Infect

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I'm not very familiar with the Modern format, but there's a GPT coming up in a few weeksat my shop and I'd like to put together a deck for the tournament.  Looking around at the winning decklists, I saw all the usual suspects (Affinity, Twin, Tron, Pod, etc.), but every list I looked at I didn't really like.  Then I saw this Infect list:



Sideboard:
[deck]4x Phyrexian Crusader
2x Darkblast
1x Doom Blade
4x Nature's Claim
3x Spell Pierce
1x Swamp[/deck]

I liked the list (mainly because it's somewhat cheap since I have the Dismembers, Nexuses, fetches and some other pieces), but wanted some opinions on it and some changes I'm considering.  Here's what I think I'd like to change.

Main:
-4 Groundswell, +4 Giant Growth:  With so few lands, I thought that Groundswell wouldn't trigger all that often.  Can any one think of a reason why Giant Growth wouldn't be optimal in the list?

-3 Vines of Vastwood, +3 Ranger's Guile:  Again, with so few lands, I didn't think kicking Vines would occur very often.  I thought that Guile would be just as good for protection, but add power more often. EDIT:  Realized that the Vines can be used to stop Splinter Twin while Ranger's Guile cannot.  That's probably worth leaving Vines in the list.

-1 Pendelhaven, +1 Inkmoth Nexus:  I just thought having one more "creature" would be good.

-1 Simian Spirit Guide, +1 Elvish Spirit Guide:  I'm considering this change because in goldfishing the deck (with the above changes), I often wished the Simian would produce something other than red.  I don't think I want to change them all over, as I did use them for Assault Strobes a lot.  I think I used them to power out a Blighted Agent or Stinger on turn 1 more often though.  EDIT:  My bad, Elvish Spirit Guide isn't legal.

I would also like to have one more land in the list, preferably one that doesn't hurt me when it comes into play.  I was thinking of either cutting a Pool for a Forest, but can any one else think of something I should shave for it?  Or instead of the extra Forest, should I try to fit in another black source?  If I do get another land into the deck, I probably won't make the Giant Growth switch.

Sideboard:
-2 Darkblast, +2 Virulent Wound:  I was considering this change just because they kill the same things, but Wound gives a poison counter.  How relevant is the dredge on Darkblast in the format?

-1 Swamp, +1 Ranger's Guile:  I don't like having lands in the sideboard, but I do so how the swamp might be necessary if you brought in the Crusaders.  Should I fit the extra black source into the mainboard, or leave it in the side?

Any other suggestions would be welcome.  Again, I'm not very familiar with the format, so if this isn't a good deck, let me know.  I've also got a lot of pieces of Affinity as a backup.
Looks like Simian is in because ESG isn't modern legal Shame because the red is awkward.
Crap.  Shows you how much I know about Modern...
In regards to darkblast: I don't think the dredge is relevant, but the ability to constantly recycle removal probably is. Ensures that your opponent can't stick an early blocker, even if you only see one copy in hand.

Side note: I wonder how relevant Wild Defiance would be here... gut tells me it's probably too slow for the format, but if there are enough "free" spells, could lay out an easy turn 3 win. Stack in mutagenic growths, gitaxian probe and gut shot. probably a bad idea, though. 
With the Darkblast recycling, I just can't think of any reason why you would need to dredge it back if you already have 3 Dismembers, the second copy and possibly a Doom Blade to draw instead.  Again, I'm just not sure why the list would need to recycle removal.  The list should only have to remove something once.  If you kill the blocker EOT, you should be able to win in your next attack phase.

I thought about Wild Defiance, especially with it working so well in the Standard version.  However, as the deck stands, I wasn't having much trouble goldfishing a turn 3 win (without a turn 1 Blighted Agent/Stinger or with a Nexus) already.  Given how few lands the deck plays, getting to 3 mana can be difficult.  As for Gut Shots/Gitaxian Probes, I'm already a little worried about how much life everything costs.  In goldfishing, I've been down to 10 life when I go all in already from fetching, land shocking and Phyrexian mana.  I don't think adding another very conditional removal spell and adding a cantrip would help enough to outweigh the possiblilty of killing yourself by paying life.  I could be wrong, but I just don't see the utility there.
sideboard: well if you know tron will be there, throw in land destruction( hard to recover after that) and for affinity since you are running blue, hurkyl's recall and ancient grudge are good or a creature option viridian corrupter
Tron should be a good match up without needing to attack their lands.  Like I said, this deck typically wins turn 2 or 3, well before Tron can do much of anything.  Slowing them down with land destruction doesn't do anything for the deck.

As for Affinity, the list is as fast or faster than them, and they don't have many good options against it.  Sure, I could bounce all the artifacts to their hand, but why bother when I can blow up the one creature in my way with Nature's Claim?  If I'm really pressed, I can use it on their Cranial Plating to buy time.  As for Ancient Grudge, it's just a lot slower (and off color) than Claim is.  Sure, being able to use it twice would be nice, but the fact of the matter is that if I have to use Grudge twice in a game, I've probably lost anyway.
sorry ive never seen an this infect deck before...can you explain how it wins around turn 2 and three?
Any player loses if they have 10 poison counters.  Infect creatures deal damage to players in the form of poison counters (i.e. a 2/2 infect creature gives a player 2 poison counters per hit) and to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters.  Here's an example of turn 2 win:

Turn 1:  Breeding Pool untapped, exile Simian Spirit Guide, play Blighted Agent
Turn 2:  City of Brass, main-phase Might of Old Krosa on Blighted Agent, Assault Strobe on Blighted Agent, swing for 10 poison (lethal)

Turn three would be similar, just probably without the Spirit Guide turn 1 or the Assault Strobe on turn 2.
cool.  but would u only do that if they are tapped out? Also if you have red as a color wouldnt pyroclasm be a good sideboard option? How would this deck do against melira pod?  I know that pod is slow but against infect a turn 2 melira could make you take longer.  My brother played infect and all his opponents did was side in a melira, sylvok outcast.  But with your build(which is much stronger) all you have to do is the same strategy and deal 10 dmg. :] thnx for the info.

-edit-
how does vines stop splinter twin

my brother also used livewire lash on his creatures resulting in him playing giant growth on a creature the attacking for atleast 6 infect if unblocked.  If only invigorate was modern legal.  Modern would see alot more infect. XP

What about predator's strike? or is it redundant to have trample on ana unblockable or flying creature? 
You wouldn't necessarily only do it when the opponent is tapped out.  There is a protection suite that guards against removal that you can fight through some hate.

Pyroclasm isn't good because it kills your own guys.

Obviously, Melira Pod isn't a great matchup.  As for Melira herself, there is some removal to deal with her.  If your opponent doesn't have Melira turn 2, you're still probably going to win.

Vines stop Splinter Twin because you cast it on the Deceiver Exarch/Pestermite/Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker in response to Splinter Twin.  Vines makes it so any creature can't be targeted by the opponent.  Therefore, the Splinter Twin has an illegal target and fizzles.

Livewire Lash is just a touch too slow.  Instead of spending that 4 mana to play and equip it, I could just be spending it on creature pumps and killing them.

Predator's Strike isn't terrible.  The trample is relevant on the Glistener Elf and Plague Stinger.  It's pointless on Blighted Angel.  However, two mana for a pump spell is quite a bit for this deck, even when the pump has an added bonus.