Daily Digest: Life Goes On

We all feel helpless in Magic games sometimes, but there’s no greater feeling of lost hope than when your opponent has a million life. Ross Merriam mourns those at #SCGKNOX’s Modern Classic that fall prey to this deck!

Few cards in the history of Magic have been more frustrating to play against than Martyr of Sands. Sure, Blood Moon and Chalice of the Void stop you from casting spells, which sucks, but Martyr of Sands, and the decks built around it, make a mockery of Prison decks, not so much actively restricting what you do but making sure nothing you do is relevant.

In that sense, today’s deck is functionally similar to the Mono-Blue Prism decks from last Standard season. There’s something inherently unfun about getting to execute your deck’s gameplan and not having it matter. Dredge plays games of Magic that don’t look like games of Magic but at least they are over soon. Martyr of Sands makes you play turn after turn of fruitless Magic, hoping in vain for some crack in the armor to appear as your opponent’s life total ascends into the stratosphere.

Now, all of that may not seem like the heartiest endorsement of the deck, but remember, when you’re the one piloting it, it’s your opponent who has to suffer. That makes it all better!

The gist here is that you want to play against creatures. Damage-dealing creatures are best, but Kami of False Hope and Ghostly Prison are also fine against Infect. You spend the early turns gaining a bunch of life and killing creatures, all in the effort to get to seven mana.

Once you hit seven mana, you can Forecast Proclamation of Rebirth each turn, returning either Kami of False Hope or Martyr of Sands with the leftover mana to activate it. This loop should lock most creature-based strategies out of the game long enough for you to either find another Wrath of God or go to the skies with Serra Ascendant.

Squadron Hawk and Ranger of Eos are your card advantage of sorts, and I imagine the former chump blocks a lot in this deck, since you’re really just trying to go as long as possible to set up your lock. You have the capability to play Serra Ascendants early and power them up with a quick Martyr of Sands activation, but that’s definitely not plan A. It may seem weird to have a control deck built around cheap creatures, but hey, Proclamation of Rebirth is a weird card.

I’ve seen this deck floating around online for a while now, and I’m happy to see it put up a respectable finish in a large paper event. Modern is really lacking in decks that push the limits of what human beings can tolerate before flipping the table and storming off.