Well hello everyone! I have been fairly busy with other stuff so I apologize for this coming pretty late, but better late than never right! War of the Spark and Modern Horizons are coming to shake things up so this time we’ll be talking about the new cards and also like always you have my sideboard guide posted for grabs! I’m inching to talk about all these new exciting things so no more chit-chat!
Well, GP Bilbao went..not according to plan. I did start 3-0, but then deck gave up on me unfortunately. I faced: BW Tokens, MonoW Prison?, UR Taking Turns, Amulet Titan piloted by Michael Bonde (Great guy btw), Grixis Shadow, Hardened Scales, UB Mill and Jund. So that’s about that. Phoenix was the most played deck and not only that, it won the whole thing. I wasn’t that surprised honestly. But funny fact, I didn’t face a single Phoenix in the main event. In the side events, I faced them plenty and can say proudly that I didn’t drop any matches against them! So the matchup is definitely doable, but takes skill. Overall the metagame felt decent for Storm, and my matchups weren’t that bad. So looking forward Storm looks to be in decent position. In the end I had fun times and I got to meet some awesome Storm players from our Discord community ❤ Shoutouts to all of you, had a blast!
Fate of Faithless Looting
This card has caused a lot of discussion and could be potentially banned in the next announcement May 20th. Now my personal opinion is (after facing Phoenix a lot), that the deck is totally beatable and in my eyes, is not too broken for Modern. Yes it is really good, and has shown amazing records in all Magic tournaments. My guess is that there will be no changes, but who knows. I have been wrong before, although _if_ something gets banned, my guess is on Faithless Looting since it’s the card that enables all these broken strategies like Phoenix, Dredge and Hollow One. I know that hurting several decks at once sucks, but I feel that Faithless Looting is the card that causes those decks to do stupid things.
“Then why didn’t they already ban it?
There are few reasons for this:
– Modern Horizons might bring something to the table that changes Modern and therefore Faithless Looting decks would be fine. Maybe we could see Careful Study printed? Granted it offers the same effect, but at least it won’t have flashback and Dredge+Hollow One would have to adapt their manabase in order to play it.
– They want more data from Grand Prixes and Mythic Championship London to see if Faithless Looting decks continue their victorious path.
Very much-anticipated set that skips Standard and will have cards for eternal formats, mainly focused for Modern of course. Now we don’t know much about this set yet, so what I write is mainly theory crafting. But they have spoiled 2 cards so far, so let’s take a look at them first!
Cabal Therapy has been a solid card ever since it saw the light of day. This card offers the same effect every turn, but you do however have to sacrifice a creature to make it work. Also you have to do it at the beginning of your precombat main phase, so it makes that a bit trickier to pull off. So you have to untap with this and have a creature to sacrifice. But I could see this card used in some sort of token strategy (Bitterblossom or Lingering Souls). So BW Tokens is a good home for this if they want more cards against Combo decks. Since if you hit their hand every turn with this, it’s going to be super hard to string together a lethal turn when you literally have no hand.
Against any fair deck, this card is not great, dies to any removal (Heck even Gut Shot), and since fair decks don’t really rely on any single card, hitting them with this should not hurt that much.
So will it see play in Modern? Maybe if you can spam enough small creatures to sacrifice and that deck struggles with Combo decks. Other than that, I don’t think so, but prove me wrong.
Gotta say, I love the art. But that’s about all I love this card. In the end this is just another 4 mana planeswalker that does…well, things. Modern being as fast as it is, this just doesn’t do enough to warrant Serra to be playable. She is a bomb in Limited absolutely, but simply making Serra Angel or pumping your flyers is not enough. Even for a deck, let’s say BW tokens again, I think that Sorin, Solemn Visitor is just better at supporting that strategy. The ultimate is pretty sweet though, and the fact that her plus ability is +2, means that she does get to ultimate very quickly, still not super impressed when thinking about Modern playability.
War of the Spark
Next set that is featuring a _lot_ of planeswalkers. I have picked the most interesting cards for my eyes, time to check them out!
Interesting choice even for Storm to combat Control decks. I think that this is better Quicken since this allows all of your spells to play at instant speed for the turn, where as Quicken only does 1 spell. Now honestly I don’t feel that Control is that hard of a matchup that you won’t be needing this. Also the fact that this only produces colorless can screw you over (Cantrips and Goblin Electromancer for example). Control will see this coming, and then they just don’t tap mana ever. I don’t think this is necessary, but _if_ you struggle with Control a lot, this is a decent option for sure.
I know, this isn’t for Modern. But my god does this card do things! This could be a thing for Legacy or especially Vintage where you can play all the fast mana or Tinker to power this out quickly. This just allows to play your stuff from the top and finishing with Tendrils of Agony fairly quickly. I’m very excited for this card for sure!
Ah Birthing Pod, you always try to come back. Well the jokes aside, this card is really in the 50/50 range for me. Looks cool and can do some funnies. But I think that Eldritch Evolution is just, better since you are running manadorks with this so you can almost always access 3 mana on turn 2. And Eldritch Evolution can get 3 drops where as this can only get 2 drops if you sacrifice 1 mana creature. +1/+1 counter shouldn’t matter that much either. But hey, all you creature toolbox players, make it work!
Card that was discussed in our Discord. Is a Bolt and digs a bit, but 4 mana is just way too much, even with a reducer out.
Potential counterspell candidate for Control decks, really good against Combo decks since this can’t be Remanded or really interacted.
Offers a good selection of removal, also gets around Hexproof and Indestructible, cool card and could be a thing. But Rakdos Charm offers good options and at instant speed too.
Interesting edict effect, maybe against Boggles? Discard is just a bonus if you happen to have any Liliana out.
If someone thought that previous Teferi was good, boy is this one also sweet! Costing only 3 mana, having an insane static ability (hello control mirrors), making your sorcery speed spells instant speed AND to top it off, protects itself and also let’s you draw cards. What’s not to like about this raveler of time? Expecting that this will see loads of play in Standard for sure. For Modern its bit trickier since UWx Control already has so many good walkers to choose from. But potentially maybe, we might see him pop in Modern.
Callback to Stromkirk Noble, this looks pretty sweet, again for Standard. Super aggressive, and grows pretty fast. Also gives some value when it dies.
New Tezzeret, obviously he is once again focused on artifacts. But he is pretty sweet! Giving your creature and planeswalkers affinity for artifacts? Sure, I’m in. +2 Is a serious threat in itself, -3 helps recur something important if destroyed and -8, well it’s cool but I think for the most part just using his 2 modes will get the job done. Now 6 mana is quite a lot, but something like Lantern/Whir Prison perhaps. Gives them a very fast clock so could be a thing there.
A solid choice for 8Rack, the deck really wants more “Rack” effects and this does that+hits cards in hand. Pretty sweet for that deck definitely.
Karn is back, and he is awesome! There are so many things going on with this card so I try to break it down:
– Shuts off opposing artifact, super relevant in Vintage and potentially against Affinity
– Turns your noncreature artifacts into threats
I’m very keen to see how and where will this Karn end up, but I have high hopes and expectations for this one!
Interesting alternative wincon, we can’t really do much with her -2 ability (well we can copy Goblin Electromancer), but if we can just play spells and push out tokens, things can get out of control pretty fast. But if I would run this type of effect, Young Pyromancer/Empty The Warrens is basically better since Pyromancer can attack by itself and Empty fits in our game plan so well (and costs also 3 mana when reduced).
I saved the best for last, Ral has been talked about a lot! He does look pretty sweet honestly, that ability makes killing opponent much easier. So for grindier matches Ral can be a dominating play all by himself. The ability to scry for dig and copying Pieces of the Puzzle or Manamorphose is insanely powerful. The only problem (same with any planeswalker in Storm) is that we just can’t protect planeswalker, like IF you manage to play Ral into an empty board, it’s insane and most likely a win. But with any creature in play, Ral will just scry and then gets killed. I think we may have something here, 1-2 copies might be added to the sideboard if we want to grind more better. The trouble is going to be finding space for him though.
Every new set means updated sideboard guide, I have done my best to cover as many matchups as possible. Not that much has changed, just some very minor tweaks here and there since the metagame has stayed fairly in same shape. So use the info below when you think how to sideboard!
BUG Wilderness Reclamation
4C Whir Prison
GB Midrange (Jund, Abzan, GB)
UW Control (Azorius)
UWR Control (Jeskai+Spell Quellers)
UWR Control (Jeskai no Spell Quellers)
Collected Company Decks (Abzan, Bant, GW Company)
RUG/Bring To Light Scapeshift
Classic Tron (RG, GW, MonoG)
Mono U Tron
Death’s Shadow Variants (Grixis, Esper, 4-5c, Jund)
Death&Taxes Variants (MonoW, GW, BW Eldrazi)
Soul Sisters/Martyr Proc
Hardened Scales Affinity
Zoo (5C, Naya)
Living End (Jund)
Living End (Blue)
BR Hollow One
So that’s all for this time. Also I just want to thank all of you who purchased my Storm token, all of your support means the world to me and if you don’t have it yet, just contact me here, in my Twitter or in my Facebook and I’ll make sure you get yours 🙂
Next time we dive deeper into Modern Horizons, as soon as we know more about it, we’ll take a look into it and what goodies we get! (Fingers crossed for some Storm madness)