Daily Digest: Turns, Turns, Turns

Before an extra-turns Modern deck made the Top 8 of Grand Prix Las Vegas, Ali Aintrazi took a different Bant build to the Top 8 of an SCG Classic! Is this the archetype to play at the SCG Season One Invitational?

Few people are known for brewing and piloting wackier decks than Ali Aintrazi. Taking Turns was already a wacky deck, but it wasn’t enough for Ali. Not nearly enough.

What if we take that deck and add two colors? Okay, that’s cool.

What are we adding with those two colors?

Well, green gives the deck some mana acceleration, which is important for a deck that wants to get to five mana before executing its combo turn. Noble Hierarch and Utopia Sprawl are in.

Okay, what else works well with mana acceleration?

Planeswalkers! Conveniently, planeswalkers also work well with Time Walk effects, letting you accumulate value each turn in the same way the traditional Taking Turns deck does with Howling Mine and Dictate of Kruphix. The only change is that your opponents don’t accrue value with it while you’re setting up. Winning!

Once you want to play a bunch of planeswalkers, white makes sense as the splash color because Narset Transcendent has so much synergy with the deck. It digs you toward more Time Walks and copies the ones you have. Most importantly, it has an absurd amount of loyalty, so you can cast it on turn 3, confident that you’ll untap with it on the turn you want to start your Time Walk chain.

Jace Beleren and Nissa, Steward of Elements continue the “dig toward more Time Walk effects” theme that Narset Transcendent started, but the last planeswalker of the bunch, Garruk Wildspeaker, does something even more important: it kills them. Its synergy with Utopia Sprawl lets you aggressively buy back Walk the Aeons, so long as you don’t put Utopia Sprawl on a Breeding Pool, and at the end of your chain, you should be able to use Garruk’s ultimate to create a lethal attack.

The rest of the deck supports the grindy nature of planeswalkers, particularly Courser of Kruphix, so the deck isn’t as linear as traditional lists. You can play a midrange value game, slowing down your opponent until you find the opening to pounce, turn the corner, and end the game immediately, or, you know, as immediately as taking ten turns in a row can be.

The end result is a classic Ali Aintrazi “expensive sorcery,” overly powerful deck. I’m sure it’s a blast to play, frequently ending games with a comically lopsided game state, and the fact that the deck isn’t nearly as linear as the other builds means you can still play Magic when things don’t come together quickly. That’s the dream right there.