Daily Digest: The Humanity

Ross Merriam is usually suspicious of Standard decks being ported into Modern, but a Top 8 at a highly competitive World Magic Cup Qualifier in Japan is no joke! Does this four-color build have what it takes for the #SCGCOL Modern Classic?

Most of the time I’m very skeptical when decks are ported between formats. The success of a deck is due in large part to the circumstances of the format surrounding it rather than raw power level, and even a significant increase in power can be made irrelevant if the new format is inhospitable to the deck. For a deck like Bant Humans moving to Modern, the fear is in losing to the fast combo decks of the format due to its lack of disruption and the speed disparity between Standard decks and Modern decks.

As far as speed goes, the upgrade to the Modern card pool does a lot for explosiveness. Mana creatures are the biggest gain, but Champion of the Parish is also better than anything you can do on turn 1 in Standard, Mayor of Avabruck gives you additional Anthem effects, and Mantis Rider is an easily splashable premium aggressive threat. With the power of Collected Company this deck can easily present turn 4 kills even through some opposing blockers.

And when it comes to disruption, we still have access to Reflector Mage, but Dromoka’s Command gets upgraded to Path to Exile, and hate bears like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Meddling Mage make their way into the flex spots to give the deck some needed game against combo decks. You don’t need to overload on disruption with the fast clock the deck presents, so casting one of them on turn 2 or finding it off a Collected Company on turn 3 should win a fair number of games before you gain access to your excellent sideboard cards.

Despite adding a fourth color on the Mantis Rider splash, this deck likely has better mana than Bant Humans in Standard because of the power of fetchlands and the addition of Cavern of Souls. Cavern lets you blunt the effectiveness of counterspells out of a deck like Jeskai Nahiri, allowing you to overload their removal spells with your high threat density. The mana becomes good enough that, even on a slim 22 lands, you can play a singleton Gavony Township as a late-game bomb, which is always great in decks with mana creatures.

With all the success the Eldrazi have had in Modern, it’s nice to see us Humans fighting back. We’re a resourceful bunch, and just when our situation looks hopeless, everyone rallies around Will Smith to save the day. We may not have Will Smith this time, but I think this group is up to the task.