Tetsuko & Doran' Assault Formation!


General Gameplan & Win Conditions

Collected Company, Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive and Doran, the Siege Tower / Assault Formation, all these cards have the potential to be built around in a deck, and for some of them (mainly Collected Company) such decks make up a portion of the modern metagame. With this deck, I tried to combine the strengths of these cards, in order to make a value aggro deck. Doran, the Siege Tower & Assault Formation essentially make cards have power equal to their toughness, and due to the balancing of MTG, cards with low power and high toughness are relatively cheap mana-wise. Cards like Dragon's Eye Savants becomes a 2 mana 6/6 which is just extreme value. However, even though it acts like a 6/6, its power is still 0, which means that Dragon's Eye Savants becomes unblockable with a Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive on the battlefield. The combo of Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive and Doran, the Siege Tower sets a very fast clock on your opponent. Finally, in order to step up the tempo even more, and act as a final "win condition" Collected Company fetches the most powerful creatures in this deck. It can hit both Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive and Doran, the Siege Tower, as well as all other high toughness creatures in this deck. This deck can reliably end games on turn 5, but turn 4 wins are definitely possible as well.


Birds of Paradise

Essential card for this deck. You want to be able to play Doran, the Siege Tower and Assault Formation, so that's already 3 colours. Fortunately, modern has access to both fetch and dual lands, and mana dorks like Birds of Paradise. This card is only essential in the early stages, you either play a Birds of Paradise or Noble Hierarch on turn one when possible. Birds of Paradise is unblockable with Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive on the field, can get it for one, or a whole lot more with Tower Defense. 4 of in the mainboard since the flying gives it just that little bit extra, and of course because it taps for all colours of mana.


Noble Hierarch

This card is included for about the same reasons that Birds of Paradise is, produces the main colours of this deck (WUG). however for this deck Noble Hierarch is on the same power level as Birds of Paradise, since it doesn't add black for Doran, the Siege Tower, but does of course have exalted. The exalted trigger can sometimes be a nuisance since 2 of them makes your creature attack become blockable even with a Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive on the field. And one Noble Hierarch alone is enough to prevent Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive from attacking alone. However, since the it does fix mana, and just speeds the deck up, I still run 2 in the mainboard, and you most likely won't want to cut these while sideboarding.


Treefolk Harbinger

A 0/3 for 1 mana isn't the worst, but also not the best. Sidisi's Faithful was a card I was originally considering for this slot, but to make it easier on my mana by running only 1 colour of 1-drops, and because of Treefolk Harbingers ability, I chose it for the one drop slot. The ability lets you fetch either a forest card (that means any cards that ALSO have the type forest, so for example Overgrown Tomb is also fetchable) or Doran, the Siege Tower, and puts it on top of my library. In a deck where the whole game is decided whether or not I draw either Doran, the Siege Tower or Assault Formation in the first four or so turns, and is relatively greedy mana-wise, this card just gives stability. This combined with its 0/3 stats, it seems like a very good one-drop.

Dragon's Eye Savants

The best toughness to mana cost ratio of any card without defender in magic. You will very rarely play Dragon's Eye Savants' morph ability, only if you need to play around a certain card. A 2 mana 0/6 which effectively behaves as a 6/6 is just a straight up beating for your opponent. And to top it of the card is easily playable, a cost is easily paid.


Nyx-Fleece Ram

Right before I wanted to "publish" (for lack of a better term) this deck, it was a mainly green blue red deck. However, to make the whole idea of the deck and the sideboard more reliable, I switched to green blue white. One main factor in deciding this was among others Nyx-Fleece Ram a 0/5 for 2 puts it almost on the same level as Dragon's Eye Savants. These stats combined with the lifegain on your upkeep, makes it a very valuable two drop. The lifegain might be small, but there are plenty of scenario's you can think of where it might win you the game, for example it just might buy enough time versus burn. This deck also runs a lot of fetches and shocklands, so you can say Nyx-Fleece Ram compensates for those to a certain extend. A sideboard card we use is Zur the Enchanter, who can fetch Nyx-Fleece Ram since it is also an enchantment.


Spellskite

Spellskite takes up one of the two drops lots because of three reasons. number one is its toughness. A 0/4 for 2 mana isn't as much value as some other cards in this deck, but still very strong when combined with Doran, the Siege Tower or Assault Formation. The second reason is that you can pay any type of mana, which is a real factor to consider in a 3+ colour deck. And the third and final reason is the active ability. Like every creature heavy deck, you probably want some type of protection for those creatures during the that fragile set-up stage in the early game. It can redirect Lightning Bolts targeting a Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive or any other type of removal. The activation cost is easily paid as it is one of the decks main colours, and even if you tap out you can just pay two life. These three reasons make this a very solid card in this deck. If the third reason isn't as important when playing versus your opponent, this is a card that will be among the first to sideboard out.


Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive

One of my favorite cards from dominaria, I already (tried to) built a standard deck around Tetsuko (Tetsuko Umezawa, Podracer (Tetsuko Tempo) the pun is bad >but the deck is

Doran, the Siege Tower

Together with Assault Formation a very important card in this deck. If you do not have one of those two cards in your opening hand, your opening hand isn't that great. You don't have to mulligan every hand without Doran, the Siege Tower or Assualt Formation, definetely not, but you do take a little bit of a risk. You do have some turns to search for these cards, for example drawing Treefolk Harbinger and Collected Company do the trick. However, if you do not have Doran, the Siege Tower or Assault Formation by the start of turn 5, you are in a pretty bad spot. Doran, the Siege Tower is very off-colour for this deck, but through the mana dorks, dual lands, and Collected Company which doesn't care about colours in the casting cost, this deck should be able to reliably play Doran, the Siege Tower before turn 5. The 0/5 power/toughness for 3 mana is pretty good, not as much value as other cards, but then again, this card makes those other cards have that value.

Shalai, Voice of Plenty

This deck can use Shalai, Voice of Plenty very well. This deck runs a lot of creatures so the effect of shalai is useful, especially since those creatures are very vulnerable to (cheap) removal like Fatal Push. The one creatures that can't be gotten through Collected Company and that is partly the reason why its a one-off. Shalai, Voice of Plenty serves as extra protection for your creatures on top of Spellskite. Shalai, Voice of Plentys second ability might become useful in very long games, but typically you want to be able to end the game before you use that ability, and besides, it has some anti-synergy with Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive.

Collected Company

Another cornerstone of this deck, this deck was adjusted just to make this card fit in. In a aggro deck where tempo is key, this 4 drop can often win you the game on turn 5. If you can successfully build up a board stat in your first three turn, for example a Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive a Birds of Paradise and maybe a Doran, the Siege Tower, you can use Collected Company in your opponents end step and get Dragon's Eye Savants and Nyx-Fleece Ram for 20 points of damage on board in turn 5, without giving your opponent much room to do anything. The potential of this card is insane, it can solidify games you were already doing well in, but can also be the start of a huge comeback.


Tower Defense

Another upside of focusing on toughness rather than power, is the spells that affect toughness. Due to the balancing of the game, you will get way more value out of spells that increase toughness instead of power. Tower Defense is such a card. +0/+5 will mean +5/+5 for all creatures at instant speed. The perfect card to set up an alpha strike, and usually just wins you the game if you have testuko umezawa, fugitive on the field. It also makes your mana dorks deal a lot of damage. However, this cards effect is very narrow, which means it could very well just become a dead card sometimes. However, the effect is too strong to pass on, so I put two copies in the mainboard for the inevitability it provides.


Path to Exile

Unconditional removal at instant speed. Ramping your opponent is not the biggest deal for this deck, and it is definitely worth it to exile one of your opponent problematic creatures. I included these in these in the mainboard because I think it can be useful in most situations, but definitely easy to sideboard out in certain match ups.


Assault Formation

One of the cards that make this deck a posibility. It has pros and cons when comparing to Doran, the Siege Tower, the main ones being that Assualt Formation is cheaper and can't be hit by removal spells, while Doran, the Siege Tower can get in for damage and can be fetched with Collected Company and Treefolk Harbinger. Since I run Collected Company I want to run as many creatures as possible, so I went with 4 Doran, the Siege Tower and 3 Assault Formation since you need both and at least 6 copies to reliably get them into play.


Eidolon of Rhetoric

4 toughness for 3 mana isn't bad, but it is obviously not the reason its in the sideboard. Versus certain combo match ups like storm, or decks that just want to play a lot of spells, like mardu pyromancer, this card becomes very valuable. 4 toughness puts it outside of Lightning Bolt range, and because of Eidolon of Rhetoric also being an enchantment, it is fetchable by Zur the Enchanter, another sideboard card.


Damping Sphere

The tron/storm killer. This card can be a little narrow, and doesnt contribute to your own gameplan, do be careful when boarding it in. However, versus tron and storm almost always worth a spot in the mainboard.


Fragmentize

Due to the tempo of this deck, destroying artifacts with 4 or less converted mana cost should usually give you a big enough advantage in order to close the game out. Great versus any type of problematic enchantments or artifacts. For example pretty good versus affinity.


Rest in Peace

Versus any decks that rely on the graveyard. There has been some discussion on whether or not to run 2 Rest in Peaces or 1 and one other graveyard hate card like Surgical Extraction, but I felt that two in the sideboard here was fine.


Stony Silence

Another artifact-hate card, mainly great against affinity, and KCI combo.


Selfless Spirit

This is a creature focused deck, so board wipes are a great answer to our deck. This card is the answer to the answer. The stats aren't great for this deck, but it is only a two drop.


Unified Will

In a creature deck, this spell often times become an unconditional counter spell. great versus decks that rely on one card to complete some kind of combo or just make other cards viable. Also great if your opponent has one or two cards that answer your deck.


Worship

The creatures in this deck have a lot of toughness, so they most likely wont die to creatures, and they probably wont all die to removal since there are just so many creatures. So Worship can give a lot of value, especially versus decks that want to kill you in one go, and after that don't really have that many plays. An example of what I consider might be such a deck is storm or infect, although if you can resolve a four drop like Worship, that means infect hasn't really done its job correctly. Worship can also just save you in a long game, if your opponent doesn't have enchantment removal, which lots of deck don't.


Zur the Enchanter

Bit of a weird card for the sideboard, but in my opinion it can add a lot of value in this deck. The 4 mana with three colours is bad, its difficult to pay, and can't be hit by Collected Company. However it has flying and is a 1/4, which basically means it is a 4/4. Furthermore, if your opponent runs a lot of creature removal, Doran, the Siege Tower isn't a very reliable way of making your creatures deal damage. Zur the Enchanter can fetch Assault Formation and put it onto the battlefield before damage, which means your creatures are going to deal damage. And finally, as an added bonus so to speak, Nyx-Fleece Ram and the sideboard card Eidolon of Rhetoric are both enchantments which can be fetched.



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Suggestions

Updates Add

A couple of days ago, during the M19 spoilers, Arcades, the Strategist was spoiled. Many people drew parallels between that card and doran, the siege towers and with good reason. In a reddit thread I read about how Arcades, the Strategist might be a better version of Doran, the Siege Tower, but after spending a lot of time examining this archtype (when building this deck) I am not sure whether that's true.

Arcades, the Strategist fulfills a lot of jobs that Doran, the Siege Tower doesn't, and vice versa. I think that this current deck would not be possible when trading Doran, the Siege Tower for Arcades, the Strategist for a couple of reasons:

1) The tempo of the deck, it might seem a little weird, but that one mana does change a lot. It means that you wont be able to end games on turn 4, which is very important for this deck, you are essentially damping in the explosiveness of this deck.

2) It does not become unblockable with Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive on the battlefield.

3) Not fetchable with Collected Company

4) This card fits in a completely different deck, not this one. I 100% believe that this card has great potential in a value control that makes use of defender creatures. I am planning to make such a deck soon, but I can already see this work with a control shell featuring counter spells and Path to Exile, and abusing the extra card draw with cards like Wall of Omens and Carven Caryatid and perhaps ending the game with either a very wide board or a big beater like Tree of Redemption.

So in conclusion, I think Arcades, the Strategist is a card with great potential, but it does not fit this deck.

EDIT: My take on a possible Arcades, the Strategist deck in modern:


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Comments

Casual

81% Competitive





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Date added 3 months
Last updated 1 month
Splash colors B
Legality

This deck is Modern legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.02
Folders Uncategorized, cool decks, Modern Stuff, Modern: Competitive, zzInspiration (not own), Fun deck ideas, Walls, Interesting Modern Decks, Doran Modern, Wallz, See all 16
Top rank #5 on 2018-06-28
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