Dicing and Splicing

So… something weird happened the other day. We were having one of our team meetings, and by that, I mean getting together for some Modern Masters 2017 draft action. We all started cracking packs, getting all excited with all the sweet value of this awesome set, when Abbie started acting, well, strange. She started staring at us, and muttering to herself about how all will be ‘completed’. She then proceeded to caress a Master Splicer she had pulled, and said we should put together a Modern Splicer Deck for the site to, in her words, ‘Spread the machine orthodoxy to all’. After a few minutes of awkward silence, and being stared at for way too long, I uncomfortably said, “Okay?”

The ‘Splicers’ were originally printed back in New Phyrexia, where they made a non-zero amount of impact in draft, with cards such as Blade Splicer having also made an impact in constructed. When these Artificers enter the battlefield, they bringing along with them a 3/3 Golem, and also provide a bonus to all Golems as long as they remain on the board. This provides us with some interesting possibilities for deck construction, which all allow us to abuse the enter the battlefield effects. After some musing over what the best strategy would be, I decided to settle on a Chord of Calling toolbox deck. As each of the Splicers come to play with a friend, they effectively add two mana when we use Chord, thanks to Convoke. This allows us to wait until our opponents end step, Chord for a Master Splicer or Wing Splicer, then swing in when we untap with an army of Golems. And so, before we all get super into a new Standard season, we will have one more crack at Modern.

Where should we start?

A playset of Blade Splicer seems logical, already seeing Modern play in Death and Taxes decks. For only three mana, we get four power and toughness worth of creatures, and the added benefit of First Strike to all our Golems, which is not too shabby. We also what to make sure our Golems are strong enough to handle most threats we may come across, so a couple of Master Splicers give us an Anthem effect to tip the balance of combat in our favour. Since we should be able to use Chord to find any toolbox creatures we should need, we will include only a single copy of Sensor Splicer, for Vigilance, Vital Splicer, for Regeneration, and a Wing Splicer to give all our Golems Flying.

In order to help us get out our army of Golems as soon as possible, we will need to accelerate our mana production. Although expensive, a full playset Noble Hierarch gives us access to all the colours of mana we will need, and Exalted should never be underestimated. We will also add a playset of Birds of Paradise, to increase the chances of playing a three drop on turn two, as well as including two Wall of Roots and Wall of Omens. Both of these Defenders provide early game protection, as well as additional mana ramp and card draw respectively.

We finish off our twenty-seven creatures, with two Reveillark, and a playset Voice of Resurgence. The Voice of Resurgence inclusion makes all the sense in the world in a token strategy. Any token it creates, will have their stats increased even more than usual, thanks to our multitude of artifact creatures. Lastly, Reveillark provides us with some great recursion possibilities. Whenever this 4/3 flyer leaves the battlefield, we get to return two creatures with power two or less from the Graveyard to the battlefield. And since all of our Splicers have a power of one, they can be returned to play, along with their metal friends.

For our spell package, a full playset of the aforementioned Chord of Calling. We also will include a couple of Eldritch Evolution to work as Chord five and six in our deck. We round out our spells with some removal, in the form of Path to Exile. In terms of a mana base, a collection of fetch and shock lands will allow us to avoid “mana screw”. Throw in some green/white duels in the form of Razorverge Thicket and Stirring Wildwood, a hand full of basics, and a single Gavony Township, to help boost our damage output, and that should complete our mainboard.

Creatures (27)

4 Blade Splicer

2 Master Splicer

1 Sensor Splicer

1 Vital Splicer

1 Wing Splicer

4 Noble Hierarch

4 Birds of Paradise

2 Wall of Roots

2 Wall of Omens

4 Voice of Resurgence

2 Reveillark

Spells (10)

4 Path to Exile

4 Chord of Calling

2 Eldritch Evolution

Lands (23)

1 Breeding Pool

1 Hallowed Fountain

1 Temple Garden

4 Windswept Heath

4 Misty Rainforest

2 Flooded Strand

2 Razorverge Thicket

2 Stirring Wildwood

1 Gavony Township

3 Forest

1 Plains

1 Island

Sideboard (15)

1 Archangel of Thune

1 Thragtusk

1 Reclamation Sage

1 Scavenging Ooze

1 Eidolon of Rhetoric

1 Kataki, War’s Wage

1 Rest in Peace

1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite

2 Eternal Witness

1 Qasali Pridemage

1 Leyline of Sanctity

1 Stony Silence

2 Eldritch Evolution

The sideboard contains a whole sway of toolbox creatures, as well as some additional copies of Eldritch Evolution, and some powerful Enchantments. If you go up against Affinity, bring in Kataki, War’s Wage and Stony Silence. Burn got you down, Thragtusk and Leyline of Sanctity have your back. And don’t worry about Graveyard strategies, as Scavenging Ooze and Rest in Peace have you covered. It’s also important to note when Chord is needed, or when Evolution would work out better for you. One of the best tricks you can do when facing a heavy creature strategies, such as Elves and Merfolk, is to side in Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, and your additional Eldritch Evolutions. Use your Splicers to buy you some more time, by chump blocking in the early game. Then, when you have a Reveillark in play, sacrifice it to the Evolution in order to find Elesh Norn. You get to return up to two Splicers, along with their Golems, and they all get buffed by the Grand Cenobite, whilst your opponent’s creatures get drastically weaker, which is nice.

It’s important to remember that, although you are an aggressive deck, attacking early on may not be the right call. You will need time to assemble your army of Golems, so don’t be afraid to play out a wall or two in the early game. If you have to block with your non wall creatures, don’t throw away your tokens willy nilly. Instead, use the Splicers themselves. You can always get them back with a Reveillark later in the game, and you will need the Golems to force through the damage when the time comes. Lastly, don’t search for your one of Wing Splicer until you are ready to finish the game. Giving all your Golems flying to get an early lead may be tempting, but if it gets hit by and early Path to Exile, you with have just thrown away one of your main win-cons. Just hold off until your opponent’s shields are down, then go nuts.

And there you have it. A fun, yet competitive Modern deck to crush all your friends with this Friday. But the best thing about it, a whole bunch of these cards where reprinted in Modern Masters 2017, so it will be even easier to get the cards you need. But don’t just stop there, why not see what interesting brews you and your friends can conjure up with all these sweet reprints. Modern has never had it so good, so go wild. Now if you will excuse me, Abi says she wants me to have a look at this funny black goo she found. Seems harmless, right?

In response...