Ixalan was always going to be awesome. Dinosaurs, Pirates, Vampires (meh), but most importantly, MERFOLK! So we knew from the very beginning the set was going to be a home run – even if the Merfolk we actually got are pretty meh and Kopala, Warden of Waves is at best a 1-1 split with Kira, Great Glass-Spinner.
Anyway, it turns out Ixalan had another goodie hidden away for us. One that I'm sure will make many an appearance in Mining Modern. And with the set out on Magic Online today, I couldn't resist taking Opt for an early spin in one of my favorite Modern decks.
By the way, do you like taking all the turns?
I love Taking Turns, the deck. I think it's secretly one of the better combo decks in Modern, and it's very difficult to disrupt for many decks. The basic idea is simple: play a Howling Mine or Dictate or Kruphix, and then chain together a bunch of Time Warp effects to take over the game and eventually win when an awakened land thanks to Part the Waterveil. By the time you're ready to attack, you also have Counterspell backup or have tapped down all your opponent's permanents, so it's a pretty safe win condition.
I believe this deck has game against some of the format's top dogs – I really love the Tron matchups, for instance – and has ways to win against everything (even Burn, though that one is tough).
You might have seen some similar lists floating around, but my take is a bit different – I don't like splashing into other colors. You get some nice sideboard options, but the fetch land manabase really hurts when you're playing a deck that needs to survive until turn four or five to win the game.
When I play this deck, what I want is the most streamlined combo deck possible. That means no Remand in the main deck – Spreading Seas disrupts opponents pretty well in this meta but also cycles when you're going off. It means no Thassa that doesn't replace itself or take another turn – Part the Waterveil only in the main deck. A full nine cantrips thanks to Opt. No Mikokoro, Center of the Sea – blue mana is at a premium here, and I prefer to spend my colorless sources on Radiant Fountain, which actually helps us in the tough matchups, whereas in my experience Mikokoro is a win-more.
The sideboard here shores up the bad matchups – namely Burn and Aggro, which we have a full set of Dragon's Claws for alongside Sun Droplet. Laboratory Maniac is the key to beating infinite life strategies or Ensnaring Bridge effects, while the Dispel and Gigadrowse help against control – seriously, Gigadrowse is practically unbeatable for traditional control decks. Finally, Remand exists for the Scapeshift decks, though I think Shadow of Doubt may be great as well.
Enjoy taking all the turns. I know I do!
Thanks for reading,