Rock-style deck using the old Standard favorite of Pack Rat + Mutavault.




deaddrift says... #1

Looks good! +1 for awesome BW midrange Modern style ;)

October 11, 2015 3:52 p.m.

waly91 says... #2

Love it, I will test it

November 23, 2016 4:21 p.m.

zephyr_chang says... #3

In a deck with Lingering Souls and Pack Rat I would prefer to play Sorin, Solemn Visitor over Elspeth, Knight-Errant. Also, Squadron Hawk is a nice source of card advantage to fuel more Rats and maybe Collective Brutality as well. Asylum Visitor could work too, since it has Madness, you can pitch it to either Pack Rat or Collective Brutality and still be able to cast it.

May 18, 2017 11:50 a.m.

davemo88 says... #4

zephyr_chang Thanks for your suggestions. At least you proposed a cut for Sorin. What do you cut for those other cards?

May 18, 2017 5:06 p.m.

zephyr_chang says... #5

One problem with my suggestions, I've realised, is that they are all 1 toughness and thus really fragile. But I might go with something like this:


  • 2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
  • 2 Smuggler's Copter
  • 1 Inquisition of Kozilek
  • 1 Dark Confidant


  • 1 Asylum Visitor
  • 1 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
  • 4 Squadron Hawk

I might be too optimistic with the Squadron Hawks, since they are only really useful when you already have Pack Rat or Collective Brutality in hand. But in theory it works?

I'd do 2 Swamps and 2 Plains instead of 1 Plains and 3 Swamps too. The reason is you'll need at least enough basic lands to be able to cast all the cards in your deck (in case of Blood Moon). Maybe squeeze in 1 Vault of the Archangel as well?

May 18, 2017 10:50 p.m.

davemo88 says... #6


Ok. Here's the problem I see with your changes: you seem to want to make the deck worse in the early game but better in the late game. However Modern is a fast format.

For instance, none of the discard shenanigans are good on turn 2. Squadron Hawk is not actually a good card to cast- just compare it to Lingering Souls. It is not worth spending 2 mana to fill your hand with blanks. There are already plenty of good late game discards, e.g. extra lands, discard spells, and of course Lingering Souls.

You've cut essentially cut Dark Confidant for Asylum Visitor. Which is better on turn 2?

I think you are fixated on discarding cards "for value" and haven't realized that the cards that require discarding are already so good that you don't need to make them better, least of all by playing weak situational cards. You don't need to do anything special to make Liliana of the Veil into a good card. You are giving up good cards for bad cards that make your remaining already-good cards slightly better. It is a net negative.

The last comment about lands is also a bit misguided. Based on all these suggestions I think you are focusing on unlikely worst/best-case situations. Maybe play with the hypergeometric calculator and see just how unlikely these things are.

May 19, 2017 11:49 a.m.

zephyr_chang says... #7

Yes, I explicitly said that Squadron Hawks are not for casting, they are for discard shenanigans. Not sure why you repeated that. Of course none of the discard shenanigans are good on turn 2, that's the turn you cast the Squadron Hawks to get more cards. Then on turn 3 you can ditch them to Liliana of the Veil at lower cost to yourself than your opponent. Or you could ditch two immediately to Collective Brutality to wreck Burn or Naya Zoo or other aggro decks.

'Modern is a fast format' - says the guy who designed a midrange deck that can only win through Pack Rat tokens, Lingering Souls, and MANLANDS.

As for Dark Confidant vs Asylum Visitor, you're right, the former is objectively better. Asylum Visitor is only better if you go more discard outlet heavy. 4 Lili, 4 Brutality and 4 Rats is probably enough to make a 1-of Visitor better.

As for the last comment about lands, don't take it from me. Most pros endorse this. If you are playing against a Blood Moon deck, good luck casting your WW spells. You can't even fetch for basics early in G2 to play around a Blood Moon because you only have the one. If you're so worried about not being able to cast a discard spell Turn 1, play some Urborgs or something, jeez. You have to play at least enough basic lands for the cards in your deck. That's like a really basic concept. Maybe you haven't played against Blood Moon enough. I have never seen someone thinking that basic lands are the best way to fix colour on curve.

But hey, if you're not open to suggestions, no problem man. Good luck with the deck. Test with it and let us know how it goes! I have been testing B/W midrange a lot myself to moderate success so I don't think I'm as misguided as you say I am.

May 19, 2017 11:15 p.m.

zephyr_chang says... #8

The Pack Rat/Squadron Hawk synergy's been around for some time. (One example - I'm not the first person to discover it or anything, just wanted to pass on some info. But it seems to have met with hostility on your part even though I'm pretty sure you have not tested the card yet. Even on its own, it nets you 3 cards and a small thinning effect immediately upon cast, which can be better than a Dark Confidant that dies right after being cast. Yes, in the late game you can pitch extra lands or useless spells to your discard outlets. But the more likely scenario is that you might have mulliganed, or the opponent might have discarded some of your cards with their own discard spells, and then you're left with 3 or fewer cards in your hand after you cast Liliana on turn 3 and then, in your own words, you are discarding good cards from your hand.

I don't think I'm fixated on discarding cards for value if you're the one who built a deck with 10 discard outlets in 4 Pack Rats, 4 Lilianas, 2 Brutality and 2 Smuggler's Copter. Do you think you will always have a copy of Lingering Souls in your hand whenever you want to discard something? Sorin, Solemn Visitor and Vault of the Archangel are no brainers and are definite upgrades to Elspeth (which nobody plays) and a full FOUR Shambling Vents. I mean, maybe full on control decks play that many manlands, and you're not even control. Manlands have gotten worse with Fatal Push out, and even blue-based control are finding other win-cons than Celestial Colonnade. The lifegain from Sorin and Vault gives you a nice swing, and the deathtouch from Vault makes combat trickier.

Yes, the problem with Squadron Hawks is that you either play 4 or you play none. And sometimes playing 4 means a big change to the deck. If you don't want to go that way, sure. But it is not as bad as you think. You can even establish an infinite supply of Hawks with a Mistveil Plains.

May 20, 2017 12:16 a.m.

davemo88 says... #9


I am sorry. Do you have a link to your BW midrange list?

May 20, 2017 8:28 a.m.

zephyr_chang says... #10

I have been tweaking a B/W Smallpox list (similar to for the past few weeks, and now it has basically become a B/W Superfriends deck after the printing of Gideon of the Trials, which is an absolute beast. Some decks just auto scoop to it because they have trouble getting rid of a planeswalker even after sideboarding.

I have tried Squadron Hawks and Pack Rats before, but that was a while ago. It was quite close to how I described it above. I had fun playing some copies of Batterskull, Sword of Light and Shadow and Sword of Fire and Ice too, trying to replicate the success of old Caw-Blade decks.

May 20, 2017 10:53 a.m.

davemo88 says... #11


Cool. I like the Smallpox lists too. I might try it one day. I think Copter is way better than equipment since it costs so much less mana. It is also quite good with Smallpox.

I agree that the new Gideon is sweet. I haven't found that any decks really scoop to it with possible exception of Ad Nauseam in game 1. Mostly it's just a nice flexible card and a great beater.

May 20, 2017 12:12 p.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 3 years
Last updated 4 months

This deck is Modern legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 1.95
Tokens 1/1 Soldier, 1/1 Spirit, Elspeth
Folders HOTRATS, Inspiration, Modern
Views 4996