June ’19 Brew Report, Pt. 2: Aria of Brews

Picking up where we left off last week, today we’ll continue unearthing the new tech found in July’s MODO dumps. Let’s dive right in!

Cutesy Combos

Combo is alive and well in Modern, and probably always will be. Novel ways to win on turn four are in tall supply since the format’s card pool is so deep. First up today is a deck revolving around Solemnity.

Mono-White Solemnity, by DRDUB (5-0)

Creatures (20)
Lesser Masticore
Safehold Elite
Kitchen Finks
Thraben Inspector
Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit

Artifacts (8)
Altar of Dementia
Blasting Station

Enchantments (4)
Solemnity

Instants (6)
Faith’s Shield
Path to Exile

Lands (82)
Ghost Quarter
20 Plains
60 Cards
Sideboard (15)
Phyrexian Unlife
Tormod’s Crypt
Disenchant
Oblivion Ring
Pithing Needle
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Mono-White Solemnity doesn’t go the usual route of using Solemnity with Phyrexian Unlife out of a prison shell, although it does boast that combo out of the sideboard to shut down damage-based decks. In Game 1, it’s more interested in going off with persist creatures and a sacrifice outlet: Blasting Station for damage, or Altar of Dementia for mill. When a creature with persist dies while Solemnity is on the battlefield, it returns from the graveyard without a counter, letting pilots sacrifice it an arbitrary number of times.

Altar gives any deck looking for it a generic sac outlet, which enables decks like Mono-White Solemnity that already have access to another. But also giving the deck a big boost is Lesser Manticore, the best persist creature this side of Kitchen Finks. Manticore does a solid Grim Lavamancer impression in longer games against creature decks by gunning down enemy forces. Mono-White Solemnity isn’t really looking to play fair, but Manticore gives it some semblance of a plan if it needs to.

Bant Snow, by MAYODOMINARIA (5-0)

Creatures (4)
Ice-Fang Coatl

Planeswalkers (7)
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Narset, Parter of Veils
Teferi, Time Raveler

Artifacts (2)
Arcum’s Astrolabe
Teferi’s Puzzle Box

Enchantments (4)
On Thin Ice
Rest in Peace

Instants (15)
Cryptic Command
Force of Negation
Mana Leak
Opt
Path to Exile
Remand
Spell Pierce

Sorceries (4)
Day’s Undoing
Supreme Verdict
Timely Reinforcements

Lands (24)
Breeding Pool
Celestial Colonnade
Field of Ruin
Flooded Strand
Hallowed Fountain
Misty Rainforest
Prismatic Vista
Snow-Covered Forest
Snow-Covered Island
Snow-Covered Plains
Temple Garden
Sideboard (15)
Timely Reinforcements
Ashiok, Dream Render
Celestial Purge
Disdainful Stroke
Dovin’s Veto
Grafdigger’s Cage
Lyra Dawnbringer
Monastery Mentor
Ramunap Excavator
Restoration Angel
Snapcaster Mage
Spell Queller
Vendilion Clique
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Bant Snow is a deck I brewed up myself some weeks ago, and focusing on the same combo: Teferi or Narset with Day’s Undoing. This deck adds some extra tech, chief of all moving the Rest in Peaces to the mainboard. Opt is given the nod over Noble Hierarch, and more expensive cards are added, from Jace, the Mind Sculptor to the miser’s Teferi’s Puzzle Box.

I feel that most of these fixes make the deck slower in the name of consistency that isn’t necessarily needed. But I do like maining Rest in Peace in this climate.

New Takes

Some existing decks have also seen fresh updates lately.

Bridgeless Hogaak, by DOUGH_SHACK (5-0)

Creatures (36)
Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis
Bloodghast
Carrion Feeder
Cryptbreaker
Gravecrawler
Hedron Crab
Prized Amalgam
Stitcher’s Supplier
Vengevine

Instants (1)
Fatal Push

Sorceries (4)
Faithless Looting

Lands (19)
Blood Crypt
Bloodstained Mire
Marsh Flats
Polluted Delta
Swamp
Verdant Catacombs
Watery Grave
Sideboard (15)
Fatal Push
Godless Shrine
Shenanigans
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Thoughtseize
Wear // Tear
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This is just the first Bridgeless Hoggak list that appeared online after the banning, but the deck has by now proven itself a significant force in Modern even without the infamous enchantment. Hedron Crab seems to have been mostly abandoned.

Echo Urza, by FTZZ (5-0)

Creatures (13)
Riddlesmith
Urza, Lord High Artificer
Sai, Master Thopterist
Simian Spirit Guide

Planeswalkers (1)
Saheeli, Sublime Artificer

Artifacts (24)
Chalice of the Void
Engineered Explosives
Everflowing Chalice
Grinding Station
Mishra’s Bauble
Mox Opal
Tormod’s Crypt

Enchantments (1)
Mirrodin Besieged

Sorceries (4)
Echo of Eons

Lands (17)
Cavern of Souls
Darksteel Citadel
Fiery Islet
Geier Reach Sanitarium
Gemstone Caverns
Shivan Reef
Snow-Covered Island
Spire of Industry
Sideboard (15)
Tormod’s Crypt
Abrade
Ancient Grudge
Arc Trail
Ghirapur Aether Grid
Hurkyl’s Recall
Karn, Scion of Urza
Narset, Parter of Veils
Negate
Ray of Revelation
Teferi, Time Raveler
Welding Jar
Whipflare
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Echo Urza isn’t as much a new take on the Urza, Lord High Artificer decks we’ve seen at the top tables as a new strategy entirely. It revolves around Riddlesmith, a first-time-in-Modern creature that loots through the deck as pilots deploy artifacts. Crucially, this looting function dumps Echo of Eons into the graveyard so pilots can flash it back. Activating the shiny new Timetwister lets players refill on artifacts to cheaply deploy, keeping the cycle going and looting through the deck.

Simian Spirit Guide greases the wheels here, shortening the clock by resolving a payoff early. Saheeli and Sai are also here as legendary ways to benefit from playing many artifacts in a row.

Seeing Red

Burn may have dominated for much of Modern’s history, but now the format is home to a variety of red-based aggro decks, including Skred and Goblins. New ones also continue to poke their heads out of the woodwork.

Rakdos Arcanist, by CHARKATTACK (5-0)

Creatures (20)
Dreadhorde Arcanist
Young Pyromancer
Seasoned Pyromancer
Lightning Skelemental
Gurmag Angler
Goblin Bushwhacker
Hazoret the Fervent

Instants (6)
Kolaghan’s Command
Lightning Bolt
Rakdos Charm

Sorceries (14)
Faithless Looting
Reckless Charge
Thoughtseize
Unearth

Lands (20)
Arid Mesa
Blackcleave Cliffs
Blood Crypt
Bloodstained Mire
Polluted Delta
Prismatic Vista
Snow-Covered Mountain
Snow-Covered Swamp
Sunbaked Canyon
Wooded Foothills
Sideboard (15)
Collective Brutality
Fatal Push
Leyline of the Void
Magmatic Sinkhole
Ravenous Trap
Smash to Smithereens
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Rakdos Arcanist runs none other than Unearth alongside Dreadhorde Arcanist, recreating a new combo we explored in detail last week. But there are no Elemental synergies here, despite there being plenty of the creature type in the deck between Lightning Skelemental and Seasoned Pyromancer‘s tokens. Instead, Gurmag Angler makes a rare appearance outside of Grixis Shadow and Hollow One as raw bulk available as early as turn two. Hazoret can’t resolve until later, but defeats many decks single-handedly when it does.

Big Phoenix, by PIEGONTI (5-0)

Creatures (12)
Arclight Phoenix
Bedlam Reveler
Seasoned Pyromancer

Enchantments (3)
Aria of Flame

Instants (20)
Desperate Ritual
Gut Shot
Lava Dart
Lightning Bolt
Manamorphose
Pyretic Ritual
Surgical Extraction

Sorceries (6)
Faithless Looting
Tormenting Voice

Lands (19)
15 Mountain
Sunbaked Canyon
Sideboard (15)
Abrade
Blood Moon
Dragon’s Claw
Kozilek’s Return
Lightning Axe
Ravenous Trap
Shatterstorm
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Mono-Red Phoenix evokes blazing starts, powered either by the deck’s namesake bird or by 1/2s with prowess. Both Monastery Swiftspear and Soul-Scar Mage are absent from Big Phoenix, the latest spin on the strategy. Card quality is prioritized here over speed, and the non-Phoenix threats serve to refill pilots on cards once they’ve become low on resources. Mono-Red runs ritual spells to power out its creatures early and improve the synergy with Phoenix, which was perhaps shaky in the prowess builds, decks fundamentally split between two gameplans. Having rituals improves Blood Moon out of the side.

A Grave Future

With Hogaak again rising in Modern, the future is uncertain. Will the deck continue to prove oppressive? How many new decks will break out in the coming months? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. And if you have a lead on any promising tech!

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