A couple weeks back there was a TCGplayer Open 5k in Kansas City, MO. The Top 8 decklists arrived to us a little later than we had hoped, and the Top 16 arrived even later than that. Once I had finally received them and had them entered into the site, however, I stumbled upon something magical. I'll just go ahead and show you now...
You're not seeing things. This is what I've dreamed of since Dragons of Tarkir was spoiled. In fact this deck contains four-ofs of two of my Top 10 Dragons of Tarkir Sleeper picks: Secure the Wastes (#2) and Myth Realized (#4). I've been talking about how I wish Secure the Wastes had a better home, but I hadn't really paid much attention to Myth Realized. Well, Patrick Kilma certainly did, and he earned himself a Top 16 finish at the event for his effort.
In addition to the aforementioned all-stars, the deck also had my other favorite Khans Block card, Monastery Mentor, and we also get another chance to try out Narset Transcendent! What could possibly go wrong? Well, let's find out...
Wow! This is one of the rare times that I was actually blown away by our ability to win games that seemed utterly hopeless. I realize I may have seemed salty at times, but I'm definitely working on that! The power level and synergies in the deck are actually extremely high, despite how misleading they may be on the surface. That having been said, while some things worked fantastically, there were definitely a few things I might change going forward.
First off, I wish we had another land. The deck only has 23 lands and with six fetchlands, we have even less than that after cracking them. Couple this with things like Narset at four mana, Secure the Wastes which is very mana intensive, activating either ability on Myth Realized, casting a couple spells in the same turn, etc., and the deck is actually very demanding on mana. We have so many things to do with our mana that I don't think an extra would hurt. It would also be nice to have another source that doesn't enter the battlefield tapped.
I was never thrilled with Stubborn Denial or Void Snare. I can appreciate their existence, as ways to trigger prowess or Myth Realized, but they were just too underwhelming for my taste. Stubborn Denial needs the late game to be anything more than a Force Spike and Void Snare as a sorcery could just be something better I feel. One card I was curious about was Oppressive Rays. Many times this will have the same effect as a Void Snare if not more, it will trigger all of our prowess-esque cards, and it will even shut down creatures like Elvish Mystic, Polukranos, World Eater, and Fleecemane Lion until we can stabilize. This seems like a very useful card that is extremely undervalued.
I would personally take out the Stubborn Denial altogether. I see what we're trying to do with them, and in a perfect world, we'll have a 4/4 Monk Avatar from Myth Realized and we'll be able to tap one white to activate and one blue to have a two mana hard counter with Stubborn Denial, but it's a card that is nowhere near that ideal without the Monk Avatar. If the point is to use Stubborn Denial to save the Myth Realized from removal upon activating, then I think Valorous Stance is simply better suited here.
This was one of the rare few times I didn't really like Soulfire Grand Master in a deck. As I mentioned earlier we simply don't have that much mana to play with, and the odds of us getting to five or six in order to utilize her ability is so slim. As you can imagine, giving our instants and sorceries lifelink is fairly irrelevant as well. I would often much rather she be another Seeker of the Way.
One thing I think the deck could really use is a Dictate of Heliod type card. There were many times where I simply had to keep making creatures, because the incredible number I had couldn't get past anything individually. This could be anything though, including Spear of Heliod, Great Teacher's Decree, or Hall of Triumph. Usually our Myth Realized creatures are huge enough to get by anything, but if our opponent has something like a Deathmist Raptor or a Hornet Nest, we're kind of boned. In this situation I would love a way to give our guys evasion, but in lieu of that, I think going wide with an anthem effect would also get the job done.
As far as the sideboard, I really like cards like Surge of Righteousness, but I think four is a bit much. Think about the creatures it's going to hit (Dragonlord Atarka, Siege Rhino, Dragonlord Silumgar, Thunderbreak Regent); most of those creatures are also getting hit by cards like Encase in Ice and Valorous Stance. I would definitely find room for one or two copies of Glare of Heresy and a copy of Radiant Purge. Both cards Remove Siege Rhino, Dragonlord Ojutai, and Fleecemane Lion, with one removing Rakshasa Deathdealer and the other removing Elspeth, Sun's Champion.
This deck was actually incredibly sweet and there's nothing quite like casting an End Hostilities then activating your two Myth Realized and attacking for 21 damage - mana permitting, of course. As usual, I'll be back again on Monday with a sweet Modern brew! In the meantime, have a safe and happy 4th of July holiday and 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)