Video Daily Digest: 1-800-DRUIDIA

Almost a year later, Ross Merriam sees an unexpected Modern deck return! Don’t get caught off-guard by this all-in combo at SCG Regionals!

When I first saw this deck a year ago, I immediately knew I had to write about it.

I featured an earlier version of the deck in a June 2017 Daily Digest, recorded a video, and filed the deck away, not giving it too much thought. But _Matsugan has been tuning the deck this entire time and took advantage of the recent printing of Adventurous Impulse to take down a Modern Challenge on Magic Online.

I’ve never been a fan of Counters Company because of how weak the backup aggro plan is, so going all-in to support the combo makes a lot of sense. Hall of the Bandit Lord solves the main issue the combo has, needing to untap with Devoted Druid on the battlefield. Being able to combo off in one turn makes Pact of Negation a great defensive measure and Summoner’s Pact a great tutor, adding much-needed explosiveness to the deck.

The rest of the deck sort of falls into place from there, using some of the good green card selection in Modern and running the bare minimum of win conditions so as to not clog your draws.

In a deck that wants Hall of the Bandit Lord as part of its combo, card selection that finds lands is paramount, hence the emphasis on Adventurous Impulse, Traverse the Ulvenwald, and even Ancient Stirrings, which doesn’t find the nominal combo pieces. Commune with Nature, which does find Devoted Druid and Vizier of Remedies and digs further than Adventurous Impulse and as far as Ancient Stirrings, is actually the weakest of the group and was trimmed down to two copies.

The other innovation from the original list is Postmortem Lunge, a great tool against removal-heavy decks that serves as extra copies of whichever creature you need. Keep in mind that Devoted Druid can kill itself in response to a Path to Exile or similar exile effect, so if you don’t need that extra land, make sure it ends up in the graveyard.

We often think of Modern as a Turn 4 format, though some decks are capable of winning on Turn 3. This one can win on Turn 2 with the right draw and has an incredibly high density of cantrips/search spells for a creature combo deck, so it’s not going to fold to one or two pieces of disruption. That’s a potent combination, and while decks this bizarre often take a while to catch on, you underestimate this one at your own peril.