Ever since he came out in Lorwyn I've had a soft spot for Doran, the Siege Tower. Not only was he virtually a 5/5 for three mana, but he got the brewing juices flowing in regards to which otherwise-underwhelming creatures you could potentially pair with the treefolk shaman. Spellskite? More like attack for fourskite! Treefolk Harbinger? You're an all-star! Heck, even Tarmogoyf now had his stats evened out.
The card was super sweet and it did something that nothing else in the game had done before, which made it extremely unique. Additionally Doran was also in the Abzan color wedge, which was not only an incredibly cool color combination, but it also meant that we would be able to toss him down on turn two a lot of the time!
The list I'm taking a look at today brings back those original Doran, the Siege Tower brewing memories with four copies each of Spellskite, Birds of Paradise, Treefolk Harbinger, and much more.
Magic Online user gulemio3 managed a 3-1 finish with this list, and that was good enough for me. Considering Doran is nowhere to be found in the Modern metagame currently, that's pretty solid, especially when you factor in how cutthroat the format can be with unfair decks while Doran is essentially a pretty fair deck.
Let's see if we can accomplish the same feat or better!
One thing Melissa mentioned to me as I was playing the deck was that it seemed like a less powerful version of the Modern Abzan deck, which I can understand. We're basically forcing ourselves to rely on creatures with low or no power simply because they interact favorably with Doran. This means we're missing out on things like Tarmogoyf or Dark Confidant that the other Abzan decks are using. On the other hand, cards like Spellskite are simply backbreaking against certain archetypes, like Bogles or Splinter Twin, and can sometimes give us free wins.
The biggest problem with the deck is that land flood or screw hurts much more than other decks because we have zero ways to manage our draws. We don't have things like Serum Visions or Remand to help us burn through our deck, so we're actually at the mercy of our topdecks here.
I would definitely make some obvious changes to the list, like adding the fourth Siege Rhino. This is a card I was never unhappy about drawing, and the fact that he attacks for five with a Doran out is just a bonus.
This also doesn't really seem like a deck where Lingering Souls is at its best. Sure, every deck can basically benefit from Lingering Souls in some way because it's that good of a card, but we might be much more rewarded by a card like Courser of Kruphix. Not only does he have amazing synergies with Doran, the Siege Tower, but he also allows us to smooth our draws some, which is something this deck is begging for a way to do as I mentioned earlier.
Another issue I had was with the removal. Murderous Cut doesn't really make too much sense in the deck as we don't really have that many way of filling our graveyard. While it will always cost three mana, and it is a sorcery, a copy or two of Maelstrom Pulse could be just fine. I would also 100% add a copy of Nameless Inversion as something else to search up with Treefolk Harbinger; maybe a copy of Crib Swap or Chameleon Colossus or Wickerbough Elder as well. Doran is legendary so we rarely want to get more than one, especially if we have one in hand or in play, and being able to tutor up removal or a utility card is huge. I'm actually surprised our only options with Treefolk Harbinger were Doran or land.
While I'm not sure if Doran can be competitive in Modern, I feel like there has to be some ideal configuration for the 0/5. Whenever we were attacking for seven on turn three it felt pretty good and having an excuse to play four maindeck Spellskite is actually pretty okay by me. Regardless, I'll be back on Thursday with some more Standard, and I've got my eye on GW Constellation at the moment! In the meantime, be sure and check out my podcast, Freshly Brewed, with Alli Aintrazi, subscribe through iTunes, and check out our Patreon. Thanks for reading and I'll see ya soon!
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