Faithless Brewing
Revenge of the Goatnapped: Is Force of Virtue a Playable Card in Modern?

Revenge of the Goatnapped: Is Force of Virtue a Playable Card in Modern?

June 27, 2019

Faithless Brewing, Episode 9: Force of Virtue

 

White has a long history of getting shafted in cycles. Blue got Ancestral Recall, white got Healing Salve. Blue got Force of Will, white got Scars of the Veteran. Blue got Force of Negation, white got... Force of Virtue? Free spells are always worth a closer look, and the crew thinks this zero-mana Crusade might be sneakily competitive. We discuss potential builds of Mardu Tokens, Esper Skies, and Goat Devotion (no, not greatest of all time, just actual goats).

 

Roundup: Brewer's Guide to the Hogaak Meta

 

Hogaak continues to dominate the winners' meta in MTGO Premier events. Successful challengers last weekend skewed toward midrange and control, with creature aggro and big mana seemingly pushed out of the format. In the unified Modern League, though, it's a safari of wild brews. Plus: new cards with potential from Core 2020, and a tournament report from GP Seattle (undefeated on Day 2!).

 

Mardu Helix: 8-2 leagues, Smiting Helix is the truth.

 

Lantern Citadel: 6-4 leagues, effective against Hogaak.

 

Flashback: Ice-Fang Ninja Tempo

 

Ice-Fang Coatl proved to be a brilliant design: versatile and powerful, but requiring serious concessions to unlock deathtouch. The ninjas were all playable and surprisingly good, with Ingenious Infiltrator seemingly the best option, Mist-Syndicate Naga running second, and Fallen Shinobi the most greedy and least versatile.

 

BUG "Little" Ninjas: 6-4 leagues, Infiltrator and Seer are good, slow cards (Spellstutter, Snapcaster, Opt) are iffy. Sideboard needs more sweepers.

 

BUG "Big" Ninjas: 4-1 league, land count is greedy, 4 Shinobi is too many.

 

UG Obsession: 1-4 league, unplayable, removal is too plentiful and cheap to protect a non-hexproof creature.

 

Bant Flash: 3-2 league, solid if no one is playing Tron. 

 

Queller Flash: 2-3 league, perfect deck for exhausting midrange slugfests.

 

Brew Session: Force of Virtue

 

Goat Devotion (Sketch)

 

Mardu Tokens (Sketch)

 

Esper Skies (Sketch)

 

Soul Sisters (Sketch)

 

How to Train Your Ninja: Faerie Seer, Ice-Fang Coatl, and Other Clever Disguises

How to Train Your Ninja: Faerie Seer, Ice-Fang Coatl, and Other Clever Disguises

June 20, 2019

Faithless Brewing, Episode 8: Ninja Faerie Tempo Snake

 

Is that a winged snake with deadly fangs of poison ice... or an ingenious ninja in disguise? Dreams of ninja glory become real this week as the crew explores David's favorite archetype of all time: sneaky blue tempo decks. Ice-Fang Coatl, Faerie Seer, Ingenious Infiltrator, and Fallen Shinobi offer a host of new tools for players looking to chip away for value while fighting battles on the stack. The ninjas are sweet and the faeries are classy, but are they just too fair for today's Modern?

 

Roundup: The Rise of Creature Combo

 

Hogaak Bridgevine continues to dominate online and in paper, but players are punching back with linear combo decks of their own, looking to exploit Hogaak's lack of interaction. Both Devoted Vizier and Saheeli combo are putting up strong results, and the crew has some builds that we like. Plus: Core 2020 previews and a tournament report with Niv-Mizzet Reborn.

 

GW Vizier Combo: 5-0 league, very strong in current meta

Jeskai Supercats: 7-3 leagues, Watcher for Tomorrow is promising

 

Flashback: Ranger-Captain of Eos

 

It turns out that if you take an underpowered strategy and add Ranger-Captain of Eos, the result is an underpowered deck with Ranger-Captain of Eos. Martyr Proc does not line up well against today's modern. The Kirin combo seemed to get there on power level, but finding a build that can assemble the combo quickly while not falling prey to the inherent weaknesses of GW midrange proved challenging.

 

Martyr Proc: 4-6 leagues, Ranger-Captain didn't change the outlook for this strategy

 

GW Kirin (Vivien): 4-6 leagues, hard to assemble combo and the GW shell felt underpowered

 

GW Kirin (Eladamri's Call): 4-1 league, more successful at combo but surrounding GW cards are still mediocre

 

Boros Geddon: 3-2 league, needs better value engines to snowball an advantage

 

Brew Session: Ninja Tempo

 

Sultai Ninja Faeries

 

UG Curious Obsession

 

UB Ninja Faeries

 

Temur Sea Stompy

 

 

 

Winter Is Coming: Ranger-Captain of Eos in a Hogaak Meta

Winter Is Coming: Ranger-Captain of Eos in a Hogaak Meta

June 13, 2019

Faithless Brewing, Episode 7: Ranger-Captain of Eos

 

It's a tale as old as Winterfell: our plains and forests are covered in snow, the army of the dead is coming, and all that shields the realms of men are a few brave Rangers. Hogaak Vine has swept through the Magic Online metagame, but for now the crew wants to fight for the side of the living. Ranger-Captain of Eos offers considerable talents at an attractive mana cost, but can fair creature decks stand up to the zombie hordes? Damon and David have some ideas, so let's discuss!

 

Flashback: Bolas's Citadel

 

They say that great wisdom grows from defeat. If so, Dan might be the wisest person alive after a week of getting stomped while exploring Bolas's Citadel. The engine was powerful, but glass-cannon strategies quickly proved too fragile in this hostile meta. Three directions remain promising: Lantern-style control with mill rocks, creature-based strategies using the Viscera Seer-Blood Artist engine, and lifegain control with a generous helping of Smiting Helix.

 

Lantern Engines

BUG Lantern: 0-5, lantern is hard, meta is hostile

RB Trashy Engineer: 1-4, slightly too slow and still fragile

RB Engineer Control: 2-3, can compete but needs tuning

 

Aristocrats Engines

Abzan Aristocrats: 2-3, creatures were too weak

Esper Shape Anew: 3-2, decent despite the unplayables

4c Shape Anew: not yet tested

 

Lifegain Control

Mardu Helix: 4-1, clunky but promising

Madcap Mardu: 1-4, awful, do not try at home

 

Brew Session: Ranger-Captain of Eos

 

Sketch 1: Mono-W Martyr Control

 

Sketch 2: GW Kirin Armageddon

 

Enter the Citadel: Yawgmoth’s Bargain Meets Channel

Enter the Citadel: Yawgmoth’s Bargain Meets Channel

June 5, 2019

Faithless Brewing, Episode 6: Bolas's Citadel

 

Dreadhorde Arcanist proved challenging to work with, but the crew was eventually able to convert its versatility into another Faithless 5-0. But Dan is tired of chipping away for 1 damage plus a cantrip: this week, he just wants to break Modern in half. Bolas's Citadel can potentially do just that, offering an insane card draw engine stapled to an insane mana engine. But what about all those deckbuilding restrictions? And how are you going to get this pricey artifact into play? The crew breaks down a host of different directions, including some spicy additions from Modern Horizons.

 

Flashback: Dreadhorde Arcanist

 

Temur Atarka's: 3-2 league, weak to control

 

Grixis Value: 4-1 league, takes too long to win

 

Grixis Shadow: 2-3 league, needs better SB

 

Jund Atarka's: 5-0 league, versatility was promising

 

Brew Session: Bolas's Citadel

 

Sketch 1: Trash for Treasure

 

Sketch 2: Goblin Engineer

 

Sketch 3: Lotus Bloom

 

Sketch 4: Shape Anew

 

Sketch 5: Grand Architect