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Nahiri Control
"Is it cool that I bring a friend?

Emrakul is the Titan of Corruption, the largest and most fearsome of the Eldrazi. Strictly speaking, she's the most feared being in the multiverse next to the Phyrexians. Who can stop the femme fatales?

Today we are continuing the trend of playing great planeswalkers and spells in the Mardu color pie, but in a different format. Let’s see how well we fare in the land of fast mana, turn two kills and hate cards. Let’s play some Modern.

At first I wasn’t going to be able to make this video series without Liliana of the Veil and Nahiri, the Harbinger, but MTGO user pmc graciously donated his playset of both the planeswalkers so that I may do so. So for that we at BoardState thank you, pmc.

Modern is an awesome format for anyone not playing Legacy and a way for players to continue to play with their older cards that have since rotated even beyond Frontier (which might as well be called New Extended). Not a lot of newly printed standard legal cards make a huge impact on older formats, but today we get to play one. This card not only made a huge impact on Modern but also created a whole deck around her. Let’s take a look at what Nahiri Control is all about.

The Decklist
2x Arid Mesa 4x Blackcleave Cliffs 2x Blood Crypt 4x Bloodstained Mire 1x Concealed Courtyard 2x Godless Shrine 2x Inspiring Vantage 3x Marsh Flats 1x Mountain 1x Swamp 1x Plains 2x Shambling Vent 3x Path to Exile 2x Fatal Push 3x Inquisition of Kozilek 2x Thoughtseize 3x Lightning Bolt 2x Lightning Helix 4x Lingering Souls 2x Painful Truths 2x Anger of the Gods 3x Liliana of the Veil 1x Liliana, the Last Hope 2x Terminate 4x Nahiri, the Harbinger 1x Gideon Jura 1x Emrakul, the Aeons Torn Sideboard 2x Leyline of the Void 2x Kambal, Consul of Allocation 1x Pithing Needle 1x Hide/Seek 2x Crumble to Dust 2x Leyline of Sanctity 1x Elspeth, Sun's Champion 1x Damnation 2x Stony Silence 1x Ajani Vengeant

The point of this deck is to muscle out Emrakul, the Aeons Torn as fast as possible utilizing Nahiri’s ultimate. Nahiri’s plus one allows us to just discard Emrakul and replace it with something more useful than a fifteen drop, so we can even start the game with Emrakul in hand if need be. Most other decks are not setup to handle a turn six 15/15 flyer that's about to gobble up six of their permanents.

Our deck is full of removal, discard, planeswalkers, and draw which is exactly what we want for our attrition style game plan. Lingering Souls and Gideon Jura basically fill the same roll as in they both afford us another way to win and to draw the attention off the other walkers and our life total. With all the shocking, fetching and “painful” card draw, we can’t really afford to take anymore damage.

The list above is roughly what I started the video series with. I did make changes as we played through some games and I did note when and why those changes were made. Let’s get to some games and Annihilate some opponents boards!

Nahiri Control Deck Tech

Match 1 vs Tron

Match 2 vs Abzan Company

Match 3 vs Bant Company

Match 4 vs Mono-White Humans

Match 5 vs 5 Color Elementals

Match 6 vs Esper Thopter Foundry

"Y'all got any permanents I can annihilate?"

As you can see from the videos, the deck has a tremendous amount of value packed inside. Some games we didn’t even need to get Nahiri on the board let alone Emrakul to win. There were a couple of games where the opponent couldn’t handle either Gideon or the spirit tokens and simply just folded. My favorite was in the match vs Esper Thopter Foundry when the opponent used Surgical Extraction on Emrakul after I discarded to Nahiri. In most games this may have been a problem, but I was still able to effectively use Nahiri for card draw and I used her ultimate in that game to search up Kambal. This easily could’ve been a Pithing Needle to stop the opponent from activating their Celestial Colonade, but I thought it prudent to search up a creature to attack with and that was really effective against their game plan.

The sideboard can be built to your liking. I personally am still unsure of what is a better card for graveyard hate: Rest in Peace or Leyline of the Void. Leyline doesn’t mess with our discarding of Lingering Souls or Emrakul, but it also doesn’t have the immediate removal of the yard unless in our opening hand. Kambal, Consul of Allocation was an all-star in my eyes. He drew so much hate and rightfully so. He’s definitely not what a spell heavy deck wants to see stick around. I would like to jam another Damnation and another few cards to help out against Burn and Control. I was thinking Defense Grid for Control matchups and Sun Droplet for Burn. Although I’m a little leary of having a ton of artifacts and enchantments as a defense barrier, for opponents often have hate cards for such moments.

I super enjoyed running this deck through a gauntlet of games. I think finding out which decks that prove to be the most troublesome will deserve the most sideboard slots. I’m actually going to spend more time fine tuning the list for a more well rounded and balanced deck to take to paper tournaments. There will also be much consulting with MTGO user pmc on how do this as he recently took the deck to an RPTQ.

Harbingering Sorrow,