5 More for Modern (Conspiracy Edition)
There are a lot of cards I wish they would reprint through Standard so that they would end up in Modern. Here’s a few from Conspiracy that would fit the bill
- Kaya, Ghost Assassin
Kaya is the easiest card for me to add to this list, as it’s a card I’d simply love to play with. She could fit into a number of shells, and fulfill a couple of jobs in each of them. Her ability to reset her loyalty at the cost of 2 life is neat, but the real value is being able to blink something for that same cost. There aren’t a ton of great options in most decks, but things like Eternal Witness and Restoration Angel can provide good value. Plus you can blink out your opponent’s creatures for a turn, which is often only worth it when it’s something that would normally do a bunch of damage to you. But guess what, pretty much anything that attacks in modern is going to do more than 2 damage. Though most likely, you’re better off using one of her other abilities unless the situation is pretty dire….
-1 is a very slow win condition that also helps you stabilize, which could be surprisingly valuable against burn decks. One key thing to remember here is that if left unchecked she will gain you 10 life before she goes away, over the course of 5 turns. Your burn opponent either lets this happen, or has to exhaust some resources dropping her from 4 loyalty to 0. However, in burn, most of their damage comes in chunks of 3s, meaning she is much more likely to gain you more than the 6 life you’d think. Her -2 is a great card advantage engine, fitting right in with the sorts of decks that enjoy Liliana of the Veil. The two would actually make for a pretty great wombo combo as well. Kaya 0 to blink out a creature, and -2 Lili to make them sacrifice one of their good creatures would be great. Lili being able to strip their hand, and Kaya helping with that while also rebuilding yours.
While as a four mana planeswalker she may not be amazing in this format, I think she would be a lot of fun to play with. Her best home would likely be Abzan midrange, but you could likely get decent value in Esper as well (blinking Snapcaster Mage is likely very good).
- Recruiter of the Guards
Recruiter does amazing things for some of the creature based combo decks, especially since it can be hit off of Collected Company. For Abzan Company it hits all of your combo pieces, including Murderous Redcap. For Kiki Chord it nets you Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker. For Abzan midrange it grabs Tarmogoyf or Scavenging Ooze. It grabs sideboard bullets like Reclamation Sage, Aven Mindcensor, or Gaddock Teeg. In hatebears it pretty much grabs anything, even Flickerwisp.
Yeah, it hits a lot of things that would help a lot of decks. The problem is that it’s 3 mana and just puts the thing in your hand. This means it’s very slow at what it does. Some decks, however, worry more about consistency than they do speed, and Recruiter is amazing for them. The best fit, hands down, would be Abzan Company. The card would likely do good things for that deck’s waning popularity.
- Borderland Explorer
This card seems really weird to include at first glance, and it definitely takes a bit of thought to realize just where he really goes. He’d be interesting to try in a deck that wants to put cards in the graveyard, which basically means Dredge. The big sad bit here is that he’s competing with Cathartic Reunion at this point, which is an amazing card. He makes the deck a bit slower, but also a bit more consistent due to the ability to hit that important third land drop on time (and trust me, that third land drop is really important). On top of that, a 3/1 body is nothing to shake a stick at, as he can easily trade with a creature fairly early.
Sadly, other than that option there probably aren’t a ton of good places for him. Most of the time you want to be having cards in your hand, and most of the times where you want to be putting cards in your graveyard you’re better off using Faithless Looting or one of the cards that draw you random cards. While probably the weakest card on this list, it has the potential to fit into a deck somewhere that does very degenerate things. It would just be a matter of finding that interaction.
- Grenzo, Havoc Raiser
I was planning to exclude this guy at first! Goading a creature doesn’t seem that great, chances are your opponent will be attacking with most creatures anyway, and many of the others that they don’t want to attack with they can likely find a way to tap (Noble Hierarch, for example). But when you think about it, it’s very likely that they may not want to attack with that Dark Confidant into your Spirit tokens. The real value is the potential card advantage you get just by hitting your opponent. The fact that you have until end of turn to cast the spell and can use mana of any color to do it is amazing. The real amazing bit, which I missed at first, is that this isn’t only when Grenzo hits your opponent: it’s when any of your creatures do! Grenzo could be a great card advantage engine for Mardu decks playing Lingering Souls, or other decks that are able to get creatures through pretty early. Not the best turn 2 play because your best bet is to cast him, hit your opponent, and then have mana free to cast things, but later on he could provide a lot of value.
The value can also fluctuate an awful lot. Being able to hit your opponent who’s playing storm is likely not super productive, with the exception of the cantrips. However, hitting decks with really lower average mana costs would allow you to help flood the board even more. Affinity gives you colorless creatures to help stop their best card against you (Etched Champion). Jund gives you a ton of low CMC cards that are always great, hence why they play them. I mean, as long as you’re not facing off against Dredge, Living End, or Tron you’re probably in pretty good shape flipping cards to Grenzo.
- Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast
I’m a huge fan of the idea of an artifact deck that isn’t affinity or lantern control being a thing in modern. I want to break Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas. While I don’t think Daretti does it on his own, I can’t see how he wouldn’t be helpful to the deck. His ability to slow down the opponent by gumming up the board, in a color combination with great removal, is amazing. When you factor in that if you get to build some extra artifacts you can start turning each of them into a removal spell seems really strong, though slow. There’s also cards with very little downside to being destroyed in this manner, such as Hangarback Walker or Mycosynth Wellspring.
Sadly it’s the -6 that is the real letdown here. You need a really powerful artifact to make the most of it, and it’s unlikely to win you the game right out even if you copy something like Wurmcoil Engine. This guy would be best used as a way to control the board until you got into your real win conditions (the above mentioned Tezzeret).
I imagine people may be surprised by the exclusion of two cards. First is Leovold, Emissary of Trest. Sadly, this guy just isn’t that great, doesn’t fit it any existing decks, and doesn’t form the backbone of a new one. It’s almost like your best bet is that you play a 3 mana creature, which trades with pretty much any played aggressive creature (even many of the one drops) in combat, and dies to pretty much any removal spell. Sure, you get to cantrip off of it, and it will protect your other creatures from a single spell (as they have to “waste” it on Leovold if he is out before the important creature), but you’re still likely down on mana which is often a big thing. The only time he actually seems good is when you are playing him with Spellskite, but I cannot fathom what deck would want that.
The other would be Sanctum Prelate. I just don’t think it would be that great in the format, due to the noncreature clause. Sure, maybe it would be a reasonable sideboard card against a few decks, but really it’s most likely to just turn off Lightning Bolt against a few decks. Boring….