Today’s deck brings together a number of aspects we’ve seen in other Modern decks, tying them together into one brilliant little package.
At its core, this deck uses the mana acceleration of Arbor Elf and Utopia Sprawl. Typically this is found in G/R Land Destruction, especially now that that deck has gained Bloodbraid Elf. Here we’re using not only the acceleration but also the color fixing, hence supplementing them with four copies of Birds of Paradise.
What are we accelerating into with these mana creatures? The first card I notice is Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Casting it on Turn 2 is…just as good as it sounds. You’re nearly always guaranteed two or more activations, often yielding an insurmountable lead. That you can continue to advance your position afterward makes it very difficult for your opponent to catch up.
But Jace is really an afterthought in this deck. The main plan is something even more powerful: Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker. When you can cast Restoration Angel on Turn 2, the threat of the combo comes on Turn 3, faster than most Kiki-Chord or Kiki-Evolution decks, though there’s no sacrifice in late-game power to gain this speed.
However, it’s rather difficult to cast a triple-red spell in an otherwise base Bant deck, so in comes the final piece of the puzzle: Bring to Light. This tutor replaces Chord of Calling and Eldritch Evolution, and while it can’t find Jace, the Mind Sculptor, it can find nearly anything else, and it’s much easier to cast than a triple-red card.
The support cards here are toolbox creatures for Bring to Light, most of which combine well with Restoration Angel. Acidic Slime, Hostage Taker, and Eternal Witness are all nice options to have, and the few noncreature spells are all quite powerful and versatile, so you always have a relevant card to tutor for. The sideboard goes a little overboard in this regard, but it’s good to explore your options with a deck like this.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the card that cemented the deck as a Daily Digest selection: Panglacial Wurm. Not a particularly powerful card, but it does provide a good bit of flood insurance, leading to late-game situations when your fetchlands are still live draws. I just wish there was a way to shuffle it back into your library after it dies.
It’s hard to get a great idea of how decks like these operate until you play with them and learn exactly what they’re capable of, but so long as you stick to the plan of making an unbounded army of Restoration Angels, you’ll be in good shape.
- 4 Birds of Paradise
- 1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
- 1 Wood Elves
- 1 Eternal Witness
- 1 Panglacial Wurm
- 1 Acidic Slime
- 4 Arbor Elf
- 4 Wall of Omens
- 1 Deceiver Exarch
- 4 Restoration Angel
- 1 Dragonlord Ojutai
- 1 Hostage Taker