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Much Abrew: UB Ninjas (Modern, Magic Online)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Modern Horizons is here, and today, we are playing another one of the decks I've been most excited to try with our new card: UB Ninjas! Ninja of the Deep Hours has always been on the fringe of Modern playability, but with just four copies available in Modern, it was hard to really build a deck around the Ninjas. However, thanks to Modern Horizons and the printing of Ingenious Infiltrator, we now have eight Ninja of the Deep Hours at our disposal, which has the potential to form the foundation of a really powerful tempo strategy in the format. Thanks to the two-mana ninjutsu cost of both Ninja of the Deep Hours and Ingenious Infiltrator, with the right support cards, we have the potential to very consistently get a card-drawing Ninja on the battlefield on Turn 2, which then allows us to spiral the card advantage into a winning position by protecting our creatures with cheap removal, discard, and counters. Does the printing of Ingenious Infiltrator mean it's finally time for Ninjas to shine in Modern? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we can talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: UB Ninjas

 

Discussion

  • First off, our record. We ended up 4-1 with UB Ninjas, only losing to the Hogaak BridgeVine deck that is all the rage these days (despite having a triple–Surgical Extraction hand, which was pretty brutal). On the other hand, we got revenge on the Hogaak deck in a rematch while also taking down Humans, Affinity, and another take on Ninjas, making it a very solid performance for our deck.
  • While there are a bunch of ways to build around Ninjas, in my opinion, the most powerful thing you can do with the tribe is ninjutsu a Ninja of the Deep Hours or Ingenious Infiltrator into play on Turn 2. This is the main focus of our deck, with 10 one-drop fliers for returning to our hand along with the full four copies of both Ninja of the Deep Hours and Ingenious Infiltrator.
  • While there are a bunch of one-drops worth considering, including Faeries like Faerie Seer and Faerie Miscreant, and unblockable creatures like Changeling Outcast, both Judge's Familiar and Mausoleum Wanderer offer a lot of upside. Not only do they allow us to ninjutsu our Ninjas into play on Turn 2 but, as the game goes along, they also give us a way to protect our creatures from targeted removal. They are also great against various spell-based combo decks, buying us a turn or two by forcing our opponent to play off-curve or risk getting their key spell Force Spiked. 
  • Meanwhile, Pteramander is more of a flex slot. In the late game, having a 5/5 flier is a good way to close out the game quickly, but it's possible another one-drop could be better in the slot. Changeling Outcast is the most appealing because it can draw us extra cards with Ingenious Infiltrator on the battlefield since it's technically a Ninja.
  • Snapcaster Mage and Vendilion Clique give us backup ninjutsu targets that are both solid cards in their own right. While it can be hard to get in an unblocked attack with Snapcaster Mage, it's pretty sweet when it happens, giving us a Snapcaster Mage back in our hand to flash back another spell from our graveyard.
  • The rest of the deck is designed to support the tempo plan with cheap discard, removal, and counters. The most powerful thing UB Ninjas can do is to get a Ninja of the Deep Hours or Ingenious Infiltrator on Turn 2, protect them with our cheap spells, and keep getting in attacks to draw more cards, giving us more cheap removal and counters. Eventually, all of the random damage and extra cards often add up to a win.
  • As far as the mana, Mutavault gives us a backup Ninja, while Creeping Tar Pit gives us another evasive threat to help close out the game. Initially, I had four copies of Creeping Tar Pit, but coming into play tapped is actually a really high cost since having our first two lands untapped is key to our Ninja-on-Turn-2 plan. Mutavault can also be clunky since it is colorless, although Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth helps here by allowing us to tap our Mutavaults for black mana.
  • In general, UB Ninjas felt solid. While there are certainly a bunch of ways to build the deck, the plan of going all-in on a Turn 2 Ninja seemed quite strong. If you like tempo-style decks or just like the Ninja tribe, it seems like a fairly competitive (and super-sweet) option for Modern Horizons Modern!

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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