Deck of the Day: B/W Aristocrats (Modern)

Aristocrats is one of the most off-the-wall decks to ever win a Pro Tour. It used creature sacrifice synergies to create highly synergistic draws that could compete with even the most powerful individual cards in the format.

Cartel Aristocrat is your main sacrifice outlet. You’re already getting a 2/2 creature for 2 mana, but the ability to force it through for extra damage or just sacrifice creatures when you can get value gives you an advantage as the game progresses.

Viscera Seer is smaller and doesn’t offer itself protection to get through for damage, but it is a sacrifice outlet that gives you a bit of value thanks to the scry. Seer is closer to a dead draw without any other synergy going on, but does allow you to go off.

Blood Artist and Zulaport Cutthroat give you an incredible effect for sacrificing creature after creature. As 2-mana creatures, it’s easy to get them onto the board early and often. Each of them are stackable, so the more you have, the more triggers you’ll accumulate whenever a creature goes to the graveyard. It doesn’t take many before you’re approaching lethal damage.

Champion of the Parish is your early clock. Get it down and set to work lowering the number of triggers you’ll need from your Blood Artist creatures. This deck happens to be running a large number of Vampires, including every Blood Artist that isn’t a Zulaport Cutthroat, so there’s a little bit of negative synergy there to potentially upgrade.

Doomed Traveler is a key piece of the puzzle. You’re getting two creatures for the cost of 1 mana if you have a sacrifice outlet, and the one left behind even has evasion. Getting multiple Blood Artist triggers for a single mana allows you to chain off quickly when you have an Aristocrat in play.

Every creature in this deck costs 1 or 2 mana, so Dark Confidant is just oozing with value. An unanswered Bob will put you in the driver’s seat to take the game, and you even have a ton of Blood Artist triggers to gain back any life lost.

Tidehollow Sculler is a cheap creature and excellent interaction. Disrupting your opponent, even for a single turn to take them off curve, is critical for success in Modern.

The real benefit to playing all of these 1- and 2-mana creatures is turning Return to the Ranks into the MVP of Aristocrats. Not only are you going to have a full board of creatures very early in the game thanks to your 27 creatures with CMC 2 or less, but killing them will only be temporary. Each creature acts as mana to fuel convoke, and you can usually combo off without too much mana thanks to the effect of the Aristocrats. A Doomed Traveler alone will give you multiple triggers off of each of your various Blood Artists, following that up by sacrificing all of your other creatures sets off the chain for Return to the Ranks to potentially deal 20 or more in the same turn.

Lingering Souls is just a great value card, but Blood Artists don’t mind whether your creatures are tokens or not. All of these extra creatures sitting around can lead to a ton of triggers, or you can get aggressive in the sky.

With Path to Exile to make sure you have removal for the scariest creatures of Modern, B/W Aristocrats is a deck I haven’t seen attempted often that packs a ton of power. With a sideboard full of discard, cheap removal, and Lilianas, B/W Aristocrats has the game to hang with Death’s Shadow and many of the top decks in the format. If you’re lucky, you can even catch the pilot streaming with his sweet brew!

B/W Aristocrats

Artemesis, 5-0 in an MTGO Competitive League

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