Daily Digest: When Ex-Death’s Shadow Players Get Sultai

Ross Merriam has a theory about how today’s featured deck came to be, but even if it’s not right, this is still a sweet Sultai Delirium build to consider for the Modern portion of SCG Baltimore!

I have a theory about how this deck came to be that I really hope is accurate.

It starts with an angry Death’s Shadow player who lost one of the best cards in their deck and had to deal with the guaranteed influx of Fatal Push, an excellent removal spell against the deck. That double whammy makes our poor subject decide to switch decks, but what should they switch to?

As they ponder the decks in Modern, they are angrily desleeving their baby and have a Eureka moment when they look at their Mishra’s Baubles. Initially resigned to throwing them in a box, they realize the cheap artifact is a great enabler for both revolt and delirium. A quick trip through the rare binder and some consultations with the Magic 8 Ball and voila! A masterpiece is born.

It’s easy to look at decks that Fatal Push fits well into, but as a powerful, cheap removal spell in a color that has yet to have anything at its level, the Aether Revolt uncommon could unlock previously unviable archetypes. Sultai in particular is a color combination that suffered from its lack of good one-mana removal, so it’s no surprise to see it featured here. The combination of Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy and Traverse the Ulvenwald gives the deck a powerful engine to access powerful, situational creatures.

The toolbox covers nearly every eventuality, with removal, card advantage, life gain, graveyard interaction, a flying counterspell, and the one of the biggest end-game trump cards of all time. This is a B/G variant that sits closer to the controlling end of the spectrum than Abzan or Jund despite being more creature-heavy than either and lacking any maindeck counterspells. As a result, it’s going to be quite good in those decks while suffering a bit against combo. So if you expect fair decks to be on the rise, this is a great deck to capitalize.

The toolbox is probably cluttered, especially in the sideboard, but it’s good to go a little overboard early on so you can test with lots of different cards. I imagine the weaker singletons will be cut for more powerful cards, especially once the post-Aether Revolt metagame becomes clearer. I haven’t liked Jund or Abzan, but this B/G variant seems a whole lot sweeter than those two and just as powerful.