Guilds of Ravnica has arrived in Modern, and I have to say I'm incredibly excited to play with the set. From Knight of Autumn to Assassin's Trophy to Thousand-Year Storm and more, there is just so much to be explored with the new set, and I'm already having a blast today just that.
Speaking of blasting things, how about some good, old-fashioned 8-Whack? With Runaway Steam-Kin, that is.
I can't say I'm an expert on this archetype, but it seems like the deck has gotten some solid upgrades over the past year or so. I based this list off the one Brian Braun-Duin posted here last week, and I didn't realize how far 8-Whack had come as an archetype. The deck has gained multiple new cards recently, and with the addition of Fanatical Firebrand the deck has even more powerful one-drops than ever before. Firebrand does a great job picking off one-toughness creatures like mana dorks, it can attack for a bunch of damage over the course of the game thanks to a Bushwhacker, and it can come down and Mogg Fanatic someone when it really needs to.
Which is where Runaway Steam-Kin comes in. The deck is leaner and meaner than ever before, and Steam-Kin gives it a legitimate "combo" touch where you can play one on turn two, play out a few cards on turn three, make mana off the Steam-Kin and then finish playing out your hand before attacking for roughly infinite damage.
The Flame of Keld is the other new addition, and I like it quite a bit in theory. A lot of games come down to getting the opponent under 10 life but needing to finish them off once they've stabilized the board. Lightning Bolt and Goblin Grenade can certainly do that, but you actually need to draw them to make that happen. The Flame of Keld does that perfectly, allowing you to play out your hand in the first few turns and then pitch a meaningless card or two to get a shot at three new ones on your next turn and a bunch of free damage the turn after that. Turning Lightning Bolt into Lava Axe is huge, and even Fanatical Firebrand gets silly with a final chapter from The Flame of Keld.
Add onto all that Ramunap Ruins. It may not seem like much, but every few points of damage counts, and having a "free" land that can turn into damage quietly goes a long way.
I have no idea what all of this does for 8-Whack in the larger scheme of Modern, but it's certainly been a lot of fun to pair with Runaway Steam-Kin, and I can't wait to continue exploring Ravnica 3.0 in Modern.
Thanks for reading,