With Core Set 2019 being out for a couple of weeks now, lets talk modern and the sweet new cards that will help build up some old decks and bring new light to some cool brews. The first deck to see some new light is Modern Spirits. May it be Blue White or Bant, the addition of Remorseful Cleric and Supreme Phantom has brought some new light to this fringe playable archetype.
In th modern Spirits archetype, lets first talk about Supreme Phantom. At 1U, this 1/3 flying Lord is what this deck needs. The strengths of tribal decks are their ability to make the smallest of fodder, into the mightiest of foes.
Early game flyers are usually a problem for most decks to deal with. Punching in for 2-5 damage early game with your Mausoleum Wanderer and Rattlechains while holding up a Collected Company and Spell Queller can be a nightmare for most players.
The one thing that separated Spirit from the other Blue based tribal deck, Merfolk, was the absence of lords(Creatures that give a buff to others of the same type). Merfolk uses 12 Lords in most modern builds. Being able to turn these little chump blockers into threats getting into the red zone can prove to be overwhelming for even the mightiest combatants like Gurmag Angler and Tarmogoyf. Now Spirits have access to 8 lords, 12 if you want to count Phantasmal image.
The Drogskol Captain has been Pulling his weight since Dark Ascension and now he has some breathing room. The mix of flexibility that the Spirits offer is impressive. Flash is such a powerful mechanic, being able to ambush your opponents through the use of Rattlechains then giving each other spirit flash and protection, the only thing that I see that is able to crush this flying menace is a board wipe. That should be easy. They can’t have an answer for that to. . . .oh yeah Selfless Spirit. This innocuous little devil can save the squad and clock in for 2 a turn.
The other new addition to the Spirits deck is the Remorseful Cleric. This Flying 2/1 for 1W has a unique ability “Sacrifice Remorseful Cleric: Exile all cards from target player’s graveyard” Now we’ve seen this ability on Artifacts like Tormod’s Crypt, but on a body, let alone a Spirit can be played at instant speed through Rattlechains or dropped in with Collected Company can really catch decks off guard like Living End, Dredge, and Mardu Pyromancer. For this guy he may see some mainboard play but I think that he will strive in the Sideboards as a hate card towards graveyard based decks.
Now we all know that this card would be brought up and that is Alpine Moon. A one drop Red Enchantment that reads “when Alpine Moon enters the battlefield, choose a nonbasic land card name. Lands your opponents control with the chosen name lose all land type and abilities and they gain “tap: add one mana of any color”. This card has great potential hate towards some on the more popular decks in the format right now, that being Tron and Scapeshift. These big mana decks have reigned terror on modern for a while and as a Jund player, Tron is one of my worst match ups. Hopefully being able to stunt the explosive start from this deck of Tron is enough time for me and other players to build up a foot hold so you’re not looking down a turn 3 Karn Liberated.
The other deck being Valakut, The Molten Pinnacle based looking to slam down mountains in one go with Scapeshift to deal you a large amount of damage in one go. On the other hand, with the reprint of Scapeshift finally making this deck more affordable, this might be a great deck to pick up. It was always the problem that name sake card costs around $55-$60 each but this reprint will help those Gruul player use the Valakut, The Molten Pinnacle to burn down their foes to cinders.
The biggest contender for spiciest deck would have to be Arcades, the Strategist, Walls matter. Now I’ve been a fan of big butts and I can not lie, from Doran, the Siege Tower to Tarkir block Assault formation, but Acarcades puts a new combo twist to the deck. The draw engine the Arcades brings, accompanied with the ability to make a large amount of mana is absurd. Whenever a creature with defender enters the battlefield you draw a card. Double dipping with Wall of Omens can make sure that your hand is always filled. The other key players in the deck are mana producers. With Sylvan Caryatid, Axebane Guardian, Wall of Roots, and Overgrown Battlement. Since all of our creatures are defenders, Axebane and the Battlements produce mana equal to the amount of defenders we control. Combine this with Freed from the Real to make infinite mana and either Genesis Wave your deck with a Laboratory Maniac and win with a draw trigger from arcades or Wall of omens.
This take on Modern walls seems to be a unique look on the game a for some fringe players will sleeve up this deck and take it to a FNM or Modern Event.