Hello Modern Monday Fans!

This week Frank Lepore played a Modern Brew, created by none other than Jim Davis of SCG fame. Jim was kind enough to do an interview with us via email to provide fans of the deck some additional insight from its creator.

Can you tell us a little bit more about your weekly challenges and what prompted you to create this deck?

Thursdays on my stream are known as Challenge Thursdays, and during the week people submit to me deckbuilding challenges via Twitter using the hashtag #JDCT. These challenges are typically for Standard or Modern, and can have to do with building around certain cards or with other odd deckbuilding restrictions (singleton, only rares, 100 card deck, etc). Then I pick the five best ones and they go into a poll that goes up in my article on Thursdays at 11am. The poll remains open till 6pm, and when it closes I have one hour to build a deck for the winning challenge; the stream goes live at 7pm.

The challenge that made me build this deck, submitted by @Tomdon0783, was simple: “Build a Modern deck with four copies of Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver.”

Can you describe each of the key interactions of the deck?

The deck is built around Ashiok being able to exile large amounts of cards, and then using those cards as fuel for the eldrazi processers. Cards like Delay and Nihil Spellbomb also help to exile cards and give even more value to the processors, which in turn present good control elements to help protect Ashiok.

How difficult is this deck to play?

With the deck being somewhat underpowered in comparison to other decks in the format, the deck requires some finesse to pilot. Knowing when you leave mana open for counterspells and mapping out your lines of play for future turns is very important.

How much practice does a person need to play this deck well?

As with almost all decks in Magic, the more practice the better. This deck probably would require more than average to master; it is obviously a fringe deck which means your cards are going to be on average weaker than your opponents, but you also gain value in the fact that your opponent’s are not going to be sure what you are doing.

What types of players should try this deck?

This is definitely a very fun deck for control players and for players who like scrappy decks that come together very nicely. Being a fan of Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver and stealing your opponent’s expensive cards doesn’t hurt either.

How has the deck performed for you?

While I went 4-1 in the league that I streamed for the challenge, it felt like the deck over performed a bit. I had just built the deck and had not played it before, but I was definitely pleasantly surprised with the result. Some of the decks interactions are definitely impressive.

How does it matchup against some of the most popular decks in the format?

The deck seems to perform better against the formats slower, fairer decks. Eldrazi should be okay as long as they don’t have a fast start, as Ashiok is actually quite good against them.

Which matchups are favorable? Slower fair decks.

Which matchups are unfavorable? Non-interactive fast combo decks.

Which matchups improve post board? Most overall, the deck tends to get better post board and there aren’t really that many specific cards that hate us out.

Which matchups become less favorable post board? Doesn’t seem to change too much.

Are there any changes you would make to the deck currently?

Relic of Progenitius is probably better than Nihil Spellbomb, which was chosen so the deck could play Snapcaster Mage. Removing those for Relics would be a good place to start. Having early interaction is also very important.

With SOI being spoiled do any of the new cards look like they might be a good fit?

Nothing jumps out for the deck.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your Magic accomplishments.

Name: Jim Davis
Age: 31
Location: Long Island, NY

I’ve been playing Magic for half my life and writing articles for www.StarCityGames.com for the last three years and counting. Most of my playing these days is on the SCG Tour and just last December I was able to take down The Player’s Championship. Awesome : )

Notable finishes:
24th Place – Pro Tour Prague 2006
8th Place – Grand Prix Dallas 2007
33rd Place – Pro Tour Honolulu 2009
2nd Place – SCG Invitational Indianapolis 2011
3rd Place – SCG Invitational Seattle 2014
1st Place – SCG Open Indianapolis 2015
1st Place – SCG Player’s Championship 2015
Bunch of other SCG Open Top 8s, PTQ wins, etc.

Any final thoughts?

While I probably wouldn’t take this deck to a serious event (at least without some major tweeking), the deck was an absolute blast to play and a really fun Modern brew. Modern isn’t a great format, but it does allow for some fun brewing and this deck fits right into that category. For something like Magic Online leagues or a local event this deck seems perfect.

– Jim

@JimDavisMTG on twitter