Bringing a Legacy Deck to Modern: Introducing Four-Color Snow

This weekend I’m battling in a Legacy tournament with 4-Color Snow Control, powered by Arcum’s Astrolabe and Wrenn and Six–and while looking at the list I realized how close the deck is to Modern! Kolaghan’s Command has never had huge success in Modern like it has in Legacy. That’s mainly because of the presence of premium artifacts like Chalice of the Void and Batterskull in Legacy, but also because it recurs cheap value creatures like Snapcaster Mage and Baleful Strix.

Now Batterskull is a thing in Modern with the unbanning of Stoneforge Mystic, and Ice-Fang Coatl is very similar to Baleful Strix, so let’s get down to it!

4-Color Snow Control in Modern

Andrea Mengucci

1 Blood Crypt
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Bloodstained Mire
4 Polluted Delta
4 Prismatic Vista
2 Scalding Tarn
2 Snow-Covered Island
1 Snow-Covered Swamp
1 Snow-Covered Mountain
1 Breeding Pool
1 Watery Grave
1 Steam Vents
2 Field of Ruin
1 Fiery Islet
1 Lonely Sandbar
3 Ice-Fang Coatl
4 Snapcaster Mage
2 Tasigur, the Golden Fang
3 Wrenn and Six
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
4 Arcum’s Astrolabe
4 Thought Scour
2 Fatal Push
2 Lightning Bolt
2 Thoughtseize
1 Dreadbore
3 Kolaghan's Command
1 Cryptic Command
2 Spell Snare
1 Force of Negation

3 Plague Engineer
3 Collector Ouphe
2 Crumble to Dust
1 Narset, Parter of Veils
2 Collective Brutality
2 Surgical Extraction
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Ceremonious Rejection

Wrenn and SixIce-Fang Coatl

We’ve seen Grixis Control in Modern, but thanks to Arcum’s Astrolabe and Wrenn and Six I think we can stretch our mana base to the limit and play four colors, adding the powerful Ice-Fang Coatl. Coatl is sometimes even better than Strix–for instance, against Jund and its Wrenn and Six, Coatl can come in before blockers and kill a Tarmogoyf on the spot before getting pinged off. Having three others snow permanents will be hard on turn 2-3, but much more doable later in the game.

Thought ScourSerum Visions

The biggest difference between the two formats is definitely the cantrips; Ponder and Brainstorm are great and let you go down to 20 lands, whereas here we’re forced to push the land count up to 24.

Thought Scour is cool with Wrenn and Six, along with fueling Snapcaster Mage and Kolaghan’s Command, which is why I think it’s better than Serum Visions–especially considering the very high number of fetchlands we’re playing.

Spell SnareForce of Negation

While in Legacy we’re used to 4 Force of Will, I don’t think we can afford to play 4 Force of Negation, as the noncreature clause is just too big a deal.

I do think that Spell Snare is amazing right–it deals with all the haymakers of the format: Wrenn and Six, Stoneforge Mystic, Snapcaster Mage, Thopter Foundry, and much more!

Field of RuinFiery IsletLonely Sandbar

Field of Ruin might even be better than Wasteland in some games, as it lets you still hit your land drops while disrupting your opponent’s plan with Wrenn and Six recursion. I also like how Lonely Sandbar and Fiery Islet interact with Wrenn, and since we’re playing Thought Scour, I think the value of adding these lands is very high.

I’m not sure if one shockland per kind is enough, and I’m not sure we can afford to play 4 Prismatic Vista in a deck with 4 colors and only 4 basics, but these are the small things that can be tuned.

The Sideboard

Modern after a format shakeup this large is the wildest metagame one can imagine, so it’s hard to build a proper sideboard. I’m focusing on Tron, Humans, Burn, and artifact decks, trying my best to have high-impact cards in those matchups, which is easy thanks to playing four colors.

I am very surprised Wizards decided to ban Faithless Looting, and I’m excited to play some fun, long and interactive games in a format that used to be fast and loose.


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