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Decks of the Week - 5/10/16

This week we have some very interesting decks to work with. From a standard perspective, GP Tokyo and GP New York finished up this weekend. I'm always interested as to what comes out of the Japanese scene as their meta tend to build up differently from the rest of the world. More creative card choices and less 4xs. And also, Jeff Hoogland blew most people's minds with [mtg_card]Nahiri, the Harbinger[/mtg_card]'s power level in Modern.


5) BR Dragons by Chris VanConett – 4th Place SCG Super IQ Fenton
I’ve been looking for a deck that went T3 [mtg_card]Olivia, Mobilized for War[/mtg_card] into T4 [mtg_card]Thunderbreak Regent[/mtg_card] with Haste and a +1/+1 counter. Or an eventual [mtg_card]Goblin Dark-Dwellers[/mtg_card] with Menace and Haste discarding a removal spell you cast on the Goblin Dark-Dwellers trigger. Both have evasion and swing for 5.

What was also added into this deck is the full set of [mtg_card]Relentless Dead[/mtg_card]. What I like about this is that Relentless Dead is solid discard fuel for Olivia, Mobilized for War. This gives a late game plan that allows you to perpetually play Relentless Dead.

4) Mono-Black Eldrazi by ferrum0728 – MTGO Standard League 5-0
I’ll be honest. I didn’t think this deck was very good just looking at the 75. But it 5-0’d MTGO so it can’t be terrible. I believe this is a tempo/aggro deck, which is why it doesn’t look so inspiring. The curve hits very hard in T3 to T5 with [mtg_card]Drana, Liberator of Malakir[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Thought-Knot Seer[/mtg_card], and [mtg_card]Reality Smasher[/mtg_card]. Early on it can play a bland [mtg_card]Bearer of Silence[/mtg_card] into Drana, Liberator of Malakir and be perfectly fine. Provides a lot of pressure they have to be answered. I think I need to test this deck out before coming to an opinion.

3) Naya Midrange by Riku Kumagai – 1st Place GP Tokyo
Solid midrange deck. I really don’t have much else to add. The most notable components of this deck is the removal suite of 2x [mtg_card]Silkwrap[/mtg_card] and 4x [mtg_card]Stasis Snare[/mtg_card]. This is really hedging your bets that no one is playing [mtg_card]Dromoka’s Command[/mtg_card] anymore. Probably a reasonable bet, as most Bant Company decks you would expect to maximize Dromoka’s Commands are instead passing on it to play either less removal or [mtg_card]Declaration in Stone[/mtg_card].

I do think Stasis Snare is a great removal spell in the current format. There clearly is a lacking of cards that interacts with [mtg_card]Ormendahl, Profane Prince[/mtg_card] without taking the 18 point life swing. Stasis Snare is an easy to play answer to the big bad demon. Also, if you read yesterday’s Magic Monies, you might notice the 3x [mtg_card]Nahiri, the Harbinger[/mtg_card]. This is quite a few copies dropping in many decks across multiple formats. Keep your eyes on this. We will talk about it later.

2) WB Control by Seth Manfield – 1st Place GP New York
And now we have probably the optimal WB control deck to go along with it. Lots of sweepers, a pile of unconditional removal, and planeswalkers for win-cons. It looks good. Even plays a token side theme with 3x [mtg_card]Secure the Wastes[/mtg_card] and 3x [mtg_card]Westvale Abbey[/mtg_card].

I really enjoy the inclusion of 2x [mtg_card]Hallowed Moonlight[/mtg_card] in the maindeck. It’s at its best blowing out [mtg_card]Collected Company[/mtg_card], where it a complete and total blowout. It seems awkward, but even at its worst it still draws a card.

1) 4C Rite by Louis Deltour – 2nd Place at GP New York
I didn’t want to talk about this deck since it’s so similar to previous BG Rite deck seen at Pro Tour. And it didn’t win a major event, which a typical prerequisite for getting my #1 spot. But that would be ignoring (a) how outlandishly popular the deck was this week and (b) that BG Rite is not what this deck is at all. The BG version was a straight aristocrats deck that abused [mtg_card]Zulaport Cutthroat[/mtg_card] triggers in a deck that floods the board with otherwise useless creatures.

This version is a combo deck that abuses the absurd power of [mtg_card]Eldrazi Displacer[/mtg_card]. [mtg_card]Brood Monitor[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Elvish Visionary[/mtg_card], and [mtg_card]Reflector Mage[/mtg_card] plus Eldrazi Displacer is pure value town. But the real highlight of this deck is the game winning combo of Brood Monitor, Eldrazi Displacer, and Zulaport Cutthroat. Brood Monitor trigger drops enough [mtg_card]Eldrazi Scion[/mtg_card]s to use Eldrazi Displacer on Brood Monitor. Which is an infinite combo. With a [mtg_card]Catacomb Sifter[/mtg_card], you have infinite scry triggers making an effective tutor to find a Zulaport Cutthroat. Find a single Zulaport Cutthroat and the now your opponent just loses the game from there. The sheer popularity and success of this deck needs to be noted.It made top 8’s at both GP New York and Tokyo.

Be prepared to handle this deck. Also, be careful using [mtg_card]Hallowed Moonlight[/mtg_card] to break up this deck’s synergies up. With Hallowed Moonlight active, Eldrazi Displacer can now permanently exile your own creatures.

Bonus Decks
Grixis Control by Kazushige Suzuki – 2nd Place GP Tokyo
This was a very popular deck last week, and look to be taking over top control deck slot in Standard. Pretty basic BR heavy control deck. Removal on top of removal on top of removal. On top of all of these you have absurd amounts of redundancy when you play 4x [mtg_card]Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy[/mtg_card] and 4x [mtg_card]Goblin Dark-Dwellers[/mtg_card]. Followed up with a hard to answer game winning threat in [mtg_card]Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet[/mtg_card]. This is a good deck, expect to play against it in your local IQs.


5) Temur Control by Princess_Jake – MTGO Modern League 5-0
I think this deck might be a tad mislabeled. This looks more of a control deck to me. It plays a variety of removal and counter spells. It looks to get beyond the first few turns of the game and wait to out attrition its opponent on card advantage with [mtg_card]Ancestral Vision[/mtg_card].

And before anyone asks, some of the awkward choices of [mtg_card]Seal of Fire[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Tarfire[/mtg_card] are there to help turn on [mtg_card]Traverse the Ulvenwald[/mtg_card]. I’m interested if this sort of deckbuilding is going to become more common in Modern decks looking to play Traverse the Ulvenwald.

4) UB Mill by salvagers – MTGO Modern League 5-0
It’s a mill deck. If it wasn’t for results like this, I’d probably forget they exist as a legitimate deck. Don't forget kids, every time you play [mtg_card]Ensnaring Bridge[/mtg_card], a kitten is gruesomely murdered out of rage.

3) UR Control by WraithHunter – MTGO Modern League 5-0
Little awkward on the creature counts. Singleton [mtg_card]Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy[/mtg_card] looks outright weird. But this is the sort of blue deck I expect to take great advantage of [mtg_card]Ancestral Vision[/mtg_card]. Being able to recast it from the graveyard off [mtg_card]Goblin Dark-Dwellers[/mtg_card] is soul crushing.

2) Naya Zoo by Excuseyou – MTGO Modern League 5-0
I’ve officially seen more successful Modern decks playing [mtg_card]Arlinn Kord[/mtg_card] than Standard decks. Much higher curve of Zoo than prototypical Zoo decks. It looks to get out much more powerful cards than these Zoo decks.

I like this deck. I would play it or Kiki Chord if I was interested in changing decks right now. That said, I might play [mtg_card]Domri Rade[/mtg_card] over the [mtg_card]Gideon, Ally of Zendikar[/mtg_card] but totally understand the decision.

1) Jeskai Control by JeffHoogland – MTGO Modern League 5-0
And here is the deck Jeff Hoogland blew everyone’s minds with and that caused a sizable spike to [mtg_card]Nahiri, the Harbinger[/mtg_card]'s price. Fairly basic Jeskai shell in Modern that is tweaked to use 4x Nahiri, the Harbinger. The most obvious being that Nahiri’s ultimate can grab [mtg_card]Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[/mtg_card] which pretty much ends the game on the spot. Odds are after shocks and fetches you are straight up dead to a single [mtg_card]Lightning Bolt[/mtg_card] or [mtg_card]Lightning Helix[/mtg_card].

The fact that Nahiri, the Harbinger is only $20 after this hit the net is somewhat amazing to me. When a deck plays 4x of a mythic in an eternal format, we typically see bigger price spikes.


5) Abzan by powerhawk – MTGO Legacy League 5-0

4) Temur Delver by kaluma – MTGO Legacy League 5-0

3) Shardless Sultai by warpig194 – MTGO Legacy League 5-0

2) Sultai Delver by Hoppelars – MTGO Legacy League 5-0

1) Eldrazi by H0cusP0cus – MTGO Legacy League 5-0


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