"Apologies in Advance" if today's deck is a little dated.

You may notice between last week's U/r/W decks and this week's hypothetical we have Modern on the brain (probably due to testing for Pro Tour Born of the Gods).

This is a little something I brewed up playing around for the now-over Modern Pro Tour...


My thinking on this is that if people want to play Wild Nacatl that is going to start an awful lot of folks on 14-17 life, or as many as "three free cards" for a Red Deck. Plus, an opposing Wild Nacatl fits together with main-deck Searing Blaze like peanut butter and chocolate (thanks for the inspiration, Patrick Sullivan)! Also, people hurting themselves with Bitterblossom works nicely with a burn theme and gives un-counter-able burn card Volcanic Fallout a reasonable home.

So... "Apologies in Advance" if this ends up being a non-viable strategy due to something that has happened -- that I couldn't know about -- in the past 72 hours. I wrote the hypothetical in advance for Friday's Celebrity Guest who, as you might have guessed, traveled to Spain for the PT.

That deck is our starting point.

Hypothetical Go!


It has been a short but furious first five turns.

Initially we were worried about a mulligan to five on the play until our opponent -- complaining grumpily -- also finds himself on multiple flights to Paris. At least we could more-or-less play all our cards...

Teetering Peaks
Goblin Guide
Searing Blaze
Searing Blaze

Things continued to look up for us when we got our best first turn [on the play] of a Goblin Guide. In for two!

The opponent revealed: A Wild Nacatl.

He then made a face and played a "shocking" Overgrown Tomb to make a 1/1 Wild Nacatl, putting him to 16. Thanks to a Mountain off the top, we got that weak stuff out of there with a Searing Blaze (three more), and another attack down to 11 life on just turn two. Not bad for a five card hand! We figure he will play another Wild Nacatl (as that is what we just revealed).

On his third turn, the opponent played a Hallowed Fountain and said "at least this one will trade with your Goblin Guide," playing a second, now 2/2, Wild Nacatl.

But of course our Goblin Guide got in ONE. MORE. TIME. with a Teetering Peaks for a big four damage after we Blazed yet another one drop...putting him to four life on the third turn. We figure, though, that our Goblin Guide is not long for this world, as it has just revealed a Lightning Bolt.

The opponent's third turn was an untapped Mountain for the Lightning Bolt we just saw (taking out our Goblin Guide) and a Tarmogoyf.

"Get that out of here!" the opponent proclaims, angrily.

"No reason to maybe draw an extra card," is what we could have said...but we choose Silence. If he isn't going to make good plays, there is no reason to tell him what they should be!

Especially since on turns two, three, and now four, we have drawn Mountain, Mountain, and basic Mountain. We play and pass, any worry of our two-land hand now evaporated.

He sends in the Tarmogoyf and puts us to 18 before playing a second Tarmogoyf, leaving up the Hallowed Fountain.

On turn five things seem to be looking up in our world! Magma Jet! Certainly this will win the game on the spot!

The opponent draws, produces a wide grin, and sends in his two Tarmogoyfs, bringing us to 14. He then plays Temple Garden and shows us what he just drew: Tribal Flames for five to our grill via the improbable rainbow of Overgrown Tomb, Hallowed Fountain, and basic Mountain (and the now-redundant Temple Garden), knocking us down to nine.

Immediately he sees his mistake. "Oh, my God..."

How to respond?

"Don't worry about it. You're dead anyway." (flashing the Jet)


"Yeah, you missed a couple..." (acknowledging his error in order)


"Hey, at least we're not on camera!" (comically)

...we choose Silence and point the Magma Jet to his face, revealing...

Two. More. Mountains.


How unlucky!


We push both to the bottom of our deck, and draw...

Arid Mesa.

Our life total - 9
Our hand - Arid Mesa
Our graveyard - Searing Blaze, Searing Blaze, Goblin Guide, Magma Jet
Our board - Mountain, Mountain, Teetering Peaks, Mountain, Mountain

Opponent's life total - 2
Opponent's hand - 0 cards
Opponent's graveyard - Wild Nacatl, Wild Nacatl, Lightning Bolt, Tribal Flames
Opponent's board - Hallowed Fountain, Overgrown Tomb, Mountain, Temple Garden, two 3/4 Tarmogoyfs

We have not revealed any cards with Goblin Guide that are not noted above; the opponent never drew any extra land cards either. In fact he has been whining that his double mulligan was compounded by not drawing any extra lands off of our terrible Goblin Guide!

How do you play this turn and to what specific intent next turn?