Modern has got all the hype these days, so since everyone is asking, I've come prepared to talk about Modern! And, luckily, I was able to find a fun deck that did well in the latest TCGplayer States tournaments and came with a rather specific recommendation.

"It's like Bant Knightfall and what was left of the Amulet Bloom decks had a child together." – Adam Styborski

That sounded cool. John Klauk's Bant Amulet had a lot in common with a deck I played at Worlds… in Extended seven years ago! I was ready to try it.

As a reference, here is the deck I played at Worlds in Chiba in 2010.

The current Modern format has nothing in common with Extended from seven years ago, but the decks are similar enough that we can draw a good comparison. Their goals: make use of hideaway lands Windbrisk Heights and Mosswort Bridge to hide an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn to cast and take an extra turn or a Primeval Titan to get more hideaway lands and try to hit an Emrakul.

To trigger the lands, you either need three attacking creatures for Windbrisk Heights or 10 power worth of creatures for Mosswort Bridge, so things that help accomplish both those goals are at a premium. Nest Invader helps you get to three creatures while giving you access to an extra mana to hard cast a Titan. Knight of the Reliquary helps you find the hideaway lands, as well as creatures in the form of Mutavault, Stirring Wildwood and Dryad Arbor. Lotus Cobra, along with Knight of the Reliquary, also helps you get to six mana easily.

The difference in this version compared to the old Extended version is the presence of Amulet of Vigor, Collected Company, Spell Queller and Retreat to Coralhelm. Amulet of Vigor allows you to cash in on Primeval Titan right away. If you have enough power, you can fetch two Mosswort Bridge that will come into the battlefield untapped, and you'll be able to activate one and hopfeully cast an Emrakul.

Retreat to Coralhelm allows you to go nuts with Knight of the Reliquary. Every time you activate it and get a land (a Forest or a Plains), you can untap it and repeat, getting a mana (or two if you have a Lotus Cobra in play) and a +1/+1 in the process. Spell Queller is your way to interact with your opponent, and in this deck, it pairs perfectly with Collected Company. Company can get you up to three creatures to attack to trigger the Heights (if you find a Nest Invader), more power for your Bridge or a Spell Queller to interact.

I played this deck for five rounds and the conclusions I drew from my games are pretty much what I expected. The deck is fun and could be pretty good. However, it has a few problems that could use some work.

The Cost of Blue

The deck has blue mana for Spell Queller, Retreat to Coralhelm and one Wargate. The problem is that the mana is significantly worse because of that. If you've watched the videos, you have noticed that there are a lot of times where you can't do everything you want to do. You're facing choices when you fetch to get a Breeding Pool to have your blue mana available or a Temple Garden to have white mana to activate your Heights. And since there's no Hallowed Fountain, you can't have both.

The deck wants to actively deploy its forces, so keeping three mana open for a Spell Queller is awkward. Also, it's not a hard counter and a bolt is enough to get rid of it. Retreat to Coralhelm is only good if you have a Knight of the Reliquary in play and only if it survives. You barely have any use of it without a Knight, and in that case, it costs way too much, not to mention the fact that making blue mana is difficult. Wargate is a fine card, but I wouldn't go as far as to splash blue for it.

Collected Company Isn't Supported

20 creatures isn't enough to support Collected Company (25 or 26 is the right count), especially when six of them are Birds and Hierarchs. I understand the idea behind having Spell Queller and Collected Company, but again, it doesn't fit your plan; you end up having the choice between playing a creature or keeping your mana open for a Company, hoping to find a Queller or something relevant, when there's a good chance you're going to miss. On one hand, you might be passing on an opportunity to turn the game around, on the other hand, you might just pass the turn and play Company into nothing relevant.

Amulet of Vigor Could Be Better

The Amulet helps to untap lands, especially when you play so many of them that come into play tapped. You only have one Karoo land ( Selesnya Sanctuary). When you play a Primeval Titan and have an Amulet in play, you don't even threaten lethal as you can't fetch a land that gives haste to the Titan, and you don't always have 10 power worth of creature to activate a Mosswort Bridge (to hopefully play again with an Emrakul). Similarly, Lotus Cobra isn't being used to its full potential – you need more fetch lands in the deck to make sure your Cobras produce as much mana as possible.

Windbrisk Heights Is Too Hard to Activate

With only six one-drops and two Nest Invaders, you'll need a cooperative opponent to activate it early in the game.

What I suggest

I suggest we cut all the cute combos and make the deck a little more streamlined. Having Emrakul in a deck that considers it a dead card when drawn has to be powerful enough to make up for the occasional dead draws.

There's another option. When Modern was first played at Pro Tour Philadelphia in 2011, that was the first deck I built. I splashed red for Through the Breach to make use of a drawn Emrakul. It also works well with Primeval Titan, but not so well with the hideaway lands as you won't be able to cast it after combat with Heights for an Emrakul (it will just die and you won't get the extra turn) and it will be hard to use it off a Bridge without having played a Titan beforehand. However, it can occasionally win games if you have it along with a Titan or an Emrakul in hand.

We're cutting the "interactive" part of the deck, and Through the Breach might be a good way to make up for it (by winning before they kill you).

The only relevant card in the Sideboard for now is Summoning Trap that I could see as a four-of to swap for Through the Breach against control decks.

This is not a final version of the deck. The mana base could definitely be improved, for instance, but It is much more streamlined deck that has the same potential for crazy fast draws and a way to get rid of your drawn Emrakul (by thowing them in your opponent's face) without having to durdle around with underpowered combos.

Hope you enjoyed the videos and the decks! You're more than welcome to comment on the deck, change things and improve it at will, it's just a basis to work with.

Raph