When Rivals of Ixalan released, complete with some crazy Dinosaurs and Merfolk Mistbinder, there are a few cards I would have put ahead of today's featured card in terms of advancing a Modern archetype to success.
Yet here we are – I've decided that mono-blue Merfolk is better than the green splash and I'm recording videos with Curious Obsession. Life comes at you fast.
That's right, Curious Obsession has taken White-Blue Spirits off the fringes of Modern and thrust it into the spotlight. Okay, maybe it's still on the fringes – it is, after all, a Mining Modern deck – but lists similar to mine have been making the 5-0 rounds on Magic Online in the past few weeks, and it would seem that Curious Obsession is what has put them over the top.
Of course, this is where I have to talk about Tallowisp. The high-value Spirit pairs perfectly with Curious Obsession, allowing you to pull it out of your deck and attach it to an evasive creature as early as turn three. You'll almost always get through with the enchantment, and then it draws you more cards to fuel the Tallowisp further – and you can even go grab Temporal Isolation with the 'Wisp in a pinch!
Historically, auras are just a terrible idea – you're just begging to get yourself two-for-oned. But this deck goes a long way to solving that problem. For starters, you're not exactly down a card if you've pulled it from your deck with Tallowisp, and at one mana it's basically impossible for your opponent to gain any tempo from the play. And if you connect even once, you're back even on cards. It helps create surprise damage out of nowhere, and actually does quite a bit to round out the corners of this deck, allowing you some card advantage without dipping into green for Collected Company, which keeps your mana much cleaner as well.
The rest of the deck is mostly what you'd expect, but with the polish we see here it's almost surprising just how powerful this shell that has been around since the release of Eldritch Moon actually is. Much to my despair, Mausoleum Wanderer is the best Cursecatcher to ever be printed, and the combination of Selfless Spirit, Rattlechains and Spell Queller means it's actually really difficult for decks to get your creatures off the table – making Curious Obsession all the more likely to stick, not even counting the hexproof granted by Drogskol Captain.
By sticking to two colors, we also get access to an underrated Modern land: Moorland Haunt. The card was a terror back in its Standard days but forgotten in Modern, until now. Churning out Spirits on an opponent's end step is hugely powerful, especially with so many Liliana of the Veil and Jace, the Mind Sculptor floating around to keep in check. And in a pinch they provide yet another body to throw a Curious Obsession onto, without costing yourself a card in the process should it be removed.
Throw in the fact we get to main deck Eidolon of Rhetoric – pretty huge in the Bloodbraid Elf and Storm metagame – and you have a deck that can go toe-to-toe with almost any strategy in Modern. It's flown under the radar for a while now, but the time may be coming for Spirits to start making some noise.
Thanks for reading,