This week was a tricky one. I was scouring the internet for a deck to play and I was coming up short; I was worried that Modern might be drying up in terms of innovation! I ended up trying several but nothing really panned out, and I can only devout so many hours to trying decks before I simply have to find one write about.
After a while, Melissa asked if I had ever written about BW Tokens. I remembered that I had a while back, but I didn't know how long ago. It turned out that it was last February, in 2014. It was right before Bitterblossom became unbanned and I felt like a year and a half was enough time to pass before writing about a particular deck again. Additionally, Bitterblossom had since become unbanned and I had yet to try the deck with the two mana token maker.
This was the most recent list I had found that was having some success.
Magic Online user jalah managed a 4-0 finish with the deck in a Daily Event and that was good enough for me. I also saw the archetype putting up a ton of 3-1 showings, so I knew people were playing it, and I knew they were having winning records. It also had Bitterblossoms in it, which some versions didn't, along with Ajani Goldmane and Sorin, Solemn Visitor: two planeswalkers I was interested in trying out within the archetype.
Finally, Bitterblossom! The card that everyone was so excited about being unbanned, and I finally got to try it out in a deck. Truth be told, the card is pretty hit or miss in the deck. It's a very strong card, but it requires a lot of forward momentum on your part. What I mean is that you want to be actively moving forward or attacking or on the offense in order to get the best use out of Bitterblossom; otherwise it's basically going to kill you over a long enough time frame. This is aided by the fact that Modern is such an aggressive format to begin with. The contrast of this is in a deck like Faeries, where not only does Bitterblossom make every other one of your cards better or stronger, you also have a built in way to get rid of the enchantment when it becomes too dangerous in the form of Mistbind Clique.
Speaking of life, I was a little confused at the addition of two Timely Reinforcements in the maindeck. I'm still not completely sold on them, but I did like the idea of using them as a way to potentially offset the life loss from Bitterblossom. One complaint I had with the card was that we're playing a deck that rarely wants to have fewer creatures than our opponents, but half of Timely Reinforcements ability relies on that. I suppose it's useful for restocking when we don't have board advantage, but I'm not sure another two-drop wouldn't be better (it felt like we were constantly drawing too many three-drops).
Ajani Goldmane in the maindeck over something like Honor of the Pure was also an interesting inclusion, but it made sense given that Bitterblossom makes black tokens that wouldn't be affected by Honor. Meanwhile Ajani doesn't discriminate and puts +1/+1 counters on all creatures. He's also willing to give us some life if it helps in order to Negate some of the high cost of Bitterblossom.
Another interesting choice was the addition of Sorin, Solemn Visitor over Sorin, Lord of Innistrad, but after playing with the new Sorin, I think he's definitely the right choice. While he can't make a permanent emblem, his ability to give +1/+0 and lifelink is just huge, especially with...you guessed it...Bitterblossom in the deck.
Since we're a base-white deck, we have some really amazing sideboard options, such as Rest in Peace, Stony Silence, and more Timely Reinforcements to name a few. We could even add something like Leyline of Sanctity if we thought it might be necessary. And of course being able to board up to 10 discard spells could definitely come in handy against certain decks. Zealous Persecution is also an insane beating against some decks, such as decks with Young Pyromancer, Affinity, or the mirror match, so having a second is good times.
This week I'll be back on Thursday, but not with videos; I'll be covering my Top 10 Magic Origins Sleepers, and there look to be some good ones, so be sure not to miss it! In the meantime be sure to catch my podcast with Ali Aintrazi, Freshly Brewed (which you can find on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, or the link below). Thanks for reading and I'll see ya then!
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Freshly Brewed Podcast with Ali Aintrazi (also available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio)