If you’ve looked at any Modern results or played in an event recently, you know that Modern looks quite a bit different than it did last year.
Step one of this shift was the dominance of the Death's Shadow deck and the refining of that list. To counter that, Burn became truly viable in the format because of how great the matchup was against Death's Shadow.
The second spark that fueled this shift was the bannings of Gitaxian Probe and Golgari Grave-Troll. Banning these two cards shifted down the power of a number of archetypes to bring balance back to the force.
This past weekend really showcased the new format with all its diversity. There were three big events across the world that showed off this format in all its glory: Grand Prix Copenhagen, Grand Prix Kobe and SCG Baltimore. (Each of those links will take you to the top deck lists from each event as provided by MTGGoldfish.)
The main thing I want to highlight from those three events is the diversity of strategies available right now. Between the top eights of those events, there were a whopping fifteen different decks represented! If you look deeper down the results, you will see even more diversity. Modern has always been a robust format, but its current state seems open for any type of deck you’d like to play.
There were only two decks that had more than one entry in the three top eights. Those two strategies were six Death's Shadow and three Dredge decks. Other than that, every other spot was held by a different deck! Now that’s diversity.
Despite being the best deck right now, the price of Death's Shadow itself isn’t moving much from the Modern Masters reprint price point. Cards like Chalice of the Void, Living End and Ancestral Vision are seeing continued growth, though. With so many viable strategies, other archetypes are growing more than the best deck. This makes it hard to spec on Modern cards, but if you guess the next trend correctly, you stand to make a lot of money. Also, investing in Modern cards post Modern Masters is always a great idea, because it will normally be at least two years before they are reprinted again.
The main deck I want to focus on this week is a new Collected Company deck going by the name of Counters Company. Here’s the list that made top eight at GP Copenhagen. This deck also did well at the other two events, but didn’t quite manage to crack either top eight.
If you glance over this list, you may think this is a normal Collected Company/Chord of Calling deck. After all, it has Birds of Paradise, Viscera Seer and Kitchen Finks. The shell of the deck is quite similar to that which you’ve seen before. The difference is that the win conditions are completely different.
First up is a card you should be scouring your bulk for. I still have to check and see if I have any extra Devoted Druids myself. I have loved this card for a while, so I’m hoping I have some stashed away somewhere. This mana accelerant is great in Commander and Cube as well as now being a central part of this new Company variant.
The great thing about Devoted Druid is that instead of utilizing Wall of Roots as just a mana source, you can now have your mana be a combo piece as well. It stinks that you won’t be able to block as well and that this mana dork dies to every removal spell, but there will be pros and cons to every new version.
Okay, so here’s the combo. With Vizier of Remedies and Devoted Druid in play together, you now have infinite mana. There are tons of options for you to utilize that mana, but getting those two in play together is the key to this deck. This is also a $5 foil, so keep your eyes peeled for any cheap copies.
Once you have infinite mana, it seems like a good idea to draw your whole deck, play Rhonas, the Indomitable and make one creature big enough to trample over and kill your opponent. If you have infinite mana, though, you can cast everything in your hand to find Duskwatch Recruiter // Krallenhorde Howler and continue going off. Scrounge as many of these as you can from bulk. I know this has been a card we can barely keep in stock at my shop and now that it’s seeing play in Modern, that trend should continue.
At first, it seems like we could easily include Melira, Sylvok Outcast in this strategy and add another combo to our win conditions list, but beware, because with Melira in play, you actually can’t untap Devoted Druid.
This may be obvious, but Collected Company is amazing. Company just gets better and better because with every new set release there are more possible cards to combine together. With no foreseeable reprint anytime soon, I’d expect a price bump if this deck keeps doing well.
I love Anafenza, the Foremost in Modern right now. It’s great against Dredge as well as helps out against any other deck trying to use creatures in the graveyard to their benefit. At $2, this is a great investment.
Lastly, I wanted to mention Selfless Spirit. This may be a one-of in the sideboard, but I’ve seen this flyer more and more recently. At $3, I think this is a great long-term investment. At the very least, holding onto a playset for yourself seems like a great idea. This is a very reprintable card, though, so I wouldn’t go too deep, but if they hold off for a while you could make a little money.
The great thing about this new version of Coco is that it’s going to be easier to assemble than the Melira combo was. With this version, you only need two cards instead of three. Granted, you need something to spend your infinite mana on, but you can also win a turn sooner than Melira did. Being able to win on turn three is no joke.
What’s your favorite strategy in Modern? Do you like the new options or would you rather stick to tried and true strategies you’ve been playing for a while? Let me know in the comments.
Until next time,
Unleash the Company Force!