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The Modern Bible( Part 6 of 8) by Nick Rennard

Soul Sisters (heinhoi 3-1 Modern Daily Event 8-16-2013):

Manabase (21):

  • 13x Plains
  • 4x Flagstones of Trokair
  • 2x Mistveil Plains
  • 2x Tectonic Edge

 

Mainboard (39):

  • 4x Ajani’s Pridemage
  • 4x Martyr of Sands
  • 4x Ranger of Eos
  • 4x Squadron Hawk
  • 4x Serra Ascendant
  • 3x Soul’s Attendant
  • 2x Soul Warden
  • 4x Spectral Procession
  • 4x Honor of the Pure
  • 4x Path to Exile
  • 2x Chalice of Life

 

Sideboard (15):

  • 3x Rest in Peace
  • 2x Sundering Growth
  • 2x Stony Silence
  • 2x Ethersworn Canonist
  • 2x Renounce the Guilds
  • 1x Grafdigger’s Cage
  • 1x Day of Judgment
  • 1x Brave the Elements
  • 1x Blind Obedience

I’ll say a few nice things about this deck, but I want my readers to be aware that none of these positive features make up for how bad it is against a general field of competitive Modern decks. First of all, this deck has an extremely good match-up against aggro decks like RDW, dedicated combo Scapeshift, and RG aggro. It also has a very nice curve of turn 1 Serra Ascendant into turn 2 Martyr of Sands, which gives you a turn 1 6/6 flying, lifelinker that will easily win you many games. It also has access to Path to Exile, which is one of the best removal spells in Modern, but come on. Let’s be serious here. Even Jund has access to Path to Exile.

This deck sucks. It’s strictly a Tier 2 deck in Modern. You’ll occasionally see this deck 4-0 in Modern dailies or get Top 8 in a tournament, but that’s only because variance exists in the game of Magic. The only reason I wanted to include this deck in this list is because you will absolutely play against this deck plenty of times in your Modern career if you keep showing up to tournaments. The only reason that this deck attracts attention is because it’s extremely financially reasonable to buy into. Speaking from a competitive standpoint, if you’re looking to seriously get into Modern with a competitive deck, then I highly recommend you do not play this deck. You should be aware that this deck is in the metagame. You should understand how to play against this deck. You should not play this deck.

If you’re not a competitive player, or maybe Soul Sisters is all you have the money for, then I am going to go over where I would start taking this deck in order to attempt to become more competitive. This next deck list is one of my trusted testing partner’s valiant attempt at taking Soul Sisters to a competitive level.

Next-Level Soul Sisters (Ryan Richardson):

Manabase (24):

  • 1x Hallowed Fountain
  • 1x Godless Shrine
  • 2x Sacred Foundry
  • 4x Marsh Flats
  • 4x Arid Mesa
  • 2x Emeria, the Sky Ruin
  • 3x Flagstones of Trokair
  • 1x Mistveil Plains
  • 3x Plains
  • 3x Ghost Quarter

 

Mainboard (36):

  • 4x Path to Exile
  • 1x Figure of Destiny
  • 4x Martyr of Sands
  • 4x Serra Ascendant
  • 3x Hide/Seek
  • 4x Lightning Helix
  • 4x Squadron Hawk
  • 2x Proclamation of Rebirth
  • 3x Ghostly Prison
  • 3x Supreme Verdict
  • 4x Ranger of Eos

 

Sideboard (15):

  • 3x Dryad Militant
  • 1x Ethersworn Canonist
  • 1x Ghostly Prison
  • 1x Hide/Seek
  • 4x Leyline of Sanctity
  • 3x Stony Silence
  • 1x Meddling Mage
  • 1x Supreme Verdict

Unlike the previous Soul Sisters list, this deck isn’t actually playing that many individually bad Modern cards. Path to Exile, Lightning Helix, Supreme Verdict, and Ranger of Eos are all key players in Modern. As I also mentioned about Soul Sisters, I do think that turn 1 Serra Ascendant into turn 2 Martyr of Sands is an extremely powerful curve. Maindeck Ghostly Prison is also extremely annoying for a lot of decks to deal with (the best example is Splinter Twin). It also has access to some awesome sideboard cards like Stony Silence, Hide/Seek, more Supreme Verdict, and Leyline of Sanctity (which I think is a highly undersideboarded card in Modern). Proclamation of Rebirth and Emeria, the Sky Ruin also gives you quite a bit of inevitability against fair decks (assuming they can’t just exile all your creatures with a Scavenging Ooze). One of my testing partners worked with this list for a while, but his overall conclusion was that it just wasn’t viable enough to be competitive. However, there are a lot of good ideas going on in this deck, so I think it’s a good shell of a deck to keep in mind as we start seeing new cards get spoiled in the new sets to come.

GW Hate Bears (_Soku_ 6-0 Modern Premeir 8-19-2013):

Manabase (24):

  • 4x Temple Garden
  • 4x Ghost Quarter
  • 4x Razorverge Thicket
  • 3x Forest
  • 3x Tectonic Edge
  • 2x Stirring Wildwood
  • 2x Horizon Canopy
  • 2x Plains

 

Mainboard (36):

  • 4x Aether Vial
  • 4x Noble Hierarch
  • 4x Path to Exile
  • 4x Scavenging Ooze
  • 4x Leonin Arbiter
  • 3x Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
  • 3x Voice of Resurgence
  • 4x Loxodon Smiter
  • 3x Aven Mindcensor
  • 3x Wilt-Leaf Leige

 

Sideboard (15):

  • 3x Mirran Crusader
  • 3x Kataki, War’s Wage
  • 2x Dismember
  • 2x Melira, Sylvok Outcast
  • 2x Qasali Pridemage
  • 2x Thrun, the Last Troll
  • 1x Torpor Orb

 

One strength of this deck is that its creatures are all a little awkward to deal with in one way or another. They all sort of protect themselves. For example, Loxodon Smiter avoids counterspells and two very common removal spells in Modern: Lightning Bolt and Lightning Helix. Thalia makes their removal spells cost an extra mana. Voice of Resurgence needs to be removed twice (kind of) and highly encourages them to deal with your threats at sorcery speed. Wilt-Lief Liege and Loxodon Smiter are also both very good against a key player in Modern: Liliana of the Veil (although I feel that most Liliana’s that come down are going to start with a -2). The interaction of Ghost Quarter and Path to Exile with Aven Mindcensor and Leonin Arbiter certainly gives it quite a bit of interaction with your opponent’s lands, especially when you factor in the Tectonic Edges. This is extremely useful against decks with relatively greedy mana bases like UWR, Jund, and Tron.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of this deck because I feel that it’s so weak to wrath spells like Supreme Verdict, Hallowed Burial, Damnation, etc. I also feel that a lot of the deck’s “annoying” tendencies (like Aven Mindcensor and Leonin Arbiter effects) are reasonable easy enough to avoid, and also a little too situational for my taste. This deck is also weak against Path to Exile and other efficient removal spells. Obviously, when those cards aren’t seeing a ton of play, then this deck increases in playability. I feel that most fair decks in Modern, like Jund and UWR, are going to be significantly more consistent and versatile against the overall metagame. The recent addition of Scavenging Ooze and Voice of Resurgence to this deck certainly makes it better, but I’m still not sure I would call it any better than a Tier 2 or Tier 1.5 deck. Let’s call it Tier 1.75.

Moving forward with a deck like this, I definitely feel that 4x Horizon Canopy is the right number. It seems like this deck does a fine job of commanding the battlefield with big creatures, and I have trouble seeing that the life loss could be THAT relevant. Financially speaking, Horizon Canopy is also a $20 on MTGO, so that could be the reason for only seeing 2 present in this specific list. Stirring Wildwood also seems like a good manland that I would consider bumping up to more than a 2-of.

 

Ad Nauseum Lightning Storm (hunsakr 4-0 Modern Daily Event 8-15-2013):

Manabase (23):

  • 3x Seachrome Coast
  • 3x Marsh Flats
  • 3x Island
  • 2x Watery Grave
  • 2x Gemstone Mine
  • 2x Darkslick Shores
  • 2x Scalding Tarn
  • 2x Misty Rainforest
  • 1x Plains
  • 1x Hallowed Fountain
  • 1x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
  • 1x Boseiju, Who Shelters All

 

Mainboard (37):

  • 3x Simian Spirit Guide
  • 4x Ad Nauseum
  • 4x Angel’s Grace
  • 4x Serum Visions
  • 4x Lotus Bloom
  • 4x Pentad Prism
  • 3x Phyrexian Unlife
  • 3x Pact of Negation
  • 2x Sleight of Hand
  • 2x Mystical Teachings
  • 1x Desperate Ritual
  • 1x Lightning Storm
  • 1x Slaughter Pact
  • 1x Peer Through Depths

 

Sideboard (15):

  • 3x Leyline of Sanctity
  • 3x Thoughtseize
  • 3x Path to Exile
  • 2x Silence
  • 2x Echoing Truth
  • 2x Torpor Orb

This is a deck that has popped up in popularity on MTGO recently. I don’t think that this is a very good or consistent deck, but it definitely does powerful and interesting things (like drawing its whole deck in one turn). It’s also good to be aware of how this deck works because when you face it, it will look like they are doing nothing until they draw their whole entire deck and kill you in one turn. My testing partners and I have been brewing with Angel’s Grace and Phyrexian Unlife in combination with Spoils of the Vault and Ad Nauseum for quite a while now. This combination of cards is definitely one of the more powerful and unique combinations that you will see in Modern, but I still think that this deck has quite a bit of room for improvement. If you’re looking for a deck to go deep with brewing, then I highly recommend looking into this deck (e-mail me your ideas, I love brewing with these lists). There are plenty of cards that are interesting candidates for a deck like this. We’ve looked into Infernal Plunge, Death’s Shadow, Pull from Eternity, Laboratory Maniac, Children of Korlis, and a myriad of other options for a deck like this, but it always felt like it was just too easy to shut down the combo with hand disruption and counterspells.

Thanks for Reading!

-Nick Rennard

 

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e-mail: nickrennard@yahoo.com