Examining Magic Post-Kaladesh Bans

GPs Brisbane and Vancouver are right around the corner and I’m sure that you were so close to being settled on a deck when…BAN!! WOTC strike again with their BANhammer! I know that you’ve been left reeling by this, but fear not, the minds of GASmtg are here to save you!

Emrakul, the Promised End

What a strong and powerful card?! 13/13! A stronger finisher couldn’t possibly exist! I wracked my brains to see if there was anything else in the history of Magic that could possibly match her power – and when I googled “replacement emrakul brisbane” I discovered this card:

15/15???!? Sure, you lose the ability to control your opponent’s turn, but you get an extra turn, which is pretty comparable. I’m not sure how relevant the ‘Annihilator’ ability is, I think it will greatly depend on the game state. Emrakul, the Promised End was used predominantly in Modern as a win condition that could be fetched with the planeswalker Nahiri, but I reckon that it will be a straight swap for this other Emrakul we’ve found. If the GP was this weekend I’d look at playing this list:

Who tore my aeons?

Planeswalkers (10)
Ajani Vengeant
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
Gideon Jura
Nahiri, the Harbinger

Creatures (5)
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Simian Spirit Guide

Sorceries (6)
Anger of the Gods
Wrath of God

Instants (5)
Blessed Alliance
Lightning Helix

Artifacts (4)
Chalice of the Void

Enchantments (6)
Banishing Light
Blood Moon
Lands (24)
Arid Mesa
Gemstone Caverns
Rugged Prairie
Sacred Foundry
Temple of Triumph

Sideboard (15)
Anger of the Gods
Blessed Alliance
Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
Leyline of Sanctity
Rest in Peace
Stony Silence

Reflector Mage

This innocuous looking 2/3 has been causing headaches ever since its release! With a tempo gaining effect that can’t be matched in the Modern landscape, it was the delight of people who loved casting Collected Company! Its ban leaves a gaping hole that is nigh impossible to fix – and as such. after much consideration, I simply could not find a suitable replacement for my Bant CoCo list, so instead I decided to move away from Bant and focus on Abzan, because Reflector Mage was the ONLY reason we were in blue!

It turns out there are so many other creatures you can get off CoCo! We’ve been blinded by Reflector Mage for so long! I worked out we can gain infinite life AND┬ádeal infinite death all with creatures that come into play off of CoCo – all in the same deck!

So, I say “fuck off, dickhead” to Reflector Mage – it turns out we never needed you, hahahahahaha!

Blueless Bant - now with Black!

Creatures (29)
Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit
Avacyn’s Pilgrim
Birds of Paradise
Eternal Witness
Fiend Hunter
Kitchen Finks
Melira, Sylvok Outcast
Murderous Redcap
Noble Hierarch
Qasali Pridemage
Scavenging Ooze
Sin Collector
Viscera Seer
Wall of Roots

Instants (8)
Chord of Calling
Collected Company
Lands (23)
Blooming Marsh
Gavony Township
Godless Shrine
Horizon Canopy
Overgrown Tomb
Razorverge Thicket
Temple Garden
Verdant Catacombs
Windswept Heath

Sideboard (15)
Distended Mindbender
Kataki, War’s Wage
Loaming Shaman
Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
Orzhov Pontiff
Path to Exile
Yixlid Jailer

Smuggler’s Copter

A very new card, it quickly stole my heart and took it to wherever it is that smugglers go! A 2 mana 3/3 that flies is already pretty strong, but the added ability to draw additional cards pushed this card from ‘strong’ to ‘Modern staple’ faster than your opponent concedes when they see this bad boy across the table.

I know what you’re thinking: there can’t possibly be a 2 drop artifact creature that can remotely compare in raw power or raw bad-assery to these cheeky smugglers! After hours of digging through my collection, I think I may have stumbled upon a solution. There’s a little known card printed all the way back in Darksteel and though it starts out as a mere 1/1, it has the ability to grow to the size of a Smuggler’s Copter!┬áHere it is:

I think there’s a chance that it will fit nicely into the artifact themed deck that Smuggler’s Copter made popular, which I’m calling “affinity” for no reason whatsoever:


Creatures (25)
Arcbound Ravager
Etched Champion
Master of Etherium
Signal Pest
Steel Overseer
Vault Skirge

Sorceries (4)
Gitaxian Probe

Artifacts (18)
Darksteel Citadel
Chalice of the Void
Cranial Plating
Mox Opal
Springleaf Drum

Enchantments (1)
Ensoul Artifact
Lands (12)
Blinkmoth Nexus
Inkmoth Nexus

Sideboard (15)
Ancient Grudge
Blood Moon
Crumble to Dust
Ensnaring Bridge
Ghirapur Aether Grid
Sowing Salt
Wear // Tear

I hope this has helped fill the gaps in your Modern decks! Make you sure you snap these cards up quick, before they get expensive like other Modern staples.

If you see me at GP Brisbane, feel free to come thank me – I know brewing is hard but when we work together we can achieve anything!