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Against the Odds: Sigarda's Aid (Modern)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode forty-nine of Against the Odds! Last week on our Against the Odds poll, Sigarda's Aid in Modern flashed past the competition. Mind's Dilation in Standard and Goblin Bomb in Legacy came in second and third, meaning they will return for another shot at glory in this week's poll, while Necrotic Ooze and Lunar Force came in at the back of the pack and will be replaced by new options. Regardless, today we'll be heading to Modern to see if we can win by flashing in some powerful equipment with the help of Sigarda's Aid

Anyway, let's get to the videos, but first a quick reminder. If you enjoy the Against the Odds series and the other video content here on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish YouTube Channel.

Against the Odds: Sigarda's Aid Deck Tech

Against the Odds: Sigarda's Aid Games

 

The Deck

When building around Sigarda's Aid, we really only have two choices: build a deck that's looking to cast auras with flash or build a deck that's looking to cast equipment with flash. While either could work, flashing in equipment seems more broken, since it not only cheats on timing restrictions but also on mana by allowing us to equip for free. As a result, we ended up with a mono-white equipment-based deck that's playing Sigarda's Aid, Puresteel Paladin, and a whole bunch of extremely powerful equipment. 

Creatures

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At first glance, Sigarda's Aid seems a little too cute to be good; it doesn't really do anything on its own. However, it does allow for some really interesting tricks with equipment, mostly by flashing them in after blocks are declared. For one thing, we can flash in an equipment onto a blocked creature to use it like a removal spell. Even better, since a lot of powerful equipment cards trigger when the equipped creature deals combat damage, we can flash them in on unblocked creatures to make sure we are getting the triggers. 

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Puresteel Paladin is Sigarda's Aid's best friend, giving our deck a total of eight cards that allow us to attach equipment for free. It also allows us to draw a bunch of cards, which helps us find more equipment to flash in and keep the cycle going. Kemba, Kha Regent is just a one-of, but it dodges Lightning Bolt and is a great target for all of our free equipping, since it allows us to go wide with a bunch of Cat tokens. If we can get just one or two turns of making Cat tokens, it's more than worth a slot in the deck. 

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Building a deck around cards like Sigarda's Aid and Puresteel Paladin is a strange balancing act. On one hand, we need to play as many equipment as possible to make our Puresteel Paladin and Sigarda's Aid good. On the other hand, we also need to play as many creatures as possible, because equipment don't really do anything unless there are creatures to wear them. So, how do we play a deck with a ton of creatures and a ton of equipment? We need some cards that are both, like living weapons.  Basically, all of these cards are creatures that can be flashed in thanks to Sigarda's Aid, trigger Puresteel Paladin, and then be turned into equipment when the creature dies (or whenever we want). 

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The other trick to maximizing both creatures and equipment is creaturelands. Blinkmoth Nexus and Inkmoth Nexus are ideal for the job because they are cheap to activate and also evasive, which help to make sure we are getting in combat damage and equipment triggers. Meanwhile, Westvale Abbey helps in the long game, giving us a repeatable stream of creatures to equip in the late game. 

Equipment

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The Sword cycle is among the best equipment ever printed and especially powerful with Sigarda's Aid, since we can attack with everything, wait to see how our opponent blocks, and then flash in a Sword on an unblocked creature to get a Sword trigger, which deals damage, makes tokens, returns creatures to our hand from our graveyard, deals a ton of damage, and does a bunch of other things. We also have a couple of copies of Open the Armory to tutor up whatever Sword is best in a specific matchup, usually based around protection colors but sometimes by ability as well. 

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We also have the ability to lock the opponent out of dealing damage with the combination of Pariah's Shield, which redirects all damage dealt to us to the equipped creature, and Darksteel Myr, which is indestructible, so no matter how much damage we take, it will never die. Of course, this plan gets blown out by Path to Exile, so we also have Swiftfoot Boots to give the Darksteel Myr hexproof and make the lock even harder. We also have a couple copies of Darksteel Plate, which essentially turns any of our creatures into a Darksteel Myr, allowing us to use a Germ token or Puresteel Paladin for the lock. 

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Since we are going deep on equipment, we are also playing the Kaldra cycle. While none of these equipment are very good on their own, being fairly overcosted for their effects, if we manage to get them all on the battlefield at the same time, we can make a Kaldra token, which gives us a 9/9 first strike, trample, haste, indestructible creature that is almost impossible to block. 

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Finally, the one thing I wanted to do most was use Sigarda's Aid to flash in a Worldslayer on an unblocked creature and blow up everything. Lands, creatures, planeswalkers—everything. Well, everything except our Worldslayer, Darksteel Myr, and whatever creature happens to be wearing Darksteel Plate. Ideally, whatever creature we have left over will be enough to win us the game while our opponent is trying to rebuild their resources. 

The Matchups

First off, even with the addition of Sigarda's Aid, we sometimes still have trouble drawing the wrong half of our deck. Without a Sigarda's Aid or Puresteel Paladin, we end up with a bunch of too-slow-for-Modern equipment that don't do anything and die. On the other hand, without a bunch of equipment, both Sigarda's Aid and Puresteel Paladin are lacking. All this is to say that even in our good matchups, we occasionally lose to ourselves. 

As far as specific archetypes, we struggle against aggressive decks most of the time. While we occasionally draw a Batterskull or get a Turn 3 Sword of War and Peace to gain a bunch of life, most of the time, we just aren't fast enough to beat decks like Burn, Infect, or Death's Shadow Zoo. On the other hand, we have a decent shot at winning if we play midrange or control decks, since our equipment are extremely powerful, we have the Swords for protection against removal, and when everything else goes wrong, we can destroy everything with Worldslayer

The Odds

All in all, the deck was way better than I expected it would be. We ended up winning six of twelve games (good for a 50% game win percentage) and three of five matches (good for a 60% match win percentage). We got absolutely destroyed by aggressive decks, as expected, but managed to beat Esper Control fairly easily, overpowered Mono-Green Stompy, and against all odds, beat the Pyromancer Ascension / Thing in the Ice deck (although this was more about our opponent running badly than this being a good matchup). 

Heading into the matches, I was pretty skeptical that Sigarda's Aid would be good, but it ended up being a lot more powerful (and fun) than I ever could have imagined. Opponents had no idea how to play around our endless equipment being flashed in during combat, which led to some major blowouts from the Swords and Worldslayer. The big problem is our deck picks up a ton of hate in the format. Pretty much every deck in Modern dedicates a bunch of sideboard slots to cards like Stony Silence and Shatterstorm to fight against Affinity and help against Tron, and these cards naturally destroy our deck. As a result, I think the odds are probably worse than they looked based on our five matches, considering we only got hit once by Stony Silence and once by Creeping Corrosion (although we still ended up winning the Creeping Corrosion game against Mono-Green Stompy). 

Vote for Next Week's Deck

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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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