Daryl Ayers is a seriously underappreciated Magician. His mastery of Scapeshift and various Legacy archetypes is one of the best representations of how hard work pays off in Magic, and his time and effort have culminated in another premier event win for him in the #SCGBALT Modern Classic.
One of the first things you might notice is how tuned this deck looks, and that has undoubtedly come from raw reps with the archetype. The second thing you might notice is the inclusion of Prismatic Omen over more versatile options like Bring to Light or Peer Through Depths that are common among Scapeshift decks.
Daryl has instead chosen to incorporate a “manual mode” in the post-Splinter Twin metagame. Now equipped with a high land count and four Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, this Scapeshift deck can simply play lands and deal direct damage should it not be able to find or resolve its namesake.
Further, Prismatic Omen can help speed up the process. While four-mana sorceries might be difficult to resolve at times, the same can’t be said for two-mana enchantments, particularly with the recent downswing in Spell Snares. With a Prismatic Omen and a Valakut on the battlefield, killing an opponent is a breeze, particularly when fetchlands are involved.
Ayers’s sideboard also makes good use of the recently unbanned Ancestral Vision. While fighting through discard and various other disruption from B/G/X decks might have been difficult in the past, the suspend spell makes traditionally grindy matchups a whole lot easier, and the sorcery is also complemented by one of my personal favorites, Oracle of Mul Daya.
Daryl has commented that hyper-aggressive matchups like Affinity and Infect can be difficult at times, and that’s where sideboard cards like Sudden Shock come in handy. Particularly against Infect, the split second removal spell is an all-star at trading for multiple resources and being a fail-safe for keeping the combo deck above water.
I had no idea Daryl would even be in Baltimore until he showed up late Saturday afternoon. He came just to play Modern, and it’s fair to say he made good on that decision as your new Classic champion.