Last week someone on Facebook posted a Modern Four-Color Superfriends list to my wall from the SCG Classic and suggested I play it for some videos. The deck definitely looked sweet, having 17 planeswalkers, and I was immediately intrigued by it. Seeing that it was piloted by my good buddy and judge, Chris Lansdell, I figured I would reach out, see how he did, whether he would make any changes etc.

He got back to me letting me know he went 5-3 in the event, and did actually make a couple changes. This was the list he sent over.

4 Arbor Elf
3 Birds of Paradise
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
1 Sylvan Caryatid

1 Chandra, Flamecaller
2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
1 Deploy the Gatewatch
3 Doubling Season
3 Jace, Architect of Thought
1 Kiora, Master of the Depths
2 Nahiri, the Harbinger
1 Nissa, Vital Force
2 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
4 Oath of Nissa
1 Ral Zarek
2 Tamiyo, Field Researcher
1 Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
1 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
4 Utopia Sprawl
1 Xenagos, the Reveler

2 Breeding Pool
1 Fire-Lit Thicket
1 Flooded Grove
4 Forest
1 Sacred Foundry
3 Stomping Ground
3 Temple Garden
3 Windswept Heath
3 Wooded Foothills

1 Ajani, Mentor of Heroes
1 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
1 Gideon Jura
2 Rest in Peace
1 Karn Liberated
2 Leyline of Sanctity
1 Mark of Asylum
1 Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker
3 Idyllic Tutor
2 Worship

Truth be told, the deck he sent over had 61 cards, but when I called him on it, he suggested I could cut a Sylvan Caryatid. The list posted to my wall had an extra Sylvan Caryatid, a Gideon Jura, one less Kiora, Master of the Depths, and one less Jace, Architect of Thought. So not too many differences. Thankfully Oath of Nissa makes it criminally easy to cast our planeswalkers. Let’s see if we can get away with it.

While Chris may have done quite well with the deck, it’s certainly lacking something against the more popular Modern metagame. That aside, it was extremely thrilling to immediately ultimate a Tamiyo, Field Researcher, cast two more Doubling Seasons for free, cast Nahiri, the Harbinger, ultimate her for Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, cast Jace, Architect of Thought, ultimate him, and have our opponent concede.

And while all that was thrilling, it was definitely hard to accomplish. It’s possible we faced an over abundance of counterspells in the matches we played, but that, along with the deck feeling pretty weak to multiple large creatures on the board at the same time, seemed like the deck’s two shortcomings. We have Boseiju, Who Shelters All for instants and sorceries, and we have Cavern of Souls for creatures…I suppose I long for the day we have a land that makes planeswalkers uncounterable. Or rather, that’s what I say now…

One of the main cards I was skeptical about was Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. He just seems like a poor choice in the main deck, considering his exile ability is likely going to exile everything from our Utopia Sprawls to our planeswalkers themselves. I was never really impressed with Ral Zarek either, but to be fair, I wasn’t able to cast him our matches. I’m still pretty familiar with the U/R planeswalker, and I don’t think he really forwards our game plan the same way some of the other ‘walkers do. I feel like, with the inclusion of Utopia Sprawl especially, Garruk Wildspeaker is shoe in for this deck. He also provides us with beasts that are efficient at holding down the fort against things like Kiln Fiend.

Ultimately, when the deck works it’s a thing of beauty. But when you end up a little too slow or a little too hindered to go off…it’s bad times, dying with a grip full of planeswalkers. Then again, maybe we just played against too many counterspells, as I mentioned. Who knows? Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you next week!

Frank Lepore
Freshly Brewed Podcast with Ali Aintrazi (available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio)