Deck of the Week: Modern Superfriends
Ask any of my Magic playing friends what “Pinky” is and you'll get the same answer; after a disgruntled sigh you'll get this reply. “Ugh... that stupid fucking Planeswalker binder.” That's right. That stupid fucking Planeswalker binder. I don't intend to use this opportunity to brag but I own a lot of them.
Among the faded pages of my trusty Ultra Pro pink binder reside (at least) single copy of every Planeswalker ever printed. While every edition of every character isn't represented, many of the heavy hitters are there. Book promo Jace, Foil Liliana of the Veil, SDCC Jace, two dozen copies of Garruk Retlentless... I love my Planeswalkers.
You can understand my excitement when week one of Oath of the Gatewatch spoiler season came to a close and we were introduced to this little gem.
First off, this card is way better in a sealed format than people around the web are giving it credit for. While using a card to replace itself is rarely an auto include in a deck, most decks in sealed (particularly in Green) tend to consist of mostly lands and creatures. Being able to cast a limited version of Preordain in green is far better than you initially think, especially considering you're going to hit more often than not.
Standard sucks now and will likely be the same post OTG. Maybe there's going to be a good Superfriends control deck in Standard. Hell, maybe Standard won't be as bad as it is currently. Quite frankly, Standard isn't where Oath of Nissa interests me most.
Ali Aintrazi's RG Tron
For those not in the know, “Tron” decks refer to the “Urzatron,” the event that occurs when one controls all three of the Urza lands. As you can see from the cards above, once you control all three you can tap each one for more than one <> (Ugh, that's gonna take a while to get used to typing...) Assuming you have only one of each in play, you can tap those three lands for 7 mana.
In the deck above, your seven mana or more is typically used to send the likes of Karn or Wurmcoil engine to the battlefield where they are sure to wreck your opponent's afternoon. For those with more mana than problems, at the far end of your curve sits your king, Emrakul. The sight of this 15/15 Time Walking, Annihilating Eldrazi is usually enough to score you a victory via a frustrated scoop.
Typically, all of the creatures you'll be casting in a Tron build are colorless, making the need for more than one basic a non issue. Aside from the obligatory Path to Exile target, the mana in your deck is going to be pretty cookie cutter, most changes occurring in the slot filled by Grove of the Burnwillows. For the budget conscious, Grove of the Burnwillows, or Horizon Canopy can easily be slotted out for for their shock land counterpart.
We've seen what can be accomplished when you have enough mana to cast a Wurmcoil on turn three, but what if that mana suddenly could be cast for W, U, B, G or R? Of course there is a bit of a restriction to the usage of this mana, and that of course is that it can only be used to cast the game's signature spell, The Planeswalker.
Before we go any further, there is a question that has to be addressed: Can a deck of Planeswalkers hold a candle to that turn three Wurmcoil? I certainly think so. However, the method we take to victory likely isn't going to be the smash mouth RG route, but one built off of the UG Tron shell.
Aeropaws' UG Superfriends
That is a rough build of a Superfriends deck, slotting out the large colorless creatures for the likes of Jace and company. Oath of Nissa unlocks the potential for all of our “Pinkys'” and breaths some new life into an archetype that hasn't been tier one for some time.
While I believe that casting your walkers early and often with the “Tron” shell could lead to a swift victory, Oath of Nissa can be slotted into any mana abusive deck, or even those that play a more fair match up. I can see Oath of Nissa being slotted into shells ranging from Scapeshift, to Free Win Red. Imagine an aggressive Bant Control deck replacing some of the more situational counterspells for 'Walkers.
Oath of Nissa has been the most exciting card printed for Modern in a long time. While players struggle to make bad cards from Zendikar playable in Modern, Oath of Nissa appears to be a clear cut contender for extended play. I'm excited to see where the future takes this card and can't wait to sleeve up my copies when they become available, later this month.