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Much Abrew: Bant Snowblade


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week, while away in Las Vegas, I couldn't help but spend some time building around the newly unbanned Stoneforge Mystic. My first attempt was a Bant Midrange build of Stoneblade overflowing with flashy, evasive creatures and some light snow synergies thrown in. For some reason, the deck worked extremely well, going 5-0 in the first two leagues I played with it! As such, I figured it would probably be a good idea to show the deck off in video form, so today, we're going to take the deck out for a spin and see if we can keep our streak of good finishes alive. Is Bant Snowblade the best way to build around Stoneforge Mystic in Modern? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Bant Snowblade

Discussion

  • While we sadly couldn't pick up another 5-0, we still finished with a solid 3-2, including taking down Tron twice!
  • In many ways, Bant Snowblade is a weird deck to write about. It doesn't really have any combos or too many synergies. Instead, it's mostly a solid midrange deck that looks to maximize the power of the equipment we can tutor up with Stoneforge Mystic by having a bunch of evasive creatures to equip with Sword of Fire and Ice, Sword of Sinew and Steel, or Batterskull.

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  • While most of the deck feels solid, there are a couple of parts I'm still trying to figure out. In this league, we played two Teferi, Hero of Dominaria and two Jace, the Mind Sculptor. In the past, these two planeswalkers have been Cryptic Commands or more Restoration Angels. I'm still not exactly sure what is best. Cryptic Command is great but can be hard to cast with our mana base (especially with three copies of Field of Ruin to fight Tron, which is super popular at the moment), and playing too many Restoration Angels leads to some clunky hands where we are overloaded on four-drops (plus, they don't work especially well in multiples since they can't blink each other). 

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  • The other somewhat questionable part of the deck is Birds of Paradise and Noble Hierarch. In a world where Wrenn and Six is one of the more heavily played cards, playing one-toughness mana dorks is a risk. We occasionally lose games where we draw multiple mana creatures only to have them die (essentially for free) to Wrenn and Six and never recover. The upside is that playing a three-drop like Spell Queller or Teferi, Time Raveler on Turn 2 is extremely strong in many matchups. At this point, I think the mana dorks are worth it (although I do trim Birds of Paradise in sideboarding quite often). Although if you run into Jund or another Wrenn and Six deck, focus on keeping the planeswalker off the table if possible because it can steal games all by itself against our deck.
  • Otherwise, the deck is pretty simple. It's basically a tempo-y midrange deck that does a really good job of taking advantage of Stoneforge Mystic and the equipment it provides by having a ton of evasive flash threats. 
  • As far as the sideboard, it's been more or less the same since I built the deck, although the number of Kor Firewalkers goes up and down from two to four, depending on how often I'm running into Burn (which is probably tier one at the moment and one of the most common matchups on Magic Online, along with Stoneforge, Tron, and Urza decks). I don't have a full sideboarding guide, but the most common cuts are Birds of Paradise against decks with lots of removal and some of the most expensive planeswalkers (like Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Teferi, Time Raveler) against aggro decks. In general, we don't really need to bring in that many sideboard cards in any specific matchup, so we can mostly get away with trimming and bringing in somewhere between two and five cards. It's also worth keeping in mind that Force of Negation is pretty lacking against creature-based decks and can be another good cut (or at least trimmed).
  • While Bant Snowblade is still a work in progress, I do think it is one of the better Stoneforge Mystic decks going at the moment. There are very few matchups where it is bad, and it seems to have at least some chance to compete with aggro, midrange, control, and combo. The only drawback is the price tag, which is admittedly shockingly high. While Stoneforge Mystic and some of the equipment will probably stabilize price-wise in coming weeks, it will still be an expensive deck. The upside is that when even I can 5-0 with a deck multiple times (along with a bunch of other 5-0s from other people who have picked up the deck), there's a pretty good chance the deck is actually competitive. I'd definitely recommend Bant Snowblade if you like flashy, tempo decks or are just looking for a good way to take advantage of Stoneforge Mystic in Modern, especially if you already have access to most of the cards. If you don't have the cards, consider renting the deck on Magic Online to try it out for yourself first (you can cut the Magic Online price a bit by cutting Surgical Extraction from the sideboard and playing something like Mana Leak or Remand over Force of Negation) before taking the plunge on putting it together in paper.

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. 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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