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Much Abrew: Ghost Dad's Vengeance (Modern)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. This week, we're heading to Modern to play dad tribal—a Mardu reanimator deck featuring both Ghost Dad (Obzedat, Ghost Council) and Griseldaddy (Griselbrand). While Griselbrand offers a nice backup plan to draw a bunch of cards and maybe even chip in for a bit of damage, our primary goal is to get Obzedat, Ghost Council on the battlefield as quickly as possible with the help of Goryo's Vengeance or Footsteps of the Goryo. While both Goryo's Vengeance and Footsteps of the Goryo are undercosted for Modern reanimation, they come with a major drawback: we lose the creature they reanimate at the end of the turn. But thanks to Obzedat, Ghost Council's ability to exile itself, we can avoid the drawback as long as we stack our triggers properly and get back our Obzedat on our next upkeep. While a 5/5 that drains for two each turn might not sound that exciting in a format like Modern, if we can get it into play on Turn 2 or 3, it's usually enough to win the game! How good is dad tribal in Modern? Let's get to the video and find out!

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Much Abrew: Ghost Dad's Vengeance

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  • Ghost Dad's Vengeance crushed it! We ended up going 5-0 in our league, including taking down our arch-nemesis Tron in the last round! Apparently, Obzedat, Ghost Council is good enough to compete in Modern!
  • Funny story about the deck: it was actually supposed to have two copies of Lightning Bolt and two copies of Lightning Axe. But while I was updating the versions of the cards on Magic Online, I accidentally replaced the two Lightning Axes with two more Lightning Bolts and didn't realize what had happened until we finished going 5-0. While Lightning Axe might be better in the deck since it gives us another early-game discard outlet, we actually won some games thanks to having a bunch of Lightning Bolts, so now, I'm honestly not sure which is better in the deck. 
  • While Obzedat, Ghost Council is great in our deck, Griselbrand is a bit strange. While we did win a game by hard-casting it (which I didn't realize was possible in this deck), if we reanimate it with Goryo's Vengeance, we typically get in one attack and draw some cards, while with Footsteps of the Goryo, it's usually just a draw seven since we don't even get to attack. Thankfully, refilling our hand (and potentially discarding more Obzedats and Griselbrands for the next turn) still usually is worthwhile, even if it is strange to reanimate Griselbrand and not attack with it.
  • Speaking of reanimating Griselbrand, keep in mind that Goryo's Vengeance is an instant, which means we occasionally can get some value by reanimating Griselbrand during combat to block, eat an attacker, and gain some life. Another trick is to reanimate it on our opponent's end step (which can let us play around Force of Negation). Because of the way Goryo's Vengeance is worded, we'll get to keep Griselbrand through our turn and exile it on our end step.
  • As far as the rest of the deck, Egon, God of Death didn't do much in our league, although we also didn't draw it all that often, so it might just be that it didn't get a chance to shine. On the other hand, Magmatic Channeler is great, allowing us to fill our graveyard with reanimation targets while also digging through our deck to find reanimation. Apart from the nut draw of reanimating an Obzedat, Ghost Council, it's the card we want to play the most on Turn 2. 
  • The other big upside to reanimating Obzedat, Ghost Council compared to other more expensive targets is that we can actually hard-cast Obzedat if our opponent has graveyard hate, which makes us naturally resilient to most sideboard-hate cards. While hard-casting Obzedat is far less explosive, having the option is a huge deal in some matchups and can often be the difference between winning and losing against Rest in Peace, Leyline of the Void, and other graveyard-hate spells.
  • So, should you play Ghost Dad's Vengeance in Modern? I think the answer is a clear yes. The deck was fun, fairly unique, and powerful. Plus, if I can go 5-0 with it, you probably can too!


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

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