Argentum Armor?

Mikaeus, the Lunarch?

Quest for the Holy Relic?

In Modern?

About a week ago - well, four days ago to be exact - a Twitter follower of mine, Spitlebug, tweeted the following at me…

@FrankLeporeMeanwhile in Italy...Would make a good Modern Monday? pic.twitter.com/bLOCmlW8md

— Spitlebug (@Spitlebug) July 29, 2015

I was immediately intrigued by the contents of the deck, let alone the fact that the Italians take their Modern very seriously. While this wasn't a deck that had won an RPTQ (yet), it did manage to win a PPTQ in Napoli, which was enough to get me started. This was the deck in all its typed-up-and-entered glory.

DECKID=1246180

Way to go, Pierluigi Caiazzo!

The more I looked at the deck, the more it looked like a RW Hate Bears deck with a Quest for the Holy Relic plan, which seemed very good. There were some cards I wasn't sure about, but I had no idea if they were actually great or not without having played the deck yet.

I was extremely eager to Remedy my lack of information.

(Videos arranged in a playlist within the player.)

My initial question, and one that has been asked quite a bit of the deck, is why Pierluigi went with Magus of the Moon over the more resilient (and it is definitely more resilient) Blood Moon. Well, there are a couple reasons and, while they might not be good enough, they certainly make sense.

The first is that the deck wants to play as many creatures as it can realistically get away with as each one triggers Quest for the Holy Relic. This isn't a deck that is living and dying off of a resolved Blood Moon (though sometimes it can); this is a deck that simply wants some disruptive creatures that, if they survive, will greatly aid in our victory. Magus of the Moon fulfills this criteria. The second reason is that, short of Opalescence , Blood Moon has never been equipped with a Sword of Fire and Ice. We're an equipment deck and Magus can be equipped; plain and simple. Magus also doesn't cost more when we have a Thalia, Guardian of Thraben out, if that means anything to you.

One of my favorite parts of the deck was all of the protection spells. Not only do we have Eight-and-a-Half-Tails, but we have four Spellskite in the maindeck (which can all be equipped, attack, and trigger Windbrisk Heights, mind you) as well as two Faith's Shield. Faith's Shield is actually amazing in that it not only protects creatures, but it can also protect our lands, enchantments, or artifacts. And if we have five or less life against burn, it can give potentially give us another turn as well! It's just a super versatile card that even managed to save my lands from something like a Fulminator Mage at one point.

While the deck is mostly packed with small creatures, most of them revolve around activating a Quest for the Holy Relic. Because let's be honest...sometimes getting an Argentum Armor on a creature and being able to back it up is just good enough. The only time I was regretful of Argentum Armor being in the deck was the time I drew it. Unfortunate, but it's basically the same as drawing something like a Living End in Living End. And even if we were still planning on going off with our Quest plan, we still have two Swords to fetch out as backups, both of which pull a lot of weight.

Speaking of Swords, they're easily some of my favorite cards ever. They're extremely versatile and the card advantage they provide is usually avalanche inducing. All four of the abilities from the included Swords in the deck are relevant, from the life gain, to getting back a creature, to shooting something, to drawing a card. Even the protection is some of the best we can ask for, omitting only green for obvious reasons. I always want Swords to see more play then they do, and having two different types in the deck is right up my alley.

Ultimately, as I mentioned, this is kind of Hate Bears deck with a secondary Quest for the Holy Relic plan, but traditionally Hate Bear strategies fare pretty well in the format, as they slow down the linear decks just enough. This is accelerated by the fact that we can also cheat an equipment into play that gives +6/+6 and Vindicates things, while a ton of our maindeck cards revolve around protecting said equipped creature.

This deck was a blast to play and I was actually extremely surprised by it. If you're looking for something unique, definitely give this one a try; it's even relatively cheap by Modern standards! With the Pro Tour taking place this past weekend, you can definitely expect some Standard action from the event on Thursday and I may even have a special guest! We'll see. In the meantime, be sure and check out my podcast, Freshly Brewed, with Ali Aintrazi and subscribe through iTunes to catch any future brew discussions Ali and I might partake in. Thanks for reading and I'll see ya soon!

Frank Lepore
@FrankLepore on Twitter
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Freshly Brewed Podcast with Ali Aintrazi (available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio)