Crucible of Words – Modern Confidant Reckoning by Cyrus Bales

Crucible of Words – How do you solve a problem like a Mindsculptor? By Cyrus Bales

Crucible of Words – Modern Confidant Reckoning by Cyrus Bales

With everyone scrounging for a deck to play in Modern, I thought I’d throw out an idea I had the other day, unsurprisingly it’s black, red and white. I feel in this format, if you’re not playing a combo or hyper aggressive deck, you should be running black and red, as they have the best disruption and removal thanks to Lightning Bolt, Thoughtseize and Liliana of the Veil. I’m a big fan of a lot of white spells at the moment, from Path to Exile to Lingering Souls and this colour combination is something I’ve been a fan of for some time.

The biggest draw of this deck for me, is the fact that these three colours give you the option to make the greatest sideboard possible, whether it’s Stony Silence and Rakdos Charm, or Slaughter Games and Rest In Peace. Throw in the fact the deck has all the necessary removal for the impending Zoo-apocalypse we should be expecting, and the list has some merit.

I threw together a list and gave it an evening of testing:

Dark Confidant

4 Dark Confidant
4 Boros Reckoner
4 Lingering Souls
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Lightning Helix
4 Path to Exile
1 Terminate
3 Thoughtseize
2 Inquisition of Kozilek
4 Liliana of the Veil
3 Ajani Vengeant
3 Lavaclaw Reaches
4 Blackcleave Cliffs
4 Arid Mesa
4 Marsh Flats
1 Blood Crypt
3 Godless Shrine
2 Sacred Foundry
1 Plains
1 Mountain

As you can see, the deck is pretty disruption heavy, and possibly a little light on win conditions, however against combo decks where you need to race and put pressure on, you do get to go to the face with all your main deck burn spells. I tried the main deck out against Scapeshift, Gr Tron, One Drop Zoo, Affinity and BUG just to see how it performed.


Valakut, the Molten PinnacleThis match up felt incredibly one sided, we played the better part of ten games and I only lost games where I didn’t get off of two land. One game I managed to burn him out quickly, but the other matches were all about disruption and charging up a planeswalker for ultimate, both tend to be game over in this match up. In terms of what the sideboard should be for this deck, the usual Slaughter Games and another Thoughtseize would probably get the job done in what is already very favourable indeed.

Gr Tron

I was expecting this match up to be pretty bad, as my clock isn’t great so they can work up to Emrakul, The Aeons Torn and gobble me up. However it proved to be a much more balanced affair. Wurmcoil Engine is pretty blank against the main deck here, since you can Path to Exile it away, although keeping Karn Liberated out of their hand via Liliana etc is essential. A resolved Karn is pretty hard to beat with this deck, and I lost to it every time, but the non-Karn games tended to be close with me winning a decent share. Ajani keeping a land out of commission until he could Armageddon was strong and so was Liliana, these being crucial cards for the match up. It wasn’t favourable, but not unwinnable either, the sideboard bringing in Sowing Salt and Slaughter Games feels like a great plan.

One Drop Zoo

As anticipated, this match up was pretty hard to lose. I think I lost one game all night to it, killing their guys over and over was simple enough and the life buffer from Helix and Ajani did a lot of work and allowed me to put the game away. Drawing the self punishing cards like Dark Confidant and Thougthseize made for less than stellar hands, but I tended to keep getting there. Boros Reckoner is exceedingly good as causing problems here.


Masters-of-EtheriumI figured I had enough removal for this match up, but their evasion is a big deal that largely blanks your Boros Reckoner aside from the odd trade with a Master of Etherium. This match up was pretty draw dependent, if I didn’t draw Dark Confidant and Thoughtseize, I won, if I drew them I died due to the blank cards in hand. Despite the life gain and removal, the sideboard would need to include some cards to bring in over the dead ones to shore this up, Rakdos Charm is versatile and kills their guys, possibly Slagstorm and Disenchant could be useful here as well.


I only had time for three games against this deck. The first game was pretty close, but without an answer in hand to his Tarmogoyf, I couldn’t control the game well enough and had to throw some cards out into obvious counterspells to make some kind of inroad into the game. The second game was much better, Lingering Souls helped to keep his Vendillion Clique out of action and Boros Reckoner was a decent enough man, however my Dark Confidant surviving a few turns was the real winner here. Game three was a bit one sided as I drew an awful lot of lands and his double Goyfs gave me a pounding.


After an evening of testing, the deck feels decent enough to work on, and if my hunch about zoo decks is right, could even be a good shout for the near future. With the prospect of tweaking and bringing the best fifteen card sideboard known to man, this list is showing some promise and will probably garner some more tweaking and attention. 

Here’s a rough idea of a sideboard to begin with:

Slaughter Games2 Slaughter Games
1 Slagstorm
1 Thoughtseize
3 Rakdos Charm
2 Sowing Salt
2 Stony Silence
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Combust
1 Disenchant
1 Celestial Purge

And that’s it for this article, hope this gave you some food for thought.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for sharing.


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