As most of you might know, Thomas Enevoldsen, Michael Bonde and yours truly are representing Mage Market in the Team Modern Super League. We were scheduled to play our first match in week three against Matt Nass, Sam Pardee and Andrew Baeckstrom representing ChannelFireball. And the best part? We would be the first matchups to include Modern Horizons! That meant it was time to take some shifts at the brewery and look at spoilers full of juicy new toys.
Devoted to Modern Horizons
Winning with cards from the new set
I was fairly quick to identify the new one-drop as a new Spellskite rather than a new Mother of Runes. It doesn’t have the right creature type, and the small – yet significant – word “other” prevents it from being anything else than a cheaper Spellskite. A nice little bonus is that it can give protection from artifacts, colorless spells and Eldrazi which could be relevant against cards like Walking Ballista, Spatial Contortion, Endbringer and blocking a Thought-Knot Seer.
Next up I looked at which deck would benefit the most from a protective creature, and our old friend Devoted Druid came to mind. Devoted Druid and Vizier of Remedies generate infinite mana, and from there you need to find a Walking Ballista via Duskwatch Recruiter which you find with Chord of Calling. If only we could make the deck more consistent.
Another slick reprint that finds a natural home in a creature combo deck like this one. The instant speed can be relevant in scenarios where you want to react to your opponent’s turn or on turns where you only have two mana available and want to keep your opponent “in the dark” about the threat of your combo.
Devoted Druid Combo - Andreas Petersen - Team Modern Super League
Scaling Up the Poison
Taking Infect to the next level
This card screams “use me to target a creature with Infect“, and that’s what we decided to work on. Thomas has a lot of experience from playing Infect a few years ago, so we worked on finding a list he would feel comfortable with. We also anticipated a Matt Nass-led team to bring a lot of unfair decks to the battlefield, and Infect has historically been favored in the combo pseudo mirror. We arrived at three copies as the right number since drawing multiples would be bad in theory, but maybe the first copy is so valuable that four is the right number moving forward. It combos with any +4/+4 or a pair of Mutagenic Growth meaning a lot more combinations of pump spells now spell doom for the opponent. Interestingly enough, if we remove Become Immense from our deck, maybe a manabase of 4 Botanical Sanctum and 4 Waterlogged Grove is the future.
Infect - Thomas Enevoldsen - Team Modern Super League
2 Breeding Pool
1 Temple Garden
4 Inkmoth Nexus
2 Misty Rainforest
2 Verdant Catacombs
2 Waterlogged Grove
1 Windswept Heath
2 Wooded Foothills
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Glistener Elf
4 Blighted Agent
1 Ichorclaw Myr
3 Mutagenic Growth
3 Scale Up
4 Might of Old Krosa
1 Become Immense
2 Spell Pierce
4 Vines of Vastwood
4 Blossoming Defense
1 Apostle's Blessing
Distortion Strike (0)
1 Nature's Claim
1 Shapers' Sanctuary
1 Wild Defiance
1 Twisted Image
2 Force of Vigor
2 Ravenous Trap
2 Teferi, Time Raveler
2 Grafdigger's Cage
Last up we have a new tool for a couple of archetypes. The cheaper Ranger of Eos might spark new life in the Martyr of Sands archetype, we maybe should have played a copy in our Devoted Druid deck and it ended up as a three-of in our Humans list within the 75. Heck, I even saw it in an Esper Death’s Shadow build! First, let’s take a look at its main attractions. Three mana for a 3/3 is nothing special, but the creature type and enters the battlefield ability pushes it from Draft chaff to Modern playable. Humans ran Militia Bugler on and off since its release which does a similar thing – provide a bit of card advantage for a deck that doesn’t have a whole lot of it. That can come in handy in grindy Control or Midrange matchups. The Ranger can’t find something like Thalia’s Lieutenant or Phantasmal Image, but it will hit every time and pack a little more punch than the Bugler. For this decklist we added a single copy of Thraben Inspector to improve the impact of the Ranger in grindy matchups. We didn’t end up facing any, but I like the hedge since Humans are generally favored against unfair strategies thanks to Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Meddling Mage in particular.
The second part of the card is the activated ability which can be a bit tricky to evaluate. Here is my list of things it does in the format. Note that some are fringe.
- Counters suspend cards.
- Counters the card the opponent is hitting off cascade.
- Counters miracle cards.
- Counters Bring to Light.
- Stops the Ad Nauseam player from winning that turn in most cases.
- Stifles the enters the battlefield triggered ability from Snapcaster Mage.
- “Time Walks” in crucial spots where you just need one more turn. Could be relevant against anything from Burn to Phoenix to Tron to Storm.
I’m sure it has many more uses, so feel free to update the list! Speaking of list, here are the 75 we sleeved up.
Humans - Andreas Petersen - Team Modern Super League
The last two decks we played were Blue-White Control with Force of Negation and Fact or Fiction and BridgeVine with Altar of Dementia and Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis. I’m not gonna talk about them today since Thomas did most of the work on Blue-White and Michael is already delving into the Dead. To end the article, here you can watch our epic match against CFB!