There are certain cards I'd never thought I'd play in Modern. Yes, this is Mining Modern, where we play a lot… interesting cards. Sometimes the decks are surprisingly competitive, sometimes they're not. But still, there were some cards I never thought I would play, especially in decks that easily crushed Grixis Death's Shadow 2-0, as I did in my first test run with the deck before I started recording.
Cards like Call the Bloodline. And Ruthless Sniper. And Grave Scrabbler.
And yet here we are. And damn, was it worth it.
Tenshi Top 8'ed the Magic Online Modern Challenge with this deck, which I'm calling Mardu MADNESS on account of well, technically having three colors of cards in it, and being something only a madman would brew up. But credit where credit's due, this list is not just playable in Modern, but downright good in many matchups, and credit to Tenshi for digging it up.
It is, as you might have guessed from my witty title, a madness deck, the likes of which we've never seen in Modern. We've seen Dredge and we've seen Life from the Loam decks and we've seen Zombie Infestation – Treasure Hunt decks, but never have these cards come together in this way.
And never have I ever cast – much less been excited for – Grave Scrabbler.
The plan is straightforward. Play a one-drop, preferably Cryptbreaker, and then a discard outlet in either Zombie Infestation or Call the Bloodline. From there, begin the madness engine, where discarding Voldaren Pariah, Grave Scrabbler, Lingering Souls or Squee, Goblin Nabob to create a token and nab some value in the process.
Trust me, I'm well aware of how underpowered this sounds. But when it comes to grinding out games against the format's top decks, it's value that quickly adds up. Big Game Hunter kills a ton of relevant threats in Modern, Lingering Souls is great and Driven // Despair is a great new addition to Modern, and even unassuming old Ruthless Sniper can tear apart decks like Affinity as you create an army of undead tokens. Liliana of the Veil provides some high-powered threat at the top end, and Cryptbreaker and Grave Scrabbler make sure the gas never runs out.
The deck definitely has some tough matchups – burn or combo are not matchups you're excited to see in Game 1 – but the sideboard helps to address that as it employs some of the best options in Modern. That includes Blood Moon, the only non-black mana you plan on paying, and Collective Brutality in all its modal glory.
I was seriously impressed by this deck, and while I think it could use a few changes – it really should run a Godless Shrine so you can play the front half of Lingering Souls when things aren't going to plan – this weird little deck actually has some solid matchups against many of the scariest decks in Modern right now.
Thanks for reading,