Modern Spirits (Videos)

Feature Article from Craig Wescoe
Craig Wescoe
8/10/2016 11:01:00 AM
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W/U Spirits by Craig Wescoe
Main Deck
4 Drogskol Captain
2 Judge's Familiar
4 Mausoleum Wanderer
4 Phantasmal Image
3 Rattlechains
3 Selfless Spirit
4 Spell Queller
Creatures [24]
1 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
Planeswalkers [1]
4 Aether Vial
2 Favorable Winds
4 Lingering Souls
4 Path to Exile
Spells [14]
2 Cavern of Souls
4 Flooded Strand
1 Godless Shrine
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Island (286)
1 Marsh Flats
1 Moorland Haunt
4 Mutavault
1 Plains (283)
1 Polluted Delta
3 Seachrome Coast
1 Watery Grave
Lands [21]
Deck Total [60]

2 Disenchant
1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Gut Shot
3 Kataki, War's Wage
2 Negate
2 Rest in Peace
1 Spell Pierce
2 Spellskite
1 Supreme Verdict
Sideboard [15]

Click for full deck stats & notes!

With the printing of Spell Queller, Mausoleum Wanderer, and Selfless Spirit, I wanted to try out Spirits in Modern to see just how good it can be.

 Aether Vial
Store QTY Price  
hamscardscom 1 $33.00
The End Zone 1 $33.99
Ramps to lffl 1 $34.00
Top Deck CGAZ 1 $34.67
adventuresON 3 $35.79
Tabletop Game Swap 1 $35.83
NWGamersChoice 1 $35.96

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Magic MTG Card Aether Vial Magic MTG Card
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I started with the premise that AEther Vial should be the backbone of the deck, which may or may not be correct. Instead, the deck could be Bant and play Collected Company, or it could run Spectral Procession and be more of a token deck that goes wider. I have yet to try those strategies to see how they compare with the AEther Vial strategy.

By playing AEther Vial, we also get Mutavault since our mana isn't tied up in casting creatures each turn. Mutavault works especially well with Drogskol Captain. After playing several matches with the deck, the land that actually impressed me the most was Moorland Haunt. I might also try Windbrisk Heights, especially if I add Spectral Procession and cut Mutavault, which is where I'm currently leaning.

Judge's Familiar and Rattlechains were the least impressive cards in the deck. I could see cutting those for Spectral Procession. I would also like some way to decrease the flood/drought variance with the mana. Serum Visions could help with this. If we add Serum Visions and Spectral Procession, Snapcaster Mage could also be a consideration (since we also run Path to Exile). At this point AEther Vial becomes less effective, but maybe there is a sweet spot since AEther Vial was very good.

 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
Store QTY Price  
The Eternal Squirrel 1 $3.50
TBS Comics FL 1 $3.64
Traveling Merchant 3 $3.65
Qs CardsnComics 1 $3.75
Armada Games 1 $3.99
Sunshine Games 1 $4.25
MTG Rares 3 $4.34

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Magic MTG Card Sorin, Solemn Visitor Magic MTG Card
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Sorin, Solemn Visitor over-performed. It was great every time I cast it. Since all our creatures fly, it's easy to find ourselves in a racing situation, and Sorin, Solemn Visitor is about the best card ever printed to help win a race in the air. Favorable Winds was also mostly good, though not pumping Mutavault was kind of awkward.

Drogskol Captain was fantastic, especially when being copied with Phantasmal Image. I definitely want to maintain that synergy in whatever direction I go with the deck.

Selfless Spirit was kind of medium. It's a great answer to sweepers that naturally fits into the theme of what the deck is trying to do, but depending on the metagame, it might be better suited to the sideboard. Few decks run Anger of the Gods, Pyroclasm, Whipflare, Supreme Verdict, or Damnation main deck, but many bring them in post-board. The correct strategy might be to do the same with Selfless Spirit. It seems like a more versatile version of Burrenton Forge-Tender or Brave the Elements, neither of which are stellar maindeck cards.

The real MVPs were exactly the ones I expected to be MVPs: Spell Queller and Mausoleum Wanderer. Mausoleum Wanderer was excellent, especially with Lingering Souls + flashback on turn five. Attacking for five with a Judge's Familiar gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

 Spell Queller
Store QTY Price  
Jse comics cards 1 $4.00
Gamers Domain 3 $4.32
Rockkicker 1 $4.35
Inside The Labyrinth 1 $4.35
Frantic Gnome Games 1 $4.42
Black Gold 1 $4.50
Grafdiggers 4 $4.54

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Spell Queller exceeded my already high expectations. The card is extremely powerful and I want to try it out in other decks to find out the best home for it. Maybe white/blue hatebears with Leonin Arbiter and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben? Maybe Bant Company with Reflector Mage? Those are the things I plan to try next in my preparation for Grand Prix Indianapolis in a couple weeks.

The deck in its current form is solid. I played approximately a dozen matches with the deck and won about two thirds of them. With some tinkering, I think it could potentially be very good. If you're looking for something fun to play that showcases Spell Queller and his new spirit friends, try this deck out. If you want a pet project to work on, try tinkering with the various alternate builds I've suggested. And if you want to become a better Magic player, watch my videos closely and try to understand why I make all the plays I make. My video series is intended not only to showcase decks but also to walk you through my thought processes so you can gain a deeper understanding of how to navigate complex boardstates.

Hopefully you find these videos both enjoyable and instructive!

Craig Wescoe

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