Ordinarily I wouldn't be too excited about a simple G/W Collected Company list, but I do happen to be a huge fan of Collected Company, and I also saw this deck 5-0 three separate Modern Leagues in the past couple weeks. That's no small feat. With Oath of the Gatewatch unavailable on Magic Online until January 29th I figured we would play something in Modern a little simpler for the time being. (And believe me, I have some sweet Modern decks with OGW cards lines up.)

Let's take a look at today's offering.

DECKID=1257822

This deck is as straightforward as it gets, and it definitely takes a page out of the Craig Wescoe style guide. It's almost a hate bears list but it lacks some very notable creatures like Leonin Arbiter, Aven Mindcensor, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, etc. Instead we simply have some of the biggest green and white creatures available, but we still have a lot of useful hate bears, like Scavenging Ooze, Qasali Pridemage, Spellskite, Ethersworn Canonist, and others, so we still have a lot of the versatility and disruption of the hate bear archetype, just not the density.

This isn't the type of deck that I'm typically drawn to but, while I was visiting Florida, I played in a Modern event and borrowed my friend Justin Vickers' Naya Company list (who also happens to own Shortstops, the store we would frequent in Florida). After going 4-0 in the event, I definitely felt the appeal of playing larger-than-average creatures, cheating them into play at the end of the opponent's turn with Collected Company, and forcing the opponent to deal with them. I was mostly hoping this deck could emulate that feeling in a similar way.

Let's find out if it can.

G/W Collected Company vs. Ad Nauseam Unlife

G/W Collected Company vs. U/G Eldrazi

G/W Collected Company vs. Mindcrank

G/W Collected Company vs. Living End

As some of you may know, there's a Modern Pro Tour coming up in about three weeks which will contain quite the change from the average Modern meta thanks to the banning of Splinter Twin and Summer Bloom - two bans that I am in favor of, by the way. I believe it's good for the format to shake things up from time to time, and both decks, in my opinion, were fairly oppressive.

I'm still looking for a deck to play, and every time I go 4-0 in my matches, I wonder if the deck I played is a possible contender. I'm definitely not opposed to playing something with Collected Company in it at the Pro Tour, but I'm also quite partial to Fulminator Mage at the moment. As you could see from our Eldrazi matchup, being able to destroy crucial lands against certain decks can be game winning. Being able to hit Fulminator Mages off of Collected Company is even better. Of course I would also try to find a way to sneak a Reveillark into the deck we're brainstorming right now in order to get the most out of our small creatures.

Every time I looked at this list, I felt like it was going to be overly simplistic. It turns out there's a lot of value right now - or maybe always in Modern - in being able to destroy your opponent's lands while playing big creatures. With Tron being thought to rise up after the banning of Splinter Twin and Summer Bloom, along with the Eldrazi deck becoming public enemy number one right now, there are a lot of key lands to be targeting and our Tectonic Edges were working overtime. If I'm not playing a broken deck like Eldrazi at the Pro Tour, I definitely want to be prepared for them, and one of the best ways to do so is by limiting their mana production early. This deck ended up being surprisingly good at that, even when that wasn't one of its main functions.

I'm not sure if this list is 100% perfect, but as you can see, if worked out very well against numerous different archetypes. Things like the single Brimaz, King of Oreskos and the single Scavenging Ooze seemed a little out of place to me, especially since we only have Collected Company and not Chord of Calling in the maindeck, but they're not creatures I would ever be unhappy to play on curve. While I'm not sure if this could be my "go to" deck for a large Modern event, I'm definitely coming around to this type of strategy.

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This week begins Conley's awesome Oath of the Gatewatch set review, with a new color every day. That being the case, I'll be back again on Thursday with my Top 8 Sleepers from Oath of the Gatewatch, so be sure to tune in then! Thanks for reading and I'll see ya soon!

Frank Lepore
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