I have to admit, I've been holding this one in for a few weeks, so I'm pretty excited to show it off today. I saw an Azorius Taxes deck that smashed Reflector Mage, Spellstutter Sprite and Phantasmal Image into an Eldrazi and Taxes list and went 5-0 in a Magic Online league. I wanted to record with it right away, but then I saw Lavinia, Azorius Renegade previewed.

The card is more bonkers the further back in format history you go, and Modern is the spot where it's a powerful option but maybe best in the sideboard. But then again, maybe not – Ravnica Allegiance is brand-new, and it's time to test and find out. And while we're at it, there were a few other new cards that overperformed as well.

In the right matchups, Lavinia is everything she's cracked up to be. We had multiple boardstates where the two-drop was extremely relevant, and with more in the sideboard it's a great option to have. Lavinia is the real deal against a deck like Tron, and I wouldn't be surprised to see more Tax-style decks adopt her.

I played Sphinx of Foresight on a whim, but I have to say it was excellent in this deck. Yes, we got lucky to have the one-of in our opening hand a few times, but for a deck that plays a lot of situation spells or bad topdecks (like Ather Vial) and can also struggle to finish games out, Sphinx may just be the perfect finisher. It filters those bad draws away, dodges Anger of the Gods and Lightning Bolt/Helix, and closes out games over the course of a few turns. Color me impressed.

Deputy of Detention was a standout as well. One of the problems these Taxes decks can run into is finding a way to deal with particular troublesome permanents like, say, the Ensnaring Bridges we ran into against our Artifact Control opponent. One Deputy solves any number of Bridge problems, and while its 1/3 body may not be incredibly relevant, the fact it is a creature at all is, and that makes a perfect fit in this deck.

All in all, I really enjoyed taking a look at a completely different kind of Taxes deck, and I really think now may be the time we could see a deck like this begin to make some waves in Modern.

Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler