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Against the Odds: Marit Lage's 4C Simic Snow Stompy (Modern, Magic Online)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 194 of Against the Odds. Last week, we had our first Against the Odds poll for Modern Horizons. And while it was fairly close, in the end, it was Marit Lage's Slumber coming out on top. Some people in the comments seemed worried that Marit Lage's Slumber would lead to a slow control deck with the plan being to counter or kill all of the opponent's stuff, play a bunch of snow-covered lands, and eventually try to win with Marit Lage. Well, our deck today is going in the opposite direction: rather than playing the control game, we're playing almost exclusively snow permanents (43 in all in the main deck) to turbo out Marit Lage as quickly as possible, with Abominable Treefolk giving us a solid backup plan for stomping our opponent into the ground...er...snow if we don't happen to draw Marit Lage's Slumber. Technically, we're a four-color deck, but in reality, we're mostly Simic, with a couple of snowy removal spells from black and white. What happens if you go all-in on Marit Lage's Slumber? How good is a 20/20 flying, indestructible creature in Modern? What are the odds of winning some games with Marit Lage's 4C Simic Snow Stompy? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Against the Odds: Marit Lage's 4C Simic Snow Stompy

 

The Deck

My main concern in building around Marit Lage's Slumber was that, at least on paper, it looks slow. Ten snow permanents is a lot in a format as fast as Modern. While taking the control route and trying to keep the opponent at bay until the late game is probably a fine plan, today, we're heading in the opposite direction and trying to power out 10 snow permanent as quickly as possible to make a couple of massive creatures and hopefully use those creatures to close out the game in just one or two big attacks. For this plan to work, we need to lean heavily on non-land snow permanents. While snow-covered lands are a good way to incidentally up our snow count, since you can only play one land a turn, they aren't enough to make a Marit Lage all by themselves. The good news is that thanks in large part to Modern Horizons, we actually have quite a few good snow-permanents in the Modern format!

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Marit Lage's Slumber is a lot better than I initially thought. While 10 snow-permanents is a lot, it's not that hard to hit that mark by somewhere around Turn 5 in our deck, and while it is annoying that we have to wait until our next upkeep after we get 10 snow permanents to make Marit Lage (and another turn to attack with it since it is summoning sick), a Turn 5 20/20 flying, indestructible creature is still nothing to sneeze at, even in a format like Modern. The other big upside of Marit Lage's Slumber (apart from being a snow enchantment) is the scry ability. In our deck with 43 snow permanents, once we have a Marit Lage's Slumber on the battlefield, we are usually scrying once or twice each turn, which makes it really easy to find what we need in any given situation. Eventually, all this scrying basically ends up being close to drawing extra cards. When you consider that some people peg scrying one to be worth about 0.5 of drawing a card, you could even argue that if we are scrying two every turn, the effect Marit Lage's Slumber has on the game is similar to us having our own personal Howling Mine!

Snow Creatures

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Abominable Treefolk is another card that I really underrated. In a deck built around snow permanents, it often comes down as a 6/6 or 7/7 trample for just four mana and ends up growing into a 10- or even 15-power trampler, making it a good backup finisher behind Marit Lage's Slumber that also helps up our snow count to get our Marit Lage as quickly as possible. While it can be slow against combo, Abominable Treefolk is a beating against fair creature decks, tapping down a potential attacker or blocker while usually being bigger than anything else on the battlefield (at least until Marit Lage wakes).

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Ice-Fang Coatl and Ohran Viper are really the core or our deck. Along with giving us the ability to draw extra cards (which helps us find more snow permanents to get a Marit Lage and grow Abominable Treefolk), both have deathtouch (or in the case of Ohran Viper, pseudo-deathtouch). This makes Ice-Fang Coatl and Ohran Viper into additional removal spells against many creature decks, where we can block and kill our opponent's best creature for just two or three mana, which in turn makes it really difficult for our opponent to kill us fairly with creatures. We can also get some extra value with Ice-Fang Coatl and the scry from Marit Lage's Slumber. If we know we want the top card of our deck (maybe from a previous scry), we can resolve the card draw from Ice-Fang Coatl first. If not, we can scry first to dig for a card that we need before (hopefully) drawing it with Ice-Fang Coatl's trigger.

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Boreal Druid is a really bad Llanowar Elves (making colorless mana is pretty annoying in our four-color deck), but it is a snow-Llanowar Elves, which helps to make up for the drawback. It gives us a way to ramp into our more impactful plays a turn early while also adding another snow permanent on the body to support our wintry payoffs.

Other Snow Permanents

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Arcum's Astrolabe and a copy of Into the Winter help fix our mana while also adding snow permanents to the battlefield. Arcum's Astrolabe is extremely powerful since it doesn't cost us a card while also turning our colorless mana from Boreal Druid into more helpful colored mana and supporting our four-color splash plan. Meanwhile, while Into the North isn't technically a snow permanent, it does put a snow-covered land directly onto the battlefield, so it does up our snow permanent count. It also helps to fix our mana and can even find Scrying Sheets, which is an absurd card-advantage engine in a deck with 43 snow permanents.

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On Thin Ice is basically our Path to Exile, killing anything for just a single mana. Since we have a ton of snow land in our deck, finding one to enchant as early as Turn 1 is never a problem. The upside of On Thin Ice is that it is a snow enchantment, so it helps us power up Marit Lage's Slumber and Abominable Treefolk, although this power does come with a downside: if our opponent manages to kill the enchanted land with something like Ghost Quarter or Molten Rain, they get their creature back. Thankfully, there aren't too many Ghost Quarters running around in Modern at the moment, so On Thin Ice is safer than it looks at first glance.

Other Snow Stuff

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Dead of Winter gives us an absurdly powerful sweeper. In the early game, it works like an Anger of the Gods, while in the late game, it is typically a three-mana Plague Wind, killing our opponent's entire board while not harming ours since all of our creatures are snow creatures. Meanwhile, Glacial Revelation is just a one-of, but it gives us an additional (and very powerful) source of card advantage. Since 43 of our 60 main-deck cards are snow permanents, we should draw about four cards with the typical Glacial Revelation, which is already a great deal for three mana. And with a bit of luck, we can draw up to six, which is an even better deal.

Nonsnow Stuff

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Our only nonsnow, nonland card is Remand, which helps against the unfair decks in the format. Marit Lage's 4C Simic Snow Stompy is insane against fair decks, but if our opponent is trying to combo off on Turn 3, we can run into trouble (especially before sideboarding). Remand gives us a main-deck answer to spell-based combo decks. Otherwise, the only nonsnow cards in our main deck are two shock lands (which are needed to make our mana base function) and a bunch of fetch lands (which are almost snow permanents since they can tutor up snow-covered basic lands).

The Matchups

Marit Lage's 4C Simic Snow Stompy is amazing against fair creature decks, where we have great removal, card advantage, and eventually the biggest creature on the battlefield. On the other hand, it can struggle against ultra-aggressive decks (we lost to 8 Whack Goblins) and spell-based combo decks (we also lost to Storm). While Dead of Winter gives us a chance against aggro and we have lots of sideboard options for unfair decks, the speed of the combo and aggro decks in Modern puts us under a lot of pressure to draw the right answer immediately, and if we miss, we'll probably be dead by the time we find it. As such, it's not that we can't beat those decks, just that they are a lot harder than the fair matchups (where we are extremely heavily favored against pretty much anything).

The Odds

We played six matches with Marit Lage's Simic Snow Stompy and won four, giving us a 66.7% match win percentage, making the deck meaningfully above average for an Against the Odds deck. More importantly, Marit Lage's Slumber itself was legitimate, with many of our wins either coming directly from a Marit Lage or from an opponent scooping once we had 10 snow permanents and Marit Lage's Slumber because they knew they didn't have a chance against the 20/20, flying, indestructible creature. The deck was also really fun to play. Thanks to all of our card advantage and Marit Lage's Slumber, we get to see so many cards that our odds of finding the right threat or answer for any given situation is really high.

Vote for Next Week's Deck

While we're already in Core Set 2020 spoiler season, there are still a ton of sweet Modern Horizons cards to be played, so let's cross another off the list next week! Which of these Modern Horizons cards should we build around for the next episode? Let us know by voting below!

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Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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