Bugle Boys and Angry Salads: Militia Bugler and Stitcher’s Supplier in Modern

Written by Zach Cramer on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Modern

Bugle Boys and Angry Salads: Militia Bugler and Stitcher’s Supplier in Modern

Zach Cramer

Zach is a Northeastern Magic grinder who specializes in eternal formats. When building decks, he has a strong preference to Blue cards, toolboxes and combo decks. With a recent RPTQ finish just short of an invitation, Zach hopes to take his skills to the next level and play on the Pro Tour.

Hey everybody! With the recent lull to the summer GP schedule, I’ll be looking at the value of some of Standard’s most impressive threats:
They may not look like much, but, these are both cheap threats with powerful abilities that might break their way into Modern and add to the critical density of cards that might make a certain deck viable. Militia Bugler has made its way into Humans already, but, here are a few other homes for it:

Bugler is great in this deck because it finds lock pieces in a deck that wants the Vial to always be on 3. It interacts favorably with cards like Restoration Angel and Flickerwisp and can find late game power like Blade Splicer and Mirrian Crusader. The problem with White decks is that once we move to the late game, they’re playing off the top, drawing weaker threats like Thalia, Aether Vial and the like and can soon fall behind. Militia Bugler helps add to the card advantage and is more impactful than even Thraben Inspector.

Militia Bugler is also a combo card. It finds both pieces of the Devoted Druid Combo (Devoted Druid and Vizier of Remedies). It finds Felidar Guardian and Kiki-Jiki but, as we know from Humans, it also finds Phantasmal Image. In a format like Standard, this power doesn’t get to showcase itself, but, as the card pool widens, Bugler gets more and more targets. Militia Bugler even finds all parts of the old Project X Combo deck (Saffi Eriksdotter and Crypt Champion).

Here’s a decklist using the 4C Saheeli Shell:

The reason I decided to post this combo deck in particular is because of the value that Militia Bugler offers all of the sideboard bullets. Militia Bugler finds 11 of the sideboard bullets that work to add additional virtual copies of cards to your deck. Once you start positioning your deck to play lots of creatures with 2 power or 3 CMC, Cards like Sun Titan and Reveillark add even more recursive value. Adding the ability to tutor for Felidar Guardian grants you the ability to blink Militia Bugler and Saheeli can copy it. This offers endless abilities to not run out of gas.

Militia Bugler could also fit into the famous Todd Stephens Value Town deck. Bugler can find Knight of the Reliquary, Ramanap Excavator, Azusa, Courser of Kruphix, Scavenging Ooze and Voice of Resurgence. All the value!

But what about Stitcher’s Supplier? Stitcher’s Supplier is different than Bugler in that it doesn’t curate cards to your hand. It’s not about selecting the right card, it’s about being able to put a high density of cards into the graveyard very quickly. Before we begin, I’d like to make a quick note on Dredge: Stitcher’s Supplier is not an effective tool for Dredge. Because of the RG nature of the deck, it’s kind of tough to make the black on 1 work for Supplier in a way that wasn’t more impactful that what was already happening with the deck. However, there are other cards that help us use the graveyard too:

What I like about the Rally deck is that it offers a lot of examples of “The Rule of 8” which means that if there are 8 copies of a certain effect legal, it’s worth exploring and this deck has: 8 Blood Artist effects, 8 sacrifice outlets, 8 cards that put cards into the graveyard (Wayfinder and Supplier) as well as 8 ways to put lots of creatures back into play. Stitcher’s Supplier adds to the speed at which this deck can fill the graveyard and thus allow cards like Rally and Return to perform their function. Now, looking at this decklist, I’m not very impressed with Elvish Visionary, because the card on its own is rather unimpressive. If Return and Rally wouldn’t have increased costs, I’d strongly consider adding the Bugler to the deck as well!

For the last decklist, I want to talk about the Venegine shell that’s gaining a lot of popularity. There’s a couple important questions you have to ask about the deck. I think there’s a couple serious points that need to be considered. The most important would be if you would prefer a GB base or a BR base. The BR version features significant aggression and cost efficiency in Faithless Looting, Insolent Neonate and Cathartic Reunion. Green offers slower, more consistent, creature based enablers in Grisly Salvage. Some of my favorite innovations to the deck have been Cryptbreaker, Greater Gargadon, and Big Game Hunter. This is a version I plan to try out very soon:

I’ve made a couple changes from classic decks. I’ve moved away from Bloodghast because it doesn’t have very strong synergy other than “wanting to be put into the graveyard.” The card itself is pretty slow and because it doesn’t get cast I’m not impressed with it when I already have other cards I’d like to put into the graveyard. I believe that without a way to put cards into the graveyard on the first 1-2 turns, the deck is actively bad. Because of this, I’ve added Bomat Courier, which I’ve seen some talk about. Bomat Courier works well with Bridge from Below and is another one drop that can trigger Vengevine. Hangarback Walker maintains the 0 mana creature for the most busted draws, but, I was ultimately unimpressed with the Walking Ballistas work on its own, while Hangarback impressed me. Hangarback Walker gets even better with a card like Greater Gargadon. Cryptbreaker is my favorite part of the puzzle. Although it is the weakest discard outlet, it unlocks the perfect 10th zombie while also adding a little bit of grind potential and a hedge versus graveyard hate. Overall, I think this deck is at its most powerful when it plays lots and lots of one drops with a powerful nut draw that can remain strong after board. Hopefully this version is able to maximize power and efficiency.

Militia Bugler and Stitcher’s Supplier both offer powerful consistency to creature decks and graveyard decks. When these printings happen, the 17 way seesaw that is Modern always moves drastically within the first few months. I’m really excited to see what kinds of cool new strategies emerge from these cards, although I suspect the biggest winners will be Humans and Angry Salads. Happy brewing! Until next time.

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