Monday, August 11, 2014

Modern Mondays: Improving the Modern Event Deck

While I do enjoy coming up with my own decks and ideas to play for Magic, but the three decks I had ever played for modern were a White/Black token deck, a White/Red burn deck, and a Green/White Bogles deck. What I've found is that my original decks play well, but my best decks have started as event decks that have been vastly improved.

Modern Event Deck - March of the Multitudes


White/Black Tokens

2014 Modern Event Deck: March of the Multitudes

Creatures

x2 Soul Warden
x3 Tidehollow Sculler

Land

x4 Caves of Koilos
x2 City of Brass
x4 Isolated Chapel
x1 Vault of the Archangel
x4 Windbrisk Heights
x5 Plains
x4 Swamp

Artifacts

x2 Shrine of Loyal Legions
x1 Sword of Feast and Famine

Planeswalkers

x1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant

Other Spells

x3 Path to Exile
x2 Inquisition of Kozilek
x3 Honor of the Pure
x4 Intangible Virtue
x4 Raise the Alarm
x3 Zealous Persecution
x4 Lingering Souls
x4 Spectral Procession

Sideboard

x3 Relic of Progenitus
x2 Burrenton Forge-Tender
x3 Duress
x3 Kataki, War's Wage
x2 Dismember
x2 Ghost Quarter

Looking at the deck, there are several improvements that can be made.

First and foremost, 24 lands is too much for a deck that curves off at 4 mana for a single card, although it an be considered as 6 based on Spectral Procession, but with all the lands capable of producing white, paying 3 mana for it is easy.

Let's start with the land base...

-1 Caves of Koilos
-2 City of Brass
-1 Isolated Chapel
-2 Windbrisk Heights
-1 Swamp
+1 Plains
+4 Godless Shrine

City of Brass  Windbrisk Heights  Godless Shrine

City of Brass was completely unnecessary because there are enough lands to provide both colors, especially by adding Godless Shrine. Paying life for each mana from City of Brass is unnecessary when you can pay a one time cost for Godless Shrine or occasionally pay life for City of Brass if really necessary. With more white cards than black, one swamp can be turned into a plains, and Godless Shrines are needed in place of Windbrisk Heights and a single Isolated Chapel (that requires the basic land types) and a single Caves of Koilos.

As far as artifacts go...

-2 Shrine of Loyal Legions

Shrine of Loyal Legions

These were not doing much in the deck, so I figured there could be a bigger benefit elsewhere in the deck.

As far as creatures go, the existing creatures are already great, but there need to be a few creatures that either boost or interact with tokens in some way, so here's what I did...

+2 Signal Pest
+1 Twilight Drover
+1 Hero of Bladehold

Signal Pest  Twilight Drover  Hero of Bladehold

Signal Pest is just like another anthem, except it attacks and boosts everything, Twilight Drover is great for preventing token removal and can generate more tokens, and Hero of Bladehold creates tokens and boosts said tokens.

As far as other spells go, I needed to make a couple cuts in order to increase the planeswalker count (one is great, but having the better chance at getting one on the field is better. So here are the other spells...

-1 Intangible Virtue
-1 Honor of the Pure
-1 Zealous Persecution
+1 Inquisition of Kozilek

Intangible Virtue  Honor of the Pure  Zealous Persecution

As much as I hate to let those go, I wanted to add a third Inquisition of Kozilek and also include more planeswalkers to interact with tokens. Which moves us onto planeswalkers...

+1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
+1 Sorin, Lord of Innistrad

Elspeth, Knight-Errant  Sorin, Lord of Innistrad

Sorin provides more tokens and also creates more anthems while Elspeth, being the second copy and producing tokens and boosting tokens or other creatures.


Moving on to the sideboard, I needed to build it more towards the deck types I see at my local store.

-2 Relic of Progenitus
-2 Burrenton Forge-Tender
-1 Kataki, War's Wage
+2 Paraselene
+2 Leyline of Sanctity
+1 Curse of Wizardry

Paraselene  Leyline of Sanctity  Curse of Wizardry

There aren't many decks that deal with graveyards, so I took out two of the three Relics of Progenitus, I removed the Burrenton Forge-Tenders because preventing a single red source from dealing damage once is not very good, and a single Kataki, War's Wage because I don't need three to stop affinity, especially when no more than one person plays it.

I replaced them with Paraselene because Bogles/Enchantments are relatively popular here, the Leylines are to prevent direct damage, and Curse of Wizardry was thrown in last minute because I could stop an opponent's deck.

The entire deck together:

White/Black Tokens

4-0 at Red Battle Games, 8 August 2014

Creatures

x2 Signal Pest
x2 Soul Warden
x3 Tidehollow Sculler
x1 Twilight Drover
x1 Hero of Bladehold

Land

x3 Caves of Koilos
x4 Godless Shrine
x3 Isolated Chapel
x1 Vault of the Archangel
x2 Windbrisk Heights
x6 Plains
x3 Swamp

Artifacts

x1 Sword of Feast and Famine

Planeswalkers

x2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
x1 Sorin, Lord of Innistrad

Other Spells

x3 Path to Exile
x3 Inquisition of Kozilek
x2 Honor of the Pure
x3 Intangible Virtue
x4 Raise the Alarm
x2 Zealous Persecution
x4 Lingering Souls
x4 Spectral Procession

Sideboard

x1 Relic of Progenitus
x3 Duress
x2 Kataki, War's Wage
x2 Paraselene
x2 Dismember
x2 Leyline of Sanctity
x1 Curse of Wizardry
x2 Ghost Quarter

During the first round, I played against a BUG Control deck. Game 1 I was able to ultimate Elspeth and swing with multiple spirit tokens. During the second game, I had to mulligan to 5 and my opponent mulled down to 4, but managed to get 2 of Sorin's Emblems, several vampire tokens, as well as Soul Mender and Intangible Virtue.

The second round, I played against a Mono-Red Goblins deck and was able to win the first game, but I lost the second to Legion Loyalist. Due to cards like Hellspark Elemental, Warren Instigator, and Vexing Devil, I sideboarded for Relic of Progenitus, Curse of Wizardry, and two Duress, but I wasn't fast enough and was not able to take anything out of my opponent's hand early enough. The third game, I was brought down to 1, but swung in to win. All three games were really close games.

The third round was somewhat of a mirror match against a black/white tokens deck where Blade Splicer and Restoration Angel was an important combo. I was able to win with speed the first round, and then I lost to a Restoration Angel with a Sword of Light and Shadow. The third game I was able to get out a Hero of Bladehold and play/flashback Lingering Souls and could swing in faster against my opponent's creatures, especially with Sorin's Emblem and one of the anthems.

The fourth round was against a Blue/Green infect deck that was brutal. After sideboarding for game two (completely lost game 1), I was brought to 8 poison counters, but had enough removal and tokens to be able to swing in. The third game, I was lucky to draw multiple Tidehollow Scullers, Duress, Inquisition of Kozilek, and was able to Path multiple pumped creatures before swinging in to win. I was brought to 7 poison counters during that game.


Overall, this has been a great deck. There are a couple changes I'm tempted to implement, but I'll save that for the future since I plan to play the deck again next month.

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