Reader Submission: Ink-Treader Nephilim

Posted in Feature on June 24, 2013

By Sam Black

Sam Black is a Platinum Pro Player and longtime writer for StarCityGames.com. He is a respected deck builder and took over Daily Decks for the first half of 2013.

I was definitely skeptical when Victor Wlaschitz wrote me to tell me about his Ink-Treader Nephilim deck in Modern, but his deck has a great plan and looks like an absolute blast to play.

Ink-Treader Nephilim

The danger with playing Ink-Treader Nephilim is that if your opponent kills it, he or she probably also kills all of your other creatures. That's a pretty big problem. Moreover, if you do anything good to it, the good things happen for your opponent as well. Victor has found a cunning way around both of these problems.

His deck is built around using Momentary Blink and Cloudshift with Ink-Treader Nephilim to blink all of his creatures and, of course, playing creatures that want to be blinked. By using beneficial spells that can only target his own creatures, he doesn't have to worry about sharing the rewards, and by using blinking specifically, he can dodge opposing removal.

That makes for a solid game plan, but the real masterstroke is the final spell that doesn't blink his creatures, Niveous Wisps. Niveous Wisps becomes an excellent card-draw spell with Ink-Treader Nephilim, drawing a card for each creature in play, which is a pretty good start, but more importantly, if you do it on your opponent's turn, it taps all of his or her creatures, and then your creatures untap and can attack on your turn to allow you to kill through most defenses. As finishers go, it's extremely painless to play, since you can just cycle it early. And thanks to Eternal Witness, which does all kinds of awesome work in this deck, you can always get it back when you're ready (or, you know, every turn, if you have two Eternal Witnesses, a Niveous Wisps, and a Cloudshift).

One important thing to be aware of is that with Ink-Treader Nephilim, all the copies still target—unlike overload—so any spell cast will kill your Phantasmal Images. But I think they're doing enough work that they're still worth playing.

The deck as presented is unchanged from Victor's build, but he didn't include the sideboard, so that's my own suggestion.

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