Someone pointed out to me recently that I had never done a White-Black Tokens variant on Mining Modern before. For a deck that's been around seemingly forever – it existed in old Extended before Modern was created and Bitterblossom was even banned at the start of the Modern format due to its power level – I was surprised I hadn't dabbled in the archetype before.
But the last nine months have been very good to the deck, and today I wanted to show that off. Between Fatal Push, Legion's Landing and now History of Benalia, there are a whole lot of reasons to dust this deck off.
Gone is Spectral Procession. That's certainly the biggest decision tree here, because getting three 1/1 flying Spirits on turn three is extremely powerful. The problem is the constraints it placed on the deck to try and have three white mana on turn three, and Spectral Procession for any more mana than that is extremely clunky. Furthermore, it put a lot of pressure on the mana base to contort to it, and with that out of the way the deck can take advantage of cards like Field of Ruin and Vault of the Archangel – and possibly more – without making four cards in the deck useless.
That's where History of Benalia shines. It puts more power onto the field than Procession, albeit at a slower pace and without flying. But also provides its own advantages – vigilance being one of them, along with a pump effect at the end that allows the deck to turn the corner very quickly. It's also worth noting it will pump the tokens from Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, when that occasionally comes up. Most importantly, it's so much easier on the mana base than Procession, and that goes a very long way in a deck like this with a ton of colored one-mana spells.
Legion's Landing is another new addition that does work. A first-turn token producer that has a bunch of late-game value really works perfectly here. It can ramp you to a Sorin, Solemn Visitor or Gideon on turn three alongside Raise the Alarm, and the lifelink comes up randomly as well – not to mention producing a token every turn in the late-game is huge for grinding out control decks and one-for-one monsters like Jund.
After that, the deck has access to the best one-mana spells in Modern. It gets the best removal in Fatal Push and Path to Exile, and the best discard in Inquisition of Kozilek, Thoughtseize and Collective Brutality. Add it all together, and you have a deck that interacts very well in the first few turns and then quickly turns the corner with a go-wide strategy that is resistant to both board wipes – we even have our own in the sideboard – and decks packed with one-for-one removal. This deck has the tools to beat any deck in Modern, and it's hard to ask for much more than that.
Thanks for reading,