Looking over the most recent decklists from the most recent Modern events I realized that there wasn't really that much new showing up in the format. This was unfortunate. I did however notice a Restore Balance list that had placed fairly well recently, and I was actually surprised that I hadn't played Restore Balance in an article before. Sure, I had cursed my opponent who was piloting the deck against me when I was on the opposite end, but me playing it...that would be for educational purposes!

For those who are unfamiliar with the deck, the main premise is that we want to fill our board with Borderposts (Fieldmist Borderpost, Firewild Borderpost, etc.) and planeswalkers, perhaps with a Greater Gargadon suspended, then cast a cascade card to inevitably hit Restore Balance. This will leave the opponent with no lands or creatures and us with plenty of mana and, ideally, some planeswalkers. If we have lands before the Restore Balance goes off, we will of course be sacrificing them to the Greater Gargadon.

The deck looks a little something like this.


Restore Balance doesn't come around often in Modern, but often times that can be a good thing for combo decks. This usually prevents the deck from being hated out too heavily and a deck like Restore Balance is kind of hard to hate out to begin with unless you're packing a good deal of artifact hate, which not many decks are.

Albert Vizcarra seemed to find this out for himself as he made the Top 8 of the SCG Premier IQ a week ago in Atlanta with the list. Seeing as the deck is exactly up my alley, as I mentioned I was surprised I hadn't tried it out in a video before...until now.

Restore Balance vs. Tooth and Nail

Restore Balance vs. Faeries

Restore Balance vs. Illusions

Restore Balance vs. Lantern Control

Some of you guys tend to complain about the misplays I make in games; if you're one of them, you're going to have a field day with that first match. I don't really look at these misplays as a downside though. I assume that a lot of players will make similar mistakes to the ones I do and, by getting them out of the way in the videos or allowing players to see what kind of pitfalls the deck may have, this will hopefully prevent those players from making the same mistake in the events they choose to play these lists in. And ultimately, who cares about flawless play? What's the real benefit to that? In general I think there are more lessons to be learned from mistakes than from perfection.

About the deck, it was actually pretty sweet. Even after a Creeping Corrosion we still managed to beat the Tooth and Nail deck, but I imagine the Lantern Control deck is a pretty terrible matchup for us. They don't have that many lands in play at any given time, they don't have any creatures, and Restore Balance can't touch their artifacts. Let alone all of our creatures are huge and will never be able to attack past an Ensnaring Bridge, and with only two Ingot Chewers in the 75, it wasn't too hard for our opponent to make sure we never drew them.

Outside of that though, the deck seemed awesome. I'm surprised it isn't a larger part of the metagame since it takes some very specific hate to effectively deal with. Sure, it's a little weak to artifact removal, but they have to draw a good deal of it to prevent us from going off, especially with four Simian Spirit Guides at our disposal. The funny thing is we actually never won with our planeswalkers. Come to think of it I'm not sure we actually won with our creatures either, so much as the threat of our creatures, specifically after a Restore Balance. I guess this is a deck that doesn't really need to win, so much as look like it's going to win. Kind of like Lantern Control, actually. Man, what kind of sadist actually plays those matches out to their natural conclusions? Those are stronger men (and women) than I.

That's about it for today. I mentioned it last week, but if you want to keep up with me on Facebook, I've created a public page for all things gaming and Magic of mine. My friend requests were getting hard to keep up with and a lot of people didn't really care about my personal politics; they just wanted to keep up with my Magic content. So if you're looking to get updates on when I post a new video to YouTube, know when I have a new article, see when my stream goes live, or just want to join in some cool discussions, be sure and give the page a "like."

I'll be back on Thursday with something new in Standard from the Pro Tour or from the TCGplayer State Championships. In the meantime be sure and check out my podcast, Freshly Brewed, with Ali Aintrazi. You can subscribe through iTunes or help us out over on our Patreon. Thanks for reading and I'll see ya soon!

Frank Lepore
Facebook // @FrankLepore // Twitch // YouTube
Freshly Brewed Podcast with Ali Aintrazi (subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher Radio)