Video Daily Digest: Why Not Both?

What happens when two tribes that can’t breakout in Modern want to do so? Simple: they get together! SCG Indianapolis may feature both of these tribes in the same 75!

Last year may have been the year of Fatal Push, but in 2018 the Empire that
is Lightning Bolt has struck back in a big way. The iconic red card has
reestablished itself as the premier removal spell in Modern.

In fact, it’s so good that players are going out of their way to work the
newly printed Wizard’s Lightning into their decks in order to play
Lightning Bolt’s five through eight. There are plenty of good Wizards in
Modern, and Ryan Overturf unveiled a build that combined the burn spells
with aggressive prowess creatures like Soul-Scar Mage and Stormchaser Mage.

But, for those who played a lot of Bitterblossom back in the day, you may
remember that several Faeries also have Wizard in the type line, and cheap
burn spells have always played well with the tempo nature of the Faerie
tribe. Over the years I’ve seen many players splash red in their Faerie
decks for Lightning Bolt and occasionally straight Izzet lists that try to
replace the power of Bitterblossom with the versatility and reach of burn
spells, so a crossover between the two creature types makes a lot of sense.

Spellstutter Sprite and Vendilion Clique, the most powerful individual
Faeries, also have the Wizard type and form the backbone of the archetype.
Since mana curves are so low in Modern you don’t need many other Faeries to
support Spellstutter, so Mutavault suffices there while also being a great
way to sneak in a few points.

The rest of the deck is focused on Wizards to support the extra burn.
Snapcaster Mage is the obvious addition, and Grim Lavamancer also makes
sense since it can either let you take a control roll or let you aim your
burn upstairs while also containing the battlefield. And even though it’s
only a Wizard on the front side, Delver of Secrets plays too well in this
burn-heavy tempo deck to leave on the sideline.

The rest of the deck is highly customizable, but I appreciate the emphasis
on flash so you can keep your options open. Opt is better than Serum
Visions as the cantrip of choice for that reason and Nimble Obstructionist
is a bit underpowered, but committing to flash is worth it.

I love decks like this because you win so many close games and sequencing
is very important. The games are always interesting and you really get
rewarded for knowing your deck and what your opponent’s deck is capable of,
often taking calculated risks when behind based on that information. And
the fact that it gets to play so reactively makes it impossible to play
against. If a deck like this ever becomes powerful enough to be a tier one
archetype, watch out.