Tribal Fun in Modern, Ep. 1: A Deadly Touch

lorescale coatl

Hello everyone, this is my first time writing for MagicGatheringStrat so to you I present my new series, Tribal Fun in Modern!

My name is Dylan Siegler and I have been playing since right around Kamigawa block and started to play competitively around Scars of Mirrodin. So, now that you know a bit about me, let’s jump right in.

The first tribe we are going to talk about today are the long forgotten snakes. Even though snakes have only truly been supported once in the Kamigawa block, this snake deck still has quite a deadly touch.

[d title=”Tribal Snakes (Modern)”]

4 Breeding Pool
4 Cavern of Souls
3 Forest
4 Hinterland Harbor
2 Island
4 Misty Rainforest
2 Oran-Rief, the Vastwood

3 Coiling Oracle
3 Hooded Hydra
4 Lorescale Coatl
2 Lotus Cobra
3 Mystic Snake
2 Ohran Viper
1 Orochi Eggwatcher
2 Patagia Viper
2 Wasteland Viper
2 Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro
3 Sosuke, Son of Seshiro
1 Kashi-Tribe Elite

Instant and Sorceries
2 Snakeform
3 Voidslime
2 Sosuke’s Summons

2 Coat of Arms

2 Mold Adder
2 Cobra Trap
1 Winds of Qal Sisma
1 Hooded Hydra
2 Coat of Arms
4 Naturalize
2 Chalice of the Void
1 Adaptive Automaton [/d]

So, now that you’ve seen the list, let’s look at the card choices, strategy, play style, matchup and sideboarding guide, and some different versions of the deck.

I am just going to go down the list, looking at each of the different types of cards and talking about their importance. Keep in mind also that all of the creatures are snakes, so I won’t even mention that.

[c]Coiling Oracle[/c] is in a world of its own, provide card advantage, ramp, and a 1/1 body.

As well, [c]Lotus Cobra[/c] fits in as a ramper, providing up to two triggers when fetches are played and cracked.

The control package includes [c]Voidslime[/c] and [c]Mystic Snake[/c], which can both serve as counterspells when really needed and the Mystic Snake is a flash 2/2 body too.

The one true finisher of the deck is [c]Hooded Hydra[/c]. Cast it as a morph turn three then flip him face up or just hardcast him, he is a big body and with any lord on the battlefield he has sudo indestructible.

As well, [c]Lorescale Coatl[/c] can get huge if you cast him early, so in most cases he can act as a finisher too.

[c]Ohran Viper[/c], [c]Wasteland Viper[/c], and [c]Snakeform[/c] are the removal in the deck. The deck lacks much non-creature removal, but the deathtouch on those snakes can get rid of most creatures (and [c]Ohran Viper[/c] can give card advantage when needed).

[c]Orochi Eggwatcher[/c], [c]Patagia Viper[/c], and [c]Sosuke’s Summons[/c] all generate 1/1 snake tokens. While the Eggwatcher is a big slower, it does the job. As well, [c]Patagia Viper[/c] acts a flying body. I have found in my testing that [c]Sosuke’s Summons[/c] provides so many snake tokens throughout the game that it could practically finish off the game on its own (granted they don’t have a [c]Relic of Progenitus[/c]). It comes back to hand so many times that it just provides so much value.

sosuke art

Finally, there are the lords. [c]Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro[/c], [c]Sosuke, Son of Seshiro[/c], [c]Kashi-Tribe Elite[/c] and [c]Coat of Arms[/c] are the lords of the deck. Sachi and Sosuke both provide that little boost in power or toughness and each have abilities of their own that can be helpful, whether it is ramp or deathtouch. [c]Kashi-Tribe Elite[/c] does do a good job at protecting the lords mostly and the tap down ability is useful, I have found that he is much weaker than I wanted him to be.

Then finally, there is [c]Coat of Arms[/c]. If you drop this thing, you will win. With all of the tokens and just the sheer amount of snakes, this can easily give all of your dudes +5/+5 or even +10/+10 and you will win if you resolve this at with any board state at all.

Lastly, there are the lands. All of the fetches, checks, and shocks are standard and [c]Cavern of Souls[/c] makes all of our creatures uncounterable and [c]Oran-Rief, the Vastwood[/c] can just help getting Hooded Hydras bigger or tokens and it is little of a hinderance that it enters the battlefield tapped.

I’ve found that [c]Sosuke’s Summons[/c] and [c]Coat of Arms[/c] are really just the all-stars off the deck when played turns 3 and 5, respectively. The [c]Cavern of Souls[/c] really hoses control and regardless fixes mana.

This deck runs a lot like a creature-heavy W/U Midrange deck and even a bit more like a control light faeries. Drop down all of your creatures as fast as possible, flood the board, make sure to keep mana open for a counterspell, and that is about it. Generally the deck can explode around turns three to four and continue to have gas from there on out.

Of course make sure to remember those Sosuke’s Summons triggers and don’t wait to play something just to get the Oran-Rief bonus. The deck can’t wait that long with little one and two-drops. One last thing to remember is that the deck runs 6 couterspells so, although it has a control package, the deck does not run like a control deck, so don’t go around countering everything.

The play style is a bit like faeries, so if you like faeries but want more of the green side of things, then that is what this deck is all about. Although it doesn’t have nearly as much control as faeries and not as much power in the air, the tribal synergies run deep and the creatures get big fast. So, if you like faeries (or even legacy elves) then the play style of this deck is quite similar and may appeal to you.

sachi art

The matchups and side boarding are as follows

In my testing I have found this deck has a good matchup with Abzan, Affinity, Mono-U Tron, and Twin (although this was probably luck) and has fairly 50%/50% matchups against RG Tron, Merfolk, Zoo, and Boros Burn and generally will lose against Storm and infect.

The sideboard consists of cards for most matchups ([c]Mold Adder[/c], [c]Hooded Hydra[/c]) some for attrition-based matchups ([c]Coat of Arms[/c], [c]Adaptive Automation[/c]), some against aggro and storm ([c]Chalice of the Void[/c], [c]Adaptive Automation[/c], [c]Winds of Qal Sisma[/c]) and a play set of [c]Naturalize[/c] for the affinity matchup.

The [c]Winds of Qal Sisma[/c], the [c]Adaptive Automation[/c], and the [c]Cobra Trap[/c] can all potentially be flex spots if you need to change the sideboard depending on your meta.

Your own spin on the deck

There are many directions that you can take with this deck from taking it in a much stronger control deck to a stronger tribal theme with more lords. You could cut blue entirely from the deck.

I haven’t really found a way to make the deck much more aggressive than it already is. I even found that a splash of black for [c]Dismember[/c], [c]Thoughtseize[/c], and some black snakes can help the deck in some way. The weakest cards I have found are [c]Snakeform[/c] (but this spot would have to be filled in with another removal spell) and [c]Patagia Viper[/c] (this should probably either be replaced with another flyer or removal).

There are lots of snakes I didn’t include in the deck, but these can easily be slotted in. You can change up the mix of Sosuke, Kashi, and [c]Kashi-Tribe Elite[/c] in the deck, depending on your preference (and other numbers). Finally, in control-heavy metas [c]Cavern of Souls[/c] works really well. This part is all up to you. There are a lot of directions to take this deck in.

So, if you have any suggestions for the deck or anything else feel free to leave a comment below.