Modern Death's Shadow

Posted in Daily Deck on December 1, 2015

By Melissa DeTora

Melissa is a former Magic pro player and strategy writer who is now working in R&D on the Play Design team.

Usually, when you're playing a game of Magic, you are trying to reduce your opponent's life total to 0. However, when playing today's deck, you're trying to reduce your own life total to 0. Well, not actually to 0, but you want to deal yourself as much damage as quickly as possible without actually dying.

So why would you want to inflict damage upon yourself? This deck is built around the card Death's Shadow. Death's Shadow gets stronger the less life you have. If you are at 10 life, Death's Shadow is a 3/3 creature for only one mana. That's a pretty good rate when you compare it to other aggressive one-mana creatures like Wild Nacatl or Delver of Secrets. Once you start getting down to a single-digit life total, Death's Shadow gets even bigger. If you're at 3 life, Death's Shadow is a 10/10 creature, and a single Temur Battle Rage can deal 20 points of trample damage.

This deck plays lots of ways to deal yourself damage. Fetch lands and shock lands can cause you to lose 3 life per land drop, and Phyrexian mana spells like Gitaxian Probe, Dismember, and Mutagenic Growth require a life payment to cast them. Even Thoughtseize, one of the strongest spells in Modern, fits the theme really well here. It's not uncommon to cast a Thoughtseize on turn one and a Death's Shadow on turn two after cracking some fetches. An attack on turn three with your Death's Shadow followed by a couple of Mutagenic Growths and a Become Immense can kill your opponent out of nowhere.

The great thing about this deck is it's not reliant on Death's Shadow to win. This deck plays out like a typical Zoo deck, with one-drop creatures such as Steppe Lynx and Wild Nacatl, and even spells such as Lightning Bolt can end a game when your creatures can't get the job done.

Congratulations to A_Reya for going 5-0 in the Magic Online Modern League with a very unique deck!

A_Reya's Death's Shadow

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