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Waste Not, Want More

Waste Not, Want More

The ability to disrupt an opponent is an integral part of Modern decks. Either by killing creatures, countering spells, or attacking their hand, it’s a necessity to be able to interact with what your opponents are doing. There are few decks that can get away with not interacting, such as Storm or Affinity, and even then they still pack some number of slots for when they absolutely have to deal with something their opponents are doing. I’ve always been a fan of going over the top with a theme, and when it comes to interactive decks, it’s hard to find one that disrupts harder than this one.

8-Rack is traditionally a Mono-Black control deck that locks down the opponent through repeated discard effects, and grinding them out with The Rack and Shrieking Affliction. However, a common weakness of these decks is that they lack the ability to build a board presence outside of Rack effects so barring an effect like Damnation, topdecked creatures can easily overrun it. That’s where the innovation of adding Waste Not comes in, as it gives the deck a way to turn the opponent’s discarded creatures into zombie tokens.

Another weakness that Waste Not fixes is that an opponent can start sandbagging cards in their hand to avoid taking damage with The Rack, so we need some effects that punish them for trying to play around our win conditions. With this in mind, we get to double down and use Liliana’s Caress to make our opponent lose two life for each card they discard. This way we can deal damage if they have no cards with The Rack, or turn our discard spells into Shocks if they try to hold cards in their hand.

                              

One innovation that I’m a huge fan of is adding a slight Red splash for Burning Inquiry. With Waste Not or Liliana’s Caress in play, we get three triggers of either enchantment for just a single mana. Furthermore, because the discard is random, we have a chance at seriously disrupting an opponent’s plans since they have no control over what gets discarded. One other particularly spicy use of Burning Inquiry is when our opponent has no cards in hand. In this instance, Burning Inquiry effectively mills three cards while netting three triggers, thus keeping Waste Not and Liliana’s Caress live at all times.

It’s worth noting that I’m not including Liliana of the Veil in the list, and that’s for one major reason. After a fair amount of testing, I’ve found that the card is too slow for what we’re trying to do. Three mana is a lot for a deck routinely sacrificing its own lands with Smallpox and Ghost Quarter, and even with the mana trigger on Waste Not, it’s still difficult. While she does have some benefits as creature removal, the inclusion of Fatal Push handles a lot of the more prevalent threats that can get in under our discard spells. Frankly, if I were to include any three mana spell in the maindeck, it would be Kolaghan’s Command. This gives us instant-speed discard as well as burn and a way of destroying problem artifacts like Chalice of the Void, so it’s definitely something worth considering. As such, I’ve been far happier with the more proactive build that keeps both mana and monetary costs down.

The sideboard is designed to shore up our aggro matchups and get around Leyline of Sanctity, which is one of the hardest counters for our deck. Since Black and Red typically have no ways of interacting with enchantments, Leyline is one of the best cards for shutting off our targeted discard. Fortunately, since neither The Rack, Shrieking Affliction, Waste Not, or Liliana’s Caress target, we can still get our triggers in despite a Leyline being in play. We just need untargeted discard effects, and for that we go to one of my personal favourites: Delirium Skeins. This card is like taking a battle axe to the opponent’s hand, forcing them to discard three cards at once and getting us three triggers with our enchantments. When Leyline is a factor, we lean a bit harder on our Smallpox and Burning Inquiry, but we still have to keep some targeted discard in on the off chance they don’t have it in their opening hand.

                              

Another major reason for splashing Red is that it gives us one of the most disruptive cards in Modern. Blood Moon shuts off entire decks with ease since many of the three-coloured decks like Jund and Abzan only run the bare minimum of basic lands. This way we can strand cards in our opponent’s hand because they can’t cast them, so our discard spells are always live. Another reason to use Blood Moon is that it cuts off pesky manlands like Blinkmoth Nexus and Creeping Tar Pit, which we tend to have difficulty interacting with. As well, Blood Moon does a tremendous job of slowing down Tron, and even shutting off their colourless sources to keep Eldrazi off the table. Blood Moon is one of the strongest cards in the format, so it only stands to reason we would try to fit into the deck.

Flaying Tendrils is one of the cheaper board wipes in Modern, and actually gets around persist creatures like Kitchen Finks since it exiles. Extirpate could easily be Surgical Extraction, but I prefer the former due to split second. This is here for shutting down combo decks entirely by stripping away a key piece of their deck. For actual graveyard hate, we have Grafdigger’s Cage, which stops the opponent from reanimating creatures, using flashback, and even cheating creatures into play with Collected Company. Finally, Pithing Needle is a card that I believe should be in every sideboard, as it acts as a catch-all to the variety of planeswalkers, manlands, and other activated abilities in the format.

This deck is the epitome of all-in disruption, attacking the hand from turn 1 and never stopping. Just watching the despair on your opponent’s face as their hand is ripped to shreds is well worth playing the deck, and the satisfaction of shutting down a game plan bit by bit is hard to top. This is a deck that rewards being able to properly assess threats and discarding them effectively, so while it does require a fair bit of knowledge about how other decks function, with a bit of practice it becomes easy to figure out as you play. If you’re in the mood to throw some people off their game plan and grind them to dust, you won’t go wrong with Waste Not!