Todd Stevens – SCG grinder and Super League teammate of mine on the Brew Crew – is known for his affinity for Knight of the Reliquary decks. Green-White Valuetown has been his calling card for a long time, but last weekend Todd Stevens switched it up on his way to a Top 16 finish at the SCG Open in Baltimore.
I admit, it feels weird to not see Collected Company, but the blue additions more than make up for it in this flexible and rewarding deck.
This deck strikes a lot of familiar themes in Modern – mana dorks, powerful three-drops and a strong top-end. But the biggest problem the green-white decks have had in the past is combo, where so many of its exceedingly fair cards just couldn't compete. The deck had a lot of really cool play to it and would often turn into a land destruction machine, but Todd swapped that out for cards that interact on a wider axis, and I believe the deck is better for it.
The most obvious one is the planeswalkers. Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria are two of the three most powerful planeswalkers in the format, and it's my belief they're better in a deck like this than any other. Rather than serving as the sole threat opponents have to answer, in this deck they are just another threat that must be answered. That makes all the difference in the world – as does ramping into them – and it means you're going to untap with Jace a lot more in this deck than nearly any other.
Blue also gives you access to the best form of interaction: Counterspells. More importantly, this comes in the form of Spell Queller, which you can not only play a turn ahead thanks to mana dorks but also fits in perfectly with a deck looking to chip away at an opponent's life total while building up slow advantages. The rest of the three-drops build on that, with Knight of the Reliquary having access to a toolbox of lands to handle most situations, while Tireless Tracker, Vendilion Clique, Eternal Witness and Courser of Kruphix give the deck a ton of different ways to pull ahead in different metrics, from card advantage to mana advantage to card filtering. Even Nissa, Vastwood Seer can be extremely powerful here, nabbing a land on its own but also playing very nicely with Courser of Kruphix and shuffle effects to control what you draw once it transforms.
There's a lot going on here – after all, we still have Scavenging Ooze and Voice of Resurgence plugging other holes in the deck – but the beauty of this build is that it can play the game in many different ways, and your gameplan across different games will vary wildly based on what you have in play or are facing down. That's my favorite kind of deck to play, and this is right up my alley.
And, by the way, I promise that opponents still aren't used to playing around Settle the Wreckage in Modern. Sleeve this up, and you'll almost certainly blow some opponents out with it.
Thanks for reading,