W/U Death & Taxes by mandark on MtGO

Creatures (27)
1 Eldrazi Displacer
4 Flickerwisp
4 Leonin Arbiter
3 Reflector Mage
3 Restoration Angel
4 Spell Queller
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
3 Thraben Inspector
1 Weathered Wayfarer

Non-Creature Spells (10)
4 Aether Vial
4 Path to Exile
2 Smuggler’s Copter

Lands (23)
1 Adarkar Wastes
1 Eiganjo Castle
3 Flooded Strand
4 Ghost Quarter
4 Hallowed Fountain
1 Island
1 Moorland Haunt
3 Plains
1 Sea Gate Wreckage
2 Seachrome Coast
2 Tectonic Edge

Sideboard (15)
2 Blessed Alliance
1 Dusk // Dawn
2 Ethersworn Canonist
3 Kor Firewalker
3 Leonin Relic-Warder
2 Pithing Needle
2 Rest in Peace

Summary

Death & Taxes is one of the most popular and successful archetypes Legacy, and only gets stronger with each new small yet efficient white creature that’s printed. In Modern, where many of the same cards are legal, the deck hasn’t quite put up the same numbers, due in no small part to the absence of meaningful land destruction and an overall more mana heavy format. However, it can still be quite successful in the right metagame, which it looks like we could be entering.

Primarily, this deck is looking to not only cast small white creatures, but cast small white creatures that disrupt or stunt the opponent’s growth, limiting their resources and sometimes locking them out of the game. In this deck, most of the heavy lifting in this department is done by Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Leonin Arbiter. Thalia is specifically impactful in Legacy, but does good work in Modern, letting this deck gain a mana advantage over the opponent and being harder to kill than most creatures at the same cost. Leonin Arbiter is very well-suited to Modern, as it punishes fetchlands, makes Path to Exile more effective, and creates a nightmare for the opponent when combined with Ghost Quarter.

The blue splash in this deck is entirely in the mainboard, and for good reason. Both Reflector Mage and Spell Queller are high-impact 3 mana spells that stunt the opponent’s gameplan development, through bouncing creatures and countering spells respectively, while adding a decent clock to the board. Reflector Mage, along with Smuggler’s Copter, which also makes an appearance in this deck, was considered too good for Standard, and both of these cards’ potentials are just being in Modern.

Despite veering off the expected path and splashing blue, this deck has the much of the makeup of traditional D&T decks. Aether Vial still plays a critical role, as it serves as a mana advantageous 1 drop that lets the deck be tricky and play at instant speed. Flickerwisp, Restoration Angel, and Eldrazi Displacer are all included in this deck to flicker meaningful creatures like Reflector Mage, Spell Queller, and the subtly powerful Thraben Inspector.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Weathered Wayfarer

+1 Reflector Mage

Sideboard

-2 Pithing Needle

+2 Dusk // Dawn

This is day 284 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 283 here, where we featured a Modern tempo deck that looks to bring a Legacy powerhouse into the format.

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