I guess it's Death and Taxes week here at the Daily Digest, but when I wrote on Wednesday that this shell has been on my mind I wasn't kidding. I like disruptive aggro decks and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is one of my favorite cards of all time, so figuring out how to make it work best in Modern is a personal goal of mine.
This version of the deck goes a little heavier on its splash, but that's okay because Adarkar Wastes supports the Eldrazi that fit nicely into the deck anyway, so you have a solid number of blue sources along with Aether Vial to facilitate the blue creatures.
The gains from blue come primarily from the Spirit tribe, which offers Mausoleum Wanderer and Spell Queller. Wanderer is the more questionable of the two, but plays very nicely in this deck. It's a one-drop for Aether Vial so you can get on the battlefield quickly, and potentially, surprise an unsuspecting opponent with a Force Spike. (It's as sweet as it sounds, I promise.)
Beyond that, Mausoleum Wanderer is just a good card in this deck. You're heavily taxing your opponent's mana with Leonin Arbiter, Ghost Quarter, and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, so the Force Spike is going to be relevant more often than in any other deck in Modern, and you have enough Spirits to make it a real threat in the air, getting in around five damage pretty easily.
Reflector Mage may not be a Spirit, but bouncing your opponent's creatures is great when they're already constrained on mana, and if you follow it up with a well-placed Ghost Quarter or two, you may just strand that creature in their hand for good. At that point it's just a three mana Ravenous Chupacabra and I've heard that card is good. Oh, and Reflector Mage is unbeatabilibuddies (try saying that one three times fast) with Eldrazi Displacer in the late game. Death and Taxes-style decks don't have the mana base to play high cost, powerful effects; having a combo like this that can take over late fills what would otherwise be a hole in the deck's bag of tricks.
I like my mana denial decks to be able to punish the opponent for stumbling with immediate aggression, because eventually they will draw out of their screw, and this list seems to do that very well while also having more disruption than most builds. The mana is never going to be as good as mono-white, but on the balance the blue looks good.
- 4 Eldrazi Displacer
- 4 Leonin Arbiter
- 4 Mausoleum Wanderer
- 2 Reflector Mage
- 4 Selfless Spirit
- 4 Spell Queller
- 4 Thought-Knot Seer
- 4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben