They did it. The absolute madmen. Jace is free. Bloodbraid Elf as well.
Modern will never be the same.
There are going to be a huge glut of Jace and Bloodbraid Elf – well, let's be honest, mostly just Jace – articles and videos over the coming weeks, and I'm no exception. Who doesn't want to slam Jace at every opportunity? If you watched my team (myself, Todd Stevens and Saffron Olive) crush the Team Madison pro team of Sam Black, Matt Severa and Caleb Durward in the Team Modern Super League last week, you already know how strong Jace can be. And we all have enough nightmares of old-school Jund to understand what Bloodbraid Elf is capable of.
So, naturally, I decided to play both in the same deck.
Credit for this list goes to Yamakiller, who made the Top 32 of the Modern Challenge on Magic Online over the weekend with the list. It's similar to the Temur Moon lists that have floated around for awhile, but with an important distinction – there are no Blood Moons in the main deck. Instead, the deck loads up on all the previously banned cards – the full set of Bloodbraid Elf along with a pair of Jace, the Mind Sculptor to get in on all the new card action.
It also makes great use of a pair of Swords – Sword of Light and Shadow and Sword of Fire and Ice, to be specific – which aren't cards you see a ton of in Modern but make a lot of sense in this list. For starters, we're playing Noble Hierarch, so the dream of mana dork into turn two Sword into turn three equip and swing is very much alive. But more than that, Swords are a great cascade hit off Bloodbraid Elf, as are the Tireless Trackers and Vendilion Clique in this deck.
One thing this deck does very well is maximize the power of cascade. One of the biggest "downsides" to Bloodbraid Elf is that the free value you get from cascade isn't really all that valuable – sometimes it's Roast with no targets or Lightning Bolt in a matchup where it doesn't do much. But this deck alleviates that issue in a big way. For starters, we get to live the dream of cascading Bloodbraid Elf into Ancestral Vision and immediately drawing three cards, but we can also remove a lot of the unpredictability of the cascade. Serum Visions sets up the top of the library, while Jace, the Mind Sculptor allows us to Brainstorm the perfect card to the top of the deck for Bloodbraid Elf to hit. That's pretty insane in a deck with so many high-value cards, and it's a perfect recipe for success in this brave new Modern world.
I'm sure there are going to be a bunch great Jace and Bloodbraid Elf options over the next few months, but if you have any particular brews or decks you want to see me try with (or without) the new cards, let me know in the comments! Until next week, happy brainstorming.
Thanks for reading,