It’s that time of year again. Our days are getting longer, we have to start turning on the AC, and Geist has come back to punish some fools in Modern. I myself am kicking off this summer’s Modern season with GP Charlotte in a week. I of course will be playing #TeamGeist.
Originally we thought the deck was at a real disadvantage as the meta began to shift. Collected Company brought back a pod-style deck, Jund was back thanks to Kolaghan’s Command, and Twin even started to pack discard spells and Tasigur to let them play a longer game. Our favorite three mana 2/2 wasn’t going to match up well. At least that’s what we thought.
I then took our list without making any drastic changes that were being proposed, like packing Rest in Peace in the board, and played it against some of the current meta. I thoroughly trounced Jund when it didn’t start discard, discard, Liliana. Twin was still relatively easy to navigate. Even the Collected Company deck wasn’t so bad, proving to be a 50/50 match up. After this testing session I changed up the deck to arrive here:
There’s a lot less Lingering Souls seeing play, so the necessity of the efficiency to Forked Bolt is a lot less. We really want the card draw attached the Electrolyze as games are generally going longer.
Jund and the Grixis decks are all packing Kolaghan’s Command, which makes Batterskull a bit of a liability. We still want a threat that is very hard for them to deal with that allows us to grind with them, which is very easily Keranos. He was in our Worcester list and was a house vs the GBx midrange decks.
I’ve seen an increase in Zoo, Merfolk, Elves, and small guy Abzan due to Collected Company. I knew I wanted two Angers in my board for these match-ups because you typically want to draw one during the game. You need one to clean up their board while allowing your Restoration Angels to survive to continue clocking your opponent. Drawing multiples doesn’t hurt, but burn that can actually be pointed at their dome is preferable after the first Anger.
I cut a Sower and a Valorous Stance to make room for the Angers because the bigger Abzan deck is on the decline. We still have access to one of each if we run into the match up.
The other card I’m still unsure of is the maindeck Thundermaw. I almost feel like I’d rather have Baneslayer currently, except the Jund and Grixis decks all pack Terminate. Cutting the Dragon also removes our bomby topdeck vs Lingering Souls. I’ve also had Thundermaw kill many a Liliana of the Veil, so for now it stays, but it’s definitely a card I’m keeping an eye on.
I was in GP Vegas last week and had a lot of people approach me about #TeamGeist. Most people thanked me for our work on the deck and for making everything as public as possible. I also got quite a few questions. While most of them were very specific corner case scenarios there was one larger point brought to my attention. Most players were having trouble winning the Junk and Jund midrange games.
The key to these matches is to watch how your opponent is sequencing their plays. This will inform you as to what your opponent likely has in their hand. Did they cast a discard spell on turn one? If not they’re hand is likely creature/removal heavy. These hands are easy to beat with a Geist backed by removal. If they cast the discard spell on turn one, what did they take? If Geist then it means they don’t have a Liliana. If they take a Path it means they have goyf. If they take Restoration Angel it means they don’t have the Terminate. They may get information on your hand with their discard spell, but you also get some on theirs.
If your opponent ignored your Geist don’t just slam it into Lili. I know one of our rules is Always Jam, but Jam smart. Wait for them to Lili then take her down with a Snap/Clique/Resto+Bolt.
Don’t just Path their Ooze unless they can get it to a 4/4 that turn. Otherwise try to bolt it. Your Paths really need to be maximized vs their Goyfs. Try to use bolts vs everything else. Remember that Bob doesn’t necessarily need to die right away. He’s going to give them some card advantage, yes, but he could also be providing you with some free damage. They don’t really have anyway to gain their life back outside of Ooze. Bob and some fetches or Thoughtseize can make it very easy to just get a few hits in and burn your opponent out.
The Abzan Midrange match up functions similarly except their cards are better versus us. Don’t Remand the front of a Lingering Souls if possible. Hold Paths for Goyfs/Rhinos. Abzan is much harder to burn out. This match I typically find myself winning with some Angels+Thundermaw or Keranos.
I’m currently updating the Google.doc that has our sideboard plans. I’ll have it available along with my finalized list for GP Charlotte next week. Until then, if you have any questions just ask in the comments or hit me up on Twitter.
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