Video Series with Ryland: GW Company

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Hey, everyone! I'm back with another video series, this time with GW Company. Todd Stevens has been championing this deck for a while, most recently with a first-place finish at the SCG Team Constructed Open in Atlanta. This deck is an excellent choice for anyone who might be expecting a largely fair metagame and is quite a treat to play for anyone who enjoys playing lands to reap some sweet benefits.

This deck has some real wonderful synergies; other than just being a reasonable beatdown deck, your package of Azusa, Lost but Seeking, Ramunap Excavator, and Courser of Kruphix can generate some insane advantage incredibly quickly. It only gets better at that point with the possible addition of a Knight of the Reliquary or a Tireless Tracker to the mix.

The most wonderful part about this engine is the vast number of ways it can generate entirely unique types of advantage. If you have a Ramunap Excavator and an Azusa, you can use Horizon Canopy to draw three cards every turn, Ghost Quarter to demolish three of your opponents lands per turn, or add Courser to begin gaining a minimum of three life per turn. With the low number of basics many decks in Modern contain, you can quickly get to the point where you are Strip Mine-ing your opponent multiple times every turn, all the while gaining extra life or making additional clues.

Knight of the Reliquary allows you to control the top card of your library when you have a Courser, tutor for your Gavony Township, Ghost Quarter, or Horizon Canopy, and beat down efficiently. All of the cards function together wonderfully, and while you don't need all the pieces at once to be productive, each piece of the puzzle you add compiles to produce an even more formidable machine.

Honestly, as Magic players, we all love value. Who doesn't? We mention it all the time (assuredly too often). This deck scratches that itch we all have to generate as much of that sweet, sweet value as we possibly can in one turn. When playing it I often find myself trying to maximize the number of shuffles I can produce in one turn, so that I can use my clues to draw the specific cards I want, all while playing lands from the top of my library when they appear. That is why this deck is such a delight to play—when the cogs all come together, your sequencing becomes an intriguing puzzle to figure out how to draw the most cards and gain the most life, at the least expense.

That said, I am not overwhelmed by the deck's performance. It has been reasonable, and most fair matchups feel favorable. However, when confronted with the slightest whiff of degeneracy, the deck folds. This deck is flat-out poor at interacting with your opponent. Any combo-oriented match that demands early and frequent interaction (especially with something other than creatures or lands) will likely steamroll GW Company. The only ways for the deck to interact are Path to Exile (for any problematic creatures) and Ghost Quarter (for any irksome lands). Other than that, your plan quickly becomes beating down your opponent before they assemble their combo, or trying to get to the point where you are blowing up all of their lands with repeated Ghost Quarters. Against something like Storm, Ad Nauseam, Valakut, or one of Modern's many other combo decks, this will typically be far too slow. That said, we do have some sideboard slots to try and shore up some of these matchups, but if it were up to me I would pick playing against a fair deck over an unfair one every time.

Enough about the deck, let's hop into those games! As I said last time, I'm interested to hear what kind of content you'd like to see moving forward, so I can continue to evolve and improve my videos. Please let me know your thoughts, and any improvements you would like to see concerning formatting, presentation, or whatever else strikes your fancy. If you'd like to see similar content, check out my Twitch channel for some more live Modern!


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