GerryT’s 10 Things: What On Earth Is Going On Here?

Magic Online: We need to talk. GerryT has been taking a look around the Magic internet, and he can’t help but comment on some of the strange monsters he’s seen at the top of the tournaments! You may want to sit down for this…

I take full responsibility.

While at


last weekend, all hell broke loose on Magic Online. There’s nonsense
everywhere and I wasn’t around in the queues to stop these abominations
from racking up trophies. I’m sorry.

10. Adventure Time

I maintain that green is not particularly playable in Standard at the
moment, but Adventurous Impulse is certainly what I’d want to build my deck
around if I decided to register some Forests. After years of Oath of Nissa,
Tireless Tracker, and Attune with Aether, decks are suddenly very clunky
and don’t feel smooth. Adventurous Impulse is a return to that era, even if
the cards you’re casting alongside it aren’t particularly powerful.

Champion of Wits loves having extra resources to sift through, and The
Scarab God also loves having extra lands on the battlefield, so playing
both of those alongside explore creatures makes a lot of sense.

This is a cool take that’s G/U splashing black instead of the usual G/B.
Hostage Taker slots in for Ravenous Chupacabra, which isn’t even
necessarily a downgrade. Vizier of Many Faces is a nice potential addition
to a deck like this, even if there’s nothing you specifically want to copy.
It’s just a powerful card. You’ll win most games you get to untap with The
Scarab God, but it doesn’t hurt to have a little extra insurance by playing
things that give you more options.

9. Horrors and Eldritch Horrors

If your game plan is “Through the Breach an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or
lose,” you’re probably not going to have a good time. Not only is that
easier said than done, but sometimes you do it and lose anyway!

These decks have had alternate and/or supplemental win conditions in their
sideboards before, but this is the first time really seeing something like
Thing in the Ice creep into the main deck. It protects but also attacks,
which makes Thing in the Ice perfect for this archetype. You can only play
enough games with a sideboard card where you note how incredible it is
against everyone and everything before deciding to play it in your main

There’s a major flavor fail, as Emrakul is honorary horror, but oh well.

8. DJ Spruke

Burn is constantly getting crushed in Modern these days. The other decks
are getting refined, have new tools like Collective Brutality, and Burn
basically gets nothing new with each set.

Seeing this far more aggressive take on the archetype is something I’d like
to see happen more often. To beat faster decks, you need to be faster
yourself, which Bump in the Night allows you to do. The second copy of
Shard Volley has also been showing up in lists, which furthers that game
plan. Previously you’d see zero or one copy because of how poor it was
unless it was the last burn spell you were casting. These days, you really
want to draw a single copy, so it’s time to play more than one.

Picking up Collective Brutality for the mirror as a sideboard option is a
nice one, but Bump in the Night is the real winner here.

7. Predictable

I’ve cast some High Tides in my day and the deck always felt like it could
use a quick “draw two.” In hindsight, Predict is the obvious choice. Back
then, I didn’t think playing Predict without Sensei’s Divining Top made a
whole lot of sense, but current versions of U/W Miracles have shown us that
that isn’t the case. High Tide is all about fixing its hand and building up
resources before it goes off, and Predict does that wonderfully.

Its sideboard was always one of the weakest aspects of the deck, so seeing
Thing in the Ice occupy those slots makes sense. Maybe it steals a game
here or there, or maybe it just eats a removal spell when Game 3 rolls
around, but either way, it accomplishes something, which none of your other
sideboard cards really did.

6. Local Magic Player Accidentally Shuffles Modern And Legacy Deck
Together, Somehow Makes Functional Deck

I’m fairly certain I should be offended by this clear affront to Magic, but
looking at this decklist mostly just makes me happy.

Ancestral Vision plus Ensnaring Bridge? Sure, let’s do it. Blood Moon to
lock people out of games, but Restore Balance to make them sacrifice
permanents they didn’t care about anyway? Cool. Turbo planeswalkers with
Ancient Tomb and Simian Spirit Guide is a sweet way to go about things at

This is a good time to leave myself a reminder to brew As Foretold /
Hypergenesis in Legacy.

5. Chainwhirler Extends His Reach

All it took for Goblins to be playable again was the Blood Moon plus Goblin
King combo (which I’m sure was mostly irrelevant), and Goblin Chainwhirler,
especially in the Karakas, Pendelhaven, Wasteland, Ancient Tomb deck.
Thankfully there are Blood Moons to fix the mana.

If this is what it takes to make Goblins playable, I’d rather play the
prison-heavy variant with Moggcatcher and skip all the other nonsense
that’s going on here. Do we really need Tarfires and Goblin Lackeys?
Deathrite Shaman getting the axe reduces the necessity for early removal,
and it removes an early blocker from the format, so Goblin Lackey likely
got a huge improvement, but still. If the prison part is what’s winning you
games, focus on that.

4. The Infectious Disease Spreading Through Modern, And I’m Not Talking
About Glistener Elf

Ben Friedman is going to have to issue a public apology for this.


Faithless Looting is not Brainstorm, nor does it belong in every single
Modern deck. Brainstorm allows you to trade useless resources for better
ones, often functioning as card advantage in that way. Faithless Looting
does the same in theory, but only if you actually have resources to
discard. Even if you cast Brainstorm and end up flooded, you still have the
same amount of resources that you started with. Since Faithless Looting is
card disadvantage, it often taxes your resources in a negative way unless
you have a way to break the paradigm, like Lingering Souls.

This deck has Traverse the Ulvenwald and Hooting Mandrils, so Faithless
Looting can help the graveyard aspect to some degree, but you’re not
gaining anything that playing Opt instead wouldn’t offer. You could make
the argument that since it’s a tempo deck, you don’t care about losing a
resource. Tempo decks don’t necessarily use each resource they have every
game, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want access to extra resources
should the need arise.

Maybe I’ll end up on the wrong side of history for this one, but this trend
is frustrating nonetheless.

3. Not All Great Ideas Pan Out

There needs to be a word for when you have something that seems like a
great idea, except it ends up being awkward and wrong when you realize
something you overlooked.

One of the oldest running jokes is splashing for mana acceleration. What
inevitably ends up happening is that you pay a cost with your splash color,
so your Servant of the Conduit rarely ends up accelerating you at all.
Splashing Vraska, Relic Seeker and Naturalize is doable with little
downside, but playing Servant of the Conduit and a pile of lands that enter
the battlefield tapped will likely not work out.

Say you live the dream and play Servant of the Conduit on Turn 2.
Inevitably, one of your fastlands or Evolving Wilds is going to get in the
way and make you unable to play The Scarab God on Turn 4, relegating it to
Turn 5. At that point, what did Servant of the Conduit accomplish?

Are some Naturalizes and planeswalkers worth the hassle?

2. The Cheapest Way To Get Into Legacy

Clearly the best and easiest way to start playing Legacy is just by showing
up with your Modern deck. Maybe you make some adjustments here or there,
but does it really matter? Wasteland and Mother of Runes are cool and
everything, but are they really necessary?

You’d get more style points for showing up with 75/75 of your Modern deck.

1. Ah Yes, The Classic Lifegain Ramp Land Destruction Mill Strategy

On one end of the spectrum, you have people dying on Turn 5 to Bomat
Courier into Hazoret the Fervent. On the other end of the spectrum, you
have this Memorial to War / Star of Extinction deck. People are calling for
red bans, but that seems foolish when a deck like this can actually

But seriously, what is this deck? Sifter Wurm into an aftermath card will
gain you a bunch of life, which gives you time to what? Blow up some more
of their lands? This is absurdity in its purest form. Recent versions have
trimmed on the land destruction element entirely, which makes the deck less
absurd, but still no less confusing.