Video Daily Digest: Rally Race

Who loves value? Ross Merriam, that’s for sure! He highlights a successful Magic Online list that elevates Renegade Rallier from a Modern role-player to a deck centerpiece, just in time for the SCG Worcester Classic!

Sometimes Magic is easy. Everyone knew the revolt mechanic would play in Modern because fetchlands are such a strong enabler for it. But for the most part, it was Fatal Push that stole the spotlight for the mechanic, albeit for good reason. It immediately became one of the most important removal spells in the format, especially with and against Death’s Shadow.

So perhaps that’s why Renegade Rallier has failed to gain as much press, despite it showing up in significant numbers. Most often it’s been as a role-player in Abzan Company decks, but the card is good enough to do more, and that’s exactly what we see with today’s deck.

It looks a lot like the G/W Company deck that Todd Stevens took to the Top 8 of the Dallas Open last month. But there are no copies of Collected Company here. Instead you see changes that stress the shift in focus to Renegade Rallier.

Lotus Cobra ensures that you can rebuy your fetchlands and Ghost Quarters for maximum value, often extending a second threat or casting a removal spell ahead of schedule and burying your opponent early. Those who remember the Snake’s time in Standard will see the potential in this deck for the opening of Birds of Paradise / Noble Hierarch into Lotus Cobra and a fetchland to generate three mana and cast another threat. Unlike back then, you can now use that opening to chain Renegade Ralliers like they’re Burning-Tree Emissaries, which is just filthy.

Todd’s Courser of Kruphix slots become more copies of Tireless Tracker so all those extra land drops turn into more resources. Incidentally, sacrificing Clues ensures that you never run out of things to do with your Lotus Cobra mana.

Since you’re drawing that many cards, you want to have some good removal so your advantage isn’t trumped by a single powerful threat, and here we find three of the best in Modern between Path to Exile, Fatal Push, and Abrupt Decay. That’s a great setup to win long games against any of the fair decks in Modern, even if you flood on mana creatures sometimes.

And unlike a lot of other decks in this vein, the Ghost Quarter engine gives you another angle of attack against Tron and the discard backed up by the explosive draws is a solid plan against unfair decks. It’s the green creatures’ world and we’re just living in it.