archetype, even if it no longer exists. After 《Deathrite Shaman》’s retirement the deck became obsolete, let’s see if 《Tibalt》 can breathe a new life in it:

Building Legacy decks, especially the sideboard, without a chance to playtest them is a hell of a task, so I don’t want to warp the deck entirely, I’d start with something similar to the old version.

Shardless Sultai

It’s been a while since 《Shardless Agent》 were on the radar, so let’s have a closer look at the cards.


《Shardless Agent》

Shardless Agent

A perfect Cascade spell to hit a 2CC target, an artifact to grow your 《Tarmogoyf》, and a Blue card to pitch it for 《Force of Will》, that’s the deck’s centerpiece.

Cascade Payoffs

《Ancestral Vision》

Ancestral Vision

Without much 《Hullbreacher》 and 《Leovold, Emissary of Trest》 around the card is a solid turn 1 play, back in the day it was a primary Cascade target, now we have a bigger fish to catch. If you draw it turn 4 or later it’ll be worth considering to hold it as a 《Brainstorm》 or 《Force of Will》 pitch, even if you don’t have these cards yet.

《Valki, God of Lies》/《Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor》

I haven’t seen much 《Assassin’s Trophy》 lately, which means 7 mana non-blue planeswalker can only be countered or locked by a 《Pithing Needle》. Given you play 《Force of Will》 of your own it won’t be easy. It will be a real tough spot for the non-combo decks when it hits the board. I won’t hesitate to cast 《Valki》 even if it’s going to miss or die, knowledge of the opponent’s hand will let you manage your 《Force of Will》 and 《Wasteland》 properly.

Cascade Support



A symbolic card for Legacy, apart from its usual awesomeness it allows you to prepare a turn 3 un-《Daze》-able Tibalt.



It’s not as good as 《Brainstorm》, but it digs for the 《Shardless Agent》 if you need one and it stacks the Cascade once you have the 《Shardless Agent》, I’d like to play some copies, but am not sure about the exact amount.

《Volrath’s Stronghold》

Volrath's Stronghold

Yes, I am that old I’ve seen 《Volrath’s Stronghold》 play and it was good. Even bringing back 《Shardless Agent》 or 《Tarmogoyf》 sounds solid, but it also can sequence a 《Tibalt》 Cascade or at some point a 《Tibalt》 hardcast.

General Support

《Noble Hierarch》

Noble Hierarch

The most questionable card in this build is 《Noble Hierarch》, but I remember how good casting an 《Shardless Agent》 on turn 2 was, so I wanna at least give mana dorks a try. Turn 2 《Oko, Thief of Crowns》 is a huge threat as well. Since the deck no longer plays 《Hymn to Tourach》, Exalted seems more relevant than 《Birds of Paradise》‘s ability to produce (B). If we’re to remove the 《Noble Hierarch》, probably there should be more 《Ponder》.

《Baleful Strix》

Baleful Strix

《Baleful Strix》 over 《Ice-Fang Coatl》 is because Deathtouch is more important than Flash here, even though UB cost is slightly worse than UG. It’s also an artifact for the 《Tarmogoyf》.



The biggest upside of 《Tarmogoyf》 in this deck is that it’s self-substantial, your opponent’s graveyard can be empty and 《Tarmogoyf》 will still have at least 4 power. It survives all Delver’s removal and has a good chance to survive 《Dead of Winter》. It’s a decent Cascade and paired with 《Volrath’s Stronghold》 can support a constant onslaught if the game is stalled.

《Abrupt Decay》

Abrupt Decay

Very few things in Legacy Format 《Abrupt Decay》 doesn’t deal with.

《Oko, Thief of Crowns》

Oko, Thief of Crowns

Previous builds of Shardless Sultai ran 《Liliana of the Veil》 and 《Jace, the Mind Sculptor》. 《Liliana》 has lost her touch. I can imagine a situation where I’d want to play 《Jace》 over 《Oko》, but turn 2 《Oko》 is way too strong to be ignored.

《Force of Will》

Force of Will

Unlike Delver, Sultai uses 《Force of Will》 defensively. The deck has the snowball effect – the longer you stay in one piece, the better. In the aggro, matchups try to counter threats that provide a constant advantage like 《Young Pyromancer》 and 《Dreadhorde Arcanist》. It depends on your hand, but I usually don’t counter turn 1 《Delver of Secrets》 even if I don’t have a way to deal with it at the moment.


The color curve of the deck is pretty intense, playing no basic lands you kind of resign yourself to 《Blood Moon》, but the card hasn’t seen much play lately. The older version had a fewer land count, but still ran 3 《Wasteland》, I think it should be fine here too if not, you can always cut some.

Last Stop Pioneer

5C Niv to Light

Bring to Light

No Cascade here, so we’re basically adding 1 cool option for 《Bring to Light》, the upside of 《Tibalt》 is that he can permanently deal with 《Omnath, Locus of Creation》 or 《Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath》(But keep in mind 《Uro》 will go back to the opponent’s graveyard) and remain a threat himself. The Niv to Light’s problem was the lack of ways to solve the problems at hand because all solutions were conditional. This addition may be minute, but I think it’ll improve the deck a lot.

Sylvan CaryatidParadise Druid

Since the deck remains pretty much the same I won’t do a deep analysis, just wanna mention people usually play 4 《Sylvan Caryatid》 + 0 to 2 《Paradise Druid》. While preparing for PT Nagoya I’ve decided I’m happy with 4 《Sylvan Caryatid》 + 3 《Paradise Druid》 and this hasn’t changed yet. Everything else in your deck is either a cantrip or a showdown spell, there is no such thing as too much mana.


Agadeem's AwakeningShatterskull Smashing

I’ve already enjoyed playing 《Agadeem’s Awakening》 and 《Shatterskull Smashing》 and expect no less from the new double-faced cards. Eventually, we’ll find more interactions with them, but that’s all for now.

Thanks for reading!

Good luck and see you online,

Dmitriy Butakov (Twitter)

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Dmitriy Butakov

Dmitriy Butakov A player from Russia who plays mainly on Magic Online. He was champion of the 2012 Magic Online Championship and in the following year, he top 4s the 2013 Magic Online Championship. In 2018, he becomes champion of the 2017 Magic Online Championship for the second time. Also, with his win at the Magic Online Championship, he achieved his prize to become a Platinum Level Pro. Having these tremendous results, in March 2018, he joins the Hareruya Pros. Read more articles by Dmitriy Butakov