Jeskai Aggro by magusdovinhedo on MtGO

Creatures (20)
1 Archangel Avacyn
4 Earthshaker Khenra
3 Lightning Angel
4 Mantis Rider
4 Snapcaster Mage
4 Spell Queller

Non-Creature Spells (16)
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Lightning Helix
4 Mana Leak
4 Path to Exile

Lands (24)
3 Arid Mesa
3 Celestial Colonnade
1 Clifftop Retreat
1 Field of Ruin
4 Flooded Strand
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Island
1 Mountain
2 Plains
1 Sacred Foundry
3 Scalding Tarn
3 Steam Vents

Sideboard (15)
2 Blessed Alliance
2 Ceremonious Rejection
1 Counterflux
1 Detention Sphere
1 Disdainful Stroke
1 Electrolyze
1 Izzet Staticaster
2 Negate
1 Settle the Wreckage
1 Surgical Extraction
1 Swan Song
1 Wear // Tear

Summary

As combo decks continue to rise in popularity in Modern, tempo decks with good clocks backed up by counter spells have been on the rise as a way of countering these strategies. Jeskai Geist, specifically, put up impressive results the last several weekends, but the deck we’re featuring today could dethrone it, as it offers more evasive aggression and a more linear game plan.

Perhaps the most important part of a tempo game plan is the aggression that is put on the board that can be ridden to victory. Mantis Rider is a card that has been frequently found in these strategies before, and it makes a center stage appearance here as well. For a similar effect, this deck also plays Lightning Angel, which dodges removal spells like Lightning Bolt which are currently on the rise in Modern. Earthshaker Khenra is perhaps a surprising card to see in Modern, but the 2 mana creature’s ability to push through damage can let this deck overrun its opponents very frequently.

Spell Queller is another creature that is absolutely critical to this strategy. It occupies both halves of the tempo combination, as it both delays the opponent (counter their spell in this case) and adds a decent threat to the board that puts a clock on the opponent. Snapcaster Mage does both of these things as well, making it another good inclusion to facilitate this type of strategy. It can flash back any of this deck’s burn spells, counter spells, or removal spells, while putting another creature on the board at instant speed that can increase the clock on the opponent.

As for the non-creature spells, this deck keeps it very straightforward. Lightning Bolt and Lightning Helix are both burn spells that love to be pointed at the opponent’s face but are very frequently needed to remove blockers or attackers on the opponent’s side of the board. Mana Leak is this deck’s only non-creature counter spell, as it’s easily applied to every card in the format and counters spells on the critical turns of the games this deck likes to play, not letting the opponent get to enough mana to invalidate Leak. Path to Exile is used here as a straightforward and non-restrictive removal spell that is nearly always mana efficient, helping this deck cast more spells than the opponent and keep the attacks coming.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Lightning Angel

+1 Thundermaw Hellkite

Sideboard

-1 Detention Sphere

-1 Disdainful Stroke

-1 Electrolyze

+1 Surgical Extraction

+1 Izzet Staticaster

+1 Wear // Tear

This is day 346 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 345 here, where we featured a Modern Eldrazi deck that aims to remain true to the colorless nature of the otherworldly beasts.

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