Moonwalking to Victory

Last time we were here we talked about Boros Moonwalkers in Modern. It’s a fun deck, but why limit ourselves to those two colors? I mean, we need the Red for Blood Moon, but do we really need the White? Why not Blue? How about going Rakdos? Is RG the way to go with this? Let’s take a look at three new decks and see if we can find a better way.

Baseline

If you read the first article, then you know what the decklist for RW Moonwalkers is. We’ve got our prison pieces, sweepers, and Planeswalkers. A solid deck, all told. So, let’s talk about what we’re losing when we switch out of White.

First off, we lose Nahiri, the Harbinger and we will have to lose Emrakul without her to cheat the Eldrazi Titan onto the battlefield. Gideon, Elspeth, and Ajani are further casualties of this cut, leaving Chandra, Torch of Defiance as our only remaining Planeswalker.  We’ll have to find some replacements if we want to keep calling this Moonwalkers.

Secondly, we lose a prison piece in Leyline of Sanctity. This is going to leave a gap in our armor that we will have to try to shore up. If we can’t plug that hole, we will have to be ready for our opponent to shoot some Lightning Bolts through it.

The biggest problem, in my mind, is the loss of many of our sideboard cards. We’re losing Rest In Peace and Stony Silence, which are two of the best sideboard cards in Modern. Add to that, we lose half of Wear//Tear and another Gideon. We’re going to need to rebuild our sideboard, and hope they stack up.

Now that we know what we’re losing, let’s see what we can come up with for these other decks. We’ll start with…

Blue Red Moonwalkers

Remand IzzetCharm

We’re trying to lock down our opponent with this deck. What better way to do that than with some counter-spells? Since we’ve arrived at Blue, we can bring in cards like Remand and Izzet Charm to help protect our Planeswalkers and prison pieces. We’ll running four copies of each. Izzet Charm also has the benefit of being able to potentially kill some creatures or filter our draws.

JaceMA TamiyotMS

As far as Planeswalkers go, we need to replace some heavy hitters. I’ve got two copies each of Jace, Memory Adept and Tamiyo, the Moon Sage. Jace is going to draw us some cards and hopefully we can mill our opponents out with his zero ability. Tamiyo is going to keep our opponent’s creatures locked down and maybe draw us some cards. If we can get to her ultimate ability, we get an Emblem that removes our hand size restrictions and puts anything that goes to our graveyard back into our hand. That’s going to work well with our counters and also the three copies of Lightning Bolt we’re running.

Koth

Now, I’m not entirely thrilled with the prospect of using these Blue Planeswalkers as finishers. They’re a little less powerful than I would like. As such, I’ve got three copies of Koth of the Hammer as another win condition. He makes our Mountains into 4/4 creatures and eventually they could gain the ability to tap for one damage to our opponent. Either way, he can finish out a game pretty quickly.

Let’s take a look at the sideboard. We’ve got Hurkyl’s Recall and Shattering Spree to take care of any Artifact shenanigans our opponents might get up to. We’ve got Echoing Truth as a kind of catch-all. We’ve also got Turn Aside to help protect our permanents.

Imprisoned

My favorite sideboard card, though, has to be Imprisoned in the Moon. Let me explain. In most of the games that I’ve watched on YouTube where Blood Moon comes down, the response is “I just need to draw into my Basic (non-Mountain)”. If they find their Basic Lands to get out from under the Blood Moon, then we can put them back under by turning their Basic Land into a Basic Land that only taps for colorless mana. In a match where they only have one to three Basic Lands in the deck, that can cripple them completely.

Blue Red Decklist

Creatures (4)

  • Simian Spirit Guide x4

Enchantments (4)

  • Blood Moon x4

Artifacts (4)

  • Chalice of the Void x4

Spells (11)

  • Anger of the Gods x3
  • Izzet Charm x4
  • Lightning Bolt x3
  • Remand x4

Planeswalkers (10)

  • Chandra, Torch of Defiance x3
  • Jace, Memory Adept x2
  • Koth of the Hammer x3
  • Tamiyo, the Moon Sage x2

Lands (24)

  • Gemstone Caverns x1
  • Island x11
  • Scalding Tarn x4
  • Spirebluff Canal x4
  • Steamvents x4

Sideboard (15)

  • Grafdigger’s Cage x2
  • Hurkyl’s Recall x2
  • Imprisoned in the Moon x3
  • Negate x2
  • Pithing Needle x2
  • Shattering Spree x2
  • Turn Aside x2

Is It Better Than White Red?

I don’t think it is. We’ve got better protection and better finishers in WR. I don’t see this keeping up.  Maybe if we had some better cheap counter-spells?

But that doesn’t mean the next one can’t work. Here comes….

Black Red Moonwalkers

Inquisition Thoughtseize

So, if Blue brings counter-spells, what does Black bring? The answer: Hand disruption. We’ve got Inquisition of Kozilek and Thoughtseize to help keep our opponent from having access to answers in the first place.

 

PackRat

Let’s get into the finishers with Pack Rat.  Now, I know I said we were trying to win through Planeswalkers, and that’s true, but hear me out. Pack Rat is a Planeswalker. Well, not really…but think about what makes a Planeswalker so good. You can activate them turn after turn to get more and more value out of them. Pack Rat does the same thing, in a more limited capacity. It makes more and bigger rats turn after turn. So, Pack Rat is an honorary Planeswalker for the purposes of this deck, and we’re going to use those Fatal Pushes to get blockers out of the way, or as fodder to make our Rats bigger.

Liliana of the Veil LilianatLH

Other Planeswalkers in the deck are the 3-mana Lilianas. Liliana of the Veil is a Modern all-star. She keeps us on the hand disruption plan. She keeps our opponent’s board clear. She’s everything we want…except a finisher. She will not win us the game by herself. Her twin sister, Liliana, the Last Hope, can help keep the board clear, she can recur our Pack Rats if they find their way to the Graveyard, and she can finish the game on her own with her zombie-parade ultimate ability. Together, these two do awesome and terrible things to our opponent.

Damnation SoulsBetrayal

Sideboard for this deck includes more sweepers in the form of Damnation and Night of Soul’s Betrayal (which is invaluable against token strategies and Soul Sisters). We also get to wreck Graveyard decks with Leyline of the Void and Surgical Extraction.

Black Red Decklist

Creatures (8)

  • Pack Rat x4
  • Simian Spirit Guide x4

Enchantments (4)

  • Blood Moon x4

Artifacts (4)

  • Chalice of the Void x4

Spells (8)

  • Anger of the Gods x3
  • Inquisition of Kozilek x3
  • Thoughtseize x2

Planeswalkers (12)

  • Chandra, Torch of Defiance x3
  • Koth of the Hammer x3
  • Liliana of the Veil x3
  • Liliana, the Last Hope x3

Lands (24)

  • Blackcleave Cliffs x4
  • Blood Crypt x4
  • Bloodstained Mire x4
  • Gemstone Caverns x1
  • Swamp x11

Sideboard (15)

  • Damnation x2
  • Grafdigger’s Cage x2
  • Leyline of the Void x3
  • Night of Soul’s Betrayal x2
  • Pithing Needle x2
  • Shattering Spree x2
  • Surgical Extraction x2

Is It Better Than White Red?

Again, I don’t think it is quite there. It is definitely better than the Blue Red version, but I still think it falls a little short on the finishers side of things.

Can anything beat White Red? Do we even need to go any further? Well…we’ve come this far, we might as well try the last one. So here’s…

Red Green Moonwalkers

GarrukWildspeaker GarrukPH GarrukCoB

We’re starting with the Planeswalkers this time. We’re running Garruk.deck this time around. We’ve got Garruk Wildspeaker, Garruk, Primal Hunter, and Garruk, Caller of Beasts. These guys are great. Wildspeaker ramps us and makes tokens. Primal Hunter makes tokens, draws us cards, or makes more and bigger tokens. The king of the Garruks, though, is Caller of Beasts.

WorldspineWurm

Caller of Beasts doesn’t ramp us. He doesn’t make tokens. So what does he do? He puts Green Creatures from our hand onto the battlefield and he can filter our deck for Creature cards. Now that sounds a bit like the Nahiri/Emrakul combo, doesn’t it? So what are the biggest, baddest Green Creatures we can cheat into play? How about Worldspine Wurm? 15/15 Trample that drops three 5/5 tokens with Trample when it dies? Sign me up. But wait…it doesn’t say the Creature has to be mono-Green. Do you know what that means? The Soul of the World has returned!

Progenitus

Progenitus is the perfect beast for Garruk to call. A 10/10 with Protection from EVERYTHING is the ultimate finisher.

And the best part? Both of our big Green Creatures shuffle back into our decks if they hit the graveyard. They’ll be back.

SamuttT

Now we have something that Blue and Black were both unable to satisfactorily provide. We have a multi-color Planeswalker in Samut, the Tested. Her +1 ability can give our Garruk-created tokens Double Strike, but we’re playing her for her ultimate ability, which searches our deck for up to two Planeswalkers and/or Creatures and puts them on the battlefield. So we can get a Worldspine Worm AND a Progenitus at the same time.

DoublingSeason

In order to make sure we can get to Samut’s ultimate as quickly as possible, we’re also running Doubling Season. This allows her to ultimate the turn she hits the field. That means you can play Samut, ultimate her, search for a Garruk and another Samut, ultimate the new Samut, search for a different Garruk and another Samut, ultimate the new Samut, search for the third Garruk and the last Samut, ultimate our final Samut, search for Progenitus and Worldspine Worm. That’s already pretty good, and you haven’t even activated a single Garruk, yet.

Speaking of Garruks, Doubling Season also doubles our Garruk tokens. Doubling Season really works well with all of our Green Planeswalkers, and pushes this deck over the top.

 

Choke BeastWithin Thrun

In the sideboard, we have a playset of Beast Within for removal. We’ve also got Choke to really put the hurt on any deck running Basic Islands (I’m looking at you, Merfolk). Vandalblast is our answer to Artifacts, because we can ramp into the Overload version pretty easily. Thrun, the Last Troll makes an appearance as an answer against control decks.

Red Green Decklist

Creatures (8)

  • Progenitus x2
  • Simian Spirit Guide x4
  • Worldspine Wurm x2

Enchantments (7)

  • Blood Moon x4
  • Doubling Season x3

Artifacts (4)

  • Chalice of the Void x4

Spells (3)

  • Anger of the Gods x3

Planeswalkers (14)

  • Chandra, Torch of Defiance x3
  • Garruk Wildspeaker x3
  • Garruk, Caller of Beasts x3
  • Garruk, Primal Hunter x2
  • Samut, the Tested x3

Lands (24)

  • Copperline Gorge x4
  • Forest x11
  • Gemstone Caverns x1
  • Stomping Ground x4
  • Wooded Foothills x4

Sideboard (15)

  • Beast Within x4
  • Choke x3
  • Grafdigger’s Cage x2
  • Pithing Needle x2
  • Thrun, the Last Troll x2
  • Vandalblast x2

Is It Better Than White Red?

It might be! We’re a little less prison-centric in this build, but the haymakers we can throw are more consistent and varied. It is definitely worth checking out.

Conclusion

Hope you had fun with this. Did you agree with my choices? Disagree? Tell me about it in the comments or on the Contact Page.

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