It's no secret that I'm a big fan of blinking creatures with enters-the-battlefield abilities to exploit their triggers. In fact one of my favorite creatures ever is Mystic Snake, which is the perfect card to blink with something like Cloudshift, Momentary Blink, or Restoration Angel.
The deck we're taking a look at today has a lot of the same ideas, but we won't be using blue. And, quite honestly, there isn't as much "blink" as you might think. (That was an unintentional rhyme brought to you by my subconscious 80's hip hop artist.) In fact we're mostly depending on two Cloudshift and four Flickerwisp (that we mostly want to play through our AEther Vials).
The deck has a lot of similarities to both The Aristocrats and the Abzan Collected Company deck that uses Melira, Sylvok Outcast to combo off and gain infinite life or deal infinite damage. Only this one is more midrangy and, instead of an infinite combo, the deck just tries to grind the opponent out with enters-the-battlefield triggers and tricks.
Take a look.
I first saw this list piloted by Blake Donnan at one of the most recent Opens, but since then I have seen the deck place well in two other Magic Online events. That's when it really caught my attention. After all, any Modern deck using Wasteland Strangler can't be that bad (as indicated by last week's Eldrazi list), especially when paired with Collected Company, Fiend Hunter, and Tidehollow Sculler.
Let's see how much blinking this deck actually has in store for us.
Abzan Blink vs. Grixis Control
Abzan Blink vs. White Hate Bears
Abzan Blink vs. U/G Infect
Abzan Blink vs. Bring to Light Combo
This deck commits one of my least favorite crimes in the Modern format: not playing enough basic lands to get around Blood Moon. I go over this in one of the videos, but if your deck has a card that has BB in the casting cost, you should have two Swamps in the deck. If your maximum number of white symbols on cards is one, you should have at least one Plains. Basically, I'm a firm believer that you should have enough basic lands in your deck to search out and cast all of your spells if a Blood Moon enters the battlefield. Blood Moon is common enough in Modern to deserve that respect.
Instead, we played a match against Blood Moon where we could never cast our black spells because every nonbasic land that produced black mana was now a Mountain. This would even be less of an issue if the deck was running Birds of Paradise over Noble Hierarch. As it stands though, this is a completely unnecessary hindrance we're placing on ourselves, especially in a deck that has only two ways to get rid of a resolved Blood Moon in the entire 75. The fact that we have two Fulminator Mage in the sideboard even makes me want to play two Swamps, but I think at least one would be better than none at all.
Other than that, I was pretty fond of the deck. I'll be honest: every time I actually cast a Cloudshift, I think it's a little too cute. Is this card really better than something else, like Path to Exile, that even fuels our Wasteland Strangler? One of the things that makes this deck work so smoothly is the Collected Company. Heck, one benefit to Collected Company (but a disadvantage otherwise) is that the deck basically has no spells outside of Collected Company, Cloudshift, and AEther Vial. While there are definitely times I wouldn't mind having an Abrupt Decay somewhere, it was nice to never whiff with 31 creatures in the deck.
One thing I do think is that decks should be packing a little more enchantment hate in Modern. Not only does it take care of cards like Splinter Twin and Blood Moon, but I've played against the enchantment deck a nonzero number of times now recently. This can be as simple as Nature's Claim or as hardcore as Leave No Trace, a card I have definitely been considering recently which would be especially good against decks like Bogles and Enchantments.
I was dabbling with my own Bring to Light list in Modern a week or so back and Blood Baron of Vizkopa was definitely a card I considered. He seems like an absolute house in this format, and I was glad to see I was at least somewhat right. Another card I was considering was Obzedat, Ghost Council, but he's a little more cost prohibitive. Maybe I'll show my version off soon, even though it lacks any combos and only includes midrange good stuff.
That's about it for today. I've created a public page on Facebook for all of my Magic content things, so be sure and give me a like. Friend requests are hard to keep up with and a lot of people just wanted to follow my Magic content rather than my personal posts. If you're looking to get updates on when I post a new video to YouTube, know when I have a new article, see when a new podcast goes live, or want to join in some cool discussions, be sure and give the page a "like."
I'll be back again on Thursday with some Standard action so be sure to tune in then! Thanks for reading and I'll see ya soon!
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