Toronto’s got a big weekend for Modern coming up, right in the middle of the season! The year’s big 5k Mana Deprived Super Series is on the Saturday, with Face to Face Games Toronto running a 1k Sunday Showdown on the Sunday right after. Unfortunately, I’ll be running these (obviously) sweet events, so I won’t be able to play in them. But if I could, here are the decks I’d play, and why!
First off, and this won’t surprise any of you who know me, is my old stalwart, Twin. I’ve been playing a lot of Grixis Twin recently, and while I’ll still advocate running it, I’d recommend a classic UR build for the current metagame, based largely on local stalwart Omar Beldon’s testing. Grixis is much stronger against attrition decks like Jund, and, in my opinion, marginally better against the mirror, control decks, and Affinity – unless you play Go for the Throat. On the flipside, it’s a significant dog to Burn due to its manabase, and loses points against the various non-interactive linear decks of the format, as you’re playing a bunch of non-combo cards like Tasigur and Kolaghan’s Command. People also seem to be shying away from Jund strategies, with the metagame so full of decks like Bloom. This significantly hurts the primary reason to play the powerful black cards.
Given all this, if we’re looking to build Twin to beat a couple specific decks – Burn, Bloom/Grishoalbrand, the mirror/Grixis – then I’d want to play multiple copies of Dispel, and plenty of Deceiver Exarchs and Twins. I generally don’t advocate this combo-heavy approach, but one of the primary reasons to shy away from it has historically been the prevalence of Abrupt Decay and Thoughtseize strategies. These just don’t really exist in large numbers anymore, and while we want to start running more Dispels as part of a disruption package, they naturally make the combo strategy stronger. Let’s just remember that we need to be able to sideboard out of it fully when necessary.
Sick of Twin? Still love blue? Control degenerate Andrew van Leeuwen has kept on playing UWR Control through every metagame swing, and maintains a consistently impressive winrate on MODO with his odd versions of the deck. He plays strong card advantage engines, innovative manabases, and insane numbers of counterspells. This plays into his highly conservative style, and some version of this deck is likely very well-positioned right now, thanks to the high number of cards you want to counter. He also doesn’t play Lightning Bolts.
One of the bigger innovations he’s made, which I’m completely sold on, is the absence of Restoration Angel (or real win conditions, for that matter). Turning the deck into a pure control deck means that you’re not really interested in playing pseudo-marginal cards like 3/4 fliers. Getting a second trigger off a Snapcaster Mage almost never happens, so you’re better off playing more interactive cards. While not his list, here’s one inspired by his channeled insanity.
As always, feel free to ask me questions here, on Facebook, or on Twitter (@tirentu). See you all this weekend!