Mardu Humans with Craig Wescoe

Posted in Event Coverage on May 22, 2016

By Meghan Wolff

Meghan is one half of the Good Luck High Five podcast and an adjunct professor at Tolarian Community College. She loves Limited, likes Modern, and dips her toes into each Standard season. She's decidedly blue and is the #1 hater of Siege Rhino in the Multiverse.

An old saying tells us that nothing is certain except death and taxes. We have to forgive them the omission, because the saying came about long before Magic was invented or Craig Wescoe started playing it. But these days, nothing is certain but death, taxes, and Craig Wescoe playing cheap creatures and turning them sideways.

This weekend Wescoe arrived in Charlotte with Mardu Humans, a Modern take on his usual strategy.

“I was testing online with one of my teammates, Justin Heilig, and we tried a bunch of different things,” Wescoe said. “We tried Aristocrats, we tried some different Human shells, and this deck had the best combination of cards for the decks we expected for this weekend.”

The deck combines two hallmarks of Modern - cheap spells and cheap creatures, and its first angle of attack is, well, attacking.

At the deck's heart is the potent combination of Champion of the Parish, Thalia's Lieutenant, and Gather the Townsfolk. Champion of the Parish and Thalia's Lieutenant both trigger when you play other Humans - both get a +1/+1 counter when another Human enters the battlefield under your control, and Thalia's Lieutenant gives +1/+1 counters to all Humans already there when she arrives. To take advantage of these synergies, all of the other creatures in the deck are Humans.

“It's definitely a Human Tribal deck, and it's certainly an aggressive deck,” Wescoe said. “If you go turn one Champion of the Parish, turn two Thalia's Lieutenant, and then start Gathering the Townsfolk, you can really kill the opponent pretty quickly.”

Craig Wescoe

One of the stand-out cards for Wescoe has been Gather the Townsfolk. It triggers Champion of the Parish and Thalia's Lieutenant twice each, and if you're at five life or less it nets you five 1/1s, five life, and +5/+5 on any Champions or Lieutenants you have in play.

Against decks trying to be even faster than its most aggressive start, Mardu Humans also has a suite of cheap removal, including four Lightning Bolt and four Path to Exile.

“Against some of the faster decks in the format, like the R/G Small Zoo deck, you can be a more controlling deck,” Wescoe said. “You don't have to aggro out with a first turn Champion.”

Depending on the match-up, the deck can pivot between any number of early plays, from hand disruption to removal to applying pressure with creatures.

“It can also do things like turn one Inquisition of Kozilek, turn two Dark Confidant, who is also a Human. Then you can play that game plan, which that is one of the best game plans that Jund has. We have that line too.”

Wescoe didn't bring Mardu Humans to Charlotte for a chance at picking up easy wins in very favorable match-ups. He opted instead to bring a deck that has a game plan against most decks, even if the games are close. It shores up against different strategies with its mix of aggressive creatures, cheap removal, hand disruption, and creature-based card draw.

“It doesn't really have any super good match-ups, but it has a lot of match-ups where it's close and you have game against a lot of decks,” Wescoe said. “You have cheap interactive spells, so you're not going to get run over without an answer to a fast Wild Nacatl or Goblin Guide-type draw. But then you can also aggro out an opponent. If your opponent is playing a combo deck where they don't really do anything until turns three or four you have a bunch of fast, aggressive guys you can play and you also have Thalia [Guardian of Thraben] and Inquisition to disrupt them and maybe even buy yourself an extra turn. It's just one of those decks that has a game plan against everyone.”

Though it's new and relatively untested, Wescoe recommends trying out Mardu Humans.

“It's one of the most fun decks I've played in quite awhile, and based on our testing in the past week or two it's pretty powerful. We'll see how I do this weekend, but it's definitely a deck worth considering. This deck is super fun.”

Craig Wescoe's Mardu Humans - GP Charlotte

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