Have you seen Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh? When I did, the baddest Dragon of them all stole my heart on the spot.
This goodie from Hour of Devastation is incredible in its power. After all, Bolas is the God that can kill gods (RIP Kefnet), so with Hour of Devastation out on Magic Online, I knew what I had to do.
Play Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh. And Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker. And Dark Intimations for flavor. And Cruel Ultimatum, because why not? Welcome to Tribal Bolas.
This is ostensibly a Grixis Control deck, only with some much more fun options. After all, what is more fun than casting Bolas? And what better way to do it than using Coalition Relic to help ramp up to that critical turn five Bolas or Cruel Ultimatum?
As you can see from the matches, this week was definitely about prioritizing fun and flavor over winning, and I played my matches with a very clear goal in mind – cast as many Bolas as possible. Sure, that led to some sub-optimal plays (and cost us one match), but in the hour of devastation only one thing remains true: when the God-Pharaoh asks you to do something, you do it no questions asked.
While we couldn't find many match wins with the deck, most of the matches went three games and all of them were close. The biggest problem – as expected – is that the curve of the deck is very high. I do think that Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh is strong enough to see Modern play, but if you're really looking to jam him in games I think you want a list very similar to this one but one with a little more card advantage and cheap spells. We lost multiple games simply due to not being able to cast cards in hand, which is a tradeoff I knew would come up going in with so many expensive cards.
That said, the flavor of this deck was spot-on and I really enjoyed resolving the God-Pharaoh in Modern. While this list itself won't hold up, it does showcase the power of Bolas as a finisher, and I would not be at all surprised to see some control decks find a way to bring more Bolas to the format.
Thanks for reading,