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Much Abrew: Bard Class Legend Storm (Modern)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Overall, the power level of Adventures in the Forgotten Realm seems medium to low, but there is one major exception: the class enchantments, which are incredibly powerful. Today, we're heading to Modern to try out Bard Class in a deck that's essentially a really weird super-legendary version of Storm that doesn't play any actual storm cards. If we can get Bard Class up to its third level, all of our legends cost RG less (making many of them free) and also draw us two cards (which we have to cast each turn), which in turn should allow us to play through literally our entire deck in one turn, find Samut, Voice of Dissent to give all of our creature haste, and smash in for lethal with a very motley crew of legends! How strong is Bard Class? Can we really use it to play our entire deck in one turn? Let's find out on this week's Much Abrew About Nothing

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Much Abrew: Bard Class Legend Storm

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Discussion

  • Record-wise, we finished 3-3 with Bard Class, which is solid for a pretty off-the-wall brew!
  • Bard Class Legend Storm might look like a weird aggro or midrange deck (and we do occasionally win like an aggro or midrange deck does if we don't draw Bard Class), but in reality, it's a one-card combo deck, with the one card combo being a fully leveled-up Bard Class. If we can get Bard Class to level three, we should be able to win the game on the spot (or, at worst, on the following turn) by playing through our entire deck for free. 
  • Once Bard Class hits level two, we can play Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, Zurgo Bellstriker, Gallia of the Endless Dance, Radha, Heir to Keld, Targ Nar, Demon-Fang Gnoll, Mox Amber, and Oath of Nissa for free—a total of 21 cards. Once we hit level three, we're also essentially drawing two cards each time we play one of these cards, which (unless we get pretty unlucky) should hit us more free legends to draw us even more cards. Before you know it, we've played through our entire deck.
  • Of course, just playing through our deck isn't enough to win the game—we also need to be able to attack. To actually kill our opponent, we turn to Samut, Voice of Dissent and Mox Amber. Mox Amber is essential to our combo kill because it's a legendary card that generates mana. As we draw through our deck, we'll eventually find all four copies, which will give us four extra mana. In some cases, we can use this mana early in our combo turn to play a Birgi, God of Storytelling, which turns all of our free legends into Desperate Rituals by adding a mana when we cast them. But even without a Birgi, God of Storytelling, we can use the mana from our Mox Ambers to play Samut, Voice of Dissent once we've drawn our deck and built a massive board of legends (with a leveled up Bard Class on the battlefield, Samut only costs three mana), give our team haste, and attack for lethal. With our best draws, we can combo off around Turn 4, which isn't super fast for Modern, but considering our deck is full of somewhat useful creatures rather than mostly dead combo pieces like other Storm-style combo decks, surviving until Turn 4 or 5 usually isn't too hard. 
  • Most of our creatures are in the deck simply because they are free with a leveled-up Bard Class and thereby help to support the combo. The Zurgo Bellstrikers and Targ Nar, Demon-Fang Gnolls of the world aren't especially powerful standalone cards in a format like Modern, but they are super powerful when they cost zero mana and draw two cards thanks to Bard Class.
  • It's also important to point out that Bard Class reduces the cost of any legend, which means both Domri Rade and Domri, Anarch of Bolas cost just one mana once we level up Bard Class, and Oath of Nissa ends up being a free draw-three during our combo turns (while also helping us hit our land drops early in the game). 
  • By far the biggest problem with Bard Class Legend Storm is consistency. The good games are some of the most spectacular we've played in Modern in a long time. On the other hand, the games when we don't draw a Bard Class are much less exciting as we are left trying to piece together a win with some pretty janky legends. With a Bard Class out, we don't really care about the legend rule because even if we end up legend-ruling ourselves, we're still drawing cards with each legend we cast. Without a Bard Class, we can get some pretty clunky draws where we hit multiple Mox Ambers and Zurgo Bellstrikers (among others) and end up with a bunch of cards in hand that we can't really cast because of the legend rule.
  • While Bard Class Legend Storm is solid now, I think it has the potential to get even better in the future for a couple of reasons. First, I'm sure the list could be tuned a bit. We whiffed a bunch with Domri Rade. It might be better to replace some of the planeswalkers with more legendary creatures. Second, Wizards loves printing legends these days, which means the deck should keep getting upgrades in future sets. Cards like Zurgo Bellstriker and Targ Nar, Demon-Fang Gnoll aren't especially Modern playable (although they are great with Bard Class). In the future, we should be able to cut some of the weaker legends for better standalone cards (see: Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, which is the perfect card for this deck as a powerful stand-alone threat that also happens to support our combo), which should help in the games where we don't find Bard Class or our opponent can answer it.
  • So, should you play Bard Class Legend Storm in Modern? I think the answer is yes. While the deck is probably middling in terms of its level of competitiveness, it's good enough to win a decent number of games. Most importantly, it's super fun and really unique, and it wins in a really spectacular way! The combo turns are hilarious and surprisingly effective, and, based on our experience with the deck, they actually happen fairly often!

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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