Yesterday was Modern Monday and, with our new format, we now stream the matches live on my Twitch channel on Monday, alerting readers of the deck we’ll be playing and of the stream itself in an article here on NumotGaming.

Then, on the following Tuesday (today), we post the matches for those who missed them along with our thoughts in article form.

The deck we’re looking at is another 5-0 finish from a League piloted by Magic Online user becle918. Death and Taxes is a pretty standard Modern deck, complete with a lot of disruptive creatures. becle918 went one step further and included disruptive Eldrazi as well, including things like Eldrazi Displacer and Thought-Knot Seer.

3 Eldrazi Displacer
4 Flickerwisp
4 Leonin Arbiter
2 Reality Smasher
3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
4 Thought-Knot Seer
4 Tidehollow Sculler
4 Wasteland Strangler

4 Aether Vial
4 Path to Exile
2 Thoughtseize

4 Caves of Koilos
4 Eldrazi Temple
1 Fetid Heath
4 Ghost Quarter
4 Godless Shrine
2 Plains
2 Shambling Vent
1 Swamp

1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Hallowed Moonlight
1 Kor Firewalker
2 Reality Smasher
2 Rest in Peace
3 Stony Silence
2 Sunlance
2 Thoughtseize
1 Zealous Persecution

Like most versions of Death and Taxes, your main game plan is to deny your opponent resources though things like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Leonin Arbiter. You get to cheat on mana yourself with cards like Aether Vial. Let’s see if it works!

It’s not often we go 5-0 in matches. Unfortunately we didn’t get to play in a League this week as they were apparently closed for this week’s Magic Online update when the bannings and unbannings are applied. Nevertheless, we still played five matches and we still won them all. This deck surprised me, and I wouldn’t even be opposed to playing it at my next Modern Event. I mean, we don’t have Eye of Ugin, but Thought-Knot Seer on turn three (or two as it were in some games) is still pretty insane.

As far as the deck goes, Death and Taxes is usually pretty solid. One thing I wish we had was some form of card advantage, but you don’t really need it. You’re usually able to disrupt your opponent faster than they’re able to our attrition us. The deck also has a ton of synergies, like being able to Flickerwisp anything from a Tidehollow Sculler to a Thought-Knot Seer. Being able to do this at instant speed thanks to Aether Vial is even better!

This is also the perfect deck for the three aforementioned creatures thanks to four copies of Wasteland Strangler. The only thing better than processing a card you’ve exiled with Flickerwisp or Tidehollow Sculler is processing a suspended card of your opponent’s like Rift Bolt, which were able to! I have to assume that becomes even more popular once Ancestral Vision shows up.

This deck actually impressed me a lot. It has a lot of efficient creatures and a lot of efficient tricks. I’m not too sold on the two random Thoughsiezes, but I’m not sure what we could replace them with. One suggestions was a Sorin, Solemn Visitor to offset some of the life loss. I don’t hate the idea. I think this is definitely a deck I’m going to toy with some before the upcoming Modern Grand Prix in Los Angeles on May 20th. Maybe I’ll even see you guys there. If so, be sure to say hi! There’s another month between now and then, and anything can happen. I’m pretty excited to see how the Modern format evolves in the coming weeks as a result of the recent changes.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll catch you on Friday with another Magic Minute!

Frank Lepore
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