If you take a look around Standard right now, you'll see that Spell Queller is basically all over the place. The White-Blue Flash deck it features prominently in was the best deck at the Pro Tour in terms of combined Standard record, it put six copies into the Top 8 of one of last weekend's Grand Prix and has seemingly become the police of the format, pushing out the combo decks.
Spell Queller does it all. So why not Modern?
Enter Caleb Durward, the man who made it happen. While most people tinkered with a white-blue build of Spirits in Modern making use of Aether Vials, Durward went a different direction, playing green for Noble Hierarch and Collected Company. The approach worked wonders, and led him to victory at the StarCityGames Open in Milwaukee last week.
This is truly a well-honed list. The curve is a bit heavy on three-drops, but they're all so powerful it makes sense. Noble Hierarch helps you cast those three-drops on Turn 2, a crucial way to get ahead in games. If anything, this deck could use a Birds of Paradise or two simply to give more one-drop mana creatures.
The spirit package works beautifully. Mausoleum Wanderer, Selfless Spirit, Spell Queller and Drogskol Captain all work together perfectly to protect each other and the board. Rattlechains is a crucial two-drop that does the same, and allows the deck another card that can play at instant speed. Between Rattlechains, Spell Queller and Collected Company, the deck can conceivably only play spells on the opponent's turn for several turns in a row, making it extremely difficult to interact with.
The creatures themselves are pretty underwhelming, but in conjunction they're a beating. Mausoleum Wanderer shows me everything I wish Cursecatcher could be, and it wreaks havoc throughout the game. Selfless Spirit protects from sweepers, and if it can't get in the way Spell Queller can. Meanwhile, all the deck's spirits serve to protect Spell Queller, making it extremely unlikely opponents ever get back the exiled spell.
Some token removal exists in Path to Exile, and with so many freeroll protection cards Geist of Saint Tract is actually incredibly appealing. Not only do most of your creatures protect it, but it has spirit synergy as an added bonus. Because Geist is so safe in this deck, the dream of enchanting it with Steel of the Godhead is actually realistic, and that combo will end games in a hurry.
This deck is a blast to play, and Durward really knocked it out of the park here, showing up to a tournament unexpectedly and taking it down with an unheard-of deck. A rogue deck showing up unannounced and winning the entire tournament? There's no way I was recording anything else this week.
Thanks for reading,