Has Selesnya Company Put Uro And Omnath’s Reign Of Terror In Modern On Hold?

Has Selesnya Company broken through to challenge the dominance of Omnath and Uro in Modern? Six SCG creators weigh in.

Skyclave Apparition, illustrated by Donato Giancola

Welcome to What We’d Play! With the recent introduction of Zendikar Rising, many are unsure what they’d play in Modern. That’s where we come in and let you know what we’d play and why we’d play it. Hopefully this advice aids in your decision making for your next Modern event!

Shaheen Soorani — Four-Color Control

I’m stuck with Omnath, Locus of Creation and Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath in Modern these days.  Maybe it’s just me and McWinSauce, but it feels like the best deck in the format to take on the creature-based and big mana decks that run rampant.  Four-Color Control runs that wonderful aforementioned creature package that is resilient, draws cards, gains life, and hits like a truck.  Having those elements in the lineup allows for the rest of the deck to focus on disruption, for whatever the metagame brings.

Selesnya Reclaimer is the new deck on the scene that has already dominated the Leagues of Magic Online, as well as this Magic Online Challenge.  It has the feel of a typical Primeval Titan deck, but with a repeatable Crop Rotation on a creature.  It’s vital that Four-Color Control removes Elvish Reclaimer from the battlefield early in order to prevent the powerful nonbasics from flooding in.  That, combined with the synergy between Elvish Reclaimer and Flagstones of Trokair, can create a worrisome level of value that control typically struggles against. 

Since Elvish Reclaimer can outgrow a Lightning Bolt, the white-based removal is required to handle the workload in this matchup.  Keep Elvish Reclaimer and Primeval Titan off the battlefield, hit them with Field of Ruin, use Cryptic Command to tap down some blockers, and hit them hard with some Zombies or big creatures to take down this new nemesis.

Ari Lax — Selesnya Company

I’ve been dabbling with more experimental decks in Modern lately, but I’ve still been most impressed with the Selesnya Company deck I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. It’s actively good against the Thoughtseize + Lightning Bolt interactive decks, it’s a fast combo deck against the rest of the field, and it has a toolbox to tie the rest together.

Since I haven’t been in the trenches tuning the deck, it would be raw hubris to not start with Michael Jacob’s list, but in the Top 8 of a recent Modern Challenge, user kazuga made a good point. Conclave Mentor is good, but it’s not good in multiples. The fourth copy of that card is negotiable unless you really need to convert infinite life to infinite damage on the spot in the metagame.

Dom Harvey — Jeskai Control

How did I end up here? After making fun of Celestial Colonnade and friends for years when the format was less powerful, I find myself… unironically recommending Jeskai Control?! Well-known deckbuilder and streamer Evart Moughon, aka aspiringspike, has done great work dragging one of Modern’s oldest and supposedly greatest archetypes into the present, as Ben Friedman explained in his recent piece.

Control decks based around Snapcaster Mage have largely fallen out of favour with Mystic Sanctuary but I never quite understood this and it’s reassuring to see them working so well together in this shell. Snapcaster remains one of the best cards in control mirrors — or any post-sideboard game where you can upgrade your cheap interaction to cards like Aether Gust and Mystical Dispute — and gives you the necessary redundancy on removal to fight through the disruptive aggro decks like Rakdos Death’s Shadow (Lurrus).

I’ve moved away from Shark Typhoon, a somewhat clunky card by Modern’s standards, to add a land and shore up the removal suite. This leaves you a little threat-light against other blue decks but Ashiok, Dream Render, along with more Mystical Disputes in the sideboard, will go some way towards fixing that.

Andrew Elenbogen — Selesnya Company

Uro decks continue to be the most popular and successful decks in Modern. They are also quite favorable matchups for Selesnya Company. Uro decks have a ton of trouble beating infinite life and cannot generally remove Heliod, Sun-Crowned. This puts them in a bind where they must constantly worry about being overwhelmed by mediocre beats backed by Heliod’s counters, but if they ever tap out, they might lose on the spot.

Selesnya Company also has reasonable matchups against most of the other top decks. The combo is fast enough to race Oops All Spells and Primeval Titan decks a decent percentage of the time, and the combination of Auriok Champion and Heliod is just too much for most Death’s Shadow decks. Neither threat can be removed and both spiral out of control quickly (especially together).

I like this list specifically because they have chosen to cut down on Conclave Mentor and tutor targets to maximize the number of Auriok Champion, Ranger-Captain of Eos, and Skyclave Apparition in the maindeck. This is a method known as “play more of the good cards.” This list spends its sideboard flex slots on Aven Mindcensor and Rest in Peace. Both are generally knockouts in their respective matchups if they survive. But if they’re removed, that’s one less opposing removal spell to be spent on the combo in a matchup where said combo is extremely important.

For most of Modern’s history, I have been something of a Collected Company skeptic. But right now the deck is simply too well-positioned and it has my ringing endorsement.

Corey Baumeister — Four-Color Control

Modern is still a wide-open format, which makes me want to play a strong proactive strategy. Uro continues to be a dominant force that just demands a good shell around it to take over a format. Right now these style of decks have to be doing something that will go over the top of other decks.

Copy Cat Combo is for sure the most powerful shell but it does have to play some pretty bad cards to make the combo work. Time Warp is in a way a bit of a one-card combo when you pair it with fetchlands alongside Mystic Sanctuary and at its worst is just a way to cycle it essentially and just take another turn, even if you don’t have something powerful to take advantage of that effect.

Outside of the top-end of the deck you just get to play the most powerful cards in the format and they do a ton of the heavy lifting!

Ross Merriam — Selesnya Company

Skyclave Apparition is taking over Modern, and for good reason. It’s the best answer in the format to both Uro and Death’s Shadow, which are ubiquitous in the metagame. We first saw Apparition emerge as the card that put Death & Taxes into the top tier for the first time in its long history in Modern, but in recent weeks I think a better home has been found for the card in Selesnya Company.

This deck, with its myriad paths to either infinite life or infinite damage as early as Turn 3, puts the opponent under a lot more pressure than Death & Taxes, and while it doesn’t have Aether Vial to power out Skyclave Apparition, it may have the better option in Collected Company. Apparition supplements this deck’s aggro back-up plan very well because it can clear away bigger creatures and also provide devotion to turn on Heliod, Sun-Crowned (the deck’s heaviest hitter).

Compared to other creature combo decks in the format, this deck gets a huge advantage because its key piece, Heliod, is incredibly difficult to remove (though opposing Apparitions will do the trick). There really is nothing the card can’t do. That’s why we see the full four copies in the deck now, even over additional copies of long-time Modern staple Path to Exile.

I like this list because of some of the small details. The extra mana creature helps ensure that you get off to a strong start, and favoring Auriok Champion over Conclave Mentor in the split helps against the various Prowess decks which are quite common right now. Champion often serves the same purpose of making the Walking Ballista combo easier to execute by generating an extra +1/+1 counter, so getting to maindeck a key sideboard card for a common matchup is a big gain.

The one thing I’d consider here is finding room for a single Burrenton Forge-Tender in the sideboard as a Ranger-Captain of Eos target, but with or without it this deck will give you a great chance for success this weekend.