My take on a toughness matters (no Defenders) Doran, the Siege Tower deck. Adding Red and Bloodbraid Elf really brought the deck to another level, and the power and consistency are better than they have ever been.

Turn 3 wins are possible with:

  • T1: Land for turn. Tap and cast Birds of Paradise.

  • T2: Land for turn. Tap Birds of Paradise and cast Doran, the Siege Tower.

  • T3: Land for turn. Tap lands and cast Mardu Ascendancy.

  • Go to Combat: Swing with Birds and Doran. Ascendancy creates two 1/1 goblins tapped and attacking. Sac Ascendancy to give all your creatures +0/+3 (or +3/+3 with Doran). Birds hit for 4, each Goblin hits for 4, Doran hits for 8, for total of 20 damage.

Trying to make this as competitive as possible. It has some trouble with 5C Humans sometimes, but otherwise can hold its own against a lot of other top tier decks.

If you have any suggestions or criticisms, especially with the sideboard, leave a comment!


Updates Add

Made quite a few changes recently that I have been playtesting at FNM, so I haven't been as concerned with the exact performances and sideboarding as I had been before.

Taking out the Runic Armasaur for the Obelisk Spider was a great idea because that thing is an absolute monster. Effectively hits creatures for 5, and pinging the opponent and healing for 1 is nothing to scoff at over a few turns. The reach is a big deal against Humans and Spirits. Testing this out as a 1x or 2x for now.

Added another Eldritch Evolution and I am VERY happy with it. This has been especially strong against Humans, since the Evolution gets around Reflector Mage AND Meddling Mage (note the errata change from "played" to "cast"), so grabbing Doran, the Siege Tower or Spellskite after they have been bounced or declared has been a huge boon. Not to mention tutoring for Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive or a sideboard creature is a big deal. 3x of Evolution has been perfect, where 4 felt like too many.

Playtested running a few Lightning Greaves, and the results were really good. Understandably, Doran gets a lot of hate, along with the Spider and Spellskite too. Spellskite definitely hold his ground against a lot of it, and does a great job of protecting Doran, but as a 4x in a deck of 60, you can't always guarantee it. Getting the boots out and onto Doran has sealed the game for me in almost every matchup, especially where people can't chumpblock enough to kill him.

The added benefit of Haste has been a lot of fun, as now I can swing with creatures I hit off a Cascade, or even get Doran attacking on T3 when I get boots out on T2.

Having more 2-drops has really smoothed out the curve as well, because there were a lot of occasions where I got T1 Birds, T2 Harbinger, and if I didn't have a Spellskite I was wasting 2 mana that turn. Now the hands are more forgiving. Even having the option of putting boots on Birds of Paradise has been nice to use the attacker or tap for mana right away. Currently running a 2x of the boots, but going back and forth between 3x.

The only thing Mainboard I am iffy about right now is Mardu Ascendancy/Tower Defense. I love them both, but the deck is able to put on so much more pressure the more creatures I can get out, and being able to tutor out some toolbox creatures when needed. The problem comes from wanting a mix of the two, but having to cut creatures for it. A 2x of Ascendancy is great by itself, a 1x of it is okay to draw into during long games, and Cascading into it is fine as well. For Tower Defense, 2x is almost too few, 1x is bad, and Cascading into it isn't always good. I like Tower Defense for the strength and the surprise factor, but Mardu is good to drop and just ignore, but the casting cost is rough compared to 1G.

I'm not really sure what the right answer is. Running none of them doesn't feel right, but only being comfortable with at most 2x of either seems clunky too.

Experimenting with a more creature based sideboard. Dropped Stony Silence and Golgari Charm for Sylvok Replica, Kataki, War's Wage, and a Vexing Shusher (or Prowling Serpopard). Running a 2x of a non-creature has never turned out well (it's why I went up to 3x Ensnaring Bridge and Leyline of Sanctity) so I'm hoping that, even though they are a little more niche, getting them out more consistently will be better overall. I sideboarded in Stony Silence as a 2x on half a dozen occasions, and never actually drew into it, and mulliganing down to find a 2x is brutal.

Overall the deck is getting more consistent, and I've gone from a 10% win percentage against Humans to very near 50%. A local counterspell tribal deck gives me the most grief, but I think the answer to that is just more creatures until he runs out of counters. His 1 wincon of Teferi is so weak, I think he is just used to people conceding before he gets to the point of drawing it.

Really looking for a way to get a little bit of draw into the mainboard, but I'm not sure if it is even possible. Let me know if you have any ideas!

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Date added 10 months
Last updated 7 hours

This deck is not Modern legal.

Highlight illegal cards
Illegal cards Assassin's Trophy
Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.16
Tokens 1/1 Goblin
Folders Modern, Modern, LIKEY LIKEY, Modern Decks, Decks I like, Cool Decks, Cool Decks
Top rank #21 on 2018-09-14
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