Last week you guys directed me to a decklist in the comments of Modern Monday, asking me to try it out. That list was a Naya Twin list that included things like Collected Company and Heliod's Pilgrim. Quite honestly I think Splinter Twin is one of the strongest things you can be doing in Modern right now (or ever), and if you're able to simply slot it into an already strong deck, that's even better (similar to the premise of Living Twin).
Well, that seemed to be what was happening with the following list...
Magic Online user sapporo managed a 3-1 finish with this list and I definitely saw some promise in it. So many of the cards in the deck actually supplement the Splinter Twin / Village Bell-Ringer plan. We have four Collected Company to get Village Bell-Ringer. We also have two Heliod's Pilgrim which can grab us a Splinter Twin (or a Chained to the Rocks if necessary) and can be grabbed with Collected Company. So the deck has essentially five copies of Splinter Twin along with four copies of Collected Company to get two of them with, and four copies of our enabling creature ( Village Bell-Ringer) along with four copies of Collected Company to get them with as well.
But even if we're not Twinning, this is still a legitimate Naya deck and can simply beat down, just like UR Splinter Twin is capable of. Here, let me show you what I mean...
As you can see, like most Twin decks this version can simply kill you with its tiny creatures over the course of a game. This is usually because you're so busy holding your guard up against the combo that you can't also keep it up against something like four two power creatures as well. I think most of the games I won were simply by attacking, but we definitely Twinned some people out as well which is awesome.
I actually put this deck together for FNM this past week, and Grand Abolisher was definitely a card I was not expecting to sleeve up. But boy did he do some heavy lifting. Not only is a 2/2 for two just fine, but you can also hit him with Collected Company and he basically shuts down any (most) response to our combo which is huge. Our game three against Monoblue Faeries was just insane. Turn two Grand Arbiter, turn three main phase Village Bell-Ringer, turn four Splinter Twin. And they literally could not respond during our turn. This was definitely a powerful addition; it has to make the opponent feel just helpless during our turn, while we feel like we simply can't lose.
Breaking News: Collected Company still manages to provide loads and loads of value. This was the glue that held the deck together. Of course hitting an Eternal Witness off of this was incredible value, but even hitting something like a Scavenging Ooze and a Kitchen Finks was just fine. Sometimes you hit a Village Bell-Ringer and a Grand Abolisher or a Heliod's Pilgrim and the combo puts itself together. Every creature in the deck can be hit off of Collected Company and there are a hefty 26.
One complaint I had was the Noble Hierarch. Don't get me wrong, this card is incredible in most applications, but there were several times I had trouble finding a second red source for our one red card: Splinter Twin. While the exalted bonus it gives is great, I think we might actually be better suited with a couple of Birds of Paradise instead. I'm not even sure it has to be a complete swap, but an additional way to get red mana might help the deck go off in certain situations.
Two cards that were awesome in the maindeck were Spellskite and Scavenging Ooze. Scavenging Ooze is rarely played as a three-of in maindecks, but I think he's incredibly positioned right now. He takes out a lot of the cards in delve, and he's amazing against things like Living End and Breach Reanimator (I'm not calling that deck Grishoalbrand). He's also great at battling Tarmogofys, especially since we're not playing any of our own. Spellskite is also incredibly useful as he protects our combo and you can even attack with the horror if you have some number of Noble Hierarchs in play. Both of these guys can also be hit off of Collected Company which is a huge bonus.
Is this list better than the traditional UR Splinter Twin? I'm not sure, but it sure was fun and it felt very resilient. It has a lot of different "hate bears" that the opponent has to fight through in order to break up our combo, and it has even more in the sideboard! You should definitely give it a try if you're looking for a powerful, disruptive deck that also has an infinite two-card combo built in. You could even find room for Midnight Guard if you want a couple more Splinter Twin targets.
As usual, I'll be back this Thursday with some more Standard action as we fill the weeks before Magic Origins drops on Magic Online. 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)