Magic: the Gathering
Shardless Agent, the deck can improve its manabase even further, removing the white mana requirement for
Ardent Plea, making it significantly more consistent. Also, the fact that Shardless Agent is a creature has its perks, as the card contributes to the board's significant size when you play
Living End. But
Shardless Agentwas also played by another deck in this event:
Shardless Agentwould create new versions of Cascade to use cards like
Ancestral Visionor, in this case,
Crashing Footfallsas this card, with the Agent, symbolizes 10 power divided into 3 bodies for just 3 mana. The Adventures package again demonstrates its value as low-cost interactions that escape Cascade because of their cost. The same is done with another card just added to Modern:
Fire // Ice, which has a total cost of four mana.
Subtletyalso has its place on the list, as a great early game interaction that also serves as an evasive threat if needed.
Shardless Agentwas also played in Humans as an almost obvious inclusion which is infinitely better as a 2-for-1 effect than
Dauthi Voidwalkerhave proven to be powerful cards for eternal formats while
Counterspellhas proven its worth for at least two decades. And since the deck bets on the
Stoneforge Mysticpackage, the deck could not be missing a copy of
Kaldra Compleat, which competes with
Batterskullas the card you want to play using
Stoneforge Mystic's ability.
Ignoble Hierarchmakes the deck and its greedy manabase much more accessible for the format, and thanks to that, it's possible to be even more daring with your lands and bet on using Triomes to get all types of lands quickly, which enables a 5/5
Territorial Kavuon turn 2 or a
Scion of Dracoalso on turn 2. Another big addition to the list was
General Ferrous Rokiric, which in a deck with so many multicolored spells can create a veritable army of 4/4 Golems and needs to be answered immediately.
Imperial Recruiteras a tutor to a true toolbox-worthy range, while abusing ETB cards using
Solitude. Apparently, a free
Swords to Plowsharesis actually strong when you just need to hold the game or keep the edge at the table.
Solitary Confinementalong with
Sythis, Harvest's Handto create a soft -lock in the game that will usually be enough for players with aggressive decks to no longer win the game. On Sunday's Modern Challenge, we had the following Top 32: 4 Living End 3 Temur Cascade 3 Amulet Titan 2 Burn 2 Golgari Yawgmoth 1 Mono-Green Scales 1 Azorius Control 1 Ad Nauseam 1 Eldrazi Tron 1 Hammer Time 1 Crab Vine 1 Esper Control 1 Humans 1 Sultai Foodgaak 1 Sultai Shadow 1 Temur Turns 1 Esper Stoneblade 1 Dimir Rogues 1 Orzhov Reanimator And the Top 8: 1 Mono-Green Scales 1 Temur Cascade 1 Niv-to-Light 1 Golgari Yawgmoth 1 Sultai Foodgaak 1 Azorius Control 1 Ad Nauseam 1 Eldrazi Tron Plenty of new decks on Sunday too, with a slight advantage from the Cascade decks.
Goblin Lorewere the most talked about, but as there is no example in the Top 32 lists, I'll be using the Sultai version. Apparently,
Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar(yes, it was a copy & paste) is a much more playable card than it looks not just because it's a 3/3 creature for one mana if you can play it, but because it tutors
The Underworld Cookbook, which allows more interactions of discarding and creating tokens that can be used as removals by
Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar. However, the Food mechanics had great support in Throne of Eldraine, including
Feasting Troll King, which can be played from the Graveyard by sacrificing three food tokens. That is, if it's in your graveyard, you can essentially play it for free, just like you did with
Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis.
Urza’s Sagais probably the most powerful card printed in Modern Horizons II, living up to the set of the same name, being one of the most powerful sets in the entire Magic's history. First, because
Urza’s Sagais a land drop that starts by generating mana, so essentially it costs zero mana to play. Second because Saga's abilities go on the stack, so you can answer them. So, you can use the land's second ability twice, creating two Construct tokens that are at least 3/3 each because the last ability will tutor an artifact. Third, because the last ability allows you to search for
anyartifact with a cost of 1 or 0. And there's no shortage of options in Modern. Take, for example, this list of Mono-Green Scales (which is finally back after
Mox Opal's ban): you have
Zabaz, the Glimmerwasp,
Welding Jar, and
Pithing Needleon the sideboard. All of these cards are extremely relevant to the archetype, and the tokens produced by the land are unlikely to be just 3/3 creatures in this deck. And the usefulness of
Urza's Sagaisn't just limited to artifact-oriented decks.
Amulet of Vigorand
Colossus Hammerwhile also giving a body to wield it?
Dauthi Voidwalkeras a threat that can't be blocked with a relevant ability and
Counterspellhas led Rogues to be a competitively viable archetype within Modern as well, which means it is possible to have access to the archetype in practically all competitive formats.
Persistwith cards like
Archon of Crueltyor other old Legacy Reanimator Staples before
Griselbrandwas the main target:
Chatterstormwould bring Storm decks back into format.
Peat Bogalong with rituals and draw spells and is significantly more explosive than the other version as it includes a higher number of cheap rituals. On the other, you have Izzet Storm, which trades the speed that Rakdos Storm has for the consistency of better cantrips and the resilience of a more balanced and less susceptible manabase to cards like
Cleansing Wildfire, which have become quite popular by account of the new Artifact dual lands.
Sojourner's Companion, which essentially function as extra copies of
Myr Enforcer. Those additions and a significantly lower vulnerability against
Gorilla Shamantook the deck to the top of the format this week, which included representing 1/3 of Sunday's Top 32. Currently, there are two versions with great results: Izzet Affinity is the “pure” version of the deck, with a better and faster manabase and better access to cards like
Etherium Spinner, which has stood out for creating tokens that holds the creatures in Faeries decks pretty well while also increasing the affinity and expanding the board. The other version, which can be seen as the best version to play in an Affinity-oriented Metagame is Grixis, where
Disciple of the Vaultdoes an impressive job of making the mirror a much more favorable match. I even made a small deck tech of it this week, you can check it out here.
Cleansing Wildfireare great answers for decks with greedy manabases like Rakdos Storm, Tron or other decks, but now it becomes also a high-value play if you use it on your artifact lands, as you can get a basic land AND draw a card with it. Although using eight copies of this effect is somewhat overkill, Boros Bully seems relatively favorable in this format, as it has a good match against Faeries,
Cleansing Wildfireis a great response against Rakdos Storm, and the deck can use good hates against Affinity like
Dust to Dust. Other decks are even betting on this same proposal and having good results:
Esper Sentinelis much more powerful in Legacy than Modern because it's a more mana intensive format, and the deck also features cards like the original artifact lands,
Mox Opal, and
Ancient Tombto streamline your game. Also, the deck has a lot of card advantage with
Thought Monitor, which is essentially a
Mulldrifterfor 1 mana, and of course
Urza's Sagathat will single-handedly create bodies that will be huge in this deck since everything in it is an artifact, while it can seearch for
Retrofitter Foundry, which maintains a steady stream of creatures.
Endurance. The card was already considered good in format due to being a great answer against the
Doomsdaydecks, but the card is much better than it looks: the ability to shuffle graveyards is very relevant to deal with current threats that Delver has adopted such as
Dragon's Rage Channelerand
Murktide Regentwhile also being a body that offers a reasonable clock AND that blocks
Delver of Secretsitself incredibly well.
Dragon's Rage Channeleror
Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer? The answer, apparently, is
Dragon's Rage Channeleressentially works like your extra copies of
Delver of Secretswhich while a little harder to “transform”, at least on this list, generates a lot of value with the ability to Surveil 1 in a deck that plays various spells throughout the game. It even interacts incredibly well with
Delver of Secrets, where you can, for example, use a
Lightning Boltwith Delver's ability on the stack to look at the top card and ensure Delver transforms.
Ravagan, Nimble Pilfereris a powerful combination of card advantage and mana advantage in a format where spells tend to cost very little and mana is usually very efficient. It is a threat that needs to be answered or blocked, otherwise every turn it will be generating too much value. Finally,
Murktide Regent, which greatly compares with
Tombstalker, is far superior to its black counterpart that once was a Legacy staple in the past. The mere fact that it is a blue card and therefore a pitch for
Force of Willor
Force of Negationmakes it less punishing if you have multiple copies in hand than
Gurmag Angler, for example. Also,
Murktide Regentcommonly comes into play as at least a 6/6, which is a considerable clock in Legacy. This combination of cards has made Izzet Delver by far the best Delver version of the format, and it remains to be seen whether the other decks in the format can keep up and whether its natural predators can do a good job. Maybe it's a good time to play Hogaak in Legacy. By the way, I was playing Izzet Delver this week. So, you can expect a deck tech soon!
Song of Creationto create a Storm and draw engine with 0 cost spells or rituals replenishing the hand with
Echo of Eonswhen necessary. The deck gained
Strike it Rich, which works as another free spell, in addition to
Galvanic Relay, which essentially works like a “3 mana, draw a card in your next turn” with Storm in this archetype.