A Simic () colored shell using copy-cards to create multiple copies of our winning creatures.

A Self-Imposed Challenge

This deck, alongside another I am building that also mainboards a playset of Venerated Rotpriest, is meant to be tested against it's partner in a best of three, to determine which playstyle is better suited in a competitive setting. Both decks are determined to win via their own individual tactics, and although they share some mentalities in regards to how-to-play, Tempo-Priest and Shadow Clone Jutsu are both very dynamic, unique concepts.

What the Hell.. is Modern?

The state of modern has disintegrated and remolded itself like a tub of Play-Doh crammed into a Six-Year-Old's Easy Bake Oven; it has been recrafted, reshaped, and is damn near unrecognizable from what it was before.. but an uncanny resemblance still remains. I've watched Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis rise to fame and then fall, alongside beings like Oko, Thief of Crowns. I've watched several iterations of Colossus Hammer driven decks dubbed "Hammer-Time" take the cake at local events. A long time ago, when I had just started playing (2011), I was introduced to the format when at the time Splinter Twin was causing a lot of uproar with Deceiver Exarch, and my companion NoobNoob275 was running this combo.. in Grixis () colors. This was where I cut my teeth on what Modern's play-style should be modeled after. To put it simply, the more things change.. the more they stay the same. Modern is and has been for the longest time, a Win-Your-Game format by turn 4 at the latest.

Simic Infect Strikes Back

Most of the time when you would see a "UG" deck amongst your local store (and I say this with the perspective of the last.. 5 to 6 years) you would more than likely be facing an infect build that was revolving around Glistener Elf and Blighted Agent. With the release of Phyrexia: All Will Be One, we saw plenty of cards within both Green and Blue that hold up the blessed words "proliferate" plus some other nonsense. My intention with this build is to remember how that deck functioned so well by avoiding fights (unblockable) and protecting ourselves when most needed. A little bit of countermagic on the heels of a strong foundation in poison counters could win you the game, but we're revisiting this shell with a much different archetype.

The intention is to have your Venerated Rotpriest hit the field on turn 1, as most of these decks would want that. The next step is providing us with a copycat body in Artisan of Forms. From here, you want to target your Artisan with things like Cackling Counterpart and Quasiduplicate, so that on the trigger it becomes a copy of Venerated Rotpriest, activating the first one, triggering itself upon becoming a priest, and lastly making a third priest upon resolution of the spell.

The aesthetic of the name is reflected in the fact that the priest is essentially using magic to make duplicates of themselves.

Below I'll individually detail each card worth mentioning to the core functions of the deck, and why I may have chosen that particular card other than something else.

  • Venerated Rotpriest is self-explanatory when you're speaking about contemporary infect decks; you're going to hold up the wag of a finger on anything targeting your side of the table, while prioritizing reinforcing your cast of bodies with other spells that further place more poison counters on your opponents.

  • Blighted Agent is a valuable body that can't be blocked, and holds up the Infect keyword ability. The overwhelming nature of this deck was often seen by how easily you could sneak around your opposition's defenses and still have damage get through. The Agent is a great example of non-threatening at a glance, but deadly when left unchecked.

  • Artisan of Forms is a godsend for this concept and arguably is the keystone of the archetype. Through this creature, you can make a copy of anything else you're currently holding up, which means if making copies of Blighted Agent for unblockable damage is more effective, why not? Copying Bloated Contaminator is also pretty back-breaking going into turn 3, so use your imagination and best judgement to determine whose really going to benefit from our Cackling Counterpart or Quasiduplicate.

  • Thrummingbird was also a mainstay within UG Infect builds previously, and sees a spot here because when we fly over the battlefield for damage, we incrementally stack more poison counters.

  • Stubborn Denial is just a better slot for Spell Pierce and can later be confidently cast once Bloated Contaminator has hit the field.

  • Quasiduplicate and Cackling Counterpart serve the same function of duplicating our priest, and hold up a total of six slots within the build because we want to make sure we can pull off the Shadow Clone Jutsu as frequently as we'd like.

  • Prologue to Phyresis is beautiful for what it serves; draw advantage, put a poison counter on your opponents, keep trucking along.

  • Infectious Bite is just gorgeous because it targets something you already control, gives a poison counter anyways, and cleans up the board for a swing early-on.

  • Inkmoth Nexus received a slot here rather than for Tempo-Priest because the flying advantage was the more prevalent focus within this build, needing bodies, etc.

  • Aspirant's Ascent functions as a really cool way to get sneaky with a body; imagine having only a Thrummingbird and open mana, going for a swing and feeling like you'll fizzle because your opponent doesn't already have a counter placed onto them. With the cast, you give your bird Toxic for the turn and a little bit of a stronger back to make sure it sticks around.

  • Royal Treatment made it from the maybe into the main roster in the slot of Tamiyo's Safekeeping and here's why: Royal will still direct a poison counter to your opposition assuming you have a Priest on board, but if you use this to target anything like Blighted Agent or Thrummingbird, they incrementally get stronger AND have Ward to follow.

Let's Go! Massive Multi-Shadow Clone Jutsu!

Streamlined some of the deck into really clear lanes, and I think the efficiency is underrated. Modern is a finnicky meta to work around but this catches all in a specific way that provides little to no drag on the playing-pace of the deck. I think this deck will be underestimated at first glance, when in reality, we continue to tweak the list by a few cards at a time and it retains a lot of consistency.

This deck is pretty strong and holds a (/) power rating overall.


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91% Competitive

Revision 3 See all

(1 week ago)

-3 Aspirant's Ascent side
+1 Chalice of the Void side
+1 Collector Ouphe side
+1 Endurance side
+1 Force of Negation side
+2 March of Swirling Mist side
+1 Melira, Sylvok Outcast side
+1 Prologue to Phyresis main
-3 Royal Treatment side
-3 Stubborn Denial side
+2 Subtlety side
Top Ranked
Date added 2 months
Last updated 1 week
Exclude colors WBR
Splash colors UG

This deck is Modern legal.

Rarity (main - side)

0 - 4 Mythic Rares

33 - 11 Rares

15 - 0 Uncommons

10 - 0 Commons

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 1.85
Tokens Copy Clone, Phyrexian Mite 1/1 C, Royal
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