35 decks spanning fifteen archetypes went 7-2-1 or better in Modern at Pro Tour Born of the Gods. If you’re going to Grand Prix Richmond, this best of the best tier is where you should start. Adrian Sullivan put a lot of good work into the metagame stats last week, so I’m going to concentrate on the individual lists today. What separates the winning lists from those that failed?
2 RUG Twin, 4 U/R Twin
Splinter Twin’s performance should be expected since Jund was one of the forces holding the deck back to begin with. See how the extreme saturation of Twin in the Grand Prix Detroit day 2 metagame led to the almost all Jund Top 8. Without Deathrite Shaman, not only is there less Jund, but the matchup gets significantly better because they can’t just turn 2 Liliana of the Veil you.
Trends we see across all of these lists are large numbers of two-mana blockers (Tarmogoyf and Spellskite), Snapcaster Mage, one-mana removal (mostly Lightning Bolt), and sideboard Anger of the Gods. The hyperaggressive Zoo decks were consistently troublesome for pure combo Twin in our testing, and these changes are all dedicated to managing that matchup. I can’t promise this reliably lets you beat the more aggressive lists, but it gives you a shot.
To be a hundred percent blunt, I thought the deck Patrick Dickmann used to win Grand Prix Antwerp was absolute trash, but his Pro Tour list is pretty awesome. The Pestermite beatdown plan is kinda terrible, but Tarmogoyf can legitimately kill people. It’s not quite as good as Stoneforge Mystic was for the three weeks you got to play it and Splinter Twin in Standard, but it plays a similar role. It’s cheap, very capable of singlehandedly killing opponents, and good at holding the fort against aggro.
The one exception to the fair interaction trend was Alexander Hayne’s list with the full eight Deceiver Exarch and Pestermite and six Splinter Twin plus Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker. We had a fairly similar list in testing, only our debate was whether you want seven or eight of the copying combo piece. While that number is still up in the air, I was surprised to see Dispel still in Hayne’s deck. In our experience, Swan Song was almost a strict upgrade. The 2/2 body is mostly irrelevant in the timeframe the deck is playing to, and it is just a Dispel that counters Thoughtseize, Tribal Flames, Suppression Field, Splinter Twin, and Pyromancer Ascension—basically everything that matters but Torpor Orb and Spellskite.
I’m not sure if I would choose U/R Twin over RUG Twin even if the low Zoo presence continues, but it’s worth considering if you would rather just force them to have it every game.
One last note is that zero copies of U/W/R Twin went 7-2-1 or better. It seems like the green splash might just be a better semi-fair deck.
- 1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
- 2 Pestermite
- 2 Vendilion Clique
- 1 Spellskite
- 4 Deceiver Exarch
- 4 Snapcaster Mage
Despite the unbanning of Wild Nacatl putting a full 16% of the field on the card, zero copies of the card made it to Sunday.
I think this is a fluke.
Zoo is very good, but I think the Pro Tour metagame was slightly overprepared for it and the Zoo lists were not properly prepared.
This last issue isn’t a hundred percent their fault. Unless you are the fastest possible build, you have to select the proper interaction for the combo deck of the day. Predicting this before the Pro Tour is extremely difficult. If you look at Owen Turtenwald’s list, you can see a huge array of singletons trying to create a spread that is good against the entire potential field. Now that your combo matchups have narrowed, picking the right set of hate should be easier. Owen and Paul Rietzl performed well because they were extremely close to the correct set of hate.
If you shave the cards that specifically target Scapeshift, Tron, and Goryo’s Vengeance (Grafdigger’s Cage, Blood Moon) for more cards that cover Splinter Twin, Storm, Living End, and Auras (Combust, Torpor Orb, Rule of Law, Ethersworn Canonist, Rest in Peace, Destructive Revelry, Qasali Pridemage, Back to Nature), you will be even better off. Other things worth noting are Ad Nauseam is covered by Rule of Law plus enchantment removal (can’t Angel’s Grace on the same turn, kill Phyrexian Unlife) and sideboard Negate is a broad spectrum solution.
If you decide to play a more aggressive list, whether it’s Domain, One-Drop Naya, or R/G Aggro splash Nacatl, you can ease up on the Splinter Twin hate. Not only are the Twin decks becoming less dedicated to combo and more punishing of strict hate cards, but they are slower so you’re more able to just play a heads-up fair game against them. You still need Auras and Living End hate since they basically kill on turn 3 (Daybreak Coronet is more or less lethal), and you can probably choose your cards to overlap and cover Storm. I’m not sure what you do with all of the extra space, but there are definitely options.
Worth noting is that as a pure goldfish card Tarmogoyf comes up really short in most of these lists. Zoo is very short on sorceries to pump Goyf to a 4/5. Compare to Jund’s Inquisition of Kozilek, Liliana of the Veil, Thoughtseize, and Maelstrom Pulse to push it to that next level. Goyf regularly being a 3/4 instead of a 4/5 really upgrades x/4 bodies, so if your deck is also short on sorceries (like Birthing Pod and U/W/R Control), you can capitalize on this in your deck choices.
- 1 Birds of Paradise
- 4 Tarmogoyf
- 4 Wild Nacatl
- 4 Noble Hierarch
- 4 Knight of the Reliquary
- 4 Scavenging Ooze
- 2 Thundermaw Hellkite
- 2 Loxodon Smiter
- 4 Kird Ape
- 4 Tarmogoyf
- 4 Wild Nacatl
- 1 Goblin Guide
- 4 Loam Lion
- 3 Geist of Saint Traft
- 2 Experiment One
- 3 Ghor-Clan Rampager
2 Traditional, 1 Maindeck Suppression Field
A lot of the same hurdles that apply to Zoo also apply to Auras. Your game 1 against combo is atrocious barring a turn 2 Kor Spiritdancer on the play (which could still be too slow), but you have a full fifteen-card sideboard to figure it out because you are so stacked against the fair decks. At most you want one or two copies of Silhana Ledgewalker there to maximize your odds of seeing a hexproof guy in your opening seven.
If you look at all three lists, you can find a required shell of the following 53 cards.
Note that all of these are characteristics shared with the list some of my teammates opted to play at this event.
In the non Suppression Field lists, the mana is pretty locked in: one Dryad Arbor, one Forest, four Temple Garden, four Horizon Canopy, four Razorverge Thicket, and six fetch lands. In the Suppression Field list, the eight-card fetch land package is replaced with Brushland and City of Brass.
The 4-3 Umbra split is something my team had going the other direction, but it’s definitely up for grabs. Spider Umbra is better against Faeries and Affinity; Hyena Umbra is better against anyone just casting ground creatures.
Lifelink Auras always lead on Daybreak Coronet, the card that really drives the viability of this deck, followed by some copies of Unflinching Courage. No list had more than one maindeck copy of Spirit Link, and it was always after some number of Unflinching Courage was included. The card seals the deal versus Zoo by doubling up on other lifelink Auras, but it does nothing without help and is completely blank in multiples.
Kor Spiritdancer was in both of the non Suppression Field lists, and I would be inclined to snap play four in the stock lists. Even if I was playing the hate enchantment, I would be inclined to play more than zero copies of the pseudo Enchantress. Note that because of this lack of Spiritdancers and the cutting of Dryad Arbor plus fetch lands, you are down to ten actual targets for your Auras instead of 21. You can probably get by with that many, but it may be short by one to three from the optimal number of bodies to put pants on.
Saul Aguado opted for the interesting choice of Mana Tithe over Path to Exile, which I think is worth exploring. Still, all of the other Auras lists played Path for good reason (Spellskite, Splinter Twin), so if you’re still in doubt after testing, I’d lean in that direction.
For the record, the Suppression Field list is potentially awesome. I’m not a hundred percent sure if what it does is truly great or just novel, but it’s novel in a potentially good way. Blue Moon got a lot of free wins off of surprising people with that card, and Suppression Field acts in a very similar way against most decks.
The sideboard is mostly up for grabs for the same reason the Zoo board is up for grabs. You need combo hate, and you need the right ones. All three lists had some number of Leyline of Sanctity, Nature’s Claim, Stony Silence, and removal (Path to Exile or Dismember), and being a white deck gives you a massive number of options. Again, test well and choose wisely, and I advise against options that cost more than two.
Melira Pod: 3
There isn’t much to talk about here. All of these lists are very similar to the one Josh McClain played in Detroit. The one with the Archangel combo was from someone who didn’t have access to Josh and Sam Pardee’s updated list. The updated list cut combo pieces that don’t fight Wild Nacatl or are too clunky. They added cards to handle Zoo. The big addition in my mind is the sideboard Entomber Exarch, giving you more generic options to handle combo.
This deck gained a lot of ground relative to Kiki Pod with the banned list changes. Tron no longer is positioned to prey on Jund (beating Tron with fast combo and Avalanche Riders was a big draw of Kiki Pod), and the rise of Zoo, Twin, and Storm makes Abrupt Decay significantly more powerful.
- 4 Birds of Paradise
- 1 Eternal Witness
- 2 Wall of Roots
- 1 Orzhov Pontiff
- 1 Shriekmaw
- 1 Reveillark
- 4 Kitchen Finks
- 2 Murderous Redcap
- 1 Ranger of Eos
- 3 Noble Hierarch
- 1 Qasali Pridemage
- 1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence
- 1 Viscera Seer
- 1 Spellskite
- 1 Melira, Sylvok Outcast
- 1 Scavenging Ooze
- 2 Voice of Resurgence
2 Andrew Shrout List (Faithless Looting, 18 Land), 1 Jon Finkel List (Desperate Ravings, Thought Scour, 16 Land)
Storm performed extremely well at this Pro Tour.I would know since I played it.
Finkel’s group had his list; my team had Andrew Shrout’s. Their list is slightly slower but gains ground against attrition decks by having Desperate Ravings to generate card advantage. Our list is more focused on raw speed thanks to Faithless Looting and being able to out-land blue decks. Looting is very similar to Brainstorm, allowing you to play a larger number of sideboard hate cards and avoid Goblin Electromancer and Pyromancer Ascension flood (the former being why we only played three of the 2/2 enabler). Also, to quote Shrout, playing a land for the turn is pretty much a ritual.
If Jund sees a resurgence and you still want to Storm, the Desperate Ravings list gains ground. As is, I would just jam Faithless Looting. That said, I think that there may be a middle ground version with seventeen lands, two Grapeshot, and zero Lightning Bolt that finds room for more cantrips, but I don’t know if that’s actually better.
B/G Midrange: 3
2 B/G Phyrexian Obliterator, 1 Jund
8.5% is much less than the previous ~25% percent, but two bans later The Rock is still The Rock.
Between the two lists, we have the same 57 cards in common:
20 Generic Land
4 Man Land
3 Scavenging Ooze
4 Dark Confidant
2 Green Three-Drop
2 Liliana of the Veil
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
3 Abrupt Decay
1 Maelstrom Pulse
The four-drop slot is the one concession Jund makes. Phyrexian Obliterator is a fairly powerful Magic card that wins the heads-up fight against cards like Knight of the Reliquary and Tarmogoyf. The four-drops Jund can cast really don’t and have a bad habit of dying to Lightning Bolt.
The gain of Jund is on the removal front. Instead of playing two- and three-mana removal to trade with one-mana Wild Nacatl, you get to play Lightning Bolt. Your two-drop removal just deads everything (ignoring Master of Waves) instead of having strange conditions like not killing Dark Confidant (Doom Blade), bricking versus Affinity but not being Spellskiteable versus Twin (Go for the Throat), not killing Olivia Voldaren and being harder to cast (Victim of Night), or not killing Restoration Angel (Smother or more Abrupt Decay). That said, the removal slot in B/G can just be Liliana of the Veil, but if you want more of that card in Jund, you could just find room anyway.
The remaining three cards are two copies of Phyrexian Obliterator and a Scavenging Ooze in the B/G list and two Anger of the Gods and another Courser of Kruphix in the Jund deck. I’m assuming the Courser over Ooze as the extra small creature decision has to do with Ooze not working with Anger of the Gods.
The sideboards of these decks are equally identical. All fifteen slots are similarly purposed.
The Jund list gets to freeroll a sideboard slot with Rakdos Charm as the third artifact removal spell and second graveyard hate spell, so it gets a "sixteenth" sideboard slot for the second Thrun, the Last Troll.
That said, looking at the sideboards, that’s about all you can compromise on that slot. B/G Midrange has always been soft to Affinity, and you need most of your hate to be as brutal as possible. The Jund list can only afford to play two copies of Ancient Grudge with four Anger of the Gods, but the B/G deck needs all the Creeping Corrosions it can find room for.
Moving forward, I really like where this deck is at. I don’t know which list is better, but they both seem very well positioned and well planned out. Of course, from the likes of Matt Costa, Reid Duke, and Matej Zatlkaj, I expect nothing less.
2 Midrange, 1 Control
I’m going to split this discussion between the two sub-archetypes.
The two midrange lists are almost identical. I can’t seem to confirm this, but my guess is that Jingwei Zheng and Justin Cheung are teammates. So rather than discuss differences, I want to cover what these lists did to separate themselves from the rest of the U/W/R lists.
All of these changes are targeted toward a creature-heavy metagame, but they are made in a proactive way. Blade Splicer provides more power than Kitchen Finks and when combined with Restoration Angel creates a very powerful board presence. You need to close fast against combo, and the extra turn difference between Splicer and Finks when backed by a Restoration Angel is a big deal. This also matters a lot against Pod, where Kitchen Finks just trades for their Finks but first strike Golems start forcing chump blocks really fast.
Note that this also applies to other decks. Kitchen Finks is just not a good Magic card compared to the Modern-legal set of creatures. The highlight of the card is it trades at slightly better than parity for a one-drop. It’s fine in Pod because just having a three-drop body in play after a combat matters, but if you’re trying to play normal combat-oriented Magic, leave the 3/2s at home.
Moving to Shaun McLaren’s winning control list, we see another case of "we cut the terrible card everyone else always plays." 0 Think Twice. You don’t even have the bad excuse of wanting to get ahead in the one-for-one fight with Jund anymore. Don’t play Think Twice in an Eternal format. You can thank me later.
Some quick notes on his wild sideboard before we move on. Logic Knot seems like it’s getting too cute. I like Relic of Progenitus as a hedge against Tarmogoyf and Knight of the Reliquary, though it’s decidedly less powerful against real graveyard decks. Porphyry Nodes is a pretty powerful effect that you get to utilize because you have zero Wall of Omens in your deck.
Ad Nauseam: 2
2 Medium Combo Lists (no Pyretic Ritual, not all in on Mystical Teachings)
Two teammates. Identical 75s. 15-3-2. Yeah, that’s not bad.
The Ad Nauseam deck has a few edges on other combo decks. Angel’s Grace and Phyrexian Unlife can be used as disruption against other combo decks, the former countering a Grapeshot and the later fogging Splinter Twin for a turn. You get to play Pact of Negation to fight counterspells. Your combo doesn’t use the graveyard, kills through Rule of Law, and ignores Splinter Twin hate assuming you get to Slaughter Pact their Spellskite. Phyrexian Unlife and Angel’s Grace are Fogs against aggro decks.
It does have drawbacks. It’s a full turn slower than Storm, putting you into positions against aggressive decks where you need a Fog. You often have it, but it’s another step you need to take to win. Your Fogs don’t stop Infect, making Inkmoth Nexus a huge issue. You are simply less reliable than the other combo decks with only four copies of Ad Nauseam as opposed to the more modal win conditions, which also manifests as an extreme weakness to Thoughtseize. The mana acceleration is also time dependent, again unreliably slowing the deck down. Turn 3 kills are almost impossible, involving multiple Pentad Prisms and a Simian Spirit Guide. You are semi-vulnerable to Abrupt Decay hitting a Pentad Prism or Phyrexian Unlife.
People at this Pro Tour played a little further on the midrange side of Zoo than I initially expected. Real combo was also slightly less present, replaced by things like Living End and Auras. As a result, being a little slower wasn’t punished, while being a little better against sideboard hate was rewarded. Moving forward, this deck will be in the discussion of best combo deck for an event, but keep in mind the above advantages and disadvantages when making your choice.
Both Burn decks that performed well at this Pro Tour opted for a "full" three colors. Considering Jasper’s fairly impressive pedigree with the deck, I’m inclined to trust this as a consensus best option. The white is pretty much solely for Boros Charm, but the ability to deal four damage with a single card is a big deal. It’s hard to point to an exact scenario where the math works out for the extra one damage relative to a Lightning Bolt effect to matter, but between Phyrexian mana, fetch lands, and shock lands, the math somehow works out such that it does.
Looking at the overlap, the two decks are within six cards. Twenty lands is a given, as are sets of Goblin Guide, Vexing Devil, Lightning Bolt, Lava Spike, Bump in the Night, Rift Bolt, and Boros Charm. Beyond these 48 cards, there are some number of Searing Blaze, Shard Volley, and Skullcrack.
Skullcrack is required in larger numbers than the other two cards due to the prevalence of Kitchen Finks and Lightning Helix in the fair decks, but the other two are up for debate. Prosek rounds out his "burn spells that start with ‘s"" category, while Jasper mixes it up with Lightning Helix and Grim Lavamancer. I like Jasper’s decisions here since they provide broader power against combo and control, but it’s worth noting that he still has the last two copies of Searing Blaze in the sideboard. On the other hand, Dominik has a full seven Searing Blaze esque effects with three sideboard Searing Bloods. Obviously he is someone who really means it against creatures.
The sideboards are all over the place, but I want to make one thing clear: you don’t see large numbers of non-burn hate cards in either. You simply can’t afford to sideboard more than two or three "dead" cards in for any matchup. Cards like Rakdos Charm are huge because they give you range of interaction without cutting cards that deal damage, but only so many of those exist in the format. You also have to watch out for conditional damage such as Smash to Smithereens versus Birthing Pod. Sometimes you get them, but just as often they don’t draw their target, putting you are down a card in a deck that handles that quite poorly.
That said, you do have access to all of the insane white hate cards, so I wouldn’t mind committing five or six sideboard slots to a smattering of one or two of each of those in an attempt to mise against various combo decks. You can race them some of the time, but it’s often better to have some additional plan. That said, if you want something a little more powerful and universal at a slight cost to consistency and life, previous lists have played Countersquall to reasonable success.
The recent banned list changes are a mixed blessing for Burn. On one hand, Burn has historically been well positioned against Zoo because the Wild Nacatl mana base gives you the choice of starting at fifteen life from untapped shock lands or Time Walking yourself. The banning of Deathrite Shaman also removed a ubiquitous life gain spell from the format. One the other hand, Zoo’s presence has made the number of Kitchen Finks and Obstinate Baloth rise, while Jund’s fall had replaced things like Tron with more fast combo decks that simply outrace you. Right now is not the time for the deck I think, but after things settle down a bit Burn will become a much better choice since it’s extremely proactive with a unique angle.
Kiki Pod: 1
A quick rundown of the unique decisions here and my opinions:
- 0 Tarmogoyf – Probably right, card scales poorly early versus Zoo.
- 0 maindeck Spellskite – Disagree, blocks Wild Nacatl and messes with Splinter Twin.
- 1 maindeck Aven Mindcensor – Disagree, only good in mirror.
- 2 Wall of Roots – Agree, card is nuts right now.
- 3 maindeck Voice of Resurgence – Disagree, only good versus blue decks now that Jund is less relevant and bad versus Wild Nacatl.
- Sideboard Fiery Justice – Agree, card is a beating.
- Sideboard Kataki, War’s Wage – Good if you have Chord, overkill if you don’t since Birthing Pod kills them regardless.
- Sideboard Ethersworn Canonist – Good. Even ignoring Storm, you need cards for Living End.
- 4 Birds of Paradise
- 2 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
- 2 Wall of Roots
- 1 Aven Mindcensor
- 3 Kitchen Finks
- 1 Murderous Redcap
- 1 Glen Elendra Archmage
- 4 Noble Hierarch
- 1 Qasali Pridemage
- 1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence
- 2 Deceiver Exarch
- 1 Scavenging Ooze
- 1 Phantasmal Image
- 2 Restoration Angel
- 1 Zealous Conscripts
- 1 Izzet Staticaster
- 3 Voice of Resurgence
I don’t have much to say here. This is not how I would build Affinity since I really dislike the full set of Thoughtcast on principle, but lists with it keep putting up the results.
- 4 Arcbound Ravager
- 4 Ornithopter
- 1 Master of Etherium
- 3 Steel Overseer
- 3 Memnite
- 3 Etched Champion
- 4 Signal Pest
- 4 Vault Skirge
Blue Moon: 1
I’m not going to pretend to understand what’s going on here or how this deck wins. As everyone should know by now, this kind of mediocre midrange-control action deck is way outside my range.
Now that everyone knows the punch line, you will get far fewer free wins with Blood Moon. It was a cool trick for one event, but it won’t fly moving forward.
Living End: 1
Are we really playing Pale Recluse just to splash white for Pale Recluse? I don’t mind it because the 4/5 land cycler is better than the 6/3 (Valley Rannet) in a world of Wild Nacatl, but there has to be a white spell worth casting. Michael Hetrick had Sin Collector; I’m sure there are more things to play.
- 4 Street Wraith
- 2 Shriekmaw
- 1 Faerie Macabre
- 4 Fulminator Mage
- 4 Pale Recluse
- 4 Monstrous Carabid
- 4 Deadshot Minotaur
Comparing this to the stock lists before the banned list changes, there are very few differences. The one Celestial Colonnade was sometimes a third Creeping Tar Pit. The Iona, Shield of Emeria was usually a Grave Titan, a choice I actually like for this metagame since Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite is not that good versus Zoo. There is a full set of Timely Reinforcements under the assumption that the card is good against Wild Nacatl, which is assuming your goal is to do a lot of chump blocking.
There’s also a Terra Stomper. I don’t know why. I’m just going to assume that Marco had a reason and leave it at that. At least one person at Grand Prix Richmond will be hitting themselves for failing to play around Terra Stomper’s text box, whether it’s the uncounterable part or the trample.
- 4 Birds of Paradise
- 1 Iona, Shield of Emeria
- 1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
- 4 Snapcaster Mage
- 1 Thragtusk
- 2 Sylvan Caryatid
For a super linear tribal deck, Merfolk sure has a lot of decisions.
- 0 Coralhelm Commander. We aren’t looking for cards that kill them on their own at the cost of tempo. We are assuming that our creatures Voltron up if we win a game, and if they don’t, we probably lose.
- 3 Master of Waves. While this slightly violates the above premise about just wanting interchangeable lords, Master one- or two-shots your opponent and dodges a lot of the common removal spells of the format (Lightning Bolt, Lightning Helix, Abrupt Decay).
- 1 Phantasmal Image. If we have a lord to copy in play, we are already doing well. I’m not even sure this one copy isn’t better off as another lord.
- 2 Merrow Reejerey, 2 Kira, the Great Glass-Spinner. More lords is nice, but ensuring the survival of the ones we have in play is better. We also want to cluster our curve to maximize Aether Vial sticking on a specific number.
- 0 Thassa, God the Sea. This isn’t a lord or one drop.
- 0 Dismember, 0 Spell Pierce, 2 Tidebinder Mage, 4 Spreading Seas, 4 Vapor Snag, 2 Remand. We don’t have room to mess around with anything but the best most in-plan interaction. We aren’t actually interested in trading cards; we just need time for our fish army to run someone over. Spreading Seas is Stone Rain and Falter. Vapor Snag is more or less one mana to kill a guy and deal them damage, which is obviously better than one mana to kill a guy and deal yourself damage. Tidebinder Mage is a Merfolk that kills things. Remand is a counter that draws you more Merfolk. If you need anything more specific, that’s what those extra fifteen cards are for.
I’m not sure this list is optimal, but it has a definite focus I can get behind. If you want to Merfolk them, Merfolk them hard and don’t mess around.
- 2 Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
- 4 Lord of Atlantis
- 2 Merrow Reejerey
- 4 Silvergill Adept
- 4 Cursecatcher
- 1 Phantasmal Image
- 4 Master of the Pearl Trident
- 2 Tidebinder Mage
- 3 Master of Waves
Now on to our notable absences:
Scapeshift and Tron: 0
Midrange is out. Aggro and combo are in. Both of these decks lost their primary source of wins, though I’m not even sure Scapeshift beat Jund or really anything good for that matter.
Splinter Twin blowing up is very bad for you. U/W/R isn’t much better. Zoo is probably a bit better matchup than Jund was, but the decks that beat Zoo are worse for you than the ones that beat Jund with the exception of Auras.
Also, the other decks in the format are just way better than they were at Pro Tour Return to Ravnica. Infect got a lot of leverage out of people playing decks that were just fundamentally bad. The Snapcaster Mage decks were mostly U/W without Lightning Bolt to interact, the ones that did play red had Steppe Lynx and Delver of Secrets, the Jund decks had Geralf’s Messenger, Melira Pod didn’t exist, and Kiki Pod was a giant mess.
Faeries didn’t beat a Wild Nacatl four years ago; it still doesn’t today.
Mono-Green Devotion & Amulet of Vigor: 0
These decks are significantly less consistent than Storm and Infect and far less interactive than Ad Nauseam and Splinter Twin. Until the metagame is saturated with hate specific for those other decks and still soft to combo, these decks won’t have a chance to shine.
Hate Bears, Delver of Secrets, & Other Creature Decks: 0
A lot of what these decks did Auras does better. Auras has a faster clock, is easier to trump Wild Nacatl with, and has access to the same anti-combo sideboard hate.
Unless you already have another deck in mind, I would advise sticking to one of these fifteen winning archetypes. Five of the six archetypes I’m considering for Grand Prix Richmond come from those options. Finding something new on the same power level and tuning it to match is not something you are going to do from scratch in four days.
Figuring out how to make an already good deck beat the other known good decks? Four days is plenty.