For those not in the know, The_Gunslingers is StarCityGames.com's own Todd Stevens, and with the amount of time we spend on the road or at SCG Tour® stops, he had advance knowledge of this spicy little number being posted.
Normally that would make me less likely to feature it in this space, because Todd doesn't need the ego boost, but it's hard for me to resist such a unique collection of utility creatures and removal spells. Plus, the deck isn't a brew of his, but one of a fan of his stream that wanted to see it in action from a known player.
While the list, with its many singletons, is difficult to parse at first glance, it's a pretty straightforward aggro deck with efficient creatures backed by removal in the form of burn. The spice comes from Traverse the Ulvenwald, which is enabled by cards like Mishra's Bauble and Seal of Fire and lets you play a small toolbox.
I like that the toolbox here is restrained. There's a Remorseful Cleric to hit graveyards, which is quite relevant in the current Modern metagame, a Qasali Pridemage to answer troublesome permanents, a Magus of the Moon to lock out decks when the opportunity presents itself, and a Hazoret the Fervent as a big, powerful threat in the lategame and potential burn spell off the top. That's all you need and going any deeper in the maindeck dilutes the core of the deck too much.
I was even tempted to go further with a utility land besides Horizon Canopy, say Kessig Wolf Run or Gavony Township, but with a low land count of eighteen and a full three colors it's both hard to utilize these lands and a significant cost to add a colorless land. It would have to come at the cost of another spell, at which point it's not nearly as desirable.
There are of course some powerful bullets in the sideboard, where they belong, so you can be powerful and proactive in game 1 and then sideboard into the necessary disruptive elements. That's some solid, disciplined deckbuilding.
The card I'm most skeptical of is Vexing Devil since you don't need to go too hard to enable delirium, but the four damage is valuable in a deck with so much reach so it serves a dual purpose, which I like.
- 1 Magus of the Moon
- 1 Qasali Pridemage
- 1 Remorseful Cleric
- 3 Renegade Rallier
- 3 Scavenging Ooze
- 1 Street Wraith
- 4 Tarmogoyf
- 2 Vexing Devil
- 3 Voice of Resurgence
- 4 Wild Nacatl
- 1 Hazoret the Fervent