Modern Kiki Control by TIEMUUU (4th Place - MTGO Modern Challenge)
It’s been a while since we’ve gotten to play Splinter Twin in Modern and while the namesake card is still banned, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker is not. This is a sweet take on an old archetype which has since got some new toys to boot.
Like original Twin decks, this is primarily a control deck – note that it only plays two copies of each combo piece. It’s relying on burn, counters and value creatures like Snapcaster Mage to lock down the game, with the combo as more of a finishing blow than a main plan (though it can also steal games that would be otherwise unwinnable).
The combo here is that Kiki copies Exarch, which untaps Kiki, allowing you to repeat the process and make infinite tokens. Kiki also works nicely with Crackling Drake or Snapcater Mage, making it a value play when needed.
Removal keeps the opponent’s forces at bay, and Snapcaster + Lightning Bolt can deal a lot of face damage out of nowhere.
The robust counter suite helps stop any unfair nonsense from the opponent and provides some good card draw at the same time. Remand is very efficient and all of these cards answer a wide swath of threats.
Snappy is at his best in decks like this and with tons of cheap spells plus Kiki, Snapcaster is really going to deliver.
I really like Valakut Awakening in this deck. You get to cycle away excess lands or situational spells and it helps find the combo nicely. Note that because of Valakut Awakening, Spirebluff Canal, and Riverglide Pathway that this deck is unable to play Mystic Sanctuary, which is an unfortunate loss.
All this deck wants to do early is interact, so look for hands that contain Lightning Bolt and Remand above everything else. It’s hard for this deck to come back from behind, so keeping hands that are too slow is dangerous.
Keep on the play, mull on the draw. This might look like it contradicts what I just said, but being able to tap a land or attacker on turn three, then Cryptic on turn four into combo on turn five is just enough.
Two cheap interactive spells? I’m in.
Mulligan. This hand doesn’t interact early, and can’t even Charm on turn three.
- Unlike actual Splinter Twin, you can combo all in one turn (since Kiki both has and gives haste) and Exarch can even start by untapping a land.
- Remand is worth using aggressively, as this deck just wants to draw out the game as much as possible. Don’t hesitate to snap it off early.
- Try and avoid playing Valakut Awakening as a land since it scales to be quite powerful in the late game.
- The opponent will often leave mana up to respect your combo, but you aren’t forced to go for it. Often you’ll want to just sit back and play the long game.
This style of deck is a lot of fun and combo-control always makes the opponent feel threatened. Plus, Kiki copying Snapcaster and Crackling Drake is too fun to pass up on.