Azcanta Scapeshift by teagantime on MtGO
Scapeshift decks have always been able to find a niche in every iteration of Modern since the unbanning of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. The (somewhat) 1 card combo has been finding itself in a plethora of different shells, with more traditional control versions on the general decline. However, the deck we’re featuring today shows that a new Ixalan card could be what brings this archetype back.
Primarily, the goal of this deck is to get to 7 lands and cast Scapeshift, which finds Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle and 6 mountains, dealing 18 damage. Any lands beyond that further amplify the damage output, but in a format with fetchlands and shocklands, 18 is usually enough to get the job done. Search for Azcanta has proven itself as a Standard all star and a real competitor in both Modern, and Legacy, and it may have found a perfect home here. Firstly, it helps sculpt draws in the early game, and then in the mid and late game acts as a ramp spell that can also help search for Scapeshift.
Getting to 7 lands is no easy task in Modern, so this deck is more or less forced into playing several ramp spells and ways to delay the game. Sakura-Tribe Elder, Search for Tomorrow, and Farseek are the only ramp spells you’ll find in this deck. Sakura-Tribe Elder can act as a blocker for a turn when needed, while Search from Tomorrow costs 1 mana (plus two turns) and Farseek has the ability to search up shocklands, helping smooth this deck’s mana. Remand is a critical card to this deck’s strategy. Besides countering spells that threaten Scapeshift itself, it can be aggressively used in the early game as a Time Walk effect, helping this deck develop its mana before the opponent can get a considerable foothold in the game.
While this deck may be focused on combo-ing, it can also play a very traditional control game. Electrolyze, Izzet Charm, and Lightning Bolt are all efficient removal spells that let this deck handle early aggression from the opponent. Cryptic Command is the flagship control card of Modern, as it’s not only flexible, but very devastating against players who are stumbling. Serum Visions rounds up the non-creature spells, acting as a filtering spell that can help this deck set up its turns leading up to a Scapeshift. To finish off the deck, we have 2 copies of Snapcaster Mage, which help this deck be card advantageous, buying back control spells cast early in the game or Scapeshift if it was discarded or countered.
Here are the changes I would make going forward:
This is day 349 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 348 here, where we featured a unique Modern deck that looks to dump its hand on the table and synergize with +1/+1 counters.
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