Bant Knightfall: A Chew Brew

Posted in GRAND PRIX GUANGZHOU 2016 on August 28, 2016

By Chapman Sim

Kelvin Chew is no stranger to the Asia-Pacific scene. In addition to making the Top 8 at Pro Tour Return to Ravnica, he is also a three-time Singapore National Champion as well as a Magic Online veteran going by the alias "Hyper". He is also known as a deck builder and has crafted numerous masterpieces that have made an impact.

This time, he showed up with yet another concoction, piloting it to an 8-1 record in Day 1. If he keeps up his winning streak, we might just find him on his way to another Grand Prix Top 8 tomorrow.

Chew has been playing Bant Knightfall ever since Retreat to Coralhelm was released in Battle for Zendikar. With both Knight of the Reliquary and Retreat to Coralhelm in play, your Knight of the Reliquary becomes an ever-growing, land-chopping machine. The combo is finite since you'll eventually run out of lands in your deck but you can usually make a 20/20 Knight pretty easily. Kessig Wolf Run will trample past pesky chump blockers.

Kelvin Chew showcases the heart of his Bant Knightfall deck.

The beauty of Bant Knightfall is its ability to win games as early as turn 3. The core of the deck is focused on abusing Collected Company, a card which we have seen dominate in Standard for as long as it has been legal. However, this is Modern, and we have access to way more powerful cards that provide multi-faceted utility in Modern, with a little help from our friends in Eldritch Moon.

Perhaps the most talked about Eldritch Moon addition in Chew's deck is Spell Queller, which Chew feels is good enough to run the full playset. In addition, he also has a pair of Selfless Spirit to protect his army, as well as Blessed Alliance in the sideboard. As mentioned earlier, it would not only serve as a removal spell and life gain, it can also be used to untap creatures as a surprise, or double up on the activated abilities of Knight of the Reliquary and Izzet Staticaster. Coincidentally, the inclusion of these cards probably makes Chew's deck the one with the most Eldritch Moon goodness in it.

"I previously had more Spellskites as well as Dauntless Escort, but I feel that Selfless Spirit's evasion is important in aggression, which this deck is capable of as well. They protect Knight of the Reliquary against removal, which is really important. They also help against sweepers such as Anger of the Gods, Supreme Verdict and Damnation, which are even more prevalent in post-board games."

In anticipation of a creature-heavy metagame, the trio of Izzet Staticasters will machine-gun Memnite, Glistener Elf, Noble Hierarch and Grim Lavamancer. Also, Worship, which had fallen out of favor for a while, makes its return out of the sideboard, a nightmare for any damage-based deck, such as Zoo, Affinity and Boros Burn. In grindy matchups such as Jund and Jeskai, Chew has some tools to harness every little bit of card advantage he can get. Voice of Resurgence, Kitchen Finks and Courser of Kruphix prove pivotal in accruing value as the game progresses.

Despite extensive playtesting, Chew had an unpleasant hunch when he woke up this morning. Feeling a little cautious, he proceeded to kick Bojuka Bog from his sideboard, making way for a third copy of Negate.

"I think Tron decks in various color combinations are going to be popular because it has proven to be a good strategy to go over the top against midrange decks. Also, Bant Knightfall's other weakness is combo decks, such as Titan Shift and Ad Nauseam, mostly because Spell Queller cannot deal with their key cards which cost 5 mana. I think I am favored against most of the fair decks in the metagame but it is the unfair decks I fear."

With all that said, will Chew be able to navigate his way to the Top 8?

Getting ready for some company!

*Decklist will be posted at the beginning of Round 15.

Kelvin Chew's Bant Knightfall

Grand Prix Guangzhou 2016
Download Arena Decklist