Vote On My Modern Deck For This Weekend!

Check out the five Modern decks Tom “The Boss” Ross is considering for GP Charlotte and vote for your winner at the end!

The SCG Tour stop this weekend is Modern in Charlotte, NC. Modern is currently my favorite format to play because I can play any style of deck I want and do reasonably well if the list is good. You want to bring the best deck that no one is prepared for every weekend. In a format as big as Modern, people don’t have the deck space to fend off everything.

I’ve wanted to play a Humans deck in Modern for a while now. Initial attempts at Mono-White Humans featuring Kytheon, Hero of Akros along with Champion of the Parish and Thalia’s Lieutenant proved to be underpowered. Various multicolored Humans decks have popped up on Magic Online, but they always felt a little gimmicky. After all, if you’re looking for creature synergy in Modern, you can always play Counters Company or Elves to go arbitrarily large with Vizier of Remedies and Devoted Druid.

It looks like Ixalan might’ve given Humans the tools it needs to take it to the next level.

The manabases of Modern Humans has always been finicky. The more powerful Humans are multicolored, and rightly so. You want some degree of interaction with your opponent, since you want always draw Thalia’s Lieutenant to make your creatures huge. Reflector Mage, Sin Collector, Knight of the Reliquary, Mantis Rider, and Anafenza, the Foremost are cards that you could be interested in.

Unclaimed Territory essentially means more copies of Cavern of Souls for the Humans deck. The Five-Color Slivers deck in Modern operates off four Cavern of Souls and four Sliver Hive along with a light fetch/shockland manabase. Humans decks now have access to the same easily castable creatures.

Humans needs a way to interact with the opponent’s hand. Sin Collector was an option before, but the 2/1 body is only so-so and it tends to whiff a lot. Kitesail Freebooter is a full mana cheaper, isn’t as strict on the colors, and hits enchantments, artifacts, and planeswalkers in addition to instants and sorceries.

Being cheaper means it can come down before a sweeper like Pyroclasm or Anger of the Gods. Nabbing an Ensnaring Bridge or Oblivion Stone is pretty nice too. Of course, the opponent gets the card back when Kitesail Freebooter dies, but that’s generally all right. They had to invest a removal spell into your 1/2 flyer before getting back whatever card supposedly wrecks you.

I really like seeing the opponent’s hand without having to dip into cards like Thoughtseize. Much like Tidehollow Sculler, I think Kitesail Freebooter is going to find its way into other Modern decks simply because it’s fairly cheaper interaction that leaves behind a body.

It’s become commonplace for all Modern Humans decks to include Reflector Mage. Grixis Death’s Shadow and Eldrazi Tron have huge creatures like Gurmag Angler and Endbringer that are disastrous to get bounced with a Reflector Mage. It’s often the only maindeck blue card, yet is powerful enough to warrant including. The final dealmaker is that Noble Hierarch taps for blue mana, making access to blue just that much easier.

This list has Anafenza, the Foremost and Xathrid Necromancer as other maindeck black creatures in addition to Kitesail Freebooter. Anafenza is the cleanest fit for the deck to interact with the opponent’s graveyard and to negate “dies triggers” like Voice of Resurgence. Anafenza is huge for her cost and does good work sizing your other creatures appropriately for combat. At worst, you can just put a +1/+1 counter on a tapped Noble Hierarch.

Xathrid Necromancer is the best preemptive answer to sweepers like Pyroclasm, Supreme Verdict, All Is Dust, or Damnation. Doesn’t work against Anger of the Gods, but that’s okay. All combat is now heavily in your favor and Xathrid Necromancer really needs to be dealt with before any other removal spells are pointed at your creatures. Xathrid Necromancer is the find that has exceeded my expectations the most.

The sideboard offers access to more B/W Humans that are more specialized in their purposes.

Sin Collector is better than Kitesail Freebooter against a deck chock-full of instants and sorceries and without much that can block a 2/1 creature. Still, you probably keep in all six creatures and really wreck their hand.

Orzhov Pontiff is incredible in the mirror and against Affinity or Elves. Who knows, some maniac could show up with Infect or Soul Sisters.

Kambal, Consul of Allocation is great against anything with cantrips like Serum Visions and without many creatures. Kambal is probably slightly better than Ethersworn Canonist when you have access to black, but I think it’s close. The drain effect is pretty nice when you’re a beatdown deck.

Knight of the Reliquary combos with Retreat to Coralhelm to repeatedly untap itself while also getting another tap/untap trigger when you’re searching up fetchlands. All in all, you can attack for about 21 damage without counting exalted triggers or Kessig Wolf Run.

Traditional Bant Knightfall lists play Spell Queller and other various creatures like Scavenging Ooze. Since those aren’t Humans, they don’t go in this deck. Instead the explosive beatdown elements of Champion of the Parish and Thalia’s Lieutenant provide a plan that’s backed up by the Knight of the Reliquary and Retreat to Coralhelm combo.

I like how this build has multiple axes of attack. An end of turn, Collected Company has an incredibly high potential to win on your turn. Knight of the Reliquary must be dealt with immediately. This is really a turbocharged version of the Standard Human Company deck that helped make Brian Braun-Duin a World Champion.

I liked the 8-Rack deck I played in Louisville and am very tempted to run it back with only a few small changes.

I sideboarded heavily against dedicated graveyard decks in Louisville with a full four Leyline of the Voids. I didn’t face any, instead only facing decks that only incidentally used the graveyard with Snapcaster Mage, Lingering Souls, or delve cards. For Charlotte I’ll only want a singleton Leyline of the Void with some Nihil Spellbombs to interact with graveyards at a minimal cost.

Delirium Skeins was my answer to an opposing Leyline of Sanctity. Instead of trying to remove their Leyline, I’d simply circumvent it with non-targeted discard. Delirium Skeins is also good against decks that need a critical mass of cards in their hand like Storm or Ad Nauseam. Against those decks I found myself only wanting to sideboard in three Delirium Skeins. For that reason one copy got cut.

Ratchet Bomb is the easiest way to deal with Chalice of the Void on one, to clean up tokens from Empty the Warrens, and to catch up against Affinity. It was the last card to get cut from my Louisville sideboard, and while the lack of it didn’t cost me any matches, it was surely missed. It’s also a nice catchall against whatever randomness the Modern format can bring your way.

I played one Marsh Flats in Louisville mostly to spook people, but also as a revolt enabler for Fatal Push. Gotta switch it up to a different fetchland to keep people guessing, ya know.

8-Rack has good matchups against the unfair decks and a solid one against Jund, even though I lost to Jund in the Swiss at Louisville. Jeskai finished in first and second place. There seems to be a resurgence of fair decks in Modern, probably in response to Grixis Death’s Shadow.

It may be time to play the deck that crushes the fair decks.

It’s unclear which build of Tron is the best-positioned, so I’m going with the one I’m most familiar with.

Tron aims to beat the fair decks. It doesn’t do well against unfair things like Scapeshift or Storm, so you’re hoping those decks aren’t popular or get weeded out by decks preying on them.

If Blood Moon is popular, then Tron isn’t a good choice either. Thankfully, there aren’t many Blood Moons going around, since people realize it’s not good against Eldrazi Tron.

Of course, when people drop their guard on Blood Moon, then it’s the perfect time to let it loose.

This deck won the last Modern Challenge on Magic Online. It’s basically a U/R Control deck with a combo win, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Deceiver Exarch, mimicking the dominant Splinter Twin decks from a couple years back.

It also has a semi-win condition in Blood Moon backed up by Spreading Seas.

This Blue Moon deck (it’s kinda card to categorize) has multiple winning angles, which I’m very fond of in Modern decks. It has enough “normal” sideboard cards like Pia and Kiran Nalaar and Jace, Architect of Thought to fully transform away from the combo into a basic U/R Control deck.

If a Blood Moon deck is poised to do well at #SCGCHAR, my money is on this shell.

Which deck should I play in #SCGCHAR this weekend?