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Let’s Investigate Modern

by Zane R. 

We’ve now had the full spoilers for Shadows Over Innistrad for over a week, and this weekend many of us had the opportunity to throw down with this new array of spells at local prereleases.

When I first heard of our return to the plane of Innistrad as well as the returning Madness mechanic clear back in early February, I was very excited. I’m sure many long-time players felt the same way. However, a new mechanic called Investigate soon caught my eye, and I soon was looking forward to seeing cards spoiled with this interesting ability as well.

Like with any new set, players will be looking for new cards not only to fill slots in their standard decks, but also for new cards with eternal format potential. In this article, I’ll discuss a couple of Modern deck brews based around the Investigate mechanic, as well as a few of the cards from SOI I think have Modern playable potential.

I think there is a lot of potential with the new Investigate mechanic in Modern, albeit probably not tier one by any stretch. (You know me better than that!) However if beating your opponent down with a Blightsteel Colossus is something you think you’d enjoy, then read on my fellow planeswalking idealists!

One of the first cards that really jumped out at me from the first SOI spoiler was Expose Evil. I started brewing the following control deck clear back in February as it was clearly meant to be used in the same deck as Shape Anew.

RWU Shape Anew

4 Thraben Inspector

4 Expose Evil

4 Serum Visions

4 Shape anew

4 Lightning Bolt

4 Path to Exile

4 Remand

3 Thing in the Ice

2 Thopter Engineer

3 Blightsteel Colossus

1 Pia and Kiran Nalaar

4 Scalding Tarn

4 Flooded Strand

2 Hallowed Fountain

2 Sacred Foundry

2 Steam Vents

Blightsteel3 Island

2 Plains

1 Mountain

2 Blinkmoth Nexus

1 Celestial Colonnade

For those of you looking for an old throwback, here is a deck built around the card Shape Anew! During Scars of Mirrodin Block, Shape Anew sacrificed its owner’s activated Inkmoth Nexus lands or golem tokens brought into play with Blade Splicer or Wing Splicer to reveal cards from the top of their library until, SURPRISE! Blightsteel Colossus was revealed and put onto the battlefield.

The new SOI cards that utilize the Investigate mechanic, allow us to put artifacts into play cheaply and efficiently without actually playing any while also slowing our opponent a little by tapping down creatures or chump blocking. If we find ourselves with more Clue tTiTiokens than we need, we can always sacrifice them to draw more cards.

Thopter Engineer may be more of an optimistic card, but T3 Engineer into T4 Shape Anew/Blightsteel Colossus with haste is too much of a temptation to resist. If we got this to work even once, I think we would’ve earned bragging rights for at least a solid 6 months’ worth of FNMs.

Thing in the Ice (Which apparently we’re all affectionately calling Titi at this point), is our Plan B. Since almost half the deck is Instants and Sorceries, Titi can hopefully serve as a distraction by soaking up our opponent’s removal for Blightsteel Colossus, or vice versa.

Deck #2. It’s been said that if you’re going to play with a lot of artifacts in Modern you might as well just play affinity. While I can’t argue much with that, janky players like myself still just want to do their own thing. Gaze upon the following list for a deck built around Bygone Bishop and the new Investigate mechanic!

BW Tempered Steel

4 Bygone BishopBygone Bishop

4 Arcbound Ravager

4 Memnite

4 Signal Pest

4 Ornithopter

4 Vault Skirge

4 Court homunculus

4 Cranial Plating

3 Disciple of the Vault

4 Mox Opal

4 Tempered Steel

4 Darksteel Citadel

4 Marsh Flats

3 Godless Shrine

3 Swamp

3 Plains

Investigate is a mechanic that synergizes very well with Arcbound Ravager; if we can find an efficient way to get as many clues out as possible. Bygone Bishop may be our best bet, only time will tell. By playing lots of cheap artifact creatures, we’re hoping to be producing Clue tokens left and right, getting two artifacts into play for the price of one.

The deck also plays two old favorites that haven’t seen tournament play for a while. Tempered Steel and Disciple of the Vault. All of our little artifact weenies become a lot scarier when this enchantment hits the table. Disciple of the Vault slowly kills our opponent over time, and also teams up with Arcbound Ravager to finish our opponent out of nowhere.

Hopefully, our opponent won’t know which threat to neutralize first when we are playing from so many different angles.


I’m Zane R; bringing you deck brews tier two through twenty-two since 2011. I won’t bore you with all that tier one nonsense. Email me at Zrowland19@gmail.com

© 2016, Patrick Cossel. All rights reserved.

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About Patrick Cossel,

I am a journalist and gaming enthusiast.

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