This time we are going to talk about Modern. I’ve been playing Modern a lot lately, and I have to say I’m having a lot of fun doing it. There are also a lot of relevant tournaments going on right now on MTGO, which makes it much more interesting. Standard and Historic have been in the same place for a long time and the release of Adventures in Forgotten Realms is not generating significant changes in either format, at least for the time being.
Modern Horizons 2 refreshed the format like never before, a lot of good and powerful cards came out that enabled the emergence of many new decks.
At first, I started playing decks based on 《Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar》, a new creature as powerful as it is unpronounceable, and while I really liked the decks, I felt they weren’t powerful enough to handle the width of the format.
After abandoning the idea of continuing with these strategies, I saw that Gabriel Nassif was playing Living End, and despite the fact that I did not like the archetype in the past, this new version seemed very interesting and I decided to give it a try.
This was the list he played to reach the top 4 of the Insight 5k Modern Open:
I saw some of his matches and the way the deck was built caught my attention. Cards like 《Grief》 and 《Subtlety》 added a powerful interaction capacity to the deck, in addition to the synergy it had with the main plan of the strategy.
I played several leagues on MTGO with very good results and ended up playing the deck to try to qualify for the Mana Traders series of this month. I met the goal of finishing 8-2 which means that next weekend I will be playing the swiss portion of the event.
This was the list that I played:
I didn’t make many changes to the main deck, I just cut a 《Brazen Borrower》 for a third copy of 《Waker of Waves》, since during testing it turned out to be a very useful card, especially making your mulligans much better.
On the sideboard I did make several changes. The most significant was changing the 《Faerie Macabre》 for 《Leyline of the Void》. The Leylines are too powerful against various strategies and against the mirror, and you don’t have to worry about drawing the extra copies since you have 《Grief》 to pitch them.
Although it may seem like a simple deck to play, in my experience it is a deck that has many tiny and relevant decisions. I realized that after playing a lot with the deck, I was winning more games than before by different little plays that I was learning as I played the deck.
As a general rule, you will always want to cycle at the end of your opponent’s turn, but like all rules there are exceptions.
Why Do You Want to Cycle On Your Turn?
Tips and Tricks
If you are playing against blue decks, try to dodge the 《Force of Negation》 by cascading on their turn.
In some scenarios, you will want to cascade on their draw step to discard what they draw with a reanimated 《Grief》.
Do your math. Sometimes you will have both 《Shardless Agent》 and 《Violent Outburst》 and to find out which one you should play you will have to count the amount of damage you are presenting the next turn. Even though it is appealing to cascade at instant speed, against some decks it will be better to play the 《Shardless Agent》 and next turn pump your whole team with 《Violent Outburst》.
《Windcaller Aven》 is not only a blue cycle and a 4/3 flying. Sometimes the second ability (give flying to a creature) will be relevant.
There is a very large variety of decks in Modern, and the decklist is not as stock as in other formats. That is why it is difficult to know which and how many copies of each hate card your opponent will have.
So, instead of making a sideboard guide, I’m going to talk about what cards are good against us and what cards we can use to deal with them.
Against these types of effects, you can either have an answer or force them to activate with a cascade effect and then fuel your graveyard again. Fueling might not be a problem but be careful since we are only running 3 copies of 《Living End》.
Another difficult one to deal with. Luckily it is not a very played card and is generally played as sorcery, which allows us to play around easier.
Both of these creatures can be a problem or can be harmless. The good thing is that you can get rid of both with the 《Living End》, but if your graveyard is not good enough before they enter the battlefield you will have some trouble. 《Brazen Borrower》 is not an optimal answer but a good enough one.
Even though you have a decent amount of cards to deal with him (《Force of Negation》/《Grief》/《Subtlety》), it is tricky because if they manage to resolve one you are in big trouble. 《Brazen Borrower》 is your best chance to fight through a resolved 《Teferi, Time Raveler》.
If they stick one and you are not prepared it can cost you the game. So be careful how you play your lands, remember to look for the basics, especially the 《Forest》 that allows you to play not only 《Foundation Breaker》, but 《Violent Outburst》 as well.
Modern is in a great spot right now, so you should definitely give it a try. I hope this article is helpful to you.
Until next time, stay safe =)