Minotaurs are cool.
Oh, you were expecting more? Well if you need more reason than that, I will continue. Back when I was about eight, I heard the myth of the Labyrinth of Crete, and subsequently got hooked on ancient mythology. A large part of my fascination was because of the monsters of these old tales, and the minotaur was one of the first. Half man/half bull, the minotaur was the definition of a dungeon monster, with hero after hero lining up to try and destroy the beast. So, when wizards of the coast went ahead and created the Greco-Roman inspired Theros, you can bet I was looking forward to a sway of new minotaur creature cards. While I was not disappoint with the vast number of horns beasts we got to play with, I did feel that there wasn’t quite enough of them to make a constructed deck with. That all change with the release of Amonkhet.
Thou these new minotaur’s may be more half man/half ram, they never the less creature have that all important creature type, and that’s good enough for me. What is more important, they finally allow us to have a go at putting together a tribal minotaur deck in modern. And so, with a can of red bull in hand, I began working on my very own brew. What I came up with was not only a deck full of bull men, but also a fairly competitive build ready to take on all comers at your local FNM. So, let’s take a walk on the wild side, shall we.
…….you get the horns!
Let’s have a look at the new comers first, shall we. Bloodrage Brawler is not only a heavy hitter as a 4/3, but comes in at a criminally low cost of one red and a colourless. You do have to discard a card when he enters the battlefield, but he provides something the deck has needed for a long time, a decent two drop. Most of our best creatures occupy the three-drop slot, and so we need to make sure we have something to do on turn two, which is a job the brawler is all too happy to for fill. Another two-drop creature we will want to include came not from Amonkhet, but from the plane of Kaladesh. Metallic Mimic may not be a minotaur when it sits in your hand, but when it enters the battlefield it becomes a pseudo tribal lord, gifting any future minotaur’s with +1/+1 counters when they join the fray.
As I stated earlier, most of our best creatures fall in the three-drop slot. But what if you don’t want to pay retail for your creatures? Well I have some good news for you then. Ragemonger won’t be winning any prizes as a win-con, but this shaman reduces the cost of all of our other minotaurs by one red and one black mana. This can result in some very powerful turn four plays, where we dump our hand of big beats far quicker than we could normally. We take advantage of this by including a sway of ‘lords’.
Rageblood Shaman gives our team the traditional +1/+1 as well as trample, helping us put on the pressure. Felhide Petrifier may not make our minotaur’s hit any harder, but providing deathtouch to the team will make any opponent weary to block. The final lord we want to include is another new addition to the gang, in the form of Neheb, the Worthy. Not one do we get first strike, which is always welcome, but if we have one or less cards in our hand, all our other minotaur’s get +2/+0. Team him up with a Rageblood Shaman, and even the lowliest of our creatures can hit for a ton of damage. We round out our creature package with Kragma Warcaller, as a haste lord and to pile on even more power boosts, and our only one-drop in the form of Gnarled Scarhide.
In terms of non-creature spells, we include full playsets of both Fatal Push and Lightning Bolt, to act as our mainboard removal package. And since we are in black, it would be a shame if didn’t include some hand attack, which we do with Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek. In terms of a mana base, we want to include on colour fetch lands to trigger revolt on our Fatal Push’s, and a couple of Blood Crypts to fix our mana early on. We finish out the lands with some basics and a playset of Blackcleave Cliffs.
When it comes to a sideboard, we want to cover as many bases as possible. Dismember, Terminate and Hero’s Downfall provide additional remove options when it is needed. Molten Rain is good tech against Tron or decks with a greed mana base. Leyline of the Void helps us against Dredge and Living End, as well as any other graveyard centric decks. Vandalblast deals with any artifacts we may come up against, and Surgical Extraction can help us by removing all copies of a single threat for the game, provided a copy works its way to the graveyard first.
And that is minotaur tribal for modern. What do you think of the deck? is there a tribe you think need the brewer’s treatment? Why not get in touch and let us know? Modern is in a great place at the moment, so it has it has never been a better time for brewers to tackle the format. Until next time, good luck and have fun.