Modern Deck Primer: Splinter Twin Pt. 2 – TarmoTwin

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Part 1: Splinter TwinPart 2: Tarmo-Twin  |  Part 3: WUR Twin

In Part 1 of the Splinter Twin Modern Deck Primer, we discussed the basics of how these decks operate, how they want to win the game, and how they sideboard.   We also looked at a sample deck list from Pro Tour: Born of the Gods called "Tempo Twin".  Today we're going to look at another PTBNG deck list that performed quite well.  This list also contains the Splinter Twin combo engine, but aims to be more aggressive and present early threats.


Patrick Dickmann

Cute Play of the Deck: When an opponent uses countermagic targeting one of your spells, consider responding with a Remand targeting your own spell. It's slow, but it's good value! Remand is also particularly effective against spells that are being cast via flashback (Snapcaster Mage, Lingering Souls, Unburial Rites). The countered spell will be exiled rather than returned to your opponent's hand, and you still get to draw a card.

Get the new art when Duel Decks: Jace vs Vraska comes out. Way cooler.

If you're looking to win a Modern tournament, Tarmo Twin is my recommendation. Tarmogoyf is a perfect fit for the deck because it's an extremely efficient creature that can come down turn 2, before you want to be holding up mana to represent a combo kill. Additionally, Tarmogoyf combines nicely with Deceiver Exarch to overwork opposing removal. Most decks don't play enough answers for this many 4+ toughness creatures. Your opponents will have to make difficult decisions regarding whether they want to lose life to the Tarmogoyf on the board or lose the game to the potential Deceiver Exarch in your hand.

Tarmogoyf is also a metagame call in that it is an efficient blocker against the recently unbanned Wild Nacatl. Tarmo Twin puts less emphasis on the combo aspect of the deck, instead favoring the fair game plan. Tarmogoyf and Scavenging Ooze are definitely fair cards, replacing more combo oriented cards such as Dispel, Spellskite, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, and Vendilion Clique. Scavenging Ooze stretches the mana base a little, but it's really not too rough considering Tempo Twin was already splashing some green for Ancient Grudge in the sideboard.

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The two colorless lands are cut, which is justified in 3 ways. First, one of the lands that got cut was Tectonic Edge, which obviously doesn't generate mana after it's sacrificed. Second, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker was cut from the deck, and it was the most expensive card. Third, two Gitaxian Probes were added. 0-mana cyclers can help you hit early land drops and make your deck, effectively, 58 cards instead of 60. The sorcery count was doubled to support Tarmogoyf, adding 2 Gitaxian Probes and 2 Flame Slash.

Perhaps the most important change to the sideboard is Anger of the Gods over Grim Lavamancer. Sweepers such as Anger of the Gods are much better when some of your creatures are large enough to survive them. Additionally, Anger of the Gods is a great metagame decision against Wild Nacatl, and for exiling creatures such as Kitchen Finks and Voice of Resurgence against the ever-popular Birthing Pod decks.

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In Part 3, we'll be covering the more defensive and controlling WUR Twin, a good choice if your local metagame is flooded with aggressive decks or aggressive people.

12 thoughts on “Modern Deck Primer: Splinter Twin Pt. 2 – TarmoTwin

    1. It’s a race. Sometimes your countermagic slows them down enough for your creatures and burn to get the job done. Sometimes you combo them before they combo you. Sometimes you lose. Ad Nauseum can be a tricky deck to play against, even if you do assemble your combo they can buy a turn with Angel’s Grace. Dispel, Negate, Counterflux out of the sideboard are huge improvements over cards like Flame Slash and Electrolyze.

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