When Hollow One was first printed, I thought it was a pretty cool card. The design is nice and symmetrical, and it's got a pretty cool clause for its mana-reduction ability. Of course, I never thought we'd see this. But here we are, and you can witness Hollow One in all its discarding glory.
I never thought I'd be playing Flameblade Adept in Modern, but here we are – and I won't lie I've surprised even myself at this point with how often I say "I'd never thought I do this in Modern, but it just works." Anyway, Flameblade Adept is actually downright absurd in this deck, attacking for totals Monastery Mentor can only dream of.
And what goes better with a big Flameblade Adept than fellow Modern powerhouse Flamewake Phoenix? I know we've all heard stories of the fear struck into hearts from the flammable duo, right?
Okay, maybe not, but in this deck they are the perfect complement to Hollow One, which is more absurd in this deck than any it's been in before. Vengevine is nice and all, and the Death's Shadow decks are cool I suppose, but nothing can top Burning Inquiry when it comes to enabling a huge Hollow One play – who doesn't like a pair of 4/4s on turn one?
Bloodghast is a given in a deck like this, and the rest of the discard suite is rounded out with Faithless Looting, Cathartic Reunion and Street Wraith, while Gurmag Angler makes all those extra cards provide value from the graveyard even if they don't have recursion themselves. Angler is also an easy way to set up an early Flamewake Phoenix recursion, and in the midgame can often do so for just one mana.
The madness value doesn't stop there – Fiery Temper gives the deck Lightning Bolt 5-8 and the singleton Call the Netherworld is a bit of a freeroll that occasionally saves the day with Gurmag Angler recursion. Throw in a sideboard with some general disruption as well as all-time favorites like Big Game Hunter and Lightning Axe, and you have a package that can consistently pressure opponents while also being resilient against a ton of the popular removal options in Modern.
World Champion Seth Manfield is on record calling this deck good, and after playing with it I can see why. It's hard to disrupt this deck from doing its thing, and some games will feel helpless as the deck spews out a huge board on turn one or two in a way that is less vulnerable to the graveyard hate that something like Dredge struggles with. And with so much card filtering built into the deck, hand disruption isn't really a good option either. This build attacks on an angle few opponents are ready for, and in a format like Modern that counts for a lot.
Plus, putting 10 power into play on turn two is just plain fun. Enjoy!
Thanks for reading,