If you were watching Grand Prix Vegas last weekend – and who wasn't watching that Beta draft? – you may have noticed this gem from early in the coverage weekend.
When I walked by the feature match and caught this, there was no way I wasn't going to feature it on Mining Modern. Credit for the deck goes to @AEMarling, a player, cosplayer, flavor text writer and all-around good guy who brought an awesome deck to play. I mean, who doesn't want to play Urza's Ruinous Blast in Modern?
This is first and foremost a Mox Amber deck. Magic's newest Mox seems to be the least broken of all them all (for now) but this deck comes close. It starts with a bevy of one drops – Kytheon, Hero of Akros, Zurgo Bellstriker and the tried and true Isamaru, Hound of Konda. All three represent a strong aggressive start, and when Mox Amber comes to play the deck can kick it up a notch very quickly. And make no mistake, the plan is to accelerate with Mox Amber or Untaidake, the Cloud Keeper to have three mana on the second turn, which is why the two-drop spot is light on this deck.
But the threes make up for it. Gideon of the Trials has a proven pedigree at this point, as does Thalia, Heretic Cathar – and Alesha, Who Smiles at Death and Brimaz, King of Oreskos are just plain fun – but Captain Lannery Storm impressed me the most. In a deck already accelerating on mana, a quick Captain can really jump you out further, enabling comob-esque starts to dump your entire hand onto the table. Curving a two-power one-drop into the Captain doesn't just represent a ton of damage, it sets up the rest of your hand to seal the deal.
Because the top of the curve in this deck are game-swinging bombs. Hokori, Dust Drinker is just plain mean, while Pia and Kiran Nalaar put a large board presence to go wider and help the deck outpace one-for-one removal. Chandra, Torch of Defiance needs no introduction, and it's just as good in this deck as it is an any other, though it often comes down as removal on the first turn in this build and then provides reach to finish them off. And of course Path to Exile and Lightning Bolt can clear the way as well to help your legendary creatures connect.
Which brings me to my favorite card in the deck – Urza's Ruinous Blast. It's had to overstate just how big of a blowout this is in Modern. It's not just a one-sided Wrath of God, it's a one-sided Wrath of God that just happens to hit any nonland, non-planeswalker permanent type and exiles them to boot, something extremely relevant in Modern. I only ran two in the main deck, but if you're heading into a known meta with a lot of creature decks, I would absolutely feel comfortable going up to three in the main.
This deck is a fascinating look at what is possible with Mox Amber, and I have no doubt we're only scratching the surface of how the Mox will eventually impact Modern. Moxes have a long history of becoming extremely good once people figure out the shell, and I'm sure Mox Amber will follow that trend, even if it's worse on the surface than its zero-mana brethren.
Thanks for reading,