Hammering Away: Modern Mardu Midrange

A fried showend me this list that went 6-1 in a recent Modern MOCS tournament. I kinda fell in love with it. The deck has so many of my favorite Modern legal spells that I just can’t not talk about it.

Player: aytor_92
Record: 6-1
Tournament: Modern MOCS #7704450 on 2014-11-22
Source

2 Ajani Vengeant
2 Chandra, Pyromaster
2 Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
2 Anger of the Gods
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
4 Lingering Souls
4 Night’s Whisper
1 Thoughtseize
1 Wrath of God
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Lightning Helix
4 Mardu Charm
3 Terminate
1 Batterskull
3 Arid Mesa
2 Blood Crypt
3 Bloodstained Mire
2 Clifftop Retreat
2 Dragonskull Summit
1 Godless Shrine
1 Graven Cairns
1 Isolated Chapel
3 Marsh Flats
1 Mountain
1 Plains
2 Sacred Foundry
1 Swamp

2 Thoughtseize
1 Wrath of God
4 Molten Rain
3 Slaughter Games
3 Timely Reinforcements
2 Wear & Tear

Let’s start with the removal package:
2 Anger of the Gods
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Lightning Helix
3 Terminate
4 Mardu Charm
2 Ajani Vengeant
1 Wrath of God

So Lightning Bolt, Lightning Helix, and Terminate. That’s more than enough for me to go Mardu. Bolt and Helix are my favorite spells. And then there’s Ajani Vengeant who’s a Lightning Helix on a stick and will stick around to Helix things all day. Plus they’re burn based removal so they can close a game. Hell, they can start and finish the game depending on draws. Every once in a while you get one of those hands where you’re like “welp gonna send all this to the dome and hope it gets there”. It’s not everyone’s favorite flavor of flexibility but I love it.

And then there’s Terminate. “BOOP! You’re dead” -Terminate. Terror, Doom Blade, Go for the Throat, etc. are all great removal spells but then you add a little red to it and then no more restrictions on what you can target.

Also Mardu Charm. While tecnically burn based removal I didn’t include it in the other group because it can’t hit players. That fact kinda sucks. Like a lot. But it’s okay. The ability to Raise the Alarms or Duress at instant speed makes up for it. Gotta kill a thing? Hit it for 4. Need dudes? You got dudes. Opponent about to play Splinter Twin? Not anymore.

I don’t know how I feel about the 1 Wrath of God. It seems like it would better to go all Wrath of God or all Anger of the Gods. Then again, this is a deck with a decent amount of flexibility and it should be reflected in its choice of sweeps.

I don’t know how much I like the planeswalkers.

2 Ajani Vengeant
2 Chandra, Pyromaster
2 Sorin, Lord of Innistrad

I know I love Ajani Vengeant. That’s for sure. But Chandra, Pyromaster has never felt good to me. It’s a planeswalker who basically has summoning sickness. That’s not to say it’s a bad card but always feels clunky. Obviously the later into the game you get, the better. Plus everything in the deck being fairly cheap to cast helps. So it could even come down on turn five, flip over a Bolt, Thoughtseize, or Inquisition.

Sorin, Lord of Innistrad brings back good memories of old Standard and even Block. Sorin and Lingering souls was a fun combination. At that point we also played Midnight Haunting but that’s not likely efficient enough for this deck. Sorin makes lifelink dudes to protect himself and gain you life. And then when you have enough dudes, pump out emblems and smash your opponent. Every once in a while ultimate and take your opponent’s favorite toys.

The hand disruption package seems solid. At first I didn’t know why Inquisition of Kozilek was being played over Thoughtseize but then realized a lot of threats are 3 mana or less. No reason to spend that life if a free version is going to grab most of the cards you care about anyway.

And then there’s Batterskull. Because if your deck can play Batterskull, it probably should. And this deck looks like it can handle it just fine.