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December 14, 2016

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10 Cards that should be in Modern

Howdy Budget Lovers! This week, sadly, I’m not bringing you a Budget Brew decklist where we try to make jank semi-playable. Fret not though! Next week we’ll be back with your regular program. Instead, since I’ve been knocked over the head with Christmas at my day job by people picking up their Christmas packages while “Feliz Navidad” plays over the loud speaker, I’m in a bit of a Christmas mood. All I want for Christmas is some changes to the Modern Format.

Why do we need changes to Modern?

Well, it’s true, some say we don’t need any changes to the Modern format at all. Others say the format is broken beyond repair. It is, without a doubt, Magic’s most controversial format. Why? Well, I think it’s because for the longest time Wizards has said they wanted Modern to be a “Turn four” format. The crown prince of this was the Splinter Twin deck. It played a control-ish game, until it combo’d, but never before turn four. Sure, we had a few decks pop up here and there that broke the Turn 4 rule, but for the most part they were glass canon decks that never put up consistent results until the SCG Tournament when Amulet-Bloom took up like 50+% of the Top 8 and the next weekend the deck was slaughtered out of the format with bannings.

However, Modern is now more of a wild west that ever before. We have decks like Death’s Shadow Aggro, Infect with Blossoming Defense and Become Immense, and Bant Eldrazi that can usually do some pretty unfair things by turn three. Turn two Thought-Knot Seer into Turn three Reality Smasher anyone? There is fast mana, there is very little use of permission spells and decks, and there are explosive draws that give you twelve power on the board by turn two thanks to the Dredge mechanic.

Ever since the Splinter Twin ban, I don’t think I’m alone in thinking the Modern format has gone a bit downhill. Mind you, I was never a Splinter Twin player, and thanks to it being banned, one of my favourite decks (Ad Nauseam+Angel’s Grace combo) has gotten better in the meta. Right after we had a Twinless format, we had the nightmare of Eldrazi Winter. People just weren’t having fun in the format. Many persevered, myself included. At the time I was trying to play a Jeskai Geist of Saint Traft deck but was not having a very good time.

I do believe, that the format can be great. The difference between Legacy and Modern is that while Legacy is full of decks that can win on turn one, Legacy, on average, lasts more turns than a game of Modern. This is why I don’t think a card like Force of Will would be very good in the current format.

I want to take a look at ten cards that I think would be good for the Modern format. These are cards that could either be unbanned or reprinted to be legal in Modern. I’ll give my thoughts for each card and explain why I feel they would be good for the format. I’d love to hear how wrong and terrible you think I am. Just leave me a comment.

10.

On the surface, this card wouldn’t do too much, really. It would stop Goryo’s Vengence decks in their tracks, as well as the new Dredge menace. It would also stop some fringe playable decks like Elves and slow Aether Vial decks down. All in all, I think the card would be good the format without really warping it in a bad way. Good-bye Turn two Emrakul, you shall not be missed.

9.

This comes with some strings attached. We’d have to get rid of Dryad Arbor if we allowed Green Sun’s Zenith into the format. Green Sun’s Zenith into Dryad Arbor turn one of a game is too strong of a play. However, I believe a green creature tutor would be fine for the format, and certainly not back breaking. Green players everywhere would certainly love it, and it might do something to give a bump in the playability of Elves.

8.

Here’s a card that see’s a ton of play in other formats. The 1/1 deathtoucher that draws you a card is something that can slow down the hyper aggro decks. They would not want to run their Glistener Elf into something with death touch that could possibly also draw you more removal. When it comes to Sultai (BUG), there’s nothing playable in the Modern format, and I think that that’s a travesty. I believe Baleful Strix might be the first step into making the colour combination playable in the lawless wasteland of Modern.

7.

Now, this is one I might get some heat over, and I accept that. People might think that this should probably be Force of Will, but I tend to think the same way as Ryan Overturf. Force of Will would not stop the already good decks, it would just slot into them. Do you want to play against a Blighted Agent with Force of Will backup? I certainly don’t. Because Counterspell cost two blue mana, only some decks will be able to play it. Including it into Modern could give those Draw-Go players some gas to stall the game out. Quite frankly, I don’t care if Wizards doesn’t like Draw-Go as an archetype, there are players who like to play that way, and they should give the people what they want. Fellow MTGCanada writer Andrew Crossett argues that Flusterstorm should be considered over Counterspell, but that just sounds gross.

6.

That’s right, I said it. Stoneforge Mystic is a beast of a creature, that dies to every piece of removal in the format. Now, I am adding a bit to this one. This card can only be unbanned if we ban Batterskull. In Legacy, Stoneforge Mystic is always either searching up Umezawa’s Jitte or Batterskull depending on board state. Umezawa’s Jitte would be too good in Modern and Batterskull sooner than turn five seems busted. Making the swords playable in Modern? That seems like an idea I can get behind though.

5.

Step two to making BUG playable in the format, would be releasing Hymn to Tourach into the wild. Whispers of Emrakul pales in comparison. How do you stop hyper aggro decks from “combo”ing and blasting you for ten infect on Turn Three? You destroy their hand. Control the hand, control the game. Plus including Hymn to Tourach could bring 8-Rack to Tier one status.

4.

It’s been a long time since Jace, the Mind Sculptor has seen the light of day in a non eternal format. So, let him out. I loathe to say the format needs Brainstorm but a Brainstorm effect on a planeswalker you can easily deal with might be okay? He’d certainly help slow the format down.

3.

Path to Exile is just a bad card. Anything that gives your opponent an advantage in the mana department, can’t be good. It’s even worse when you’re pairing the card with soft permission like Mana Leak. Swords to Plowshares solves this problem. It gives white a hard removal spell that doesn’t net your opponent mana advantage. It may give them a bit more life, but if you’re playing a control deck you don’t really care, once you have control of the game, you’ve won it.

2.

Hold your tomatoes. This is a card I genuinely feel could be good for the format. It’s not Treasure Cruise which, I admit, was broken as hell, but it’s something that costs one more mana and nets you only one extra card. This card helps two fold, it helps control decks find answers, which is something I believe they need in the modern format, but it also helps Combo decks do more than just spin their wheels. In the Top four of the tournament at my LGS it was me versus Andrew Crossett. I was playing Ad Nauseam and he was playing Goryo’s Reanimator (or whatever you’d like to call it). Game two, we were both in a long stall, just waiting to see who could draw their combo piece first. This sort of game play is boring for everyone involved. If we had Dig Through Time available to us, we would have been able to end the game sooner.

1. or

Enough of Serum Visions already. In my playgroup we have a little joke where when we play it, we announce our play as “worst card in Magic.” I’m really not sure which of these two options would be better for the format as a whole, but I solemnly believe we need a better cantrip than Serum Visions.

So, there you have it. Maybe Santa will be nice to me and let me have some of these changes (which, if he does… it looks like I’m moving to Esper Control), and surprise surprise I didn’t include Second Sunrise anywhere on the list. Although, I do believe that would be an “honourable mention” card.

What cards do you think I’m wrong about? What cards would you like to see in the format? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for joining me while I try to Untap the Multiverse! Have an idea for something you’d like me to brew up? Give me a shout in the comments!
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Twitter – @maibuddha