Goryo’s Shadow by sesquailtera on MtGO

Creatures (27)
4 Death’s Shadow
4 Griselbrand
3 Gurmag Angler
4 Hollow One
4 Insolent Neonate
4 Street Wraith
4 Vengevine

Non-Creature Spells (15)
4 Cathartic Reunion
4 Faithless Looting
4 Thoughtseize
3 Goryo’s Vengeance

Lands (18)
3 Blood Crypt
4 Bloodstained Mire
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Stomping Ground
1 Swamp
4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Wooded Foothills

Sideboard (15)
3 Ancient Grudge
2 Big Game Hunter
3 Collective Brutality
1 Grim Lavamancer
3 Nihil Spellbomb
3 Pyroclasm


Death’s Shadow decks in Modern have gone through enough variations that the strategy was more or less solved, with Grixis Shadow widely deemed to be the best option, with Sultai and Abzan as the other viable options. However, the deck we’re featuring today tries to do something different, by combining it with a powerful and quick combo deck.

Despite diluting the Death’s Shadow element of the deck, that part still shines through. Death’s Shadow, Thoughtseize, Street Wraith, and fetchlands are all that are really needed to facilitate this package. Because of the presence of Death’s Shadow, this deck, just like the more traditional versions, should aggressively lose life in order to get a big Shadow into play. The power of Death’s Shadow is certainly fully appreciated in this format, as it is regularly the largest creature on the field for only 1 mana. Street Wraith essentially makes the deck 56 cards, actively helping its consistency, while Modern’s manabase actively encourages you to play fetchlands for mana consistency and deck thinning.

The next important part of this deck is the Goryo’s Vengeance package. The combo is Goryo’s Vengeance plus a Griselbrand which has found its way into the graveyard. This deck plays the maximum 4 copies of Griselbrand and 3 copies of Goryo’s Vengeance, and has several ways of getting cards into the graveyard. Those ways are Insolent Neonate, Cathartic Reunion, and Faithless Looting (as well as Thoughtseize, although it’s not preferable). Each of these cards are also powerful card draw sources, allowing the deck to be card advantageous while naturally casting its spells.

All of these looting spells also enable a third package, which is the HollowVine package that has been Modern players’ favorite new synergy-focused engine in the last few weeks. It uses both Vengevine and the newly printed Hollow One to get beefy creatures into play quickly and for little to no cost. It does require that you have reliable spells that discard multiple cards, but this deck already wants to play those cards, making this an engine that doesn’t limit the deck’s power or consistency in any meaningful way.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:


-1 Vengevine

+1 Goryo’s Vengeance


-1 Grim Lavamancer

-1 Nihil Spellbomb

-1 Pyroclasm

+3 Slaughter Games

This is day 240 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 239 here, where we featured a unique Modern deck that merges the two types of Tron decks, Eldrazi and Control.

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