Daily Digest: The Power Of Zendikar Draft (In Modern)

SCG Regionals has shown us a lot of just how great Modern is at the moment! You can play what you want! Just make sure it’s at least as fast as this deck! Which might be a challenge, after all…

Turn 1: Steppe Lynx.

Turn 2: Plated Geopede.

How much damage can you deal on turn 3?

Well, with a fetchland, you can create two landfall triggers, giving you a 4/5 and a 5/5 for a total of nine damage. That’s pretty good, but probably not up to par for Modern. But what if we double that number?

Well, then they’re probably dead. Deading your opponent is pretty good, I hear.

Previous decks have used Flagstones of Trokair and Ghost Quarter shenanigans to create large numbers of landfall triggers, or even Scapeshift for things that aren’t Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. But all we need to make this work is Renegade Rallier. Simply play and crack a fetchland on turn 3, return that fetchland with Renegade Rallier, and crack it again. Four landfall triggers means a whopping seventeen damage; not quite double, but I’m calling close enough on this one.

You even get to use the extra mana to clear out a pesky blocker with Lightning Bolt or Path to Exile. This may not be a combo deck, but it’s definitely not playing fair.

Aggressive decks with the speed to race combo are always going to be intriguing in Modern because aggro decks are naturally more resilient to disruption and don’t have as high a fail rate. When your draw doesn’t quite pan out, you can still scrape together some wins with a little can-do attitude and a well-timed bluff.

And this deck doesn’t even have to play bad cards, bad mana, or a lot of moving parts to achieve this level of speed. It’s a classic Naya Zoo deck outside of the landfall creatures, and of those two, only Plated Geopede is substandard on rate for Modern. The “support” cards are Wild Nacatl, Tarmogoyf, and Knight of the Reliquary, only some of the best creatures ever printed. And just in case you want some more disruption against combo and control decks, you have Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, which just so happens to conveniently be targetable with Renegade Rallier.

And when your fast draws don’t come together, Renegade Rallier can just as easily return one of those powerful creatures that your opponent killed with a Fatal Push, creating two sizable bodies for three mana and a modicum of card advantage. The removal spell may have gotten all the hype among Revolt cards for Modern, but this innocuous 3/2 for three may end up having the bigger impact.