This week Modern Monday won’t be streamed live, but rather will have all the videos included in this very article! Be sure to let us know whether you like this format better or not.

While I know we’ve taken a look at R/W Land Destruction/Prison decks in the past on Modern Monday, this week’s offering is a little more recent and also includes the Nahiri, The Harbinger combo along with Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. The following is the list we’ll be trying out, which was played by Theagent002 in not one but two Magic Online Leagues to 5-0 finishes.

3 Anger of the Gods
4 Arid Mesa
4 Blood Moon
4 Boom // Bust
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 Flagstones of Trokair
4 Goblin Dark-Dwellers
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Lightning Helix
4 Molten Rain
4 Mountain
4 Nahiri, the Harbinger
4 Plains
4 Rugged Prairie
4 Sacred Foundry
4 Simian Spirit Guide

2 Celestial Purge
2 Defense Grid
2 Kozilek’s Return
3 Leyline of Sanctity
1 Shatterstorm
3 Stony Silence
2 Wear // Tear

I’m always surprised there aren’t really any viable land destruction decks in Modern considering we have access to so many three-mana Stone Rain effects. Could this finally be the list that puts the archetype over the top? Well, I’m quite eager to find out.

The one problem I seem to realize when playing land destruction decks is that you kind of have to have your land destruction early. If you don’t draw the right amount of removal, lands, and land destruction, your opponent is simply going to escape your dastardly clutches and rebuild. This could not be more evident than in our game three against the Jeskai Control deck where, despite having both Defense Grid and Blood Moon in play, we were unable to prevent our opponent from either getting to six mana or from getting access to two white mana. As such, they were able to play Elspeth, Sun’s Champion and destroy us.

That brings us to the point of us not having any reasonable answers to cards like Elspeth. Once something like this comes down, we’re basically dead to rights. I could definitely see adding something like Oblivion Ring to the deck. Detention Sphere would be even better, getting rid of multiple copies of tokens, but that’s not something we can easily add unfortunately. I don’t think we need a ton of answers to problematic threats; one or two should get the job done. You could also see the issue against the Abzan Rites deck when our opponent was able to reanimate an Aurelia, the Warleader. We simply end up looking real silly against creatures that have more than three toughness.

Theagent002 seemed to make some changes to the list about a week later. There was another event that he managed a 5-0 finish in on May 29th. Some of the additions were a single [mtg_card]Wrath of God and a fourth Anger of the Gods. He also took out one Boom // Bust and exchanged one Mountain for one Needle Spires. The sideboard also looked completely different. I think these are all fine things to try. My issue came from the deck having 61 cards in it, which was a little suspect to me.

I see decks like this pop up quite frequently, and I always feel like there’s got to be room for something like this in the metagame. They can usually win a handful of games, and that’s without being truly perfected. While we didn’t do spectacularly, I’m always thrilled when we’re able to take all of our matches to game three. I never really felt like we were completely out of any games, and we always had live draws to hit. Despite managing two 5-0 finishes, we were unfortunately unable to emulate those results. While I’m not sure if a R/W Land Destruction deck is ready for prime time, the Nahiri / Emrakul combo is definitely a great addition to the shell.

That’s about all I have for today. Be sure to check back later in the week for another Magic Minute here on!

Frank Lepore
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