Last week I brought you two brews, one for Modern and one for Standard. Those brews were fresh and hadn't been tested too much. Today I plan on giving you some more brews, one in each format. However, both these brews have been tested and did well in the tournament that they were played in.
The Standard deck is a color combination that hasn't seen any play after rotation. Jeskai has been nonexistent since we lost the fetch lands and Mantis Rider, but Keith MacDonald has built a competent Jeskai deck that even beat one of my teammates, up-and-comer Emma Handy, in the Swiss rounds of the Open.
It's funny how control decks look these days. I'm used to control decks playing only a handful of finishers or even just one finisher backed up with a lot of countermagic and sweepers. Control decks now have a plethora of win conditions though and few to no Counterspells. They are basically just midrange decks with more non-creature spells. Enough about me being old, let's talk about this sweet deck and the card choices.
Dragonlord Ojutai is great in any control deck and this is no different. You really can't play Dragonlord Ojutai without some countermagic because of Archangel Avacyn. The potential to get blown out by Archangel Avacyn when you attack is not something you want happening, so you need a countermeasure. You really want to be attacking your opponents with Dragonlord Ojutai since connecting will allow you to Anticipate. You'll be able to put a lot of pressure on your opponent while getting a good amount of card selection.
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is a fantastic card that is amazing in control, midrange, or even can be the top end in aggro strategies. He reminds me a lot of Elspeth, Knight-Errant in power level and game play. Even if we can't fully abuse his anthem ultimate he is still great.
The more Planeswalkers, the merrier, right? Nahiri, the Harbinger is awesome here since all her abilities matter. While we may not totally abuse her ultimate ability, getting a Dragonlord Ojutai and Anticipating or killing a planeswalker is good enough. I'm also fine with looting. The fact that she also exiles enchantments that are annoying like Evolutionary Leap, Stasis Snare, or Cryptolith Rite is great for a control deck.
Silumgar's Scorn: This may be a bit aggressive. Not sure I would play a total of four Silumgar's Scorn here with only four Dragonlord Ojutai. I'd feel much safer running two Silumgar's Scorn and two Clash of Wills. However, Keith believed that four was right and I would test his exact deck before making any adjustments for myself.
Scatter to the Winds: Scatter to the Winds versus Void Shatter is pretty meta dependent. With Seasons Past and Den Protector running around I'd feel safer with one Scatter and two Void Shatter. Again though I'd test his exact list first. Maybe I'm wrong and you really do want as many possible threats as possible. Awakening on Wandering Fumarole can close out a game pretty quickly!
Games can go long and you can Epiphany for a lot in this deck. I'm not the biggest fan of Epiphany at the Drownyard without Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, but I'm not opposed to testing it out.
Radiant Flames is fantastic right now. Killing early Sylvan Advocates, tokens, humans, unflipped Lambholt Pacifists, etc. A lot of things have three toughness in this format and it's pretty crucial to wipe the board on turn three sometimes and you can't do it without Radiant Flames.
Negate: I imagine the toughest spells for this deck to beat are non-creature spells and Negate does one heck of a job at stopping those.
Anticipate: Allows you to hit lands early or dig for threats or countermagic mid to late game. Anticipate is a nice way to smooth your draws out.
Stasis Snare: Kind of like Declaration in Stone except this can hit lands and doesn't leave behind a clue. However, Snare costs three and is vulnerable to Dromoka's Command. I do like having an answer to a Needle Spires, Gideon, or Ormendahl, Profane Prince.
No Day of Judgment, but in the late game you can turn this board wipe into a win condition and I do like that.
While this deck did pretty well I do believe it still needs some work. As I said before I'd play it as is a couple of times then make adjustments accordingly based on your preference or your meta. Jeskai can go many different ways.
The next deck I want to talk about has much more spice. It's a modern deck that is playing Zur, the Enchanter! It's not even something like one Zur, the Enchanter — it's the full playset!
Lance Austin took this masterpiece to a top eight finish at the SCG Modern Classic tournament.
I love this card. Mostly because I'm biased and it makes my invitational token, but it also closes out any game with a quickness if there is nothing to block it. A great way to put pressure on your opponent while you disrupt with hand disruption and/or countermagic.
What can I say about Jace that hasn't been said already? Filters your draws, which is important here since you have so many legendary permanents. And flashing back your Path to Exiles our any of your hand disruption spells is obviously just pure value. Any deck with Jace, Vryn's Prodigy has my seal of approval.
This deck is great, Zur is great, Modern is great. How can you not like a format where Zur the freaking Enchanter is seeing play?! That's just amazing. Zur allows you to build your deck with bullets in mind since he gets any enchantment with converted mana cost three or less when he attacks. This deck doesn't do it but you could even get some of theros's awesome enchantment creatures like Courser of Kruphix or Thassa, God of the Sea. In fact, Zur can get a plethora of things that aren't in this deck that you may want to keep in mind like:
That's just the tip of the iceberg for what Zur can dig up for you.
The best "Oblivion Ring" affect in Modern since nobody else really plays Detention Sphere so you don't want something like Oblivion Ring to exile Detention Sphere. It will also exile everything with the same name unlike Oblivion Ring which is why you'd rather have Detention Sphere here.
Good against any deck that is trying to kill you with creatures since it will buy you so much time. It also does other things too like stops combos that make infinite creatures like Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Resoration Angel from killing you since they won't be able to pay one thousand mana or whatever they would need to in order to attack you.
Spreading Seas: A card you aren't unhappy to draw since it cycles and is also a nice thing to get with Zur so you draw a card and / or shut down a utility land like any creature land, Academy Ruins, Eldrazi Temple, Tron lands, etc. Can also be used to keep your opponent of a certain color.
Steel of the Godhead: A great card to put on your Geist or tutor with Zur. If you tutor this up with Zur your opponent won't be able to block your Zur and it ensures that he is unblockable for when you attack with him next turn. The life gain is also very relevant if you're playing an aggro or burn opponent.
Negate: What better way to protect your creatures than Negate? Again this deck seems that it would struggle more with non-creature spells than actual creature spells so Negate seems pretty sweet here.
Path to Exile: Pinpoint removal and some decks don't even play basic lands in Modern? Sign me up.
Inquisition of Kozilek / Thoughtseize: Best hand disruption spells in the whole game of Magic. If you're playing black, it's hard to not play any of these in your seventy-five. Taking your opponent's best card and knowing what your opponent can do in the next few turns is invaluable.
Lingering Souls: Another great way to stall or put pressure on your opponent or his / her planeswalkers. I really like Lingering Souls here since Liliana of the Veil seems pretty powerful against your legendary creatures. Souls is just great against her minus and plus ability. Ali approved.
Engineered Explosives: This card is criminally underplayed. It's such a fantastic catch all. If I play three plus color deck I always include it in my sideboard. It's also not bad in just two color decks.
Leyline of Sanctity: Used against burn or combo opponents for the most part. Also fine against decks with hand disruption and Liliana of the Veil.
Rest in Peace: Stop those graveyard shenanigans! Just make sure to board out a couple of Jaces if you bring this in. It's also tutorable with Zur!
Steel of the Godhead: If you need more life gain I would bring these in along with Timely Reinforcements.
Stony Silence: Complete hoser against things like Affinity, Lantern Control, and even sometimes Tron if played at the right time. Zur approved!
Night of Souls' Betrayal: Imagine this is mostly for Infect, Affinity, and possibly coco/company decks. Not really sure where else you'd really want it, but against the first two decks it's very good.
Timely Reinforcements: This card is very oppressive against the aggro decks and burn decks. This deck seems to struggle against that type of strategy so I approve of the three slots devoted to those specific decks.
And that's all we have for today ladies and gentlemen. Enjoy these decks as we get more spoilers for Eldritch Moon. I won't talk about them yet but I am very excited for Emrakul, the Promised End and Coax from the Blind Eternities. Mono Blue Tron anyone?
Until next time
Keep those brew juices flowing!