LSV’s Play: Modern Death’s Shadow

Welcome back to What’s the Play?

Last time, you were being attacked by a motley crew of Death’s Shadow, Wild Nacatl, and Monastery Swiftspear. Let’s take a look.

The Situation

Here’s the game state:
Yup, they are still coming at you. What’s your plan?
The first thing you should worry about in a situation like this is what the opponent could have. The deck you are facing has a lot of combat tricks, and given that they didn’t play a land to attack with Steppe Lynx, 5 spells in hand.
The most dangerous card they could have is Temur Battle Rage, especially in conjunction with Mutagenic Growth. With those 2 cards, the Death’s Shadow hits for 20, which is not a small amount of damage. Because the opponent is on 2 mana, they can’t have Battle Rage plus any other trick, so you should start by playing around Growth plus Rage.
Luckily, you have a lot of options, and enough of a board presence that it’s worth playing around these 2 particular cards. When your opponent makes an attack that goes as poorly as this one without tricks, you are best served by assuming they have some.
One obvious block is to line up a Finks on the Wild Nacatl. It takes out Nacatl, and leaves you with a 2/1.
The Monastery Swiftspear is going to end up as a 2/3 or 3/4, and often enough a 3/4 that you shouldn’t try and kill it in combat. Throwing a Spirit in front will suffice.
That leaves the Death’s Shadow. The first thing you need to do is make sure you survive. You can’t play around double Mutagenic Growth + Temur Battle Rage, so assume they have one of each.
Besides surviving, you also want to have lethal on the swing back, if possible. A solution that gets you both is to block Death’s Shadow with the other Kitchen Finks. If the opponent has Battle Rage + Mutagenic, you survive, despite it being a 10/10 double strike trampler being blocked by a 3/2. First strike deals 2 to the Finks and 8 to you, which persists the Finks and puts you to 12. You then take 10 more trample, falling to 2 (which is then 4 after the other Finks persists). On your turn, you Abrupt Decay a Steppe Lynx and swing for lethal (remember, the opponent paid 2 life to Mutagenic Growth).
Granted, the opponent may not have these cards, and may not go for it if they do, but that still leaves you in a decent position, all while playing around the most dangerous combination they could assemble.

My Play

Block Death’s Shadow with Kitchen Finks. Block Wild Nacatl with Kitchen Finks. Block Monastery Swiftspear with a Spirit token.


Have a sweet scenario of your own? If you think you can stump the readers (and me) then send it to [email protected]*, or via Twitter—just send a screenshot @LSV and I’ll be happy to take a look!

*Please keep your answers in the comments below, and not in my email inbox—I love reading through these responses, but I wouldn’t want to lose any good submissions amid the answers. Thanks!

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