December 4, 2015

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A Higher Standard: Modern

Due to the GP Pittsburgh being a few weeks ago and the amount of successful modern tournaments I see everywhere I decided to write an article on my favourite modern deck even though I don’t currently like where modern is at all honestly. I hate that I could be playing 74 of 75 of a deck that did well last year and not have missed a beat. It’s the pure definition of stale. The high power level and unforgiving nature of the cards that leaves so little room for innovation. I hope that the next banned and restricted list brings us something unique to this modern format. I’m not here to talk about my disinterest in modern though. I’m here to talk about my main squeeze Splinter Twin. I have played the deck for years and have been around during all of its changes. The full combo version, the Jeskai, the Grixis, the tempo and that one week with 4 boomerang. I think it has all of the right tools to be the perfect deck for your local tournament and I’ll explain what I mean by that but first here is my list.

Splinter Twin by Andrew Robdrup

Creatures: (11)
Deceiver Exarch
Pestermite
Snapcaster Mage
Vendilion Clique

Spells: (26)
Serum Visions
Lightning Bolt
Remand
Cryptic Command
Spell Snare
Dispel
Electrolyze
Roast
Twisted Image
Splinter Twin

Land: (23)
Scalding Tarn
Misty Rainforest
Steam Vents
Stomping Ground
Sulfur Falls
Island
Mountain
Tectonic Edge
Desolate Lighthouse

Sideboard: (15)
Blood Moon
Engineered Explosives
Anger of the Gods
Ancient Grudge
Dispel
Keranos, God of Storms
Jace, Architect of Thought
Grim Lavamancer
Izzet Staticaster
Rending Volley
Spellskite

Now what makes this the perfect deck for a local tournament?

Its cards are flexible and its game plan is very proactive and has a good sideboard.

This deck has a turn 4 combo that can bail it out if it has no other choice and has cards like remand don’t care much about the textbox on your opponents’ cards. It also has the meanest sideboard card around Blood Moon. The fact that this can win games on turn 4 and in some matchups turn 3 by slamming Blood Moon means this deck is capable of more free wins then most decks.

The cards that tie this deck together are all super flexible, powerful cards as well. Serum visions lets you search for whatever missing piece you need and Lightning Bolt is just the best removal spell in the game. Then to top that all off you have catch all reactive answers like Remand and Cryptic Command. If all that wasn’t enough of a reason to play the deck it has a good matchup against all of the decks in modern that are considered cheap or budget and its worst matchup is a deck that plays 4 Tarmogoyf. That card is far from cheap and I would expect to only play against a couple ‘goyf decks in any given local tournament. One possible downside I could see about playing this deck is that absolutely everyone will have a sound tested sideboard plan against you, though they do not know how you will sideboard. Will you keep the combo in or will you board it out? It’s all about feel as the twin player. If I feel my opponent expects me to have no Splinter Twins after sideboard I might keep a couple in to keep them honest.

When playing a format like modern you have to ask yourself a few questions. Can I beat fair decks? Can I beat unfair decks? Am I doing something unfair? I think your answer should be yes to all three if you want to succeed. You will struggle to find a deck that has as proactive of a game plan as twin does while also not crutching on that to a fault. Sideboards matter in eternal formats more than any other and Splinter Twin has it all. Brutal hoser cards like Ancient Grudge and Blood Moon. While still being able to adapt to very efficient answers like Dispel and Anger of the Gods.

This deck for me is about my turn 4 kill (Splinter Twin) and my turn 3 kill (Blood Moon). I know the modern format will be stale but let’s hope it’s kind of like semi-stale Cheetos (Which might be better than regular Cheetos) and not stale bread (Just bad bread)

(Dave) Use the discount code “Splinter Twin” to get 10% off all your MTG Singles before December 4th at www.wizardtower.com