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Deck of the Day: R/G Vengevine (Modern)

Vengevine is a card that is just begging for someone to find broken things to do with it. Vengevine combined with madness creatures like Basking Rootwalla was enough to get Survival of the Fittest banned in Legacy, but I haven’t seen a successful shell for the card in Modern—until now.

Vengevine doesn’t ask much, but you need to be heavily focused on its simple requirements. You’re going to need discard outlets to get it into the graveyard, and cheap creatures to get them out of the graveyard. Modern has plenty of both.

The big new addition to put Vengevine on top is Hollow One. Hollow One is looking for a similar shell with lots of discard outlets so that you can get your 4/4s into play for cheap. When you’re able to discard cards, you can get Vengevines into the graveyard, and then you can cast Hollow Ones to get them back. All of these creatures have 4 power, so they’ll end the game fast.

Insolent Neonate is the perfect card for combining the need to discard and the need for cheap creatures. Neonate will put a key card into the graveyard and can also be cast for just 1 mana to bring your Vengevines back.

Street Wraith allows you to cycle without investing any mana, making your deck smaller to see more key cards, and giving you a free way to make Hollow One cheaper to cast.

Faithless Looting is your best discard outlet since it lets you dig deeper and it’s only a single mana to cast. Cathartic Reunion is still too good to not play the full playset in this strategy. Your “nut draw” is a turn-1 Faithless Looting, discarding a pair of Vengevines, cycling Street Wraith, and then deploying two or more copies of Hollow One onto the battlefield. This allows you to bring back both Vengevines, attack for 8, and have 16+ power in play for turn 2! While this isn’t the most likely of scenarios, a single Vengevine can still do serious work, and you have far more iterations of this type of draw on turn 2 when you have access to another mana.

 

You need more cheap creatures to trigger bringing Vengevines back from the graveyard even if you aren’t doing the completely busted things. Since you’re playing an aggressive deck, 1-mana red creatures fit the bill pretty well. Goblin Guide and Monastery Swiftspear can pressure your opponent if you aren’t going crazy with shenanigans.

Hooting Mandrills combos well with loading up your graveyard with discard and cheap creatures. A 1-mana 4/4 trampler is a great deal—just make sure not to exile the Vengevines.

Lightning Bolt is a premium removal spell and a great way to remove blockers or finish an opponent off. Your other spells give you even more combo elements. The Become Immense + Temur Battle Rage combo was a huge part of Standard a year ago, and Death’s Shadow Aggro in Modern when Gitaxian Probe was still around. This deck can fill the graveyard in a hurry and there are tons of 4-power creatures, so Become Immense isn’t even a requirement for the Battle Rage to be great!

This is an innovative deck that is absurdly powerful. It started off 10-1 in the last Modern Open before the wheels fell off, but it definitely has the stuff to be a player moving forward!

R/G Vengevine

Julian Grace-Martin, Top 40 at a Modern Open

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