When Bloodbraid Elf was unbanned (along with Jace, the Mind Sculptor, who despite the pedigree seems to not have made much of an impact in Modern… yet), I promised that I would be spamming decks with the cards for months to come. And while I'm no stranger to a good Jace Brainstorm, I definitely enjoy casting Bloodbraid Elf quite a bit more. It won't be in Jund, but like Collected Company, Bloodbraid Elf is a card that takes many of the not-quite­-there strategies I enjoy playing and gives them a shot of enough power to make them competitive. Just like any random pile of creatures can be competitive thanks to the power of Collected Company, any solid base can be improved enough by Bloodbraid Elf to steal games.

So, naturally, I decided this week to play Bloodbraid Elf and Collected Company in the same deck.

There have been a ton of Zoo-type strategies floating around Modern with Bloodbraid Elf, including a Naya Zoo list that 5-0'd a league that I used as the inspiration for this deck. And while the original list didn't sport Collected Company, these Naya lists look extremely similar to previous iterations that simply played Company instead of Bloodbraid. Given that Bloodbraid is a bit of a non-bo with Company since you can't put it directly into play, I decided to go easy on the power four-drops and just play a couple Collected Company.

I know this looks odd – and trust me, I wouldn't have ever seen myself doing this just a few months ago, I actually think it's defensible. After all, we are an aggressive deck with Wild Nacatl so we don't want too many four-drops, but at the same time we do want spells at the top end that are high-impact. Bloodbraid Elf obviously fills this role perfectly, typically giving us two creatures – exactly what Collected Company will do. In that light, the numbers actually begin to make a lot more sense, especially when you consider we have four Noble Hierarch to get us there faster.

With that in mind, the rest of the deck fills out nicely. We get the aggro starts of Wild Nacatl and Bloodbraid Elf along with the all-around value of Voice of Resurgence, Renegade Rallier, Knight of the Reliquary and Scavenging Ooze. Want some more high-value abilities tacked onto aggressive creatures? This deck has plenty of them – Qasali Pridemage is one of my favorite cards in a deck like this, while Thalia, Heretic Cathar messes up opponents while beating down quite effectively. And, oh yeah, we have the best grindy midrange card in Modern in the form of Lingering Souls.

This deck has a lot going for it, and while certain matchups (namely, combo) are going to be a challenge, this deck is in perfect position to compete against the rest of the field right now. And it's a heck of a lot of fun to spin the Collected Company and Bloodbraid Elf wheel as often as possible.

Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler