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It's the week before Pro Tour Ixalan, which means my lips are sealed on the topic of Standard. Fortunately, Modern continues to get spicier and spicier with SCG Regionals coming, so there's plenty to talk about there.
- 4 Champion of the Parish
- 4 Kitesail Freebooter
- 4 Mantis Rider
- 3 Mayor of Avabruck
- 4 Meddling Mage
- 4 Noble Hierarch
- 3 Reflector Mage
- 4 Thalia's Lieutenant
- 4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
- 2 Thalia, Heretic Cathar
Collins nailed it, this deck looks great, and you can read about it straight from him here.
My initial impression is that this deck is very much the real deal, and Collins's undefeated record alongside Matt Ling winning the Modern Classic at #SCGDC this past weekend with a nearly identical list help to back that up like a garbage truck.
It shows how easy it is to immediately glaze over a new card's implications in Modern until someone champions it and finds a home for it. Then you see it in action. Maybe Unclaimed Territory can open the door for more tribes. Slivers, anyone?
This makes me both excited and a little terrified of the Modern Pro Tour.
I wonder what powerful Modern cards Rivals of Ixalan will bring to the table. I imagine that it's going to be interesting, to say the least.
Modern is usually slow to adapt to new decks in a set's first few weeks before the information cascades and more people get the cards to start playing the sweet new deck. Sometimes Modern cascades even lead to Bloodbraid Elf being banned.
Meanwhile, others begin to adapt their deck of choice to the new intruder. Today I'll look at both strategies, why you might want to just play Humans, and what decks have a shot of beating it.
So Humans looks a little gimmicky. I mean, it's a deck just full of a bunch of creatures, but it has a bunch going for it: tribal synergies that snowball, interaction on those creatures, great mana, and great starts with Aether Vial.
The key to the deck functioning is that it has a critical mass of ways to interact with your opponent's noncreature spells, which you wouldn't expect from a Humans deck. Kitesail Freebooter into Meddling Mage is a nice little combo, since you get to see their hand before naming what they can't cast, and that, along with Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, makes life especially miserable for a combo opponent.
Trying to find new cards to add to the deck is funny, since the best way to find new tech for Humans is just to search for the Human creature type in Modern.
Turns out there are plenty of great Humans that you probably even forgot were Human, such as Mantis Rider. I mean, I got second place at a Pro Tour playing a deck with Mantis Rider in it but forgot about the actual rider being the creature type. You think they would've gotten the hang of this by now, but Sunrise Seeker is still confusing me by not being a Dinosaur.
There are some options along the lines of Dark Confidant; Kambal, Consul of Allocation; and Auriok Champion and there are noncreature considerations as well, like Dismember or Path to Exile, but it's probably better to just play more Humans.
I'm more interested in seeing if we can take the concept further.