Video Daily Digest: Angels In The Battlefield

A card this good and an archetype this sturdy were bound to find a place in Modern. Ross Merriam shares a deck you should have on your SCG Atlanta radar!

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For a few months between Shadows of Innistrad and Eldritch Moon, W/G Tokens decks dominated Standard. The combination of an aggressive curve, planeswalkers that could grind card advantage in a long game, and the ability to go over the top with Archangel Avacyn was too much for the rest of the metagame to handle until Bant Company decks became too refined and Emrakul, the Promised End made playing a long game untenable.

But there’s no denying the power of the deck. Playing proactive threats that are difficult to interact with is always a recipe for success, even as the format grows larger and more powerful, so there should be a way to port the archetype into Modern.

Of course, porting the deck means making huge changes to the individual card choices. Planeswalkers are replaced with card advantage generating creatures like Voice of Resurgence, Blade Splicer, and Restoration Angel because there isn’t time to overwhelm your opponent with 0/1 Plants in Modern.

The late game in this list is well-handled by Gavony Township, a card that doesn’t rot in your hand or serve as a liability on the early turns. It doesn’t take many activations to take over a game.

Mana creatures are also a given with the increased speed of the Modern format, easily replacing the early aggressive creatures in the Standard version since getting to the more powerful cards ahead of schedule is so powerful.

The one holdover from the original deck is Archangel Avacyn, a card that hasn’t seen any play in Modern despite a very strong resume in Standard. Avacyn still lets you turn the corner very quickly, especially against Humans and Affinity. And rather than Hangarback Walker, you have Nest Invader and Walking Ballista to control when it transforms.

The downfall of a deck like this in Modern would typically be the matchup against fast combo decks. There’s essentially no disruption main, and the Eldritch Evolution package in the sideboard can only go so far.

But the reality is that Modern is fairer than it’s ever been. Five-Color Humans and B/R Hollow One are the two top decks and while they have some great draws, they are decidedly fair and you can beat them on the battlefield with great creatures. So, there’s never been a better time to play a pile of efficient creatures and skimp on disruption.

It’s time for Archangel Avacyn to make her mark in Modern.

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