Bant Spirits by Draccon136 on MtGO

Creatures (25)
4 Geist of Saint Traft
4 Mausoleum Wanderer
4 Ninja of the Deep Hours
4 Noble Hierarch
3 Rattlechains
2 Spell Queller
4 Tallowisp

Non-Creature Spells (14)
4 Disrupting Shoal
3 Shining Shoal
1 Angelic Destiny
1 Curiosity
1 Hyena Umbra
1 Rancor
1 Steel of the Godhead
2 Temporal Isolation

Lands (21)
3 Botanical Sanctum
1 Breeding Pool
1 Dryad Arbor
1 Forest
1 Hallowed Fountain
3 Horizon Canopy
1 Island
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Plains
1 Temple Garden
4 Windswept Heath

Sideboard (15)
1 Dispel
1 Eidolon of Rhetoric
1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
1 Kataki, War’s Wage
2 Meddling Mage
1 Negate
2 Path to Exile
1 Rest in Peace
1 Spell Queller
1 Spirit Link
2 Stony Silence
1 Unflinching Courage

Summary

No, this isn’t Standard. Spell Queller, Rattlechains, and Mausoleum Wanderer have found their way into Modern! In October, Caleb Durward won a Modern SCG Open in Milwaukee with Bant Spirits. However, Durward’s list is very different from the one we’re featuring in this article, which was piloted by Draccon136 on MtGO on January 14. Even though the Caleb Durward deck and the Draccon136 deck can both be considered to be in the rather unexplored Bant Spirits archetype, the main similarity is the cards, but not the strategy of the deck as a whole.

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For the sake of brutal honesty, I had to look up what Tallowisp did. It’s not exactly a card that you expect to see at a Modern tournament, or any tournament, frankly. However, the doinky little spirit may have found a home as the engine of this Bant Spirits deck. Without Tallowisp, this deck plays a tempo-beatdown game with Geist of Saint Traft, Mausoleum Wanderer, and Ninja of the Deep Hours. However, with Tallowisp, the deck becomes an engine, with each spirit or arcane (remember, we’re playing Disrupting Shoal and Shining Shoal) finding an aura to continue the beatdown, or finding Curiosity to draw into more spirits (and therefore more auras). Ninja of the Deep Hours plays an interesting role in this deck. It bounces creatures with powerful enter the battlefield effects like Rattlechains and Spell Queller. However, regardless of what it bounces, if it’s a spirit and you have a Tallowisp in play, that’s another aura you can search out of your deck when you replay the spirit.

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The mainboard aura suite covers a few bases. Curiosity is a good inclusion, as it allows the engine of the deck to function at a better rate. Steel of the Godhead allows your Geist of Saint Traft or other attacker to go unblocked, putting a very respectable clock on your opponent. Angelic Destiny, Rancor, and Hyena Umbra all serve slightly different purposes, but all want you to beat down and have some element of evasion or resiliency built in. Temporal Isolation is another card that I’m not ashamed to admit that I had to look up. Essentially, it’s a 2 mana removal spell that can be searched for by Tallowisp and played at instant speed. Disrupting Shoal is an excellent card in this deck, even without Tallowisp. The ability to counter a removal spell in combat after tapping out for an aura in our main phase is great. Shining Shoal is less exciting, but can be useful when a Lightning Bolt is pointed at one of your creatures or if you have a Tallowisp in play and are fine paying 2 mana to search your deck for an aura.

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This deck struggles with decks that don’t play into the tempo game. Primarily, this means linear decks that are faster than Bant Spirits and aren’t trying to interact with it. Good examples of these types of deck are Burn, Affinity, and Bloom Titan. I think the sideboard of this deck is currently a little rough, but it has some of the important pieces that are needed to turn some of those matchups around. I think this deck has a lot of promise as a niche deck in Modern that can surprise people when they don’t know what to expect, so if you’re looking for a new deck that tests your proficiency with the deck and your opponent’s knowledge of the format, I highly suggest this Bant Spirits deck. Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Shining Shoal

-1 Rancor

+2 Spell Queller

Sideboard

-1 Dispel

-1 Eidolon of Rhetoric

-1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant

-1 Negate

-1 Rest in Peace

-1 Spell Queller

+2 Path to Exile

+2 Unflinching Courage

+2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

This is day 16 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that excites us. You can ready day 15 here, where we featured a Modern control deck that is looking to make a resurgence.

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