Video Daily Digest: Revel-ation

What’s the key to breaking Bedlam Reveler in Modern? Ross Merriam explores an online decklist that dips into four colors ahead of the Classic at SCG Worcester!

I don’t know exactly what to make of this deck. Is it aggressive? Kind of, but not really. Is it controlling? It has a bunch of removal spells and built-in card advantage from many of its cards, but that built-in advantage comes largely in the form of 1/1 creature tokens, which can easily be trumped if you don’t have removal for large blockers.

If I had to describe it, I’d say it’s an engine deck. You’re spell-heavy with a bunch of creatures that feed off that in Monastery Swiftspear, Bedlam Reveler, and Young Pyromancer. It’s midrange in that the deck can play both aggressive and controlling roles should the need arise, but it’s far from being Jund or Abzan that try to strip their opponent of resources and win with powerful individual cards. The synergies here are very important.

Typically, Faithless Looting has been reserved for decks that are trying to do broken things. Think Dredge and Goryo’s Vengeance decks. But this deck uses it a bit like U/G Madness used Careful Study, as a value card. It’s a cheap spell for your prowess cards, you can discard Lingering Souls for value, and it stocks the graveyard for Bedlam Reveler, thus recouping the card advantage and giving you an undercosted threat that can rumble with the Tarmogoyfs and Tasigur, the Golden Fangs of the world.

Faithless Looting is also what enables this deck to play so few lands, which is important when you’re trying to play a lot of interaction but not a lot of cards that can take over the game alone. You need to have more total stuff than your opponents, and trimming on lands is the easiest way to help ensure that happens often enough to make the deck viable.

Overall I’m just excited to play with Bedlam Reveler, which looks too similar to the delve threats that have become staples in Modern to not see any play. Various Delver-based strategies have been tried, but Young Pyromancer makes more sense to me, given that Bedlam Reveler isn’t your end-point. That is to say, Bedlam Reveler keeps the gas flowing so you don’t have to turn the corner as quickly. Just sit back, point some more removal at your opponent’s creatures, and attack with a pile of CVMs.

But, if you really have to, all those burn spells can go upstairs. Just how Richard Garfield intended.