Apr 18, 20195555 views

War of the Spark Cards for Modern

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War of the Spark is one hell of a set. My favorite set of all time was Time Spiral because it was a mesh of a lot of different things. Sets these days are usually super synergistic and the good pairs just come naturally. In a set like War of the Spark where there are abilities that work with different things like Proliferate and weird static ability Planeswalkers we’ve never seen before, I expect we get a similar experience that we got with Time Spiral. Unusual card design usually screams eternal formats. The more options we have, the most likely it is to find a broken interaction that didn't exist before. Today I’ll go over a few cards I found that might have a home in Modern. Blast Zone
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The fact that this land does not come into play tapped got my attention. It’s already quite slow to get going, but I think if you’re often in the market for Engineered Explosives on 1, you should highly consider playing this land. Decks that can easily manipulate the double X and tutor for lands are the natural fit for the card. Amulet, Tron and Eldrazi Tron. Amulet has Tolaria West, Primeval Titan and Ancient Stirrings to find it so it could easily be a 1of. The real question should be, is it better than Engineered Explosives here? Probably not considering Amulet can easily produce mana of any colors. Blast Zone really is an Explosives for colorless decks in my opinion, it seems like a great 1-of in Tron. We have Sylvan Scrying, Expedition Map and Ancient Stirrings and it’s an angle we did not have access to before. Sure we had Oblivion Stone and such, but that’s not something you can find with the land tutors. Having that option now seems like it could be amazing against Humans, Bogles, Lantern and all the decks with cheap permanents. The true power is also that with tons of mana you can hit anything. Having played Colorless Eldrazi recently, I’ve had issues with the Humans matchup and I think that land being free to add to the manabase should be a game changer. 4 Eldrazi Mimic 4 Eternal Scourge 4 Matter Reshaper 4 Reality Smasher 4 Simian Spirit Guide 4 Thought-Knot Seer 4 Dismember 4 Chalice of the Void 4 Serum Powder 2 Smuggler's Copter 3 Blast Zone 4 Eldrazi Temple 2 Gemstone Caverns 4 Ghost Quarter 1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth 2 Scavenger Grounds 2 Wastes 4 Zhalfirin Void Sideboard: 2 Damping Sphere 3 Leyline of the Void 1 Pithing Needle 3 Ratchet Bomb 2 Relic of Progenitus 2 Spatial Contortion 2 Warping Wail Ashiok, Dream Render
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People are whining over and over that Modern lacks great hoser cards and that’s why people can play degenerate decks. It’s not entirely false, if you look at Legacy where they have Wasteland and Force of Will, it feels like you actually have a chance at not dying in the early turns sometimes. War of the Spark brings a few new Planeswalkers that have hate abilities that might make a splash in Modern. Ashiok is the most obvious in my opinion. It does two very narrow things: stop opponents from searching their libraries and exile graveyards. Is that good enough to maindeck? With fetches existing, it might yes. Especially right now with Dredge, Phoenix and Tron being amongst the most popular decks, I would not be surprised. In what deck do you want to play it? Disruption based decks like Grixis Death’s Shadow, The Rock, and Dimir Midrange are the first ones that come to mind, but ideally, you would want to power Ashiok out as fast as possible if you want it in time for Sylvan Scrying, Expedition Map and fetches. Then Noble Hierarch decks come to mind. I’m not sold on playing Ashiok in those decks, but there is one very fringe Modern deck where I think Ashiok, Dream Render might be amazing. Dimir Mill. In my testing for Mythic Championship London, I tried the mill deck. I do feel like it’s almost there, but not quite and Ashiok seems like a great fit. It gives you the graveyard exiling ability which is somewhat necessary if you want to beat graveyard-based decks in a deck that helps them … It’s a combo with Archive Trap, but it does not stop our Field of Ruin, which I believe should be completely fine. Then to top it off, it’s a repeatable milling card, if you get to mill twenty cards with it, it’ll be amazing. 2 Darkslick Shores 4 Field of Ruin 4 Island 1 Oboro, Palace in the Clouds 4 Polluted Delta 2 Scalding Tarn 2 Shelldock Isle 2 Swamp 2 Watery Grave 4 Hedron Crab 4 Visions of Beyond 4 Surgical Extraction 2 Fatal Push 2 Inquisition of Kozilek 4 Mission Briefing 4 Glimpse the Unthinkable 2 Mesmeric Orb 2 Ensnaring Bridge 4 Archive Trap 1 Murderous Cut 3 Ashiok, Dream Render Sideboard: 4 Collective Brutality 1 Echoing Truth 3 Extirpate 1 Fatal Push 2 Crypt Incursion 1 Dismember 1 Damnation 1 Night of Souls' Betrayal 1 Ensnaring Bridge Those are the two cards that so far I know where I would slot them, but there’s a handful of others that have potential.
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Vivien’s Arkbow and Neoform have Birthing Pod potential as I like to call it. Eldritch’s Evolution and Prime Speaker Vannifar saw a bit of play, these cards might too. I let Sam Pardee brew with these as I’m terrible building creature toolbox decks. Dovin’s Veto is very straight forward, not unbelievably good, but enough to be quite happy that you can play it over Negate if you’re Azorius. This one actually seems like it’ll make a bigger splash in Legacy to beat decks like Show and Tell. Liliana’s Triumph is a better version of Diabolic Edict, which we did not have in Modern before, but sees frequent play in Legacy. There is no Emrakul to kill in Modern like there are in Legacy, but there are some Slippery Bogles … Teferi, Time Raveler seems really powerful to me. Some decks like Grishoalbrand, for example, won’t be able to instant speed combo you, you’ll shut off all counterspells and on top of that, you get a three mana Planeswalker that protects itself. I have no idea other than the usual Azorius Control deck where you can play it, but I’m optimistic it’ll see play. Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage is not a card that’s ever going to see play outside of 8-rack, but it might be enough to rename it 12-rack. Is it better than Liliana of the Veil there? I’m not sure, but worth a try. That would make the red 8-whack deck a lot less confusing that’s for sure. Are you as excited as I am for this new set? As I’m writing this article, the spoiler is not complete yet, are we going to see more Modern playables?
(Edited by moderator Duncan)
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I think Finale of Devastation will be a big deal for green. Tutor, resilience, and finisher all in one card for anything that's combo/ramp. I think it's easily better than Chord of Calling in several lists, and definitely a Chord 5-8 in others. Neoform has me very intrigued. It ramps from a 4-CC into a 6-CC thanks to Goblin Dark-Dwellers. In Legacy this can mean a fun casual deck that drops freebies like Vine Dryad and Skyshroud Cutter and turns them into a 7/7 Prime Time backed by Karakas and Kessig or something. In Modern, I don't know... of course there's the usual midrange creature toolbox jank, but I always want to do some sort of "unfair" stuff so maybe it can find its way into a funky deck that powers out something "free" like Hollow One, Vengevine, Bone Picker, Frogmite, I-don't-know. Whatever. I'm going to brew with it for a while.
Ashiok and archive trap cancel each other out. They can't search so you can't trap them right?
jbourg
Ashiok says "spells and abilities your opponents control" so... Archive traps still works as long as what he searches in the library is a magic or ability controlled by you. (Field of Ruins, Path to Exile, its sounds good for me)
For 8-rack, ther more competitive version of the deck that has been posting results as of late has been a deck called "5-rack" https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/mtgo-standings/competitive-modern-constructed-league-2019-04-19#delthar_- he has 5-0'd with for about 3 weeks in a row now which shows that dropping some number of racks might be the right direction to go so i don't think adding more rack effects is the direction they are looking for right now however a "turbo-rack" variant might be an interesting idea. either way war of the spark has been awesome for 8-rack and while i dont own the deck anymore this has been a great spoiler season for fans of the deck As an aside for 8-rack the one spoiler for them i like the most is actually elderspell, its a great sb card for them other than needle to let them deal with walkers, something the deck has struggled massively with since the damage rules for planes-walkers got changed as before they could re-direct rack damage onto the walker to deal with it.