Friday, December 6, 2013

Beier's Brews

Welcome to another one of Beier’s Brews.  Today I am going to try my hand at a modern deck.  I am not that familiar with modern as a format, but am interested in getting into it, and this is a deck that I might want to try out.  Today’s deck is not centered on a card, as the last one was, but instead centered on a theme…discard.  I have always liked discard as a theme.  There really is nothing better than having your opponent discard a big spell they have been waiting all game to cast.  As I was searching Gatherer for some inspiration, I came to a conclusion – there are a lot of discard spells out there.  Some of them are very good, and some are very bad.  I have taken the time to sort through the ones I think are good (which most made it into this deck), and some that are bad (sorry mind rot…you are a staple in almost every set that is released, but you don’t make the cut).  So without further ado, let’s look at the deck.
Discard spells:
Thoughtseize – probably one of the best discard spells ever printed.  For 1 mana, I get to choose which card you get rid of.  Thanks to this being reprinted in Theros, it is much more affordable.
Blackmail – acts like a mini thoughtseize, in that you get to choose the card your opponent pitches, but they only have to show you 3 cards instead of their whole hand.  In a dedicated discard deck, this may not even matter though, as they probably won’t have more than 3 cards in hand past turn 3.
Raven’s Crime – a 1 mana discard a card spell that also has retrace, so late in the game you can turn extra lands into discard. 
Inquisition of Kozilek – another thoughtseize wannabe, only this time you can only choose a spell with converted mana cost 3 or less.  Given the choice, I would always cast this discard spell on turn 1.  It has the most potential to completely stall your opponent, with no drawback to you.
Despise – like inquisition, but this one only targets creatures or planeswalkers. 
Wrench Mind – having your opponent discard 2 cards for 2 mana is amazing…this is as close as they will come to reprinting Hymn to Tourach.  There is a slight chance your opponent has an artifact to discard, but I’m willing to take the chance.
Blightning – one of my personal favorite discard spells.  This deck could very easily be mono-black, but I really wanted an excuse to play this card.  If you have no attachment to it at all, I would take these out in favor of something else.
Augur of Skulls – this comes down on turn 2, can act as a blocker due to its regeneration, and can be sacked to have your opponent discard.
Nyxathid – this is one of our win conditions.  A 3 mana 7/7 is unheard of.  Yes, it gets -1/-1 for each card in your opponent’s hand, but by the time you drop this, it’s going to be pretty close to 7/7.
Other win conditions:
Shrieking Affliction – this is the fun part of the deck.  This card will ensure that your opponent does everything in their power to keep cards in their hand.  They won’t be able to race you, because you made them discard all their threats.  Now for 1 mana, they are taking 3 damage every turn if they have 1 or 0 cards in hand.
The Rack – just like Shrieking Affliction, the Rack will punish your opponent for having fewer than 3 cards in hand.  All that work you did to make them discard is paying off.  Having multiples of either of these cards out will make quick work of their life total.
All put together, here is what the deck looks like

Land (20):
4 x Lavaclaw Reaches
4 x Blood Crypt
12 x swamp
Spells (32):
4 x Thoughtseize
4 x Raven’s Crime
4 x Blackmail
2 x Inquisition of Kozilek
2 x Despise
4 x Wrench Mind
4 x Blightning
4 x Shrieking Affliction
4 x the Rack
Creatures (8):
4 x Augur of Skulls
4 x Nyxathid

As I mentioned before, this deck can very easily move into mono black by taking out the blightnings.  Other considerations to try could be Mire’s Toll, Quest for the Nihil Stone, or Smallpox.  Noticeably absent from this deck is the combination of Liliana’s Caress/Megrim.  I felt that I would rather be forcing my opponent to discard on turn 2 and 3 instead of playing these spells.  That’s not to say they wouldn't work, I just felt I would rather go with more discard and punishment through the affliction/rack combo.  One final note, this deck may need some removal.  Lightning bolt makes a solid addition if keeping in the red, as would terminate or dreadbore.  If you were to move into mono black, doom blade, ultimate price, hero’s downfall, or dismember would do the trick.

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