Every new set has a card or two that’s perfect for Modern. The card that received the most attention out of Amonkhet was Vizier of Remedies, promising to cure what ails ya. Well, you know, if the thing that ails ya is a -1/-1 counter.
The Vizier is an innocuous card by itself, especially when there aren’t many cards seeing play that put multiple -1/-1 counters on creatures. But once you start looking at formats with larger card pools, the combo potential begins to increase exponentially. Of course, that’s exactly what happened with the Human Cleric in conjunction with a little card called Devoted Druid. Magic Online user syounennAattyan took advantage of that fact when they piloted the following list:
This isn’t the first time Devoted Druid has been exploited in such a way. Back in the day, people would combine Devoted Druid with Quillspike to create infinite mana (along with an infinitely large Quillspike). Just like then, once you can find a way to mitigate the -1/-1 counter, you’re in business. The funny thing is that Quillspike is still legal in Modern, so the Devoted Druid combo doesn’t actually require the use of Vizier of Remedies, or even a second color. Heck, Quillspike even provides its own win condition, allow you to Fling it or something if need be.
With this version of the deck, your goal is to make infinite mana, find a copy of Duskwatch Recruiter, activate it infinite times until you hit a Walking Ballista, then kill your opponent with an infinitely large Walking Ballista. Alternatively, you could also search out Walking Ballista with Chord of Calling or Eldritch Evolution, causing it to immediately go to the graveyard, then get it back with Eternal Witness. You just need to find a way to get the Walking Ballista into your hand, so let’s see if we can manage it.
Okay, so I have definitely have some thoughts on this deck.
The first of which is that I love that it can theoretically go off on turn 3, and it isn’t even that difficult to do without opposition. Unfortunately, the second is that it’s criminally easy to disrupt this deck. A lot of your creatures have 1 toughness, cards like Anger of the Gods or Damnation are nightmares, and even a Leyline of Sanctity can spell death. Don’t even get me started on a well-timed Lightning Bolt or Fatal Push. Of course, this is the reason you have 4 copies of Spellskite in the deck, but every copy of Spellskite you draw is 1 fewer combo piece we draw, so it’s frustrating to have a full set of them.
Speaking of which, you have 4 Eldritch Evolution, 4 Collected Company, and 4 Chord of Calling. Yet, despite all these ways to find creatures, you don’t have a single silver bullet in the deck. No Reclamation Sage in the main deck. No Scavenging Ooze. While you have a bunch of 1-ofs in the sideboard, I feel like this makes the deck particularly vulnerable to certain strategies or cards.
My only other complaint is that you have 12 fetchlands and only 5 lands to actually fetch. This drives me crazy. If you ever open on 2 basics and a Temple Garden, every fetchland after the 2nd is a blank. I get wanting to thin out the deck, but this is a bit much. I would also add a couple copies of Gavony Township and a single Breeding Pool. The former lets you try to win by attacking, and the latter lets you activate Spellskite painlessly.
Could this be another mainstay in the Modern format? I’m not sure. It had a lot of power when it worked, but it also felt like it had a lot of weaknesses as well, unlike the Abzan Company lists. Either way, thanks for reading and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments!