Seeing as how we were on a straddle week, I wanted to take the opportunity to strike a few things off my stream bucket list. Firstly, I wanted to play a deck with a card which sorely ranched me a couple of weeks back on stream; Phyrexian Obliterator. I played against Matt Mealing who was running Domri Obliterator Jund during one of our modern matches, and Obliterator did just that. I knew that the best deck for the card was undoubtedly Modern Black Devotion, so I started to gather some lists, specifically without Deathrite Shaman. I wanted to try to play lists without the crutch of Shaman in them, so I figured it was a great start. I was able to find some of my regular Tweeps happy to oblige. @TheBoozeCube has been well known for really working the archetype, so my first look went to him. He sent me this list:
Devoted to Black
I was really impressed by some of the card choices, although some of the numbers seemed a little off. Seeing as how it was not my deck, and I had no experience with it, I decided to try it as it was. So I began my journey to darkness with this vehicle. I did get another list sent to me, this one by @Lansdellicious, Chris Lansdell. It was focused a little more on recurring Demigod of Revenge and making tons of mana with Nykthos, but it felt a little top heavy for my tastes with fewer Phyrexian Arenas (one of my favourite cards in the archetype), so I reserved to look at it after. Here is that list.
Heavier Mono Black
Knowing that Chris has been after me for some time to join me on stream (as he guested on some of my earliest personal streams), playing an archetype that he had experience in seemed like another good excuse to knock off a bucket list item, and invite him to co pilot this week. I decided that I really wanted to try to serve some revenge at some point, and that Vampire Nighthawk might actually be a better option than Hexmage. I got enough cards to cross over if desired, and away we went!!
All in all, I was surprised at the power that some of these cards had in the modern metagame. Victim of Night was surprisingly good, being able to kill any creature we faced without issue, and when combined with the edict effects of Gatekeeper of Malakir and Liliana of the Veil, allowed us to decide what remained on board and what didn’t. Phyrexian Arena performed just as well as I would have liked, but I do think 3 is the right number for these in the deck. Grey Merchant proved to be a beating, and going forward, I really think I want 3 in the main deck. The real beating I think came at the hands Massacre Wurm though, as it served not only to be a great wrath and damage dealer when it hits the table, but it prevents sacrifice based combos from Melira Pod from being relevant. Similarly, I was impressed by the copy of Erebos in the deck, as it gives us an out to the infinite life from Melira Pod, and allows for some extra draw power. The green splash is necessary, as both Abrupt Decay and Maelstrom Pulse give us some flexible tools to remove troublesome permanents, with the splash coming basically as a free roll. I liked Demigod, but it felt very slow without dedicated discard outlets to pitch it to. Perhaps its time for Pack Rat to shine in Modern too. A card that we didn’t play, which I think is a mistake, is Profane Command. This is a card that can help you come back into or close out a game. Fueled by Nykthos, things can get out of hand quickly. I do think 4 Nykthos is too many, and would certainly be at 3 myself were I to sleeve this up. I also think I would look to try out some number of Withered Wretch over the Hexmages, and find space for some more discard spells in the main. Overall, I felt that the deck could easily stand with about any deck it faced, and never did we ever feel right out of a game. I could certainly recommend working on this if you have the cards, as it was a lot of fun to play, and could be quite rude with the proper tweaking.
Born of the Gods will be live on MTGO this week, and as promised, I will be hopefully running some RG Monsters in Standard for you before we get too deep into the Modern Pro Tour results the following week. I’ll be looking at both an aggressive Fanatic build, and the more grindy Courser build. Come on down and hang out. We have sweet tunes, and great times ahead. The future is looking good here for Compulsive Research. I hope you guys enjoy the ride as much as I will!!
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