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Compulsive Research: Keeping the Dream Alive

Written by LegitMTG Staff on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Modern

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Despite the fact that a Canadian won the Modern Pro Tour, I have to admit something to you; I’ve been quite put off for a bit by Modern. The truth is, that the Deathrite Shaman ban had me down about the fact that I could no longer reliably play my beloved Tribal Flames deck. It is no secret that I have gone on record by saying that playing DRS Tribal Flames was the most fun that I have had playing Magic in my life. I have been a little saddened by the fact that those days are gone, and likely not coming back anytime soon. I was sure that the days of turn two Geist of Saint Traft, bash you, burn you, kill you were over, and I wasn’t taking it well. I even started to play more Standard to try to rinse away my bitter tears. As much more fun as Standard is now with Born of the God in the mix, it just was not doing the trick for me. As you know, I went to a GPT not too long ago, and after losing back to back win and ins, I had lots of time to watch the 7 round Modern side event. Most of the PT tech hadn’t quite made it into this tournament yet, but I was able to watch some games full of crazy decks; Ad Nauseam was present, but so was Mono Green Devotion, Mono White Enchantments (Prison, etc), along with the regular assortment of regulars like Tron, Merfolk, UWR, Jund and Zoo. I was watching a spicy Jund list vs a quiet little girl with a Zoo deck near the top tables. While I was busy trying to figure out why there was a main deck Reaper of the Wilds in the Jund player’s deck, I watched this happen.

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On Turn 4.

It was like suddenly the sun was shining again. Here was a deck I had to see more of. The quiet girl soundly trounced the stunned Jund player, at which point I asked her if I could see her deck. As I introduced myself, and met Courtney (for apparently NOT the first time… story on stream) I asked her about some of her strange card choices. After listening to her articulate her points perfectly, I immediately extended the invite for the show. I know how much you all loved the Tribal Flames episodes, so since we didn’t really have the tech from the Pro Tour known yet, I booked this deck and pilot instantly. Here is the deck that caught my attention so completely.

There was so much going on here that I could barely handle it. I didn’t fully understand how much of an impact Nacatl was going to have on the format. Let me tell you that an exalted swinging 3/3 is no joke on turn 2. Combine that clock with the ability to close the game out of nowhere and suddenly you have a real contender. Storm is killing on turn 3 or 4, Ad Nauseam kills often on 3 with a Lotus Bloom, and this one can kill on the same time. Geist on 2 off a Noble Hierarch, then backed by a Rampager/Boros Charm combo is 18 Damage. Most of the time, due to the nature of the mana bases in Modern, this is lethal. I knew this would be a great one for the stream, and I was right. Here’s the show.


Watch live video from LegitMTG on TwitchTV

After playing the deck, and discussing it with Courtney, It was clear that the list should be at least -1 Verdant Catacombs, +1 Misty Rainforest, and the side board should be -1 Scavenging Ooze, +1 Runed Halo. There is also merit to a discussion about the inclusion of the 4th Boros Charm, since it is so important in surviving the expected influx of Anger of the Gods into the format, but I have no idea where I would cut from to fit it in. I have to say, that even despite my best efforts to misclick and punt my way through these games this week, we still just went over the top of all of our opponents. We have only gone undefeated one other week since we started this, so it’s really nice to have it happen with this one. Even in my extended testing online since the stream, my only losses have come to Melira Pod, which being the only deck running 4 Kitchen Finks right now makes me feel really good about the deck. If you have a major Modern tournament ahead, and you like to actually enjoy your time between rounds, I definitely suggest this list as is. Melira isn’t an unwinnable match, but it does require some very tight play and clear understanding about trigger timings on persist and good planning and math about life totals; understanding your reach capacity will be big there. This list is designed to beat up on the mirror, and otherwise just run through your opponents. It’s about as aggressive as you can get with 3 and 4 drops in your deck. This is a serious front runner for me going into Boston later this year. I will be slinging this at Modern events in all likelihood should you see me around, so look out!

This week we are trying something out that is just so crazy that it might work, while we have the villain on our side this week, to play some games and share some really exciting news for you guys, so come check it out! 930PM EST.

Twitch.tv/legitmtg
@MrScottyMac

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