Video Daily Digest: Red And Taxes

Death and Taxes lists are usually mono-white, but for one Magic Online player, that wasn’t good enough! Ross Merriam highlights a Modern W/R version splashing for Lightning Bolt and Magus of the Moon ahead of SCG Philadelphia!

Ever since Brian Coval’s surprise win at the Season One Invitational last year with Death and Taxes, I’ve kept it in the back of my head as a potential deck to play. While I appreciate the mono-white variant for having easy mana, especially in a deck that wants to play a high volume of colorless lands, I can’t help but think that a light splash is easy enough with all the quality multicolored lands in Modern and could give the deck a key card or two to push it over the top.

This week’s deck does just that with a light red splash for Lightning Bolt, an additional removal spell for a deck that generally lacks quality options, and a card that may seem strange at first in Magus of the Moon.

There’s negative synergy between Magus of the Moon and Leonin Arbiter because the former turns off Ghost Quarter and Tectonic Edge, but against the decks where Blood Moon is strong, you don’t need your lands to do much because turning all of your opponent’s lands into Mountains will stop them from casting spells, which is the entire goal of the Leonin Arbiter engine in the first place.

In that light, Magus of the Moon is a great supplemental option for a deck whose main priority is mana disruption. It adds some much-needed redundancy in a deck that lacks any sort of card selection, so the mana disruption plan should be more consistent. Keep in mind that if your opponent is tapped out, you can Flickerwisp your own Magus of the Moon to turn on your Ghost Quarters for a turn and take out your opponent’s basics or get an extra one for yourself.

Selfless Spirit is another uncommon addition for this list that makes sense in light of the red splash. Protecting Magus of the Moon from an opposing removal spell is incredibly important and can mean the difference between a Grey Ogre that immediately dies and a card that completely dominates the game.

Without the ability to play fetchlands, there isn’t a ton of room for supporting a splash color, so the splash necessarily has to be light. As a result, you want to splash cards that are easy to cast, ideally a creature so you can use Aether Vial to put it on the battlefield, and incredibly high-impact. Magus of the Moon fits all three criteria and supports the deck’s main gameplan, so I’m in.