HOOOOO BOY! You know the world is going to explode in a fiery ball of Doomsday explosions when Wizards of the Coast decided to unban cards back into the same format. Cards that wrought so much havoc, they HAD to be banned and remained that way for a LONG time. But some good comes out of this move, Modern is about to see a shakeup that it didn’t really need and it’s about to be a brewer’s paradise.
Today, let’s jump in and brew something so silly due to the bannings, it may just work. We will need a lot of BANG for our buck and ensure we maximise value while being as innovative as possible.
FIRST UP, A LITTLE HISTORY LESSON
JACE, THE MIND SCULPTOR (JTMS)
During his reign in Standard, Jace was the centerpiece of Caw-Blade decks. By the time New Phyrexia was released, the metagame was so dominated by this archetype that JTMS broke $100, this is the first time a card in Standard broke the bank this way.
Tournament attendance was diminishing fast, so Wizards pulled the trigger and banned Jace. When Modern was created a few months later, Jace wasn’t included on the original banned list, as it was thought that a larger card pool should likely be enough to put a lid on JTMS. The June 2011 Community Cup featured Unified Modern, and JTMS dominated again among the decklists. It was time to swing the ban-hammer and JTMS was banned from Modern, seemingly for good.
Over the weekend (due to the unbanning) JTMS ran rampant on Magic Online and is still showing he may have greyed a little, but he has the goods!
Bloodbraid Elf (BBE)
Pro player Yuuya Watanabe was dominating the pro-tour but the status of Jund in Modern was less clear. Since then, there was four Modern Grands Prix. Jérémy Dezani won Grand Prix Lyon playing Jund. Jacob Wilson defeated Josh Utter-Leyton in a Jund-on-Jund finals to win Grand Prix Chicago. Willy Edel won Grand Prix Toronto, also playing Jund. And, finally, Lukas Jaklovsky came in 2nd, playing Jund, at Grand Prix Bilbao. Beyond that, Jund took a whopping SIX of the Top 16 decks at Bilbao.
The dominance of Jund was making the format FAR less diverse, as it was the top of the curve nd made almost your entire deck, free value. Wizards needed to take a stand and ban a card to even out the meta, they considered many of the cards in Jund, but the focus fell squarely 9on the card that would have the biggest impact on Jund and the LEAST impact on other Modern decks, Bloodbraid Elf had to go.
NEW WIZARDS, WHO DIS?
With Magic Masters 25 coming up, many folks recognised the potential that Wizards would unban JTMS in Modern, either to make sales or shake up a meta that is already diverse remains to be seen. All we know is that Wizards felt it was time to unban both of these cards, feeling they will have a lesser impact on the modern format as a whole. So, let’s break them.
BLOODBRAID ELF IS BALANCED AND FINE
Okay, look, back in the day this wasn’t the case. There was less good removal so I can see why Wizards decided to ban such an unbalanced card that could cast most of a deck for free using cascade, cascade says that when you play this card, you get to keep flipping until you get a spell that costs less than this one and play it for free. So, let’s break that decision in this deck because hell, BBE made such a low splash over the weekend that the unbanning looks JUSTIFIED. Such a fall from grace.
YOU MADE THE LIST.
CASCADE TARGETS = 22
Ancestral Visions was unbanned only last year and totally not abusive at all. It can’t possibly be broken in a deck like this at all unless you consider paying zero draw three as broken *nervous laugh*. Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Thoughtscour can be used to help peel cards off the top of your library after JTMS Brainstorms you and is some nice cheap card draw. Also, it can help you deck your opponent should things get really sticky.
Lightning Bolt is as good as direct damage and creature burn can get, for just one red mana, a Lightning Bolt has ended many a game by giving decks a little extra reach.
Release to the Wind may seem like a stretch, but it’s an amazing instant that you all should be aware of, it re-triggers your enter the battlefield from both Bloodbraid Elf and Goblin Darkdwellers. This means we can escape our BBE from being killed AND get another cast trigger, as Release lets us CAST it for free. Same with Snapcaster Mage, Goblin Dark-dwellers and can also save your JTMS from death!
Snapcaster Mage is a modern staple, it would want to be at approximately $60 AUD per copy. The great thing is that Snappy can help you to re-cast those awesome spells that are in your bin, allowing for even more fun with Lightning Bolt!
Electrolyze is certainly right up our alley, hyper-aggressive, straight to your opponent’s dome and draw a card. Great for that bit of extra reach or killing off those pesky 1/1 spirit tokens.
Pulse of Murasa is surprisingly good at adding maximum value in the form of getting back any creature in our bin NAD netting us six life. That’s a massive swing. The major issue is it feels bad to hit this off BBE, even if you fished out a sac land. We might end up playing just two of these in the main against decks like Burn.
That’s it for today, the deck is all about value and playing things for free while either advancing the game or getting the maximum tempo. I hope you enjoyed the article and be reminded to share far and wide! – Chesh.