It finally happened!
As soon as Winding Constrictor started dominating Standard, I knew someone would successfully port the card over to Modern by pairing it with Hardened Scales. It was inevitable, and all I had to do was bide my time until another Daily Digest feature was put before me.
Walking Ballista and Hangarback Walker are clearly the focus here, as the powerful artifact creatures are sent to new heights when paired with the extra counter generators. I imagine your best draws start with Hardened Scales into one of these and you can go from there.
Trying to maximize the power of these two easily leads to the inclusion of Arcbound Ravager and Arcbound Worker, since both provide great sources of extra counters and, in the case of the former, a sacrifice outlet so you can crack open your Hangarback Walker to unleash your flying army in a can at an opportune time.
It may seem strange to see Arcbound Ravager in a deck with so few artifacts, but you have to think of Hardened Scales and Winding Constrictor as artifacts, since they will inevitably get the creature as many or more counters as if they were. And with the modular of Arcbound Worker, you get to double-dip, adding two or more counters to Arcbound Ravager with its ability and two or more extra from the modular trigger. It won’t take too much fodder to make a huge army of Thopters or a lethal machine gun with Walking Ballista.
But maybe you need to kill your opponent’s creatures instead. You don’t have lethal just yet, and it’s Modern, so you’re bound to be under plenty of pressure. Have you ever activated Vault of the Archangel with a Walking Ballista on the battlefield?
I haven’t, and I didn’t know it until just now but it’s all I’ve ever wanted in my life. Pew pew pew!
The one thing that worries me about this deck is the curve. You want to establish your position very early in a deck like this and get as many extra counters as possible. With the number of two-drops in this deck, I foresee too many clunky draws. Additional one-drops like Narnam Renegade and Endless One are a possible solution, but I could also see Aether Vial serving that role, even though it doesn’t put Hangarback Walker or Walking Ballista onto the battlefield. Notably, it does free up your mana for their activated abilities, so there is some synergy there.
- 4 Arcbound Ravager
- 4 Arcbound Worker
- 3 Dark Confidant
- 2 Scavenging Ooze
- 4 Hangarback Walker
- 4 Winding Constrictor
- 4 Walking Ballista