Daily Digest: Play The Game Tonight

Norin the Wary seemed like a laughable card to Ross Merriam, but today he features a Modern decklist from Kansas that has him changing his tune!

Never has a one mana 2/1 been so difficult to kill.

Those who’ve been playing since Time Spiral might remember that Norin the Wary was the butt of many jokes, mostly highlighting just how utterly useless the card seemed to be. Savannah Lions were made to turn sideways and this one is too scared to get into combat. At the slightest sign of trouble, Norin goes running like a groundhog who has just seen its shadow.

Why does it even have power anyway? Was it too good with Arena in testing? Did it need to be held in check by Slice and Dice in Extended? These are the things I think about.

Regardless of his power and cautious disposition, Norin always comes back, and that’s all that matters here. Soul Warden, Soul’s Attendant, and Auriok Champion reward Norin’s intrepid spirit with some lifegain. Genesis Chamber lets you make more creatures that actually can attack, and Champion of the Parish and Ajani’s Pridemate keep growing.

Later in the game, Purphoros, God of the Forge starts sending Shocks all over the place, which may not look like much but they add up (two at a time, to be precise). All this because of Norin the Wary’s hard work. He’s a hero!

This has to be one of the stranger Modern decks around, and it’s generally overshadowed by more traditional, mono-white variants of Soul Sisters, but the red cards and Genesis Chamber, the latter of which only works well alongside Norin the Wary, supercharge the deck’s synergies in a way the white deck can’t aspire to.

It starts innocuously with a few life here and a token or two and quickly becomes putting two or three +1/+1 counters on two different creatures while gaining four life and making two more 1/1s every turn. If your opponents don’t catch on quickly that they need to be “wasting” Lightning Bolts and Fatal Pushes on your crappy one-mana creatures, it might be too late.

In order to ensure you reach critical mass of your bad cards, we have another bad card in Sky Hussar to draw cards and stay on-theme. Perfect! Ranger of Eos expedites the process by simply grabbing two of the creatures you need to start gaining life, making a large creature, or both.

The one bullet, Legion Loyalist, may seem strange since there aren’t many hordes of tokens in Modern outside of Lingering Souls and Master of Waves. But Genesis Chamber is symmetric, so attacking through tokens with this deck comes up quite a bit. Hilariously, this downside of Genesis Chamber becomes an upside once you have a bunch of Soul Wardens and Ajani’s Pridemates on the battlefield.

As a staunch proponent of winning with bad creatures, I have nothing but the utmost respect for this deck, especially because I was certainly in the crowd of people laughing off Norin the Wary as perennial junk bin material. Turns out he just needed someone to understand and believe in him.