I've played a lot of different decks in this series, and one of my favorite parts of Modern is how different they all feel and play out. From complicated combo decks to straightforward beatdown to tricky controlling strategies to land destruction decks, the different ways to play Magic in Modern make it feel fresh every week.
It's safe to say that this week's deck is no different. In fact, it plays a very different kind of Modern game, one that is unlike any other deck in the format.
Slippery Bogle. Gladecover Scout. Ethereal Armor. Daybreak Coronet. Win the game.
Green-White Hexproof. Also known affectionately as "Bogles." It's gotten a big boost from Amonkhet: Cartouche of Solidarity.
The gameplan is straightforward. Play a hexproof creature, suit it up with enchantments and go to town. In some ways, this deck plays more fair than many – after all, it uses a non-infinite amount of combat damage to end games – but anyone who has sat on the other side of the table from Bogles knows exactly how unfair it can be. Nothing feels worse than looking at a hand of Path to Exile and Fatal Push – format-defining cards – and knowing you'll never get a chance to play them.
The big innovation here is Cartouche of Solidarity. One of the biggest problems Bogles has is dealing with sacrifice effects. Destruction effects usually don't do much thanks to the Totem Armor of Hyena Umbra and Spider Umbra, but sacrifice effects have always plagued the deck. Liliana of the Veil is the archenemy, but recently Blessed Alliance has become a Modern staple, mostly in sideboards, and it really does a number on Bogles. You can imagine how a deck that wants to attack with a single creature might have trouble when it has to sacrifice an attacking creature.
In the past, things like Dryad Arbor and a few other creatures have helped Bogles mitigate those problems to an extent, but never enough to really make much of a push in the Modern format we have today.
Cartouche of Solidarity changes that. It checks all the right boxes for a Bogles enchantment – it's a one-drop, grants first strike and pumps power and toughness. But it turns out that the token it brings along is the most crucial part of the card. Whether it's protection against that Blessed Alliance – especially in post-board games when opponents have boarded out most point removal – or just chump-blocking, access to the Cartouche quietly improves a number of matchups for Bogles.
And sometimes the token just beats down. In one of the matches I had a loaded-up Bogle but couldn't attack because I'd die on the crackback. I drew Cartouche of Solidarity, made a vigilant token and put an Ethereal Armor on it. Just like that, I had a 6/6 first-striking, vigilant creature. That's an option that was simply not available to Bogles a few months ago, and the new addition has Bogles positioned better in Modern than it has been in years.
Thanks for reading,