Mardu Tokens by axksel on MtGO

Creatures (11)
3 Abbot of Keral Keep
3 Butcher of the Horde
4 Dark Confidant
1 Grim Lavamancer

Non-Creature Spells (27)
1 Dreadbore
3 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Kolaghan’s Command
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Lightning Helix
4 Lingering Souls
4 Path to Exile
3 Thoughtseize
3 Bitterblossom

Lands (22)
2 Arid Mesa
4 Blackcleave Cliffs
1 Blood Crypt
2 Bloodstained Mire
1 Godless Shrine
4 Marsh Flats
1 Mountain
1 Plains
1 Sacred Foundry
3 Shambling Vent
1 Swamp
1 Vault of the Archangel

Sideboard (15)
2 Anger of the Gods
1 Avalanche Riders
2 Aven Mindcensor
2 Blood Baron of Vizkopa
3 Rest in Peace
3 Stony Silence
1 Timely Reinforcements
1 Zealous Persecution

Summary

With the massive, sweeping changes taking place in Standard, both with the impending arrival of Aether Revolt and the banning of the 3 best cards in the format, writing any Deck of the Days on Standard is pointless, for the time being. So, get excited for some Modern and Legacy decks!

Today, we are featuring an innovative Mardu Tokens deck piloted by axksel on MtGO on January 9. Despite being a deck focused on token production and taking advantage of those tokens, the core of this deck evolved more from Mardu Control than B/W Tokens. It has an extensive discard and removal suite that allows the pilot to further take advantage of creatures with card advantage built in, like Dark Confidant and Abbot of Keral Keep. Butcher of the Horde is an interesting inclusion in this deck, as it has generally been considered below the needed quality to break through in Modern. However, it fits very well in this deck. One of the glaring weaknesses of this deck is the small size of the creatures.

Butcher of the Horde provides a large beater that can also function as a 4 mana repeatable Lava Axe, which can close games out very quickly. Piloting this deck is hard, make no mistake. It’s not fast, so you must work small edges in every game. The deck can run out of gas quickly, so protecting Dark Confidant and using Lingering Souls properly can be the difference between winning and losing a match. It may seem that removal spells can be pointed anywhere with this deck, but the deck cannot function without them, so having prior knowledge of where to direct removal spells in each matchup is critical if you want to play this deck.

This deck thrives against aggressive, creature-based decks, such as Infect and Zoo, as well as control decks, due to incremental advantage cards that are difficult to interact with, such as Bitterblossom. It also has a huge leg up in Dark Confidant mirror matches, as Lingering Souls and Bitterblossom are both excellent in the matchup. Even though it may not seem like it on the surface, this deck actually struggles against fast non-creature combo decks. The 6 maindeck targeted discard spells are not enough to turn matchups like Ad Nauseam or Scapeshift favorable. The general saying of how to beat combo is “pressure with disruption”. This deck struggles with both.

For me, the glaring hole omission in this deck is Liliana of the Veil. Despite Liliana somewhat declining in favorability over the past few months, the banning of Golgari Grave-Troll will see everyone’s favorite black planeswalker return to her former greatness. By not cutting Rest in Peace, I’m assuming that Dredge will remain a part of the Modern metagame (but not as large of a part as it is now). Here are the changes I would make going forward to this deck:

Mainboard

-1 Dreadbore

-1 Kolaghan’s Command

-1 Grim Lavamancer

+3 Liliana of the Veil

Sideboard

-1 Avalanche Riders

-2 Aven Mindcensor

-2 Blood Baron of Vizkopa

+1 Grim Lavamancer

+2 Duress

+2 Kolaghan’s Command

This is day 10 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different deck from Standard, Modern, or Legacy. You can read day 9 here, where we featured a deck that was successful with Emrakul, the Promised End, but will likely stick around after the eldrazi’s banning.

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