Making It In Modern: Spirits After M19

Hello and welcome to another installment of Making It In Modern!  This past Friday, we received the full spoiler for the new Core Set 19, and it has definitely shaped up to be a good looking set!  We are going to be seeing a whole cast of new lords for creature tribal decks, sweet rehashing of the elder dragons from Legends, and five new Planeswalkers that will all see play in various formats across the game.  We also got to see some great sideboard hate cards in most of the colors that will assuredly see play in the Modern format.  Overall, I am very excited for the set to drop in a couple of weeks!  With all of these new cards being spoiled however, there is one card that really caught my attention and has made me want to stat building a tribal deck in Modern.  That card is Supreme Phantom, and the tribe, of course, is Spirits.  Does this Spirit Lord give Spirits what it takes to push the tribe up the tier list?  I certainly hope so!

Supreme Phantom is a pretty simple card, having flying, giving other Spirits you control +1/+1 on a 1/3 body and it costs 1U.  It certainly doesn’t pass the “dies to removal” test as it is able to be targeted by the two most common forms of removal in Lightning Bolt and Fatal Push.  I don’t think that this is such a big deal however, and I will get to that in a bit.  There is another card that was printed that may have a spot in the 75 of any Spirit deck, Remorseful Cleric.  The reason I said it has a spot in the 75 is because it is going to be a sideboard card if anything.  Remorseful Cleric is a 2/1 flyer that costs 1W that you can sacrifice to remove all of the cards in a graveyard from the game.  Lets take a look at the two decks that could possibly use these two new cards

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Bant Spirits

Creatures

4x Mausoleum Wanderer

4x Noble Hierarch

3x Phantasmal Image

4x Rattlechains

4x Selfless Spirit

4x Drogskol Captain

4x Geist of Saint Traft

4x Spell Queller

Spells

3x Path to Exile

4x Collected Company

Lands

2x Botanical Sanctum

2x Breeding Pool

1x Cavern of Souls

3x Flooded Strand

1x Forest

1x Gavony Township

1x Hallowed Fountain

1x Island

3x Misty Rainforest

1x Plains

1x Razorverge Thicket

1x Temple Garden

4x Windswept Heath

Sideboard

1x Engineered Explosives

3x Negate

2x Qasali Pridemage

2x Rest in Peace

2x Stony Silence

1x Eidolon of Rhetoric

2x Mirran Crusader

1x Rhox War Monk

1 Settle the Wreckage

This decklist is from Caleb Durward at the SCG Team Constructed Open Philadelphia in January 2018.  The Bant variation of Spirits utilizes the Green mana for Collected Company to put multiple Spirits on the battlefield when it is cast.  The deck plays out like a tempo deck due to the use of Spell Queller to exile your opponents spells and Rattlechains that give all of your Spirits flash.  Having one lord already in Drogskol Captain that also gives other Spirits Hexproof gives this deck a lot of play that can hold its own in combat.  There is so much synergy between the Spirits in this deck which makes it  decent deck in the format.  How does the Supreme Phantom fit in this shell?  Having not played this deck before I can only make an educated guess to the best of my ability.  If you want to run a full playset of  Supreme Phantom in this deck, I would first try to cut two Geist of Saint Traft, one Phantasmal Image, and one Path to Exile.  Doing this allows the full eight lords in the main deck and not taking too much from the utility in the core of the deck.  Geist of Saint Traft is legendary anyway, but still a pretty powerful card that puts a fast clock on your opponent.  Shaving a single Phantasmal Image still gives you access to ten lords if you so choose or still allows you the utility to copy whatever you may need.  As far as the Remorseful Cleric goes, I think if at all, it goes in the sideboard as a one or two of.  The deck already has Rest In Peace, but an extra graveyard hoser may be nice, especially on a 2/1 flying body.  The Supreme Phantom may see play in this deck, however I feel another deck is probably a better fit for it.

UW Spirits

Creatures

4x Mausoleum Wanderer

4x Leonin Arbiter

2x Phantasmal Image

4x Rattlechains

3x Selfless Spirit

3x Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

4x Drogskol Captain

4x Spell Queller

Spells

4x Aether Vial

4x Curious Obsession

3x Path to Exile

Lands

2 Island

2 Plains

4x Adarkar Wastes

4x Ghost Quarter

3x Hallowed Fountain

2x Moorland Haunt

4x Seachrome Coast

Sideboard

2x Burrenton Forge-Tender

2x Rest In Peace

1x Stony Silence

1x Eidolon of Rhetoric

3x Ceremonious Rejection

1x Disenchant

1x Path to Exile

2x Settle the Wreckage

1x Kataki, War’s Wage

1x Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

This deck comes from LinXiao who took this to a 5-0 finish in a Modern Competitive League in April 2018.  The difference between this deck and the Bant deck, of course, is the lack of green mana in this deck and Aether Vial is to this deck as Collected Company is to the Bant deck.  This version of UW Spirits mashes some elements of Death and Taxes in Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Leonin Arbiter to disrupt the opponent.  This deck also utilizes Curious Obsession for additional card advantage.  The rest of the deck is pretty much the same Aggro/Tempo style deck of the Bant version of Spirits.  In order to add in Supreme Phantom in this deck, I think it is a lot more cut and dry.  I would honestly just drop the land denial in the four Leonin Arbiters for four Supreme Phantoms.  I like keeping in Thalia for a little bit of disruption, but having an extra four lords is more than likely better than Leonin Arbiter in most cases.  I really like having Supreme Phantom in this deck more than the Bant deck because it has more pseudo evasion.  Being able to drop it on the battlefield at instant speed with both Aether Vial and Rattlechains can give it a better chance at survival especially with a Drogskol Captain on the battlefield.  This deck could play out a lot like Merfolk with vialing in lords in combat and building up to a large alpha strike.  Without the Leonin Arbiter, you are free to overhaul the manabase and add fetchlands and more shocks in place of the Ghost Quarters and Adarkar Wastes.  I still like the Seachrome Coasts, since it is a low curve deck.  I think the Remorseful Cleric also works better in the sideboard of this deck because of the Aether Vial allowing for you to use it at instant speed.  As I see this as the better fit, I intend on building this deck with at least the Supreme Phantom and testing it out extensively to see if it can indeed make it in modern.

Wrap Up

Well that is all that I have for you today.  I am very excited for the release of the new core set and look forward to grinding with Spirits in the future.  I want to know what you think! Do you think that Spirits will see a bump in the tier list because of the introduction of this new lord?  Can Spirits possibly contend with the Humans and Hollow Ones of the format?  Let me know what you think in the comments below or follow me on Twitter @T2TKS.  Also, Don’t forget to follow @MTGDecktechs and give us a like on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MTGDeckTechs/.  Check out our streams on Twitch too at twitch.tv/MTGDecktechs.  Thank you for taking the time to read this, I greatly appreciate it. I will see you all next week!

 

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Jason Stoops

Jason Stoops

Jason has been playing Magic: the Gathering for 20 years off and on. Jason first took to the game competitively in 2009, when Zendikar released and after a hiatus from 2012-2015, he came back for good when Battle for Zendikar released. Jason mainly plays Modern and Pauper and is an avid fan of green based midrange decks and other combo decks. He has two PPTQ top 4s on his list of achievements. You can follow Jason on Twitter- @T2TKS

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