Stu's Pick for Modern and Legacy
It is one of those rare weekends where I am going to get to play magic twice and have it not be at a Grand Prix. Between my testing for Grand Prix Indianapolis, I have been playing quite a bit of Modern and Legacy. I want to go over my deck choices and why I think they are good right now and why you should potentially pick them up.
I have probably had my most success in Magic when I play a storm based combo deck, rather it be ANT, TES, TEPS (yep, old Extended!) or High Tide. As an accountant, math comes very easy to me and having to weigh my options between playing through a specific hate card or getting to a critical storm count. It all comes down to Math. I might be a bit late to the party with this deck, but after becoming disappointed with Death Shadow’s place in the metagame, I have decided to pick Gifts Storm
I am not quite sure how this week’s tournaments will react to Storm winning SCG Richmond, but I think locally it will still be a fine choice. You do not really see massive metagame swings overnight in Modern due to people’s tendencies to play just 1 or 2 decks. I think this deck is easier to pick up than you might think due to the one goal in mind of playing a lot of spells compared to some other decks that want to interact with the opponent on some level. Even Burn tries to interact with the opponent more than Storm does.
The one big different in this deck versus older builds is the lack of fetchlands. I think it makes a lot of sense due to the number of cards we play that puts cards on the bottom. Peer Through Depths, Sleight of Hand, and Serum Visions all wants to put cards that we do not want on the bottom of our deck and the lack of fetchlands keeps us from shuffling them back in.
I am in the envious position of having a large collection where I can pivot quickly to a new deck if the metagame shifts, so if you have the ability to build Storm I highly recommend picking it up and just goldfish the deck a dozen times and see how powerful it is!
I will say that I am currently VERY embarrassing when I practice this deck. It has so many weird interactions that I am just not use to yet. Someone like Jarvis Yu has this deck known through muscle memory at this point and hopefully by the time Eternal Weekend comes around I will be the same way.
In the end, this is very much a graveyard deck with Life from the Loam being the main engine in the deck. I have found I have a few problems keeping my head above water if I lose Loam. Gamble and Crop Rotation do act as virtual Demonic Tutors that help the deck quickly close out an opponent. The ability to put a 20/20 into play at the end of a turn means that an opponent can go from a winning position to losing instantly.
The other reason I think this deck is well positioned right now is the Punishing Fire/Grove of the Burnwillows combo is at its best right now. With various Delver and Mother of Runes decks running around a Terminus-less metagame, being able to repeatedly wipe the board and keep your life total high is a valuable game plan. Let’s not forget how much fun it is to Punishing Fire someone to death over 7-8 turns!
Lands is a deck that has a high learning curve between an unorthodox way of playing Magic to the weird subtle interactions with the lands, it will take a lot of practice to get it mastered. Once you do though, the payoff is very high since Lands is one of the best performing decks in the current Legacy metagame.
Keeping it a bit short this week since I have mostly just been testing magic and not really coming up with anything new. There are weekends where I enjoy taking a break, however this week is not one of them. I am itching to put some recent poor performances behind me and reestablish myself as a good player and one that others needs to watch out for!
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