Video Daily Digest: Ghost Busted

Every tribe in Modern will win given enough support, and Spirits may be the next big thing flying to glory at SCG Baltimore weekend!

We’ve seen Death and Taxes in Modern in several forms. We’ve also seen
Spirit tribal decks, predominantly Bant Spirits with Collected Company. In
this space I’ve previously featured a hybrid of the two, but that deck was
predominantly a Taxes deck that splashed blue for two cards that fit the
shell which also happened to be Spirits — Mausoleum Wanderer and Spell

Today’s deck is much more of a true hybrid between the two archetypes,
playing several more Spirits to create a complete air force to apply
significant pressure. Unsurprisingly, those new cards are all great at
protecting your creatures. Drogskol Captain and Phantasmal Image is a combo
we’ve seen since its days in Standard and it works well in Modern in part
due to its ability to supercharge Spell Queller. Rattlechains also turns
Drogskol Captain into another counterspell by granting it flash, so timing
your removal spells against this deck is incredibly difficult.

Because of that, this list can incorporate a techy new card from Rivals of
Ixalan: Curious Obsession. Curiosity is not a Modern level card, but the
+1/+1 here ratchets the card up a notch, and I don’t think we’ve fully
explored its potential in both Modern and Standard. With so many creatures
that counter or tax removal spells you’re very likely to connect multiple
times, making the card quite powerful.

I like the Spirits here a lot because a deck that wants to rely on
disruptive creatures is often going to struggle in combat against the
premier creatures in the format. The Tarmogoyfs and Knight of the
Reliquaries of the world are too big to consistently attack through, and
these decks don’t have access to enough removal to consistently remove
them. The answer is going to the air, which most Taxes decks do via
Flickerwisp and Restoration Angel, but the Spirits push this plan even
further, letting you effectively race those other creatures, especially
with a multiple lord draw.

The flash element of the deck also makes it a difficult deck to play
against. Stopping aggressive fliers, ensuring your removal resolves, and
working around Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Leonin Arbiter is a lot to
worry about, and any mistakes are soundly punished.

Death and Taxes has always been an intriguing archetype to me because I
like disruptive creatures and it’s clear that the core of the deck is
powerful. There are a lot of competing variants on how to best complement
that core, and none of them have distinguished themselves from the others
by much. This one is doing some different things that the others can’t
match, which is usually a good place to be.