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It's there. It's twelve moves away, but it's there.
Search for Azcanta has already proven itself a winner in Standard despite how hostile a world it is for non-Energy cards. However, the prophecy of a Modern Azcanta deck has been coming to fruition as well. Now the question is, what's the best home for it?
Despite initial interest in the card as a tool for Scapeshift, R/G builds with Hour of Promise have been winning in the court of public approval, such as the list Rebecca Adlman piloted to a Top 8 finish at this past weekend's Classic:
Off-color Leyline of Sanctity?
Like, just on some "quasi-Leyline of the Void free wins" type of time?
As for Search for Azcanta, the most popular and successful way to make use of the card so far has been in Jeskai Control. A new breed of Jeskai Control decks using the card as an alternative to planeswalkers has been all the rage, cashing in the hands of several pilots this weekend.
Here's Ali Aintrazi's take on Jeskai Control with Azcanta:
Search for Azcanta further pushes this list in the direction of being a nearly pure control deck, seeking to render the opponent helpless before eventually sifting through your whole library with Azcanta tofind the lone Secure the Wastes.
You've lost. You just don't know it yet.
Ali's list has a few tweaks that give it a little different texture than most. For instance, rather than all Snapcaster Mages, as is common, Aintrazi features a split with Torrential Gearhulk. The Gearhulk is just such a bigger body for defending yourself with and a much faster clock. Besides, when you're flashing back Cryptic Command, they both cost six anyway.
Already playing a full playset of Cryptics, Aintrazi actually goes even further and packs a pair of copies of Glimmer of Genius. Despite no Energy synergies, Glimmer of Genius is just an excellent way to convert the four mana you left open to threaten Cryptic Command into an advantage.
While Logic Knot is nothing new, not all that many decks have been able to pack so many. Search for Azcanta does a pretty good job of stocking our graveyard with cards, however, letting us use our two-mana Counterspells reliably, in the mid and late game (unlike Mana Leak and Remand).
I love the use of Field of Ruin over Ghost Quarter or Tectonic Edge here. It's a little greedy, but that's not a bad thing if you get away with it. Being able to destroy opposing lands without actually losing card economy is right up this deck's alley.
Do you know what it means to have "contempt" for your opponent?
Grixis is another logical home for Search for Azcanta, with plenty of worthy cheap spells to fuel and then to find. Grixis also brings other synergies, however, in the form of delve (which Search helps fuel) and Kolaghan's Command (since discarding creatures can let us get a creature back without even needing to draw it the first time).