I’m pretty optimistic about Master of Waves in Modern. The question for me is finding the right shell. Merfolk is the obvious direction, but the card plays extremely well with Grand Architect since Grand Architect protects the tokens even if the opponent can answer the Master of Waves, forcing them to have two removal spells to deal with the horde. The fact that Lord of Atlantis and Master of the Pearl Trident are just excellent UU creatures makes Merfolk really tempting, but I wanted to try a different direction.
- 2 Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
- 4 Coralhelm Commander
- 2 Wurmcoil Engine
- 4 Grand Architect
- 3 Phyrexian Metamorph
- 4 Cloudfin Raptor
- 4 Tidebinder Mage
- 2 Thassa, God of the Sea
- 4 Master of Waves
This deck uses Nykthos and Grand Architect to support Wurmcoil Engine, and use either to power Bident of Thassa with mana to play extra spells. Phyrexian Metamorph is almost required in a deck with Grand Architect, and Coralhelm Commander is another way to use mana from Nykthos. Kira, Great Glass-Spinner is another good way to protect Master of Waves, and Thassa, God of the Sea is just an excellent card once you’re doing the work to build devotion to blue.
My opponent didn’t put up a lot of resistance here, but it’s good to see that things basically work.
In the first game we were both pretty crippled, but missing a color was an insurmountable problem for my opponent.
In the second game I thought I had a good draw, but an unanswered Dark Confidant just let him answer everything.
Game Three was looking grim, but I topdecked Grand Architect at the perfect time to both protect my Tidebinder Mages and cast Wurmcoil Engine put the game out of reach for my opponent, who still managed to make it a lot closer than I expected.
Both of those games ended up being extremely close – in the first one I was one point short with a live draw to kill him on the last turn, and redraws to stay alive with Bident of Thassa; in the second game, Wurmcoil Engine was just too little too late because he drew removal spells while I drew lands at the end.
I definitely felt how awkward Disrupting Shoal is against Jund in the first game, but I’m also very happy with Wurmcoil Engine as a plan against Jund.
In the first game, it looked like my opponent just didn’t manage to get his combo together in time. In the second game, I drew my disruption after he played his discard spell to clear the way, and my creatures meant that he only got one shot – this was the kind of game that makes a pretty strong case for holding a discard spell until you’re closer to going off when you’re a combo deck that plays discard to protect the combo, though it’s not always right – since he was on the play, this might have let him take a Relic of Progenitus from me that otherwise would have been a problem, for example. Still, you need to think about when to cast discard spells.
As for my deck, I think I probably want another one-mana creature, like Cloudfin Raptor or Judge’s Familiar. It’s also possible that merfolk lords are the way to go even with a lot of non-merfolk in the deck, though building around Jund actually pushes us away from that as you’re not likely to keep two in play – and if you do, you can’t trust that the boost won’t go away at any time. I think the deck wants one more Island, and Disrupting Shoal probably can’t be played maindeck, sadly.
The deck is definitely in its infancy, but I think it has a lot of room to grow in really good directions.
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