A Truly Dubious Challenge


Whenever a new set comes out, we all want to know want will be the next busted card. People everywhere, from the Pro’s to content creators, scour the internet and preview sites trying to break any and all formats. For every great card released, there are those that fall short. They are the bulk rares, the duds, Dragon’s Maze, the unpickables, and Kaladesh is no exception.

To most, Dubious Challenge is one such card. We all heard the jokes. “Look, it’s the new Collected Company”, and “Bet this would go great with Phage the Untouchable”. Whilst the rest of you mock this corner case rare, there are those of us who see a challenge. A Truly Dubious Challenge! So after some browsing through my binders, and trying some lists I discovered……. well, yeah it’s pants in standard.

But how about Modern?

With a wealth of cards from Eighth Edition onwards, Modern gives us many options from which to create our masterpiece of a deck. Since Dubious Challenge can’t win the game on its own, we first have to find a win condition for our deck. So if we are digging through our deck to find a creature to win the game, let’s go and find a big one, or many two.

My favourite big creature…. Emrakul, The Aeons Torn is the biggest creature in the modern format, so it only seems fitting to start with her. A 15/15 with flying and annihilater 6 is very strong and with protection from coloured spells, once she hits the board, she’s pretty hard to stop. There are other creatures that can end the just as quickly. Blightsteel Colossus is truly a monster. 11/11 with trample, infect and indestructible, makes this artifact creature something to be feared. So with two great options to choose from, I did the only logical thing. I took them both.

If we do find one of these win conditions, our opponent will get to choose it first and if we find two, well, they just pick the best one. So the best we can hope for is a stalemate, right? Well that’s where the second piece of our combo comes into play. You see, what if we could get both creatures, and force our opponent to take a smaller, less imposing creature. Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce you to Flickerwisp and Glimmerpoint Stag. Both these creatures may not seem all that powerful, but they are the way we win the game.

So this is how it works, first we cast Dubious Challenge, looking at the top 10 cards of our library. Next we find one of our win conditions, where it be Emrakul, or the Colossus. Then finally, we choose either a Flickerwisp or the Stag. Now, it’s our opponents turn to choose. If they take the big win condition, then we get to put the Flickerwisp or the Stag into play. We then flicker the creature our opponent chose to take, returning it to our control. So the best our opponent can do is pick the flicker creature, and leave us to take the big fatty and eventually win the game.

With our plan in place, we need to stack the odds in our favour to make this happen. Firstly, let’s play many, many fetch lands. This will thin our deck, making the chances of finding the two pieces we need for the combo. We also want to cast Dubious Challenge as soon as possible, so some mana ramping in the form of Noble Hierarch and Birds of Paradise. Next we need to find a Dubious Challenge, so card draw will be key. Harmonize and Wall of Omens will achieve this, with the added bonus of the wall keeping attacking creatures at bay. But what if we don’t find the piece’s we need when we do cast challenge. Well, Eternal Witness can get back a copy of challenge back if all goes wrong, giving us another chance the following turn. Throw in some removal, and there we have it.

We went Green White but we think there’s potential to add a third colour, red could bring in things like Lightning Bolt and Nahiri, the Harbinger.

Creature (26)
Noble Hierarch
Birds of Paradise
Glimmerpoint Stag
Eternal Witness
Emrakul, The Aeons Torn
Blightsteel Colossus
Walls of Omens

Sorcery (6)
Dubious Challenge

Instants (4)
Path to Exile

Other (0)

Land (24)
Windswept Heath
Flooded Strand
Wooded Foothills
Razorverge Thicket
Temple Garden


Sideboard (15)
Beast Within
Ulamog, The Ceaseless Hunger
Nephalia Academy
Rest in Peace
Leyline of Sanguinity
Stoney Silence

So there you have it. I do believe this deck has true potential, but what do you guys think. Could this be the next break out deck in Modern? Why not try it for yourself? Or try any of the sways of unloved cards currently lining your binder. You never know, maybe you can break the format wide open.

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