Well to start off, I think Infect is currently one of the best decks in Modern and is in my opinion the best aggressive deck in the format at the moment. Bogles, Zoo, and Affinity can all struggle against Lingering Souls. While each deck has the necessary tools to defeat those pesky spirit tokens, they are just not the cards you want to see or even sideboard in most matchups. Bogles, of course, does have Spirit Mantle, but they also get blown out by Liliana of the Veil a majority of the time. With all other aggressive options either out of favor or unappealing (Bogles), I decided to do a thing I haven’t done since I first started playing Magic: play pump spells on mediocre creatures.
Infect’s Place in the Metagame
In the current Modern metagame, Infect seems poised to do well. According to MTGTop8, Junk, Burn, and Twin make up 17, 14, and 16 percent of the metagame respectively. The great thing here is that the worst early play out of 47 percent of the meta is Eidolon of the Great Revel cast at an early point in the game. I love these odds. Another fun matchup that is a byproduct of Junk being a large player in the metagame is that it is only a matter of time until Tron comes crawling out of the woodwork—and that matchup is incredibly good for Infect.
On the play, Infect can be the fastest deck in the format and a lot of slow draws end up with wins between turns four and six while the average aggressive draw can win on turn three or four pretty consistently.
The decks with the strongest matchup against it would be decks like my own Big Zoo list or Jund, but since those decks are both outclassed by Dr. Siegeman Rhinocerous, you’re not likely to face either of those decks.
The Cons of the Deck
I’ve talked about some of the great reasons to play the deck, but there are some critically bad components of the deck that must be taken under consideration before picking it up for a tournament.
This deck mulligans poorly. When you are playing 19 lands and 12 creatures that can kill your opponent, it can be very hard to find a strong opening hand. The blue mana in the deck is only a splash and you can easily win games without ever seeing it, so I consider these the key components to a strong opening hand:
- An infect creature.
- Two mana sources with at least one being green.
- A form of protection.
The most important pieces are the first two, while the third is very helpful as half of your maindeck protection doubles as pump spells and one quarter of it serves as evasion. I don’t include Wild Defiance in the protection I look for unless I am playing versus Splinter Twin or other Lightning Bolt decks, because for the most part it serves as additional pump and gets sided out for the matchups you don’t need it.
Another big con is that Spellskite is widely played and that card can be a big thorn in your side as an infect player. Wild Defiance is great against it though because it triggers when your creatures get targeted, and every pump spell is at least a Giant Growth, which is not the worst card, especially when your creatures have infect.
Where I’m At
I’ve updated my list, although I only changed one card. I decided to cut the Piracy Charm from my sideboard so I could place a copy of Distortion Strike. That way, I’ll have up to three of them in the Lingering Souls matchup as well as against Affinity where there can be a bunch of blockers mucking up the ground and the air.
I plan to make an update to Zoo soon, too, and I have a fun Esper brew featuring Monastery Mentor that is heavily influenced by Time Warp Faeries, so if it proves to be good I hope to write about it soon, as well.
In the meantime, if you have any comments, you know what to do!
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