Once again we will have all the videos included in this very article for this week’s Modern Monday! Be sure to let us know whether you like this format better.

Welcome back to another Modern Monday. This past weekend at the SCG Classic in Worcester, there was a rather spicy little number that showed up in 10th place. Daniel Ward apparently did pretty well with the following list that looks like one of the more unconventional decks I’ve seen in the format in quite some time.

1 Pia and Kiran Nalaar
2 Thopter Spy Network
4 Hangarback Walker
3 Izzet Charm
1 Trading Post
1 Sulfur Falls
3 Spellskite
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Spreading Seas
1 Tezzeret the Seeker
4 Simian Spirit Guide
1 Academy Ruins
2 Steam Vents
1 Vedalken Shackles
2 Darksteel Citadel
4 Chalice of the Void
1 Welding Jar
4 Flooded Strand
1 Polluted Delta
1 Mountain
8 Island
4 Ensnaring Bridge
4 Blood Moon

1 Pia and Kiran Nalaar
4 Anger of the Gods
2 Swan Song
1 Trading Post
2 Negate
1 Sudden Shock
1 Wipe Away
1 Pithing Needle
1 Welding Jar
1 Pyrite Spellbomb

Yes, you’re reading that right. That’s definitely two copies of Thopter Spy Network in the main deck. With cards like Vedalken Shackles, Blood Moon, Chalice of the Void, and Ensnaring Bridge, this is mostly a prison deck with a little artifact sub-theme. Honestly, I’m most excited about the Thopter Spy Network as that was one of my favorite Magic Origins cards and I imagine we’ll rarely be hard-pressed to have an artifact in play. Let’s see if we’re correct.

Man, I was so excited about playing this list, but these matches definitely didn’t go our way. In fact, I even played another match against Mono-Green Aggro, and it crushed us that time. Unfortunately, while I love some of the individual cards, this list seems to suffer from the same problems that many “prison” decks do.

Blood Moon is an amazing card, but there are definitely matches where the card is simply dead. Ensnaring Bridge is also an amazing card, but there are definitely matches where the card is simply dead. This is also true about Chalice of the Void, Vedalken Shackles, etc. For example, against the Burn list, our Blood Moons were simply blanks. In a format as aggressive as Modern, starting a game with two dead cards in your hand is a huge disadvantage.

The frustrating part is you never know whether or not to keep a hand with two Blood Moons in it because you don’t know what you’ll be up against. Similarly, we were rarely able to empty our hand quickly enough to effectively use Ensnaring Bridge. It happened sometimes, but often we kept having about three cards in our hand, which is typically too many. Simian Spirit Guide helped in this endeavor, but only just a little. I would definitely try playing some cheap cards that we can unload a little easier, such as Lightning Bolt or a counterspell like Remand or Mana Leak.

I really love the idea of this deck, and I was amazed at how effective Thopter Spy Network was. It was actually really good when it was online, and it’s surprisingly easy to get it going in Modern. I would love to try another version of this deck, maybe with black for Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas instead of red. I’m not sure if that would be better, but we don’t have much to lose. We also get access to things like Liliana of the Veil and Damnation. I could easily see running something like Dimir Signet or Talisman of Dominance.

That’s about all we have for this week. I hope you guys enjoyed the videos even if the deck itself fell a little flat for us. Be sure and let me know what you guys have found out and if your results differ from mine!

Frank Lepore
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