#CMWhatTheTrend - Twiddle Storm
- Jamin Kauf
Hello and welcome to WhatTheTrend, the column where we'll examine current trends on Cardmarket, check out why certain cards are popular, and speculate on future price developments. This week, we’re examining cards that untap lands.
A Modern Graveyard Metagame
Current Modern has received a lot of complaints. Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis has completely taken over and everybody knows about its power by now. Players are still trying to figure out the right number of Hedron Crab, Glowspore Shaman and Assasin's Trophy, but overall, the list is fairly set.
To win against the 8/8, you'll need to either be extremely fast or fight the graveyard on turn two (if that's even enough). And being fast is exactly what the new rising star of Modern is trying to do – welcome to a Twiddle world.
Dark Ritual in Modern
Lotus Field had some hype early after it was spoiled but it never really took off – that was until now. Players realized that it turned every effect that untaps a permanent into three free mana, which makes cards like Twiddle, Dream's Grip and Psychic Puppetry into very potent mana rituals. Especially the ability to splice an untap effect to cards like Reach through Mists and Peer through Depths or Ideas Unbound turns out to be very powerful.
To finish things off, we can only use one card in Modern: Grapeshot and to generate the necessary spell count, let's put in Past in Flames. Rounding everything out with some card-filtering in Serum Visions, Shimmer of Possibility and Sleight of Hand and ta-dah: we got a deck that went 12-3 at Grand Prix Minneapolis.
Twiddle Storm, Nathan Wells
|2Lonely Sandbar||1Echoing Truth||4Ideas Unbound|
|4Lotus Field||4Peer Through Depths||1Merchant Scroll|
|4Tolaria West||4Psychic Puppetry||3Past in Flames|
|4Reach Through Mists||4Serum Visions|
|3Twiddle||2Shimmer of Possibility|
|4Sleight of Hand|
|2Defense Grid||1Empty the Warrens||2Force of Negation|
|3Precognition Field||1Rebuild||3Spell Pierce|
A huge advantage that our newest Storm deck at hand has is relying on zero creatures, blanking all of your opponent's removal spells. Regular Storm needed to stick a Goblin Electromancer or Baral, Chief of Compliance to win on turn three, here we don't do any of that. Unfortunately we still rely on our graveyard, which is a big downside in a metagame that plays all around Vengevine, Bloodghast and Stitcher's Supplier. Without Past in Flames, we simply cannot generate a huge card advantage and our Grapeshots most likely won't be lethal.
Impact on the Market
This deck is a crowd favorite. Multiple of the aforementioned cards saw a huge reduction in stock on Cardmarket over the previous week. The whole deck is relatively cheap to build and seems to be quite competitive already, players will obviously be excited about that.
But even then, commons will not simply spike to insane prices, especially not if they're only being played in a single new deck that has yet to prove itself, so please don't jump the gun on anything just yet. The only card that has seen a significant increase is Lotus Field: going from 3.50€ to 4.30€ is still not very relevant though.
Developing a New Archetype
Now while I obviously trust Nathan Wells in his testing, I also think there's a lot of work to be done on this archetype. Why do we not play a playset of Twiddle? Why is Shimmer of Possibility better than say Strategic Planning given that we rely on our graveyard for PiF? And is Merchant Scroll anywhere near playable? Could we possibly even want green mana to gain access to cards like Sylvan Scrying?
I played with the deck for a bit and came to three big questions that need to be solved before fine-tuning:
- Is Grapeshot the best way to win? I personally liked the idea of having Niv-Mizzet, Parun as a finisher that you can also just slam into play on turn 3 without needing to combo.
- Should we play Fatestitcher and Echo of Eons alongside Faithless Looting? Fatestitcher being another cmc 1 untap spell from the graveyard is incredibly strong and Echo of Eons makes it so much easier to mulligan towards Lotus Field.
- How many lands do you play and why? I've seen a plethora of decklists and they vary by a lot. Some played 17 lands which seems wild to me as four of them are not even playable until turn three. Other played 21 in total which seems incredible given the amount of card draw. In the end, I cannot give you a clear answer right now, but make sure you have an answer to this question.
Whenever a new deck is found, times are gonna be exciting. And while this deck does not influence the market in a huge way financially, it might just have an impact on the Modern metagame, especially if Hogaak's ever looming presence is ended one day. Until then, it is up to us to find the best version of our newest Lotus Field combo deck.
Just as a small reminder to everyone interested in Modern: the next banned & restricted list update is on August 26th, so please plan accordingly.