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Much Abrew: Sultai Wilderness Teachings (Modern, Magic Online)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. We've been playing a lot of Standard ever since Ravnica Allegiance was released, but as the new set's shine starts to fade, it's time to get back to Modern! Last week during our Instant Deck Techs, the Sultai Wilderness Teachings deck was the most popular, so we're heading to Modern today to see if we can win some games by tutoring up the right instant at the right time with the help of Mystical Teachings, with the mana-doubling power of Wilderness Reclamation allowing us to cast multiple spells each turn cycle (while also providing a sweet combo finish with Blue Sun's Zenith). Does Wilderness Reclamation have a home in Modern? Can it make Mystic Teachings into a powerhouse in the format? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we can talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Sultai Wilderness Teachings (Modern)

Discussion

  • Sultai Wilderness Teachings was surprisingly strong: we played a competitive Modern league and finished 4-1, just barely missing out on the 5-0 thanks to a three-game loss to another Wilderness Reclamation deck, of all things!
  • Perhaps even more impressively, we beat two Izzet Phoenix decks (the hottest new deck in Modern) along the way, along with TitanShift and Whir Artifact Prison—a pretty solid string of top-tier Modern decks—so it's not like we feasted on sub-optimal archetypes. 
  • At its heart, Sultai Wilderness Teachings is basically a control deck with some ramp aspects. The main game plan is to slow the opponent down long enough to stick a Wilderness Reclamation and then trust that the mana-doubling power of the enchantment will take over the game in short order, in conjunction with our tutors and endless instants.
  • Speaking of Wilderness Reclamation, the card is absurdly powerful, even in Modern. While it does take some amount of work to build around it, the fact that Modern has cards like Cryptic Command and a ton of other good instant-speed payoffs makes it pretty easy to build a Wilderness Reclamation deck without playing a bunch of bad cards as payoffs. Based on our league, if we can get a Wilderness Reclamation on the battlefield, it often feels like we can't realistically lose the game.
  • As for our other namesake card Mystical Teachings, it works incredibly well with Wilderness Reclamation. Mystical Teachings is incredibly powerful, but it's also expensive, which typically makes it difficult to cast the instant we tutor for in the same turn (especially if we're searching up an expensive instant like Cryptic Command). Wilderness Reclamation solves this problem since we can cast Mystical Teachings during our main phase and then cast the instant we find during our end step or during our opponent's turn after untapping all of our lands.
  • At first glance, the plan of taking a bunch of turns in a row doesn't seem all that practical since we only have a single copy of Nexus of Fate, but thanks to Mystical Teachings, it actually happens a lot more often than you'd think. While it's rare that we actually take an infinite number of turns, in the mid- to late game, we can often take a few turns in a row, allowing us to win the game by beating down with Snapcaster Mage and Creeping Tar Pit or setting up a lethal Blue Sun's Zenith forcing our opponent to draw their entire deck.
  • Don't be afraid to Mystical Teachings for more copies of Mystical Teachings, especially after you have a Wilderness Reclamation. This allows us to set up a really powerful chain of spells and is one of the most powerful things our deck can do, to the point where it might be correct to play a fourth copy of Mystical Teachings.
  • Otherwise, the most unique aspect of the deck is our spell toolbox. One of the big upsides of Mystical Teachings is that it allows us to play situational cards and hopefully avoid drawing them when they are bad but find them consistently when they are good. A good example of this is Devour Flesh, which is normally a weak removal spell but is the best card in our deck if we happen to run into something like Bogles.
  • The sneaky all-star of Sultai Wilderness Teachings is Growth Spiral. The combination of being a ramp spell on Turn 2 that allows us to get down Wilderness Reclamation (or cast a Cryptic Command) on Turn 3 while also being an instant-speed cantrip for the late game is incredibly powerful. Even if Sultai Wilderness Teachings doesn't take off, I expect to see a lot of Growth Spirals in Modern—it's essentially a strict upgrade on Explore for decks that can cast it.
  • So, should you play Sultai Wilderness Teachings? I think the answer is a resounding yes. The deck felt really strong (although somewhat challenging to play since there are so many tutor targets), and the fact that we managed to go 4-1 and just miss a 5-0 on our very first run through with the deck is pretty impressive. I had a blast playing the deck. The Mystical Teachings plan gives it a fun "can you solve this puzzle?" feeling by forcing you to figure out the best instant to tutor up on any given turn. If you enjoy playing control, never tapping out, and grinding out value at instant speed, Sultai Wilderness Teachings feels like a really solid option for Modern. With some more experimentation and tuning, I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up as a real deck in the format. 

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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