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Much Abrew: Gate Worship Walls (Modern, Magic Online)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week during our Instant Deck Techs, it was the crazy Gate Worship Wall deck for Modern that came out on top. As such, we're heading to Modern today to see if a strange pile of Guildgates, creatures with defender, and Worship to potentially lock our opponent out of killing us with damage can actually compete in Modern. The main idea of the deck is to play some high-toughness creatures, make them even tougher with the help of Hold the Gates, and then play something like Arcades, the Strategist or Assault Formation to allow our defenders to attack and hopefully beat our opponent down in just a couple of attacks. If that fails, we can stick a Worship to stay alive and hope that we eventually find a way to kill our opponent. Can Guildgates work in Modern? How good is the "beat down with defenders" plan in a deck overflowing with tapped lands? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we can talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Gate Worship Walls (Modern)

 

Discussion

  • Heading into our league, I was legitimately worried that we wouldn't win a game with Gate Worship Walls. Thankfully, the deck performed a bit better than that, giving us an unexciting but functional 2-3 finish.
  • The good news is that the deck can do some really funny and fun things in the right situations. Hold the Gates allows us to attack for an absurd amount of damage, and Worship is still really good at janking some decks out, especially in conjunction with high-toughness and sometimes hexproof defenders.
  • The "attack with defender" plan can also be pretty scary, although the deck is oddly unfocused on the plan, with just a couple of Assault Formations and one Arcades, the Strategist. Meanwhile, Doran, the Siege Tower is sort of awkward since it doesn't allow our defenders to attack (although it is a powerful stand-alone threat).
  • As for the Gates, they can be super powerful if we happen to survive until the mid- and late game. Guild Summit is a great card-advantage engine, and Hold the Gates makes our creatures massive, especially if they are dealing damage equal to their toughness. On the other hand, we also lost a lot of games because our mana was so slow. Modern is a very fast format, and having to play a tapped land every turn makes our already fairly slow deck even slower. A great example of this was against Death's Shadow, where we spent our turn playing off-curve and dropping Guildgates while our opponent simply beat us down with huge early-game creatures to pick up the early win.
  • All in all, the deck is funny and can win on occasion (mostly thanks to the Worship lock) but doesn't seem truly competitive.
  • As such, the main question is: how can we improve the deck? Here, the simplest answer is to split out the Gate plan and the defender plan. A defender deck with a bunch of Arcades, the Strategist, High Alert, and Assault Formation could be quite powerful. Meanwhile, a Gate deck that plays more like a control deck, dropping the gate plan and playing more removal and sweepers, might have a chance to be competitive. The problem with Gate Worship Walls is that jamming both plans together makes the deck really inconsistent and really, really slow. 
  • This being said, if you want to try to upgrade this deck directly, probably the easiest thing to do is add some removal. For some reason, there isn't a single real removal spell anywhere in the main deck or sideboard. Actually, the sideboard, in general, feels pretty weak, especially considering we have four colors of mana at our disposal. I'm not sure what Nimble Obstructionist is supposed to do, and four Crumble to Dust is a lot, considering it's really only good against one specific deck (Tron). Playing a more traditional sideboard with graveyard hate, Stony Silence, removal, and sweepers would go a long way toward improving the deck.
  • So, should you play Gate Worship Walls? It is fairly cheap—not quite in the $100 budget range but close—so it's not a bad option as a janky meme deck, especially if you already have most of the cards laying around from Standard. On the other hand, if your goal is to win an FNM or 5-0 a league on Magic Online, Gate Worship Walls is probably a bad choice—it's just too slow and too inconsistent. If your goal is to win, playing a defender deck without the Gates is probably better, especially considering that Tower Defense can do a pretty good one-shot Hold the Gates imitation, which makes the Gate plan pretty unneeded to make a defender deck work. Basically, Gate Worship Walls is fun and funny, and it can win once in a while by janking the opponent out with Worship, but it's more of a funny deck to play once in a while than a good choice as your main Modern deck.

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck by liking, commenting on, and subscribing to Instant Deck Tech videos. 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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