5-Color Humans by Collins Mullen at SCG Cincinnati – 1st

Creatures (36)
4 Champion of the Parish
4 Kitesail Freebooter
4 Mantis Rider
3 Mayor of Avabruck
4 Meddling Mage
4 Noble Hierarch
3 Reflector Mage
4 Thalia’s Lieutenant
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
2 Thalia, Heretic Cathar

Non-Creature Spells (4)
4 Aether Vial

Lands (20)
1 Plains
4 Ancient Ziggurat
4 Cavern of Souls
1 Hallowed Fountain
2 Horizon Canopy
1 Temple Garden
4 Unclaimed Territory
3 Windswept Heath

Sideboard (15)
2 Ethersworn Canonist
2 Fiend Hunter
2 Izzet Staticaster
1 Mirran Crusader
1 Reflector Mage
2 Tireless Tracker
2 Vithian Renegades
2 Xathrid Necromancer
1 Anafenza, the Foremost

Summary

Modern Humans has been a deck that has slowly and quietly found itself as a viable option in Modern. Many players, myself included, scoffed at the idea of an aggro deck with an incredibly greedy mana and a mish-mash of semi-incoherent humans. However, it’s had good success, and a new innovation this past weekend could see it rise to the top of the format.

The main thing that differentiates this deck from older version is that this deck is all in on being five colors, and is less interested in “solving the manabase.” Ancient Ziggurat, Cavern of Souls, and Unclaimed Territory all allow you to make the manabase work. However, this makes it hard for non-human spells to see play in the deck, and thus Collected Company was cut. Kitesail Freebooter and Mantis Rider are the two big gains from making this shift in manabase. Freebooter does a good job of stunting the opponent’s game plan development, while Mantis Rider is a very efficient attacker and blocker with evasion.

That being said, this deck does have much of the Bant or 4-Color Humans decks of old. Champion of the Parish is a powerful 1 mana creature that grows out of control very quickly, while both Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Thalia, Heretic Cathar disrupt the opponent, allowing for a considerable tempo boost to be obtained. Mayor of Avabruck and Thalia’s Lieutenant do similar things in this deck, but both are welcome inclusions. Both cards pump each other human, but Mayor can add additional creatures to the board if it flips, and Thalia’s Lieutenant grows into a formidable creature itself.

Meddling Mage is a card that I’ve been advocating in Modern for quite some time, and it’s likely at its best right now. The ability to shut down various combo decks and put “fair” opponents on the back foot (especially in combination with Kitesail Freebooter) cannot be overlooked. A 2 mana creature that wins the game when played against Storm, Ad Nauseam, and a variety of other decks when played is great in this format. Reflector Mage occupies a very different slot. The formerly banned Standard card looks to help this deck win the “fair” matchup in the format, significantly delaying the opponent’s board growth while adding a body to the board.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Mayor of Avabruck

+1 Reflector Mage

Sideboard

-1 Reflector Mage

+1 Mirran Crusader

This is day 297 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 296 here, where we featured a Standard tokens deck that takes the archetype in a completely new direction!

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