In my last article, I talked about how I believed Fatal Push was a great asset for Faeries. Today, I’m going to give you some more potential homes for it, as well as two new brews with cards from Aether Revolt.
You no longer need to play Lightning Bolt, so in theory you could just play straight U/B, but Lightning Bolt is still good and Kolaghan’s Command is still great with Snapcaster Mage, so there are still incentives to play Grixis. I started with Corey Burkhart’s list, and ended up here:
Note that I only have 3 Bolts but 4 Fatal Pushes, as I think Fatal Push is simply the better card if you’re not that interested in going to the face. This deck does pack a lot of incidental damage between Bolt, Countersquall, and Snapcaster, but even then I think Fatal Push is better. You could also not play Bolt and have red just for Command and sideboarding, and that wouldn’t be awful.
Thought-Knot Seer is a very powerful card if you pair it with Eldrazi Temple, but that’s not the easiest thing to do if you take into account the very tough mana commitments of the black cards. Once you paired that with the necessary splash for cheap removal, it was basically impossible to have a B/G/x version of Eldrazi. Now you don’t need to splash, so this becomes a possible build:
This deck also has a harder time turning on Fatal Push, since it doesn’t have that many fetchlands, but I think the card is still great even without revolt, and you can always use the normal “a creature died” mode. On top of that, it also works with Mishra’s Bauble (which also gets a bit worse without fetchlands, but between Grim Flayers, Tarmogoyfs, and Fatal Push, I think it’s good enough).
I’m unsure whether there should be some Tasigurs or Reality Smashers, but I think right now you have enough big creatures. If the metagame adapts too well to Fatal Push, though, both those cards become better.
Baral, Chief of Compliance
Originally, I had a portion of this article talking about how Baral could be the boost Storm decks sorely needed. With the Gitaxian Probe ban, however, Storm decks as we know them seem to be dead. That said, Storm always has a way of showing up again even after you think it’s down for good, and, if it does, then Baral is going to be a big part of it.
One of the problems for Baral originally was that you couldn’t afford to play too many creatures with Pyromancer’s Ascension and Past in Flames. Without Gitaxian Probe, however, I’m not so sure you even want Pyromancer’s Ascension. True, you will be less consistent and worse against control, but you’ll arguably be faster overall. To make up for the lack of resiliency, you can play a couple of Gifts Ungiven. Gifts doesn’t see play right now because it’s slow and clunky, but having 8 Electromancers makes it better and, with Probe banned, the goldfish speed of the format will be slightly lower, which should give you some time to set it up.
Gifts is very good at setting up turn-4 kills—if you go turn-2 Electromancer or Baral and turn-3 Gifts, you should win most of the time on turn 4 by getting Pyretic Ritual, Manamorphose, Desperate Ritual, and Past in Flames. I think it’s still possible to fizzle if they make all the right decisions with Gifts at this point, but having an extra copy of Ritual, Manamorphose, Past in Flames, Gifts, or Grapeshot should win you the game, and you’re drawing a ton of cards from Manamorphose through this all as well. It’s also possible to win turn 3 by going turn-2 Goblin, turn-3 Ritual and Gifts, but you need to have a lot of extra keys in hand for that to happen.
4 Barals might be excessive since it’s legendary, but you really want to have one stay in play, and if you do have one in play, then you probably don’t care about extra copies.
This list is a bit different than most Storm lists, but that’s because it doesn’t have the “must play 4-ofs” constraint that Pyromancer’s Ascension put on you. I’m experimenting with some Remands to compensate for the fact that the deck is now slower—they’re not bad with the Goblins and let you loot with Baral, but maybe they’re just better as Desperate Ravings.
3 mana for a 3/2 and a 2-casting-cost card is an amazing deal, and Modern is the best format to make use of that, both because it has powerful 2-drops to bring back and also because you have fetchlands to trigger revolt more easily. It gets even better when you realize that Rallier brings back permanents, not creatures, so you can bring back fetchlands, Seal of Fire, Tormod’s Crypt, Ghost Quarter, Qasali Pridemage, and so on.
There are many approaches to Renegade Rallier, including just jamming it in current Melira builds or incorporating an infinite combo with Saffi Eriksdotter and a sacrifice outlet (though I do not recommend trying it out on Magic Online as Saffi is currently bugged).
Another possibility is this brew by Caleb Durward (that I tweaked very, very slightly):
In this deck, you can use Renegade Rallier as an extra fetchland or Ghost Quarter, enabling some very fast starts with the landfall creatures. For example, you can go:
T1: Steppe Lynx.
T2: Plated Geopede, fetch, attack for 4.
T3: Fetchland, Rallier, get fetchland back, attack for 17, totaling 21 damage. You even have a spare mana up, in case you need to Path or Bolt a creature.
If you don’t get your burst draw, then you can simply use Rallier as a value card—3 mana for a 3/2 and a Tarmogoyf is great, and even a Wild Nacatl or Steppe Lynx isn’t bad. With Fatal Push replacing Path to Exile in many decks, it’s now more likely that your creatures are going to end up in the graveyard rather than in exile.
I’m also playing 2 Narnam Renegade from the new set, as basically Kird Apes with deathtouch.
That’s it for this installment, check back tomorrow for my Aether Revolt Prerelease Primer, and then my final Modern brews article, where I take a close look at Spire of Industry.