GerryT’s 10 Things: Cats And Humans And Dragons, Oh My

More and more wild decks are showing up every week in virtually every format, so GerryT has to wrangle them up for SCG Indianapolis! Hey, it’s easier than wrangling Cats…

Between the recent bannings, Core Set 2019’s release, and the
typical Modern metagame shifts, Magic Online is going crazy trying to get
its bearings. The new Standard format is also starting to take form as more
players are testing brews for their upcoming Nationals.

Overall, we’ve got a lot to unpack.

10. Floof Beatdowns


It’s really cool when a tribal deck finally comes together. We’ve gotten
pieces of Cat tribal dropped here and there for a while now, and thanks to
multi-purpose cards like Radiant Destiny and a strong push from Core Set 2019, we finally have enough cards to make a legit deck!

Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants also fits the theme, even though it’s only
vaguely tribal. Being able to pump your team or bring back fallen kittens
makes it a worthy inclusion. You kind of need Pride Sovereign, so at least
a light splash is worth it, but I’m not super happy about those 1GG cards
lurking in the sideboard. Heroic Intervention is perfectly reasonable, but
let’s not get too greedy.

And don’t forget the tummy rubs.

9. Aggro Maverick Loam

I remember testing for some Legacy tournament a while back, thinking
Maverick might be good, eventually deciding it was a bad Aggro Loam deck
and that Aggro Loam was a bad Lands deck. Now, I’m not so sure.

We’ve seen the shift from Lands to Turbo Depths, mostly on the back of how
strong the Dark Depths plan actually is, but also because of cards like
Sylvan Safekeeper and how effective they can be at protecting your powerful

This G/W deck makes me question everything. My initial assertion is that if
Chalice of the Void is a better plan than a fast 20/20, I like this deck
more than Turbo Depths. Regardless, I like this deck better than Maverick
or Aggro Loam. While those decks are both suspect at the moment, that might
not necessarily say much; it’s at least a minor endorsement.

8. Ancient Tomb, Still Broken

Was it Kaladesh block, the banning of Deathrite Shaman and
Gitaxian Probe, or the printing of Karn, Scion of Urza that suddenly made
this deck a thing?

It’s an odd mix of beatdown and disruption. For a “Sea Stompy” deck, it’s
light on threats, but makes up for it with a more powerful mid and lategame
thanks to the planeswalkers, Thoughtcast, and The Antiquities War. The
Darksteel artifacts seem pretty loose, but maybe the combo with Ensoul
Artifact is too good?

7. The Kitchen Sink

Cards like Eureka only get better with time. The more cards that get
released, the more likely it is that a powerful enabler or payoff comes
along, and then suddenly you have a monster on your hands.

Did Arena Rector and a bunch of expensive cards put it over the top? I
don’t think we’re quite there yet, even if this deck is putting up
reasonable results. One of the things that stands out to me the most is how
often I can see this deck assembling its combo and still losing. Collective
Brutality is nice, but not having Brainstorm to put back some of these
awkward cards will also be quite the issue, even if you do end up
hardcasting them in long games.

Eureka is a strong card, but I don’t think it’s broken quite yet.

6. Modern’s New Tribal Overlords?

Supreme Phantom has revitalized interest in the U/W Spirits shell in
Modern. So far, versions with and without Collected Company have been
successful. I’m in the Aether Vial camp, since that style of game play
seems to yield better results for the type of strategy Spirits like to
implore, but obviously Collected Company is an incredibly powerful card
that is worthy of consideration.

Maybe the real draw to the Aether Vial version is being able to play copies
of Thalia, Guardian of Thraben in the maindeck without it hampering your
own plans. This strategy has worked well for Humans because of how
backbreaking an early Thalia can be against many of Modern’s top decks.

If that’s the direction you’re supposed to go, you need a strong argument
to play Spirits instead of Humans. So far, the two arguments I can see are
that Spirits is more disruptive, making it stronger against combo, plus it
gets to play colored sideboard cards like Rest in Peace and Stony Silence
if it wants to. Having a plethora of fliers can also be noteworthy.

Time shall time which is the stronger tribe.

5. An Open Letter

Dear Utley26,

I don’t know if you took a break or have just been keeping a low
profile, but I’m very happy to see your name again. Your dedication to
both Painter’s Servant and brewing is admirable, so please continue
doing what you do, which is apparently milling your opponent’s deck.

Your admirer,


P.S. I really like Smuggler’s Copter.

4. Wild Nacatl, The World Has Passed You By

Death’s Shadow Zoo will always be a strong archetype in Modern, even if you
must make some concessions every once in a while. This eschews additional
threats in favor of Soul-Scar Mages, Blossoming Defenses, and a smoother
manabase, and that’s something I can get behind.

Soul-Scar Mage with barely any ways to utilize its trinket text? Let’s

Even though Soul-Scar Mage might be worse than Monastery Swiftspear, it’s
still additional, functional copies of the card, which is exactly what this
deck wants to be doing. Wild Nacatl and Steppe Lynx added too much
inconsistency for the deck’s sake, so I really enjoy this take on the

Jund’s sideboard options are perfectly fine, so I’m not missing anything
from not playing white. This deck may need some copies of Kiln Fiend as
additional threats though.

3. Better Or Worse Than Bedlam Reveler?

You’re going to have to work pretty hard to sell me on Smoldering Marsh and
Canyon Slough, but I am so in for Demigod of Revenge. Losing
Bedlam Reveler from my R/B Midrange deck isn’t something I can let go of
easily, and I certainly don’t think it’s the correct call, but it’s
absolutely a cool one.

With Demigod of Revenge, you have a higher mana curve, which means you need
to play more lands, but that means you get to play powerful planeswalkers
like Chandra and Liliana. Additionally, no Young Pyromancers means you can
play Anger of the Gods, which could be potentially devastating to the
creature decks in the format.

This isn’t right, but I don’t really want to be.

2. The Rich Get Richer

Just when you thought Modern was figured out and people finally started to
figure out how to beat Humans, they get a new toy.

Militia Bugler is a standout from Core Set 2019 that allows Humans
to have staying power while still maintaining their Aether Vials and
Ancient Ziggurats without having to dip their toes into Collected Company.

With four copies of Militia Bugler, you can easily afford to play a
twentieth land. That should increase the range of keepable hands you get,
as well as facilitate better turns leading into the late game. Matchups
like Jeskai Control and Mardu Pyromancer were grindy and Militia Bugler
solves a lot of the problems that Humans had in those matchups.

Humans truly is a monster.

1. When Tribal Is Taken Too Far

Look, Dragons are all well and good, but is it really worth going out of
your way to include Draconic Roar? Many decks in Modern have access to
Searing Blaze or Searing Blood, but no one is jumping through hoops to cast
those cards. Just because it says “Dragon” on the card doesn’t mean you
need to play it.

Congrats on the Classic win with Sarkhan, Fireblood in Modern, but this
deck doesn’t have staying power in the format.