Feature Article from Seth Manfield

Modern Nahiri Jeskai (Videos)

Seth Manfield

5/12/2016 11:02:00 AM

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Modern is on the move and one of the hottest new strategies involves searching up Emrakul, the Aeons Torn by going ultimate with Nahiri, the Harbinger. Pulling off an ultimate with Nahiri, the Harbinger is actually not that difficult in a deck filled with removal. As a result, the waning Jeskai Control decks got a major boost.

Nahiri Jeskai by Pythuz
Main Deck
Sideboard
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
1 Pia and Kiran Nalaar
4 Snapcaster Mage
Creatures [6]
4 Nahiri, the Harbinger
Planeswalkers [4]
2 Anger of the Gods
2 Anticipate
1 Electrolyze
1 Hallowed Moonlight
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Lightning Helix
3 Mana Leak
4 Path to Exile
3 Remand
2 Spell Snare
Spells [25]
1 Arid Mesa
4 Celestial Colonnade
2 Clifftop Retreat
1 Desolate Lighthouse
4 Flooded Strand
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Island (286)
2 Mountain (292)
2 Plains (283)
1 Sacred Foundry
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Steam Vents
1 Sulfur Falls
Lands [25]
Deck Total [60]


1 Anger of the Gods
2 Aven Mindcensor
3 Crumble to Dust
2 Dispel
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Lightning Helix
1 Magma Spray
2 Negate
1 Timely Reinforcements
1 Wear // Tear
Sideboard [15]





Click for full deck stats & notes!

The biggest problem for Modern control decks over the past couple years is the inability to filter their draws. Control decks need a lot of lands, but there aren't any good sources of card draw. Snapcaster Mage is one form of card advantage, but other than that, flooding out is one of the ways even a Jeskai Control deck can lose in the lategame.

Nahiri, the Harbinger flips that heuristic on its head, while also acting as a win condition that finishes the game quickly. Some Jeskai decks used to play cards like Geist of Saint Traft to have a way of ending the game, but there were a variety of issues with those types of win conditions. Unlike Jeskai's prior win conditions, Nahiri, the Harbinger is actually very difficult to answer. Sure, there are some Maelstrom Pulses floating around, but even Maelstrom Pulse is just a one-for-one trade.

Once Nahiri, the Harbinger has made it into the deck playing Emrakul, the Aeons Torn has a low opportunity cost. It is just a singleton that you can loot away, and also wins the game when used in conjunction with Nahiri, the Harbinger. It may seem odd that Nahiri, the Harbinger isn't seeing that much play in Standard, but it is now looking to be a Modern staple, and a large part of that has to do with Emrakul, the Aeons Torn.

Mid
Low
 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
$28.95
$18.52
Store QTY Price  
Gamers N Geeks 2 $21.41
Goblin Games MHK 1 $21.41
Goblin Games MHK 1 $21.41
TC's Rockets 1 $21.41
Nerdvana Games 1 $21.41
Heros Haven MS 1 $21.46
KaboomVB 1 $21.62
Narshe Games 1 $21.75
EoT Games 1 $21.76
bbqGames 1 $21.90
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Emrakul, the Aeons Torn Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

With Eldrazi decks no longer as popular as they once were it seems that Abzan Company, Burn, Zoo, Affinity, and even Tron are the most popular decks at the moment. Most of these rely heavily on creatures, and Jeskai Control has a ton of removal in order to deal with creature threats. By playing few creatures in the deck, it leaves more room for interaction, and even threats like Snapcaster Mage, Pia and Kiran Nalaar, and Nahiri, the Harbinger can be used as removal. Clearly the deck has plenty of removal and countermagic, but there is one card that it may seem odd not to include.

Ancestral Vision is a card that most blue decks are playing at the moment, yet this one opts not to. How come?

This is a deck that wants to hold up Spell Snare, play a removal spell, or just start off with a land that comes into play tapped on the first turn of the game. However, because of how important suspending Ancestral Vision on turn one is, you would need to accommodate for the card, and change the deck's turn-one gameplan. Later in the game, Ancestral Vision is a very underwhelming draw. So far it has not been missed in this archetype, though there will be people that try to include it.

Thanks for reading,

Seth Manfield