This week Hall of Famer Olle Rade went 5-0 in a Magic Online Modern League with a five-color Collected Company deck with a human tribal theme. Today I'm taking his list for a spin to see how it stacks up against the field.
Collected Company is the lynchpin of the deck. Every creature in the deck costs three mana or less in order to maximize the value of that card. Every creature in the deck is also a Human except for a pair of Reclamation Sages in the sideboard. This maximizes the tribal synergies of Champion of the Parish, Thalia's Lieutenant, Mayor of Avabruck, and Cavern of Souls. The rest of the deck is four Path to Exiles, 21 lands, and all the best humans in Modern aside from Dark Confidant.
Four Noble Hierarchs and four Avacyn's Pilgrims give the deck explosive openings and make for a third turn Collected Company. Champion of the Parish, interestingly enough, is often the backup plan in case you don't have one of the eight mana-producing humans in your opening hand. Champion also does a fine impression of Wild Nacatl, often attacking for at least three damage on the second turn.
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Thalia, Heretic Cathar are each legendary, but unlike planeswalkers of the same name type, legendary creatures of the same name type can coexist on the battlefield. They force the opponent to pay a tax in complimentary ways and really make life difficult for opponents trying to further their game plan.
Sin Collector is another disruptive human in the deck, taking out the opponent's most valuable spell. This will often be a removal spell, a key combo piece or an opposing Collective Company. Path to Exile and Reflector Mage are disruptive toward creatures, making it very difficult for an opponent to establish a board presence.
Thalia's Lieutenant, Mayor of Avabruck, and Gavony Township are the anthem effects in the deck that pump all our creatures and allow us to go wide or over the top of the opponent's blockers. They also help keep our creatures out of range of Pyroclasm, Anger of the Gods, or whatever other mini sweeper the opponent might have.
The sideboard has more Humans. Meddling Mage is great against combo decks that rely on resolving a single spell such as Ad Nauseam or Primeval Titan. It also works well with Sin Collector or Reflector Mage since they let you know what card is in the opponent's hand. Kambal, Consul of Allocation is great against decks trying to resolve many spells such as Blue-Red Storm or the various Snapcaster Mage decks. Mirran Crusader is great against Death's Shadow, Tarmogoyf, Gurmag Angler, Tasigur, the Golden Fang, and essentially any black removal spell or green creature. Double strike works especially well with all the pump effects. Izzet Staticaster is great against Lingering Souls, Dark Confidant, Empty the Warrens, or really any one-toughness creatures.
While Reclamation Sage is not a human, it is still a Collected Company hit and an all-purpose answer to opposing artifacts or enchantments. I bring in the Sage pretty liberally since anyone can potentially have Grafdigger's Cage to stop our Collected Company. So if they have anything worth killing, I'll usually bring them in. Stony Silence is our more sweeping answer to artifacts, whether it be from Affinity, Tron, Lantern, or any other deck that relies on artifacts with activated abilities. Since we have no artifacts, we can bring it in just as a value card if we so choose. Rest in Peace is the other haymaker sideboard card. Like Stony Silence, it doesn't hinder our game plan at all, so it can likewise be brought in simply as a value card or as a targeted hate card. Its primary function is to stop Dredge, but it also stops delve, Snapcaster Mage, and Tarmogoyf. It also does splash damage to Kolaghan's Command, Scavenging Ooze and other graveyard effects such as persist.
It's unclear to me at this point whether this is the deck I would play in a competitive Modern tournament this weekend, but it's definitely good enough to hold its own and pull out some wins. Given the recent results of the Modern Grand Prix weekend as well as SCG Baltimore, I might go up to three copies of Rest in Peace over one of the Izzet Staticasters. I might also try to find a way to fit Dark Confidant somewhere in the main deck as a way to keep the engines going since we don't play a card like Eternal Witness to rebuy Collected Company from the graveyard. However you choose to customize the deck, it has a solid foundation since it is disruptive, fast, and proactive. It's also super fun!