Daily Digest: The Goblins Were Everywhere

It’s a bizarre time of year for Daily Digest, which is why Ross Merriam is enlisting you! Have a brew you want spotlighted? Now is your chance!

Paris. 2011. I sat down for the first match of my first Pro Tour. I was playing a Temur Ramp deck built around Lotus Cobra powering out Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Inferno Titan. We shuffled, presented, drew our opening hands, and we were off.

A little while later, I was signing the slip 0-2. As I walked away from the table I glanced at the clock:

47 minutes left.

Back then the rounds were 55 minutes long, so it’s not quite as bad as it sounds, but still a trouncing. My opponent was on Kuldotha Red, a blisteringly fast aggressive deck built around Kuldotha Rebirth, cheap artifacts, and Goblin Bushwhacker.

The deck ended up being too inconsistent to be a consistent player that season, especially against the legend that is Caw-Blade, but Modern offers a large enough pool to draw from to create a more consistent shell.

First, we’ve had the printing of Reckless Bushwhacker, so your best threat can be played as eight copies. This is a deck that is almost entirely dependent on the quality of its opening hand and first few draw steps, so redundancy is the best way to gain consistency. I say “almost” because Bomat Courier actually gives the deck some card draw that it was previously lacking, tacked onto a cheap, aggressive, artifact creature which is perfect for this deck.

But the primary innovation with this deck is the white splash. It’s made possible by the printing of Inspiring Vantage, which is very close to Plateau in a deck that will almost never want a fourth land drop, much less depend on it being untapped. The white splash then allows a significant power jump with Toolcraft Exemplar and Kytheon, Hero of Akros added to the creature suite.

Toolcraft Exemplar is close to Wild Nacatl here, so no further explanation is necessary. Kytheon, Hero of Akros may seem strange, at first but it’s incredibly easy to transform in this deck. A turn 1 Kytheon followed by Ornithopter or Memnite and any Bushwhacker will transform it on turn 2. You can also combine it with either Bushwhacker to transform it with no prior warning for your opponent.

Gideon, Battle-Forged is the kind of standalone threat that this deck was previously lacking. Now cheap sweepers miss your most powerful threat, as do most spot removal spells outside of Abrupt Decay. Its abilities let you contend with larger creatures in combat rather than hope to go wide enough to race.

That added bit of flexibility is exactly what this deck needed. I just hope I don’t get any Flashback.

Special Announcement

Preview season is a strange time for the Daily Digest because Standard is in a lame-duck season and featuring Modern and Legacy only goes so far when everyone is focused on the new set. To help alleviate this and bring you more Aether Revolt content, next week is going to feature new decks built with new cards.

And as an added bonus, the decks are going to be submitted by readers like you! Email your decklist to DailyDigestDecks@gmail.com for a chance to be featured in this space next week. Use “Deck Submission” as the subject of the email and include your name and a brief description of your deck in the body. We’ll be accepting submissions until 12 PM EST next Thursday, January 19, but be sure to get your lists in as soon as possible, since early submissions will be given priority.