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Compulsive Research: Where the Wild Things Are

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

Compulsive Research 700x235
This week was a great one. I have seen some amazing results finally hit on the health front, as I have now successfully lost 40 lbs since October 1st. I also decided that I would return to Modern for a break from Theros Standard. I have had a lot of fun playing the decks that I have chosen, so the issue I’m having is not the decks I choose, but instead having to play against the same things over and over are starting to take it’s toll on me. I really needed a change. Although Modern season has been pushed back to later in the year, I decided that I would take some time and catch up to the format that started it all for me here at Legit MTG during Modern Mastery. I felt the itch after reading an article by Jason Waddell on Channel Fireball about GP Antwerp and the development of an updated 5C Modern Tribal Flames list, initially made popular by Team CFB during previous Player’s Championships, and then updated by Reid Duke and Owen Turtenwald for GP Toronto 2012 then dubbed “Haunted Zoo”. The premise of the deck was simple; play the best possible cards from casting costs 1 through 3 in order to sufficiently break the value of a Bloodbraid Elf cascade trigger in half. Once you consider that the format was being dominated by Lingering Souls, and that Liliana of the Veil was at an all time low in Main deck lists, Geist of Saint Traft suddenly sprung up in viability. Put it all together, and it brings you to a 5 color deck supported by a high volume of fetch and shock lands, which literally defined 5c good stuff.

As I was preparing for the stream last week, wouldn’t you know it, but Jacob Van Lunen literally posted an article Monday morning with an updated list, which looked very clean to me. I had to give it a try. The article is here, and the list is below.

The only changes I made going in were in the sideboard, as I felt that I wanted to try out the viability of a single Sowing Salt over the 4th Molten Rain, and the Tin Street Hooligans became Wear // Tear in the event that I face Boggles or Leyline of Sanctity. In hindsight, the Molten Rain is certainly correct, but the other two slots could be any number of things, including Stony Silence to assist with the Tron match up. Here are the games.


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In the extra games that I played after hours, I experimented with some number of Boros Charms. They are able to do significant damage and provide us with some flexibility during combat that we might not have had before. It is also very important to realize that despite the fact that Bolt and Helix do damage in chunks of 3, it is actually most relevant to consider the damage in chunks of 4 because of the importance of the Angel generated by Geist of Saint Traft. A bolt or Helix plus a full Tribal Flames is 2 chunks of 4 for example. 5 chunks to kill, Deathrite Shaman, and opposing Mana bases and Thoughtseize often mean its only 4 chunks to win. Boros Charm coincidentally does damage in 4’s. Also of note, Traft’s number one enemy, Liliana of the Veil happens to go to 4 after a discard effect immediately after being cast. This is only really good if you are able to accurately predict the metagame, as the indestructibility is at it’s best vs control strategies, and was very underwhelming against combo decks like Splinter Twin. I like it in the deck against Tron, because killing Karn after he exiles something is relevant, as is the indestructible effect after a Pyroclasm or Oblivion Stone. I would certainly endorse this deck for any upcoming tournaments you might have, especially since I will be running it myself. I will be returning to this deck soon on stream, so don’t worry. It will be back.

This week, we are joined by Alex Bianchi (@Gemmanite) and his UWR Devotion list, affectionately called Mono White Steam Vents. I expect that this will be a pile of fun for us, and informative for you Sphinx’s Revelation junkies out there. Tune in at 930pm EST at www.twitch.tv/legitmtg for all the battles and all the fun!

See you tonight!

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