Daily Digest: Craft Your Vial Pile With Style!

Remember Shota Yasooka’s sweet Vial deck from the World Championship a few years ago? Someone needs to bring that back! Turns out, Ross Merriam has found that someone! The search is over!

For many of you, it’s the day after Thanksgiving. You’re busy coming out of your food comas and trying desperately to button your pants…that is, if you have the strength to get out of bed at all. We could all use something to jolt us awake, so what better than one of the weirdest decks I’ve seen in Modern in a while?

A few years ago, Shota Yasooka dominated The Players’ Championship (since rebranded as the World Championship) with an innovative Temur Control deck that used Aether Vial, Eternal Witness, and Snapcaster Mage to generate card advantage turn after turn through various loops.

This is an evolution of that deck, but it notably uses white removal over red since Path to Exile matches up well against Dredge’s creatures and is more reliable against Infect.

But beyond the change in color, this deck moves away from the original concept to include more defensive creatures, a nod to the increased efficiency and speed in Modern over the last few years. Wall of Omens and Courser of Kruphix can both hold off some creatures while gaining card advantage, allowing the deck to trim on draw spells down to a single Thirst for Knowledge and the haymaker Sphinx’s Revelation.

Scavenging Ooze is yet another source of lifegain, assuring that you will get into the long-game and give yourself the time to ramp up an Aether Vial or two and start generating a significant advantage. It seems strange to have Aether Vial in what looks like a control deck, but the reality is that Aether Vial is a mana engine, and the ability to hold up mana for counterspells or removal without losing the ability to develop your battlefield is huge, especially in Modern.

The extra mana also helps the deck make use of creature-lands, so I’m happy to see Celestial Colonnade here. I also like the mix of creatures here, since variety is the best way to leverage the power of Aether Vial. Your opponent is never exactly sure what you are capable of, which will generate more errors than having a bunch of playsets of the slightly most powerful options.

So get out of bed; make yourself a delicious turkey, stuffing, and mashed potato sandwich; and try not to leave the cards too greasy.