It’s been awhile since we’ve done a CKL Plays video but I came across this Jeskai tempo deck on mtgtop8.com and had to give it a shot. The deck was designed by Jan-Niklas Nieland and placed second in a German event called “Pforzheim goes Modern! Vol. 3”.
This week, we are rockin’ a Modern RDW list that trades Wild Nacatals and Lightning Helix for Tasigurs and Bump in the Nights. Playing Bump in place of 2-mana boros-colored burn spells allows for more explosive turn two prowess triggers as well as late game mana-flood options. Tasigur functions as a Wild Nactal upgrade that won’t die to a single Lightning Bolt and again, has potential for late game utility.
Our sideboard is a work in progress. Other options include Kolaghan’s Command, Rakdos Charm, or more copies of Self-Inflicted Wound. Without the lifegain from Kor Firewalker and Lightning Helix, the aggro mirrors are tricky. Tasigur’s big butt helps but running Dragon Claw seems to be the best option at this point.
This week we play Ar4n’s UW Control Brew. Similar to Modern Jeskai Control, this deck drops the red to focus on interactions between white’s best ETB creatures and Restoration Angel. Ark4n placed second in a Modern Daily this month and several similar UW builds have surfaced since.
Last week, in the article I wrote about brewing with Soulflayer, I shared two early decklists that were built with the card in mind. It seemed to me that with all the Tasigur and Gurmag Angler floating around modern, there could be a shell in which Soulflayer was even stronger. One of the lists, a 4C Gifts list really took advantage of the card’s abilities to gain 11 different keywords. In the second one, I aimed for more of a control strategy in which Soulflayer functioned as a finisher. That was the “Esper Geistblade” deck.
This week we run Naya Allies through the gauntlet and feature three matches recorded for Card Knock Life Plays. This modern deck is composed similarly to the Zendikar block and standard lists but uses more recent cards like Collected Company to power out a team of creatures who nearly all have ETB triggers that boost the size of your team. With just 4 main deck Path to Exile to clear the way, the deck relies on a very aggresive (typically turn 4) onslaught to close out game one. The deck can seemingly “out-aggro” some of the fastest decks in the format (Burn, Zoo, Goblins) as nearly every creature has potential to grow to considerable size very quickly if the deck curves out properly. Instant-speed Collected Company and Aether Vialed creatures plus hasty Battlesingers can give the deck reach against control builds and cards like Boros Charm can protect a team from mass removal.
Sideboard options include lifegain creatures like Ondu Cleric and Kor Firewalker, artifact/enchantment destruction, Spellskites, and a full set of Supression Fields (which come in very handy in twin, tron, and melira match ups).
Having played this deck in about 7 unique match-ups, I’ve found that it can perform well against most of the field and most often loses to it’s own bad draws. Off camera, I won matches vs. Junk, Hatebears, Delver, and other rogue brews, only losing one set to GR Tron (with the help of terrible mulligans). Deckbuilding credit goes to Daniel Mulato who placed in the top 4 in PPTQ Montecatini in July.
This week, we take the big red modern list, “Skred Red”, for a spin on the circuit in four different match-ups recorded for CKL Plays.
Let me preface this by saying this list, while quite challenging to pilot effectively, is extremely versatile. Skred Red has a lot of very specific and focused cards in the 75 that may be quite useful in certain matchups but are seemingly useless in others. I find myself making awkward sideboarding choices when I have fewer cards that I want to bring in than I want to bring out. I know for a fact that I made some errors in sideboarding (particularly in match 2, game 2) but had a lot of fun realizing the alternative potential to things that are clearly included to be used against other decks.
In the end, the deck went 4-1 in 5 matches, only three of them recorded, against decks ranging from tier 1 to tier 2. This deck plays a “fair-er” version of a tron ramp strategy with some more control-like elements in Skred, Bolt, and Volcanic Fallout instant-speed removal and Relic of Progenitus graveyard control. The payoff is that you get to finish BIG with Batterskull, Stormbreath Dragon, Wurmcoil Engine, or Ugin if things go as planned. I give credit to Adonis2k for this particular version.
I’m really loving the card Scab-Clan Berserker. A 2/2 haste that can put the opponent in a lock at low life totals when renowned is exactly what red aggro needed. In conjunction with Eidolon of the Great Revel, it’s even more brutal. While some may argue that the card is better suited for a sideboard to be brought in against control, it’s become the focus of this standard deck that was originally built around the card Abbot of Keral Keep.