Daily Digest: Born To Run

Run. Fly. What’s the difference as long as you’re crushing the opposition at #SCGINDY’s Modern Classic? Ross Merriam has Dragons, planeswalkers, and everything in between with this excellent list!

#SCGINDY October 1-2!

I’ve been a big fan of the Utopia SprawlArbor Elf engine in Modern, and you can bet that, at the first sign that Green Devotion is viable, I will be playing it. Right now the most commonly played deck that utilizes these cards is G/R Land Destruction, but there’s no way I’m going to register Mwonvuli Acid-Moss in a format where Mox Opal and Simian Spirit Guide are legal. You need to have more self-respect than that.

The Sprawl-Elf combo generates four mana on turn 2, as you can use one of your two lands to enchant the other, tap it for two mana, and untap it for another two. In this scenario, Utopia Sprawl isn’t costing you any mana while still netting you one, so it’s like a Mox. In order to take advantage of that acceleration, I want to play the best four-mana threat possible, one that can end the game quickly when unanswered but also stay relevant if things don’t go exactly according to plan.

Nahiri, the Harbinger fits that role perfectly, and as long as you enchant a Stomping Ground or a Temple Garden, you can name the other color with Utopia Sprawl and make the necessary colors to cast it on turn 2. A turn 2 Nahiri, the Harbinger threatens to put Emrakul, the Aeons Torn onto the battlefield on turn 4. That’s right in the sweet spot for Tier 1 Modern decks, which I take as a good sign.

The rest of the early threats are sticky, with Thunderbreak Regent leaving behind a Lightning Bolt, Tireless Tracker a Clue or two, and Loxodon Smiter colding opposing counterspells. More importantly, they are all hard-hitting when played ahead of schedule, so you get right to applying pressure to your opponent rather than messing around with some Stone Rains.

The last piece of the puzzle is the top end, and in this list we see some Dragonlords to supplement the Thunderbreak Regents, which is a nice touch. Both Dragonlord Atarka and Dragonlord Dromoka are powerful enough to work in a deck like this, and the former is especially nice, since it’s a potentially devastating find off Nahiri, the Harbinger.

Aggressive decks with mana creatures always have to worry about flooding, but Nahiri, the Harbinger and Kessig Wolf Run help a lot in that regard, which is the most attractive part of the deck to me. It means that you can play a fast, non-interactive game if necessary, will be able to interact early if the game demands it, and can avoid folding when the game goes long. The triple threat.

#SCGINDY October 1-2!