With Modern Horizons on the horizon for the format, the landscape is going to change. Not just a little, but by a lot. The upcoming Mythic Championship in Barcelona, roughly a month from now, will be Modern. Everyone can now test new builds, new strategies and card inclusions in already established archetypes.
What I want to focus on today are the two decks, one that is a part of the current Modern metagame and a deck that is a new and tuned version of an already known archetype. Both are decks that we played in week 3 of the Team Modern Super League.
The new Vengevine deck
4 Stitcher’s Supplier
4 Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis
4 Insolent Neonate
4 Carrion Feeder
1 Necrotic Wound
4 Faithless Looting
4 Bridge from Below
4 Altar of Dementia
1 Polluted Delta
4 Marsh Flats
1 Godless Shrine
4 Bloodstained Mire
4 Blackcleave Cliffs
4 Blood Crypt
2 Ingot Chewer
4 Leyline of the Void
2 Necrotic Wound
2 Silent Gravestone
With the new tools Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis, Altar of Dementia and Carrion Feeder, this deck really got to a point, where its main strategy is not only extremely consistent, but also worth the while! With older versions of Dredgevine, we had to play a bunch of 0-drops like Hangarback Walker and Walking Ballista, to be explosive enough. With Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis and Carrion Feeder we get two new ways of applying creatures to the board. Also, with Carrion Feeder and Altar of Dementia, we have new ways of filling up our graveyard.
Some words on Carrion Feeder
The little Zombie that could
Lets go through, why this potent 1 drop, is on everyone’s lips. Everytime we draw a fetchland, our Carrion Feeder can sacrifice our own Bloodghasts twice, and still have them on the battlefield, giving it +4/+4 for every fetchland drawn. Since the feeder is a Zombie, we can play a Gravecrawler from the graveyard, and for each black mana, sacrifice it and replay it again. This not only grows Carrion Feeder each turn, but it also enables our Vengevines to come back to the battlefield, since we play 2 creatures each turn. Carrion Feeder also allows us to get rid of Stitcher’s Supplier the turn it enters the battlefield, to dredge an additional 3 cards the turn we play it. It’s a CMC1 creature that synergizes with the deck extremely well. And as a bonus, it helps us play Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis, since we need to have two creatures on the board for convoke.
While all these things wouldn’t be that powerful in a regular deck, but in a deck like this, that’s just all in on a strategy, it serves double duty. It is a good backup plan and at the same time an essential part and catalyst for some fast shenanigans (which happens to be a very good sideboard option in the deck).
What else drives the deck
Altar, Necropolis and good postboard playAltar of Dementia helps us fill up the graveyard and gets our redundant threats into the bin for later uses. Like Carrion Feeder, this Altar utilizes its ability to sacrifice a creature without the need for mana or tapping. While the mill ability is good, the sacrifice outlet is equally important for this deck. Also, for your information: We always mill ourselves, unless we can use it as a win condition.
Overall, I think this deck is consistent enough to be a true contender for a tier1 spot in the metagame, and especially with the upcoming new London mulligan rule. But like every all-in strategy, it can be somewhat easy to hate with the right sideboard cards. However, this deck can just beat a lot of the played sideboard cards due to its raw tempo power. And after sideboard, we just need to be 100% dedicated towards killing what can be a silver bullet against us, like Rest in Peace or Grafdigger’s Cage.
More consistent, more protected
This is still a work in progress but having played with it in a couple of leagues, we really get to do some nasty things. The deck is a normal Devoted Druid and Vizier of Remedies deck, that wants to build the combo as fast as possible. Playing cards like Postmortem Lunge and Chord of Calling makes this a lot easier to do, since we can snipe a win at the end of turn, or get back one of the creatures, if our opponent has removal spells to stifle our infinite mana combo.
Normally the deck plays the full playset of Duskwatch Recruiter, but with the new kid on the block Eladamri’s Call, we have a two-mana search tool for any creature in the deck. That is insane on its own, but also fills some of the holes that the Werewolf left, when you play 4 of them.
The nerfed Mother
Giver of Runes, protection all-star
The award for best new inclusion in the deck goes to Giver of Runes. Even though this creature is a nerfed version of Mother of Runes, it is an amazing 1-drop. One of the main problems prior to Giver of Runes was the fact that a single removal spell could delay our combo. But with Giver of Runes, we are able to protect our turn 3 combo without having to do any hiccups or detours to do so. In the late game it can also come up, that we get to deploy a Shalai, Voice of Plenty. Shalai gives us and everything else hexproof, which allows Giver of Runes to make your board almost impossible to deal with.
If you haven’t played that much Legacy or any other format where Mother of Runes has been legal, you might feel a bit un-impressed with this card. She doesn’t target herself, and she doesn’t have that much impact on the battlefield alone. But some cards can be hard to evaluate before you see them in their right surroundings, and before you judge this little nerf, I would advise you to play it in a deck where she is good, and after that make your judgment.
Variations and Experiments
The directions Vizier Combo could go in
This is a very white-heavy build that tries its best to enable the combo. And since it’s very new, it needs a lot of testing and tweaking. Where I want to go from here, is to make it a bit more Project-X-like and try to make a Collected Company version with additional combos in the deck. Having all our creatures “worth protecting” will make Giver of Runes even better, and getting black cards in the mix opens up a lot of new doors.
Hopefully I will find a powerful build of one of the above and crush the Mythic Championship – I guess only time will tell.
That was it for today. If you have any suggestions of potential builds, please tell me, because I think it’s the new big thing!