Daily Digest: The Unfair Air

Why hasn’t Faeries dominated Modern yet? The short answer is that Modern isn’t the same format as Lorwyn Standard. But the long answer is that Ross Merriam seems hope for the archetype for the #SCGBALT Modern Classic!

Faeries got a lot of hype when Bitterblossom was unbanned in Modern, since that card has alway served as the lynchpin of the strategy. After all, it’s a cheap, difficult-to-kill threat that let you play defense if necessary but ultimately created an inexorable swarm of flying creatures that would almost always race its own life loss, no matter how much your opponent might expect otherwise.

But Bitterblossom proved to be a relic of the past, ill-equipped to handle the high-powered threats that had been printed since its heyday. Playing with it was akin to using a wooden tennis racket, heavy and cumbersome compared to current technology where once it was the opposite. In the perfect draws it would still do enough, but the margin for error was smaller than ever.

What you need is something that helps you convert those Faerie Rogue tokens into something more substantial…say, a 3/3 flying Merfolk Looter.

I know, I know. Taking the recent hotness in Standard and porting it over to Modern is one of the most overindulged cliches in all of Magic, but just hear me out. Smuggler’s Copter lets you achieve a much higher immediate impact on your Bitterblossoms and your Spellstutter Sprites, but the looting effect is not to be underrated in a deck like Faeries.

Faeries lives on tight margins. You want to set up a race that you are just barely going to win, making every game feel closer than it actually was, since you had nearly every contingency from your opponent covered. But in order to cover those contingencies, you need to have the cards.

The problem with answers in Modern is that none of them are universal. From Spell Snare to Smother to Disfigure, they are all going to miss sometimes, so you need to play a wide spread of answers to cover the wide Modern format, but you also want to minimize the times when you are caught with the wrong answer in-hand. There’s no better way to do that than with velocity, and Smuggler’s Copter lets you dig through your deck without losing any tempo.

You’re going to be made sad by your fair share of Lightning Bolts, but Bitterblossom and Mistbind Clique, your primary threats, already insulate you to the ubiquitous red burn spell and Spellstutter Sprite is a great answer to it, especially since you don’t have to make your Smuggler’s Copter vulnerable unless you want to.

Faeries has always been hard to play against because you never quite know what they have, and Smuggler’s Copter only exacerbates that issue by only being a creature at certain times and by giving its controller more consistent access to its wide range of answers.

Smuggler’s Copter is here to stay. You’d better get used to it.