Exploring Bant Superfriends in Modern

Feature Article from Ali Aintrazi
Ali Aintrazi
5/5/2015 11:02:00 AM
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I usually don't play Modern, but when I do...I play a sweet Time Warp deck! And there's nothing better than taking an extra turn with a planeswalker or four in play. This is the original list I was directed towards by a friend.

Turbo Fog by Darth_Revan (4-0)
Main Deck
Sideboard
3 Eternal Witness
Creatures [3]
2 Garruk Wildspeaker
1 Gideon Jura
1 Jace Beleren
2 Jace, Architect of Thought
2 Narset Transcendent
1 Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
1 Venser, the Sojourner
Planeswalkers [10]
1 Cryptic Command
2 Dawn Charm
1 Ethereal Haze
4 Explore
1 Negate
1 Oust
3 Path to Exile
2 Savor the Moment
4 Serum Visions
1 Supreme Verdict
3 Time Warp
Spells [23]
3 Breeding Pool
3 Celestial Colonnade
4 Flooded Strand
2 Forest (262)
1 Ghost Quarter
2 Hallowed Fountain
2 Island (253)
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Simic Growth Chamber
1 Snow-Covered Plains
1 Temple Garden
Lands [24]
Deck Total [60]


2 Dispel
2 Fog
1 Nature's Claim
2 Negate
2 Shadow of Doubt
2 Stony Silence
3 Timely Reinforcements
1 Wrath of God
Sideboard [15]





Click for full deck stats & notes!

Just looking at it I was basically sold. I loved everything this deck was trying to do. The deck seemed to just durdle and do nothing... until it did everything. Exactly my type of strategy. I quickly got most of the cards from a friend and took it to a Modern Friday Night Magic to try it out.

I've played this type of strategy many a time before, so I had an idea of what I was doing. I ended up going 3-1 at FNM, the loss being to Twin. After the tournament I already didn't like some of the cards that I was playing. I heavily disliked the one Oust in the maindeck, so I quickly replaced it with the fourth Path to Exile. Path to Exile only gets better as you draw more copies, especially in Modern when your opponent's usually run out of lands to fetch up. Instant versus Sorcery is also a pretty big deal. The only time I would want Oust over Path to Exile is to Oust a turn one or turn two creature mana accelerant, while the times I would want Path to Exile over Oust are much more numerous. Path to Exile is better against Cranial Plating, man lands, any combat trick, Splinter Twin...the list just goes on. So that was an easy exchange for me.

I also didn't like the one Ethereal Haze or one-of Negate. I had Negate plenty of times in my hand and wished it was practically anything else. Dawn Charm was alright, it was a sweet card overall, but I wasn't sure that I wanted it. The idea behind it is you can Eternal Witness and return the white Fog to your hand and buy another turn for you and your planeswalkers. You can also keep doing it if you have a Venser out. While I liked this idea, I almost always would rather have a Path to Exile. So I ended up cutting it from the list as well.

I wasn't a huge fan of some of the sideboard cards, so I changed some numbers around. Then I took this list to a bigger tournament on Saturday.

Bant Superfriends by Ali Aintrazi
Main Deck
Sideboard
3 Eternal Witness
Creatures [3]
2 Garruk Wildspeaker
1 Gideon Jura
1 Jace Beleren
2 Jace, Architect of Thought
2 Narset Transcendent
1 Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
1 Venser, the Sojourner
Planeswalkers [10]
1 Cryptic Command
2 Dawn Charm
4 Explore
4 Path to Exile
2 Savor the Moment
4 Serum Visions
2 Sleight of Hand
1 Supreme Verdict
3 Time Warp
Spells [23]
3 Breeding Pool
3 Celestial Colonnade
4 Flooded Strand
2 Forest (262)
1 Ghost Quarter
2 Hallowed Fountain
2 Island (253)
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Plains (250)
1 Simic Growth Chamber
1 Temple Garden
Lands [24]
Deck Total [60]


2 Dispel
3 Nature's Claim
2 Negate
2 Shadow of Doubt
2 Stony Silence
1 Supreme Verdict
3 Timely Reinforcements
Sideboard [15]





Click for full deck stats & notes!

I just didn't like Fog so I cut them for more Nature's Claim and cut the Wrath of God for Supreme Verdict. I felt like an uncounterable wrath is what I needed more than “creatures can't be regenerated.” Especially against Merfolk and Monastery Mentor decks. The deck performed very well for me throughout the day, but I still found myself boarding out the Dawn Charm a lot. Dawn Charm was fine when you had a planeswalker in play but otherwise it didn't do much, not to mention topdecking it with no planeswalkers in play was an awful feeling. I ended up Top 8ing this event, but lost to RG Burn in the Top 8. I didn't play around Blood Moon in the last game and got deservingly punished with a hand of two Timely Reinforcements and...does it honestly matter what the rest of the hand was? I punted the match. You live and you learn.

I still wanted to champion this deck so I continued to work on it. This time I wanted to try it without any Fogs at all. I also had trouble against decks that tore your hand apart with Thoughtseize or Inquisition of Kozilek, then recurring them with Snapcaster Mage. The best way to counter that strategy is to just draw more cards. Unfortunately Ancestral Vision is not legal. So my mind went to Concentrate and Jace's Ingenuity. This was the list I settled on for another 1k Modern event the following week.

Bant Superfriends by Ali Aintrazi
Main Deck
Sideboard
3 Eternal Witness
2 Wall of Omens
Creatures [5]
1 Ajani, Mentor of Heroes
2 Garruk Wildspeaker
1 Gideon Jura
2 Jace, Architect of Thought
2 Narset Transcendent
1 Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
1 Venser, the Sojourner
Planeswalkers [10]
2 Compulsive Research
1 Cryptic Command
1 Doubling Season
4 Explore
4 Path to Exile
4 Serum Visions
1 Supreme Verdict
2 Time Warp
2 Timely Reinforcements
Spells [21]
3 Breeding Pool
3 Celestial Colonnade
4 Flooded Strand
2 Forest (262)
1 Ghost Quarter
2 Hallowed Fountain
2 Island (253)
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Plains (250)
1 Simic Growth Chamber
1 Temple Garden
Lands [24]
Deck Total [60]


2 Celestial Purge
2 Dispel
2 Kitchen Finks
3 Nature's Claim
2 Negate
1 Supreme Verdict
3 Vendilion Clique
Sideboard [15]





Click for full deck stats & notes!

As you can see I ended up not playing Jace's Ingenuity or Concentrate. Instead I opted for Compulsive Research and a singleton Doubling Season. Compulsive Research helped you mid-to-late game to dig and hopefully find what you needed. It also plays very well with Narset Transcendent.

Now just hear me out on Doubling Season, a card every Commander player knows about, but other players might not. A planeswalker enters the battlefield with double its loyalty if you have a Doubling Season in play. This is an extremely powerful effect allowing some of your planeswalkers to ultimate as soon as they enter the battlefield. It's good because if you have one in play it's forever a constant threat. You no longer have to draw a bunch of cards to recover from your opponents destroying your hand. You just need, say, a Tamiyo, Narset, or Jace to take over a game or win it on the spot. It also doubles the number of Timely Reinforcement tokens and allows Ajani to make any creature into a huge threat that either kills them or becomes They Abyss. Opted for Wall of Omens over Sleight of Hand and Coiling Oracle because it cantrips and buys us more time against our worst matchups and time is all this deck needs before it...Time Warps...get it? Deck plays Time Warp...ANYWAY!

I changed up the sideboard again to help out against decks with Counterspells with the help of Vendilion Clique to clear the way for a planeswalker to resolve; it also doubles as a threat. You don't quite know how much damage a 3/1 flier does until you're at nine health and realize you're going to die in three turns. Kitchen Finks is just an overall a good card and I figured it would double as a sideboard card not just for burn decks, but also against Jund and Liliana of the Veil decks in general. Celestial Purge was originally another card I wanted to deal with Blood Moon without having to bring in more Nature's Claims. It also happened to be very good against the Splinter Twin decks. Hitting the namesake card itself, Splinter Twin, Blood Moon, and Keranos, God of Storms. Against Abzan and Jund it hit Liliana along with Siege Rhino and Dark Confidant. Also basically an instant speed Vindicate against monored decks. Overall a very powerful sideboard card that I highly recommend.

I ended up getting a draw when I assembled infinite turns during turns and just proceeded to punt my win and in match about four times. This deck can get some very intricate decision trees once you get going. I have no one to blame but myself for the mistakes. It's okay though; again, learning more and more the more I pilot the deck. I'm going to continue to pilot this deck and try to get the best version possible. Here are some other cards I've been considering for the deck.

Mid
Low
 Leyline of Sanctity
$28.68
$18.99
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Smokedragon 3 $24.00
BaconLotusTomato 3 $24.00
Kingslayer Games 1 $24.51
MTG outlet 1 $25.00
Dobbs Games 2 $25.00
MTGFirst 7 $26.53
Cape Fear Games 1 $26.55

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Leyline of Sanctity: I think this card could be a powerful two off in the board against discard style decks and/or very dedicated burn strategies. It's also worth noting your opponents can't cast Gifts Ungiven with this card in play.

Baneslayer Angel: Just a good finisher against the aggressive strategies. Almost always better than any planeswalker. Could see this card replacing Kitchen Finks or just alongside Kitchen Finks.

Foresee: Easy to cast and digs very deep for us. Probably not worth it overall, but good to keep in mind.

Courser of Kruphix: Doesn't cantrip like Wall of Omens and costs three mana instead of two, but it gains us life and subtlety draws us extra cards with its ability.

Grand Abolisher: Possibly just better than Vendilion Clique for what we are trying to accomplish. Not as easy to cast as Clique or Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir, however it does only cost two mana and allows us to do what we want on our turns. I definitely want to try this one out.

Coiling Oracle: Another possible replacement for Wall of Omens. While it doesn't buy us as much time as Wall of Omens it can just ramp us and allow us to win faster. Like Wall of Omens it also plays well with Venser, the Sojourner.

Sphinx's Revelation: I can see this being a fine singleton over the Compulsive Researches. Just very bad early game.

Ghostly Prison / Propaganda: Slows down our opponents, make man lands miserable to attack with, and doubles as anti-Splinter Twin hate. Can't pay two mana for each of those copies!

Sigarda, Host of Herons: A nice big screw you to the Liliana Decks. Can block for ages and can just as easily put them on a four turn clock.

Heroes' Reunion: A nice way to counter two cards from any burn player at almost any time.

Batterskull: A nice card against the grindy style decks. Can also double up as a finisher against aggressive strategies. Might just be overall better than Baneslayer Angel.

Gifts Ungiven: Would have to change up the deck a decent bit but this card could be useful. Could also incorporate a reanimator package with Gifts by playing Unburial Rites and things like Iona, Shield of Emeria or Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite.

Hinterland Harbor / Glacial Fortress: I think the deck should play one or two of these cards. Just so we don't have to shock and they are very good against Choke. Garruk Wildspeaker can help against Choke but I don't think playing a couple of these can really hurt us.

Thrun, the Last Troll: A fine card if you'd rather just try to kill your control opponents instead of playing cards like Grand Abolisher or Vendilion Clique.

Telling Time / Anitcipate / Sleight of Hand: These are decent cards but I already feel like the deck does enough durdling. I wouldn't play more than two of these types of cards, but they are worth mentioning.

Kataki, War's Wage: Could easily cut a Nature's Claim for one of these guys to beat up on Affinity. I'm just not sure which is better: Kataki or a one mana instant speed Vindicate.

Tarmogoyf: Seriously considered playing Goyf over Wall of Omens as a great card that plays good defense as well as great offense. Worth mentioning and testing.

Remand: I think we tap out too much to jam this card but we should keep it on the backburner.

If you couldn't tell just by looking at it this deck, it's a blast to play. I suggest you give it a whirl. It still has a lot of room growth. Leave questions and comments below and I'll get try to get back to guys.

Welp, that's it for now guys and gals, thanks for reading and I'll see you next time.

May all the turns be yours,

Ali




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