A few months ago Five-Color Humans broke onto the scene, and the deck really took off. It won an SCG Open right off the bat, and in what seemed like no time at all it became a staple of the format, or at least one of the 100 tier two decks you can play to success in Modern on a given weekend. Heck, I tried the deck out myself for Mining Modern the day after it made its first appearance, and the results were impressive.
But there's more than one way to play Humans in this format.
Champion of the Parish and Thalia's Lieutenant are quite the team, but it turns out they don't necessarily need to go digging into the rest of the color pie to find cohorts. It turns out you can stay mono-white and still find your way to 5-0 in a Modern Competitive League.
This deck contains the same basic elements of Five-Color Humans, but it has strengths of its own. For starters, did you know that Field Marshal is quietly one of the best lord effects in Modern? After playing with the Human Soldier I'm pumped to eventually brew up Modern Soldiers, but it turns out it works perfectly in a Human tribal deck as well, because every creature in the deck besides Mirran Crusader is naturally a Soldier! And while Thalia's Lieutenant is a nutty anthem effect, pumping the team and giving them all first strike is just absolutely devastating.
Field Marshall is the biggest addition to this deck that the Five-Color build can't fully utilize, but it's just the tip of the iceberg. By eschewing a complicated mana base, this deck gets to take advantage of its mana base in a much different way – by getting tons of extra value out of its lands. Mutavault attacks and blocks at a benefit with lords out, while access to Ghost Quarter, Horizon Canopy and Shefet Dunes all give the deck additional angles of attack. Heck, even Eiganjo Castle gets in the action, pairing perfectly with the host of Thalias this deck employs, not to mention Kytheon, Hero of Akros.
Of course, Brave the Elements may be the biggest draw, because it does whatever you need it to. Need to alpha strike? The elements are on your side. Need to survive a Pyroclasm or Anger of the Gods? That's not enough to scare the team. Even spot removal like Dismember or Fatal Push gets countered for just a single white mana.
And while the Five-Color build has tempo built in, this deck has actual card advantage. Ranger of Eos and Thraben Inspector alongside Horizon Canopy keep the gas coming, while Mirran Crusader can essentially solo several decks out of the format – including Grixis Death's Shadow from time to time. With an even more aggressive slant thanks to a wealth of one-drops – even Soldier of the Pantheon gets in on the action – this deck can prevent a very fast clock while also providing a little bit of disruption and card advantage itself. And while Aether Vial may initially seem like an omission, the deck is plenty fast enough without it thanks to how many one-drops it plays, and removing blank topdecks late keeps the gas coming at all times.
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