This week I decided to venture out of my comfort zone a bit. I've played a lot of decks over the course of my Magic career, but in general I'd rather be the aggressor than the control player, so taking up this deck this week was a challenge I was looking forward to.
I mean, hey, when old-school Faeries makes Top 16 of a Grand Prix, I've got to do it. Enjoy!
Yuta Takahashi piloted this beauty to the Top 16 at GP Atlanta a few weeks ago, and I've had a few requests since then to give it a spin. Given how rare it is to see Faeries at the top tables these days, this seemed like the perfect time to bust out the deck. By the way, does anyone remember when Bitterblossom was banned for being too good in Modern? Granted, it started its Modern career on the bench and was underwhelming by the time it came off, but there was a time where it was part of a deck that legitimately was a concern to oppress Modern.
We've come a long way since then. And while Bitterblossom no longer strikes the same fear into the hearts of players, it's still an extremely powerful card.
Against aggressive decks, Bitterblossom essentially acts as a Fog that costs you one life every turn, but against midrange and control decks it's the best card you have access to, providing a steady stream of tokens that pressure planeswalkers and life totals alike. The only problem with the card is how "slow" it is in the current Modern format, but the rest of Yuta's deck aims to handle that.
The list is stuffed full of removal, going all the way up to Hero's Downfall to offer a little more interaction with planeswalkers. Along with the usual suspects of Fatal Push and the other new addition Cast Down, the deck can handle early creature onslaughts quite effectively, as we know Liliana can slam the door shut after a removal spell or two.
That clears the way for Bitterblossom to do work, even if sometimes that work is simply protecting Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Liliana. The can tempo opponents out with Spellstutter Sprites and Faerie Rogue Tokens, but it can just as easily turn into a Superfriends control deck hiding behind Bitterblossom tokens. Jace ultimate comes up just as often as attacking with 1/1s, which is kind of a cool place to be.
Overall, this deck clearly has game in the current meta, though I'll note that Takahashi is a master with this archetype in all formats, and I am not. Duplicating his results is not going to be easy for anyone picking up the deck, but it is certainly possible – and you get to relive 2009 Standard all over again at the same time.
Thanks for reading,