Every time a new set comes out, magic players everywhere ask the most important question there is. What cards fit into my deck? While we should probably be looking for new and interesting archetypes to break open the constructed formats, it’s hard not to try and squeeze more value out of your favourite decks. It’s not that surprising really when you think about it. When you begin constructing a new deck, your not only sinking a ton of money into the project, you are also spending a lot of time learning and perfecting the deck. It becomes more than just 75 cards to you, it becomes a personal reflection of who you are in the game, whether that be an aggressive fire Mage or a more thoughtful tactical genius. The same can be said for your character in Dungeons & Dragons, or your avatar in World of War Craft. You become invested in making it great, and seek any opportunity to improve upon it. This is part of what makes Magic the Gathering such a great hobby, and why we come back set after set to experience new worlds and expand upon our collections. So before we go ahead and start trying to crack open Hour of Devastation for new and exciting decks, let’s have a look at some cards that might feel right at home in our beloved Modern format.
Let’s begin with an easy one, with the aftermath card Claim/Flame. It didn’t take long after this card was previewed for players to start speculating over its modern potential. A single black for a Reanimator spell was always going to raise a few eyebrows. Yes, its targets are limited, but being able to put any creature with a converted mana cost of two or less onto the battlefield from your graveyard is pretty solid. What’s more, for one red and a generic mana you can give that creature haste and a nice little power boost. Overall the spell is very powerful, and already seems to have found a home in an established modern deck. Death’s Shadow had been king of the mountain for a few months now, and has shown very little sign of stopping its dominance. Whether you run Grixis or Jund, any player would be remiss in not consider Claim/Fame as an important set piece. Not only is Death’s Shadow a prime target for Claim, but your opponent will never be able to leave their shields down with Fame live in the graveyard. Kolaghan’s Command maybe more versatile when reclaiming creatures from your bin, but Claim/Fame can literally win you games out of nowhere, leaving your opponent scratching their head with befuddlement. But the name-sake of the deck isn’t the only viable target, depending on whichever variant you choose to play. Tarmogoyf and Snapcaster Mage both make great targets for Claim, either giving you a big beat stick, or some great recurring spell shenanigans. Don’t be surprised if this Uncommon see’s play at your next Modern PPTQ.
If you have been keeping up with the Journey to GP Birmingham articles on this Website, you will know that I am a keen Burn player. I’ve been working very hard over the last year to complete my Tier 1 Naya Burn deck, and I have had a ton of fun doing it. Burn is a surprisingly deep archetype, which requires a surprising amount of skill to pilot well. It can quickly race slower decks to a turn four or five win, or play a slightly more controlling game against decks such as Affinity or Death’s Shadow. But while it may be consistent in its performance, it can sometimes fall short when the top decks don’t go your way. Many a time I have found my opponent on one or two life, but have failed to find that one final Lightning Bolt. Instead I find myself getting flooded with an over abundance of land cards, leading to a lot of hair pulling and screams of frustration on my end. However I don’t come across this issue as much when I crack out my Legacy Burn deck, and this is in part due to the inclusion of Barbarian Ring. It may not look like much, but being able to hide a burn spell in your mana base can sometimes be the difference between victory and defeat. That is why I am excited for Ramunap Ruins. Not only is it an untapped land card that can give you red mana, but if you find yourself flooded out, five mana for a ‘Shock‘ is not as terrible as you would think. Now I don’t think it will be a playset in anyone’s deck, but it could see play as a one or two of at least. I will be certainly testing with it in my builds, so be ready.
The final card I wanted to talk about today might seem a little bit out there, but I do believe it has a place in modern. Crested Sunmare might not be your run of the mill creature, but I believe it might find a home in a certain Tier 2 deck. As a 5/5 for five mana, it certainly passes the vanilla test, with the added benefit of making all other horses indestructible. So why am I so excited about this ‘Horse Lord’? Well, it might have something to do with that second ability. At the beginning of each end step if you gained life this turn, you create a 5/5 white Horse creature token. Since this token will benefit from the Sunmare’s first ability, you could soon amass a force of 5/5 indestructible creatures, provided you can consistently gain life. Though this ‘Lord’ could see standard play, it is in modern where I think it could do the most damage. Don’t believe me? Then I have two words for you. Soul Sisters. If you want to take advantage of the Sunmare’s second ability, then we will need to gain life each and every turn, and no deck does this better than Soul Sisters. The Sunmare triggers its own ability if we have a Soul Warden out when we play it, giving us imminent value, and each time our opponent plays a creature on his turn he is giving us even more power on the board during the end step. And even though it might cost a whopping five mana, this isn’t beyond the realms of possibility to see it in the deck. Some Soul Sister variants run the Archangel of Thune as a top end win condition already, so fitting in a couple of these horses into the deck isn’t so unbelievable. You never know, this could be the push that Soul Sisters needs to get them back into the limelight.
But what cards from Hour of Devastation are you most looking forward to sleeving up? Why not message us with your plans for upgrading your Modern deck, we would love to hear from you. And please like and share if you wish to support the site, it really does help. Until next time, Good Luck and Have Fun.