U/B FaeriesAlex Sittner15th Place at Grand Prix on 3/9/2014When the last Banned & Restricted announcement was released one of the cards that was unbanned was Bitterblossom. Bitterblossom was one of the cards that was placed on the initial banned list when the Modern format was born mainly because of the dominance that Faeries had during its lifetime in Standard. A highly repressive Aggro-Control deck that used the tribal synergy of Faerie creatures to create a very streamlined and highly efficient machine. That unbanning of Bitterblossom was heralded by some as the beginning of a second coming of the Fae, but so far the deck has under performed expectation.
A huge part of the functioning of this deck comes from that newly legal enchantment which provides every turn a new 1/1 Flying Faerie with which to either continue a beatdown strategy or defend your life total, which can be very important as it slowly bleeds you one life each turn. The other Fae in the deck are not just aggressive creatures but are efficiently equipped with additional abilities and all are able to appear at will with Flash. Starting with a look at the permission package we have Spellstutter Sprite which with so many Faeries around to support it will more often then not be able to counter any spell threatening you. It is complimented by Mana Leak, Spell Snare and Cryptic Command to ensure dominance over the opponent. Next we look at the disruption which is rooted in the legendary Vendilion Clique which can appear out of nowhere to remove a key piece of action from their hand and then move into a beatdown role. There is also a mix of Inquisition of Kozilek and Thoughtseize which coming out turn one plays to the harsh opening into Bitterblossom turn two which can often spell doom for the opponent. Our last true Faerie is Mistbind Clique which is used as a virtual Time Walk by flashing out on the upkeep of your opponent to tap down his lands for that turn. The Champion ability can also be your savior in a long game where Bitterblossom, which is coincidentally also a Faerie, is taking down your life too low and you’re able to make it disappear for as long as Mistbind is around. To round out the creatures there is also a pair of Snapcaster Mage which help take full advantage of the decks instants and sorceries, and also manlands in the form of the evasive Creeping Tar Pit and Mutavault which when active is also a Faerie to help either Spellstutter or Mistbind if necessary. A bit of spot removal is found in the form of Tragic Slip and Go for the Throat to contain the most important of threats. Finally there is the powerful Sword of Feast and Famine which will allow you to play spells or activate manlands before combat and then untap your lands to keep up mana to counter the enemies plans as well as forcing incidental discard.
While many pros have already dismissed the Faeries deck as an under powered option in this powerful format I’m not convinced that it has been put through the ringer yet. Only time will tell what new interactions people will think up to push this deck back into the top tier.