After a very memorable feature match, I was hoping Jhon Middlebrook would put together a nice run in the Charlotte Open so I could feature his unbelievably sweet deck in this space. Unfortunately, Jhon's day one came crashing down as Brad Nelson sucked all his game winning-energy, leaving him to play the Classics on Sunday.
But the Magic gods, with a significant assist from Middlebrook himself, would not let his deck go unnoticed, and he put together a nice little run in yet another gigantic Modern Classic, ending with a top 16 finish. So now I get the privilege of bringing you a masterwork in deckbuilding, and you get to giggle along to Brad's misery in the below feature match and leave today with the sense of wonderment, often threatened these days by the proliferation of decklists online that attracted us all to Magic in the first place.
Dubious Challenge up until now is a card that has lived up to its name. Giving your opponent the best creature of the pair while you commit all the resources to the effect is not a recipe for success. But Jhon was not deterred. He scoured far and wide to find a way to break the pseudo-symmetry of the card and lo and behold, his search bore fruit.
You see, while your opponent may end up controlling the creature, you still own it. So Flickerwisp and Glimmerpoint Stag send the once gifted creature Homeward Bound. (If you don't shed a tear at that clip, you're a monster.)
Now, instead of a downside, Dubious Challenge lets you get the best creature in your top ten a large portion of the time, and in Modern there is no shortage of awesome creatures to cheat onto the battlefield. Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and Griselbrand get the easy nods here, although Platinum Emperion is an important singleton that lets the deck sideboard Madcap Experiment for added redundancy.
Through the Breach rounds out the package, turning the deck into a reasonable combo deck reminiscent of the various Goryo's Vengeance decks but with no reliance on the graveyard, so you don't take splash damage from the presence of Grixis Death's Shadow and Dredge.
With no way to fix your draws or dig for pieces the deck is certainly a glass cannon, but it's still quite powerful and an ingenious bit of deckbuilding.
- 1 Platinum Emperion
- 4 Birds of Paradise
- 4 Flickerwisp
- 4 Glimmerpoint Stag
- 2 Noble Hierarch
- 4 Simian Spirit Guide
- 1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
- 4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
- 3 Griselbrand