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Much Abrew: Squirrel Blade (Modern)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Stoneblade decks aren't exactly new in Modern. They've been a part of the meta ever since Stoneforge Mystic itself was unbanned, but today's build is a bit different. Sure, we have Stoneforge Mystic, Batterskull, and some Swords. Yes, we have Teferi, Time Raveler and Ice-Fang Coatl. But what makes the deck unique is what we're looking to equip with our Swords and Batterskull: Toski, Bearer of Secrets! That's right, thanks to Kaldheim, it's now possible to play Squirrel Blade in Modern. While it might sound mostly like a meme thanks to the combination of uncounterability and indestructibility, a Squirrel wearing a sword is actually pretty tough for some decks to beat. Is Toski, Bearer of Secrets actually Modern playable? Let's jump into a league and find out!

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Much Abrew: Squirrel Blade

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  • Record-wise, we went 2-3 in our Squirrel Blade league (actually 2-3 in two Squirrel Blade leagues, which I guess means we're consistent, at least). 
  • On one hand, there's not a whole lot to say about most of our deck: it's Bant Stoneblade, an archetype that has been around since Stoneforge Mystic was unbanned. So rather than discussing the merits of searching up a Batterskull and putting it into play with Stoneforge Mystic, which we already know is pretty good, let's talk about the most interesting aspect of the deck: Toski, Bearer of Secrets!
  • So, just how good is Toski, Bearer of Secrets in Modern? The answer is that it really depends on the matchup. Toski is great in some matchups and pretty much game-winning if we can get a Sword of Fire and Ice, Sword of Feast and Famine, or Batterskull on in. In general, decks using Lightning Bolt or Fatal Push as their primary removal spell really struggle against Toski. On the other hand, there are also some really bad Toski, Bearer of Secrets matchups, mostly decks playing cards like Skyclave Apparition or Path to Exile as their main removal spell. 
  • While Toski, Bearer of Secrets with equipment is the most exciting thing our deck can do, it's also worth mentioning that Toski, Bearer of Secrets can be pretty solid even without equipment. Thanks to Ice-Fang Coatl, Brazen Borrower, and Spell Queller, we actually have quite a few evasive threats. Playing a Toski, attacking with a couple of fliers, and drawing a couple of cards is still a strong play, even if it isn't quite as fun as beating the opponent down with a Squirrel and a Sword. 
  • The other strange card in the deck is On Thin Ice over Path to Exile. While the upside of On Thin Ice is that the opponent doesn't get a land, the downside is that if our opponent can kill it, the creature we exile comes back into play. Over the course of the two leagues I played with the deck, we ran into Eldrazi Tron twice (which can blow up all of our On Thin Ices with Blast Zone) and Death & Taxes (which has Ghost Quarter to get the job done). As a result, I'm really not convinced that On Thin Ice is better in our deck.
  • So, should you play Squirrel Blade in Modern? I'm honestly not sure. Our record with the deck was pretty middling. Meanwhile, Toski, Bearer of Secrets itself felt fairly matchup dependent. In some matchups, it was the card we wanted to draw most, while in others, it either died to Path to Exile, or we couldn't find time to cast it because if we tapped out, we'd likely get comboed off by our opponent (see: the Storm match). All in all, Toski, Bearer of Secrets felt like it has a lot of potential in Modern, even if it is far more effective in some matchups than others.

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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