My relationship with Modern is strange. Up until a couple years ago it was the format that I had seen the most success in as far as Grand Prix and other high level play, but never particularly had a “regular” deck. With the exception of [mtg_card]Birthing Pod[/mtg_card] there was never a banning that really for me to change the way I played the format, but I still have never really had a pet deck. [mtg_card]Ad Nauseam[/mtg_card] comes close because it reminds of Legacy Storm though. With Standard leagues not being terribly exciting, and not having any paper events to prepare for myself, the focus has been on Modern leagues lately.
The “new” [mtg_card]Death’s Shadow[/mtg_card] decks that have been the scourge of the last two weeks shouldn’t be a surprise to those who follow league results since they’ve been putting up numbers here and there. Gerry Thompson even said that they simply ported a list that they found, which was good enough to put 3 copies into the top 8 at GP Vancouver.
This deck, along with [mtg_card]Gifts Ungiven[/mtg_card] Storm have seen an uptick lately, so I was looking for something that would have a decent match up against both. Looking through league results I saw this gem sneak away with a 5-0. I played Mono-U Faeries to a 67th (so close!) at the first Modern GP I ever played in, at GP Lincoln, when the format was still in its infancy, so lists like this have a place in my heart.
[gallery size=”medium” ids=”271,272,273”]
My initial look at this list was that it has all the components I would want to fight Death’s Shadow, missing only possibly [mtg_card]Snapcaster Mage[/mtg_card]. [mtg_card]Spellstutter Sprite[/mtg_card] is an incredibly interesting solution as the decks one mana threat won’t be coming down on turn 1 and is usually going to be easy to catch, plus you can also disrupt things like [mtg_card]Traverse the Uvenwald[/mtg_card] as well. Couple these with a set of [mtg_card]Fatal Push[/mtg_card], some hand disruption and control elements, and it seems like a decent recipe to fight the current metagame.
[gallery columns=”2” size=”medium” ids=”275,276”]
Also, barring a [mtg_card]Temur Battle Rage[/mtg_card] you can also buy a lot of time against their threats with [mtg_card]Bitterblossom[/mtg_card] doing its best [mtg_card]Forcefield[/mtg_card] impression. With Storm grabbing plenty of attention lately, it also seems good against that, getting even better post-board with more counters and [mtg_card]Surgical Extraction[/mtg_card]. I also feel like this current setup would be somewhat soft to burn since you have the disruption and counters to buy some time, but you don’t have the best clock and are incredibly threat light when you board out your 4 copies of Bitterblossom. However, even with these negatives in mind if I had an event to play this weekend I wouldn’t shy away from exploring something like this. I took it for a spin in a league and you can see my games below:
Things pretty much worked out as expected. I beat the decks I wanted to and lost to the decks that I expected to perform poorly against. I do feel with the right hands you can steal the game 1 burn matchup and possibly have a shot at game 3, but being on the draw was a miserable experience every time. I even did a few more games in another league hoping to get matched up with Storm, and that also worked out as expected - game 1 of that particular match went poorly, but the sideboard plan went entirely as expected.
To wrap things up, there are some cards in the list that still feel a little off, but it does play pretty well. 3 copies of Ancestral Visions felt great, I may not have always had it turn one, but don’t really have to worry about drawing it late. Having some more copies of Sun Droplet also seem like a must, although I haven’t played against Infect, Merfolk, or things with smaller creatures so I haven’t really used the Disfigure much, but I currently don’t feel that it’s very cuttable.
Thanks for reading/watching and I’ll have something for you again next week.