So, did you miss me? I’m sorry that I haven’t been around for a while, but a freak Twitch video deletion and an epic weekend at GP Montreal kept me off the pages here for the last two weeks. A little bit of last minute shuffling ended up with me scrambling to bring you a deck last week, so I was surfing the results from the modern MTGO events, and found three different archetypes that I hadn’t looked at in a while; BW Tokens, RUG Scapeshift, or UWR Twin. Since I live for you all, and not for my own enjoyment or comfort, I opted to let you all vote over twitter. The winner was BW Tokens, with Scapeshift as the second place finisher. BW tokens was the Modern list that I initially was considering when the format was birthed in the first place, but I never ended up building it. I found a list that did really well in a modern event, which looked very much like Craig Wescoe’s list from PT Born of the Gods, as it was using Squadron Hawk as the primary 2 drop creature generator, and Honor of the Pure as the pumping Enchantment. Since I’ve not seen anyone do it I thought I would try to give Bitterblossom a try, since I have nasty memories about the Lorwyn Standard, which BW Tokens and Faeries both used the Black 2 drop to excellent effect. I swapped the Hawks out for Blossoms, and changed the Honors to Intangible Virtue, and had a deck. Here’s the list for reference.
Black White Tokens
On paper, the deck looked tremendously fair. I had a good mix of disruption, removal, and threats. I had a good chunk of time available to me, so I got in a bunch of games. Here they are.
Well now… that was… yeah.
So there was a very important element of deck quality that was either missing, or completely misused by me; Card advantage. I know that many of you would argue that our creature producers are built in card advantage machines, as they constantly produce more than one card’s worth of value, but all in all, I felt like I was always behind. The card quality in Modern as a format is just so good, that even our cards worth 1.5 – 2 cards can be made to look silly by things like Engineered Explosives, Electrolyze, Cryptic Command, Anger of the Gods, or even a casual Maelstrom Pulse. The other area which felt really bad for me was mulligans. I’m accustomed to an unnatural amount of variance affecting my draws on stream (The Curse), but this one felt just terrible. I had no way to really recover from a mulligan, let alone two or three. I understand clearly the reason that Squadron Hawk was included in the list I found over Bitterblossom.
A note about Bitterblossom.
I had a number of draws which looked like turn 1 discard, turn 2 Bitterblossom. What I found unfortunately, is that the card in a non faeries deck is just not impressive enough. not only was the life loss extremely relevant. but I felt like the card was just slow. I cast it on turn 2, and I don’t get an attacker until turn 4. Faeries has a number of tempo plays available to it which can be used to make up that turn or two which are needed to really get ahead with Bitterblossom, and they can even take it off the board for itself when the life loss is turning out to be an issue with Mistbind Clique. The format is just not friendly to Bitterblossom being used in an aggressive strategy. Abrupt Decay, Qasali Pridemage, Spell Snare and Remand are all nice clean answers available to many different decks in the format that might actually care about the card, and most of the decks in the format are perfectly happy that you spend turn 2 to do nothing that stops them from comboing off.
The SCG Invitational is going down this weekend, and it seems like there are some sweet decks coming out of Standard again. I will be streaming next week with Sunday Super Series Championship finalist, and 2013 Team Canada World Magic Cup member; Andy Rodrup as he helps to teach us the ins and outs of BW Midrange/Devotion, but tonight I need to do something for myself, especially after the selfless sacrifice that was the BW Tokens show. You all know that I’m a sucker for just about anything that The Duke does, so I’ll just leave this here…
If we are really lucky, we might even get the man himself to tell us how to do it. If you still need your modern fix, then make sure that you tune in to The Arcane Laboratory tomorrow night also on twitch.tv/legitmtg at 830PM EST. I might be stuck at work Monday night really late, so if I am, I’ll be switching nights with Jason. Either way, Lots of magic here at LegitMTG, so stay tuned or you might miss it!
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