Black-White Tokens is the new hotness again in Modern!

Black-White Tokens has been a solid strategy for years, but it's traditionally had a few problems. The biggest problem is that it could not possibly beat Red-Green Tron. Discard spells aren't enough against that deck and our clock is not fast enough to kill them before they draw into Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. I fixed that problem by adding Ghost Quarters and Tectonic Edge main and Fulminator Mage in the sideboard. I also increased the clock by adding Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and Smuggler's Copter.

The Deck

Aside from Tron and other potential metagame problems, Black-White Tokens is internally inconsistent. It is forced to play a bunch of discard spells to compete with combo decks, but later in the game these discard spells are dead draws. It is also threat-light and often plays draw-go for several turns hoping to draw a threat, only to lose a game after the opponent has enough time to draw back into it. I solved each of these problems with this build. Planeswalkers give us a more resilient way to generate threats while Smuggler's Copter gives us a way to turn those excess discard spells and lands into action in the midgame. Both allow us to close out the game in a hurry too, taking away the opponent's chance of drawing back into the game.

To generate tokens, we have Bitterblossom, Blade Splicer, Lingering Souls, Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, and Sorin, Solemn Visitor in the main and Timely Reinforcements in the sideboard. Each of these cards allows us to crew Smuggler's Copter and also gives us a curve to pressure the opponent while be quite resilient to disruption.

We have plenty of our own disruption too! Inquisition of Kozilek and Thoughtseize let us tear the opponent's hand apart, paving the way for Liliana of the Veil to lock them out of cards in hand. We also have lots of removal: Path to Exile can elegantly exile anything at instant speed for just one mana; Liliana of the Veil can have the opponent sacrifice their creatures; and Wrath of God and Damnation can wipe the entire board.

The interesting part about these sweepers is that they are essentially one-sided since all our threats are resilient to it in some way except Blade Splicer. Smuggler's Copter and Shambling Vent survive the wraths, Lingering Souls gets flashed back, Bitterblossom keeps churning out tokens, and the planeswalkers can keep making tokens.

With these changes to the fundamental core of the deck, many of the traditional problems Black-White Tokens has faced are solved. This new version can play out like a control deck with discard, planewalkers and board sweepers or it can be aggressive with Smuggler's Copter, Lingering Souls and aggressive planeswalkers – whatever the situation and matchup call for!

The Sideboard

Out of the sideboard we get Fulminator Mage and Tectonic Edge against Tron and Valakut decks, as well as any time we have extra cards we want to board out. We have Disenchants primarily for Leyline of Sanctity since that turns off our discard and our Liliana of the Veil. It's also good against Affinity and Blood Moon. Rest in Peace is our answer to Dredge and all the delve decks and whatnot that rely on the graveyard. Timely Reinforcements comes in against Burn and other aggro creature decks and works excellently with Smuggler's Copter since the vehicle won't count as a creature and the Soldier Tokens can crew the copter.

Wrath of God and Flaying Tendrils come in against Elves, Affinity, Merfolk, and anything that tries to go wide with creatures, including Birds of Paradise decks. Duress is a versatile slot, coming in against Burn, combo decks, control decks, and really anywhere that we have extra cards to board out. Lastly, Elspeth, Sun's Champion comes in against midrange and control decks like Jund, Jeskai, Abzan, and any other deck that aims to out-grind us.

Potential changes to the deck

I wouldn't make any changes to the main deck just yet. I'm happy with how it has played out so far. I would consider making these changes to the sideboard though:

+1 Disenchant

+1 Timely Reinforcements

+1 Go for the Throat

-1 Elspeth, Sun's Champion

-1 Duress

-1 Flaying Tendrils

Elspeth is not as good with Smuggler's Copter and Liliana of the Veil because we often discard excess lands to those cards. Duress is solid but is the least necessary card in the sideboard. Flaying Tendrils can be powerful but won't always do what we need our wrath to do. So I would consider cutting these three cards. I would add a third Disenchant to give us a more reliable answer to Leyline of Sanctity and also another powerful effect against Affinity. I would also add a third copy of Timely Reinforcements to improve our Burn matchup and because it just fits so well into our strategy, especially with Smuggler's Copter. Lastly, I would play Go for the Throat over Duress because a lot of times we want an extra point removal spell, such as against Death's Shadow, Infect, or any of the other decks that aim to Berserk us to death in a single hit.

Watch the videos to see the deck in action and try it out for yourself! Is it the solution to Modern?

Craig Wescoe