After the success of my sultai whisper deck ( one time on steam i will admits, but localy has been pulling work), i will be trying to be playing a 4c version with manamorophose. http://www.metamox.com/deck/modern-jund-death-s-shadow/201703/ note: IoK can and will be replaced by Whisper in the list.
Might be awhile before i can tested it fully tho, having too much fun with Titi blue moon control in modern.
Been playing nearly exact same list minus SB for a little while; - 1 push + 1 dismember, and -3 IoK for 2 whispers and a tarfire. Also running a Stomping ground instead of 2 tombs.
I can't remember the last time a list that put up results actually ran Stomping Ground.
If you're going for Jund colors, Jund is simply the better option. If you're going for Sultai colors, you're missing out on TBR and a lot of matchups get a lot worse all of a sudden.
4c can be tough as far as mana goes, but if you practice your lines and learn how to play around Blood Moon and Field decks you'll be fine most of the time. Manamorphose is amazing in this regard.
The deck that won the modern MOCS or challenge or championship or whatever it was 2-3 months ago ran stomping ground. Straight Jund, 3 TBR main, tarfires, a truly aggressive list. One of the only top finishes Jund Death's shadow has had in a major event other than GP Vancouver in the year since that tournament. Stomping ground is rarely seen these days because the 4c lists are heavier on blue than red, with red being there just for TBR in many cases. Anytime you're running tarfire, stomping ground is a necessity if you want the deck to function consistently, and tarfire has fallen out of favour.
Adding manamorphose to this deck has really put it over the top against blood moon, between discard, stubs, abrupt decay, manamorphose, and simply being fast and getting threats underneath it, I haven't lost to the card in quite a lot of matches now. It's not something you ever really want to see, as you do have to deal with it, but the deck has more tools to deal with it (in a variety of ways) than anyone has blood moons.
Im personally not a big fan of 4c ds lists. I just hate having the manabase work against me sometimes, like i can def see the stomping grounds kicking you in the butt, cuz black is your highest mana color, but manamophase can help there. I think ds works best as Black Green deck splash X with X being either red or blue. Jund has been considered the best color to ally with, but as you can see sultai looks peaty good also.
The list that made T8 at the Modern PT ran 4 colors with a forest, and Jean-Emmanuel admitted afterwards that the forest should have been a breeding pool, as he would have won an extra 2 games. Not the same thing as stomping ground, but a similar philosophy. Many lists with the blue splash being the main colour are still running breeding pool + forest, with the Jund versions running stomping ground instead of Breeding pool. The result is the same, 2 lands that don't produce black mana, backed up by 11-12 fetches. This template has seen success for quite some time regardless of the card choices. The only time you're really in trouble is if the only land you have is one of the forests, or you have both of them. Something that may cause a few mulligans here and there, but comes up to bite you in a very small amount of games (I would guess no more than a deck like traditional Jund might encounter mana issues).
Personally, I like to run an equivalent amount of blue and red. Blue complements the core of the deck better for some matchups, and red the others. Decks like humans, affinity, company variants, etc, I like to have the option to board in to a straight Jund deck. Some control/midrange (grindy) matchups, I board in to a sultai deck. Combo matchups, burn, tron, all 4 colors are good and useful. Modern is just so wide open that you need 4 colors to really have good, powerful options to combat the field. As mentioned, manamorphose really is amazing, and facilitates being able to run all of these configurations so smoothly.
I think the mana becomes less of an issue with more experience. You don't need 4 colors of mana every game; the only blue and red cards in the maindeck are typically TBR and Stub. If you're playing against a creature based deck, you're probably fine skipping the blue, if you do have a stub, there's a good chance its low/no impact, so you can afford to wait to draw another fetchland and enable it later on if you really need to. Against a control deck, I'd do the opposite. Sometimes you can hold manamorphose to cast the card when you need it, especially for a card like TBR, a one time thing that just ends the game most of the time. Post SB in a lot of matchups you are cutting a good portion of one color and leaning on the other, so you can grab crypt/grave depending on your needs after the tomb. Sometimes you have to make a fetching decision and you don't have any blue or red cards yet, by knowing the matchup and understanding how the game is playing out and which cards you're going to need to win, you can decide to grab the color with the highest upside. Most games you just draw 3 fetchlands and it's easy!
I've played this deck so much in the past year, with so many different color configurations, I now feel that 3 colors is too simple. It can play another color for a lot of upside with very little to no downside. If you look at my monstrosity of a list a few posts back, I'm playing stub and tarfire, stomping ground and breeding pool, and I literally have never played a game with the list where I lost because of mana issues. One of my favourite aspects of the deck!
I've been thinking about Whispers for a while and the Hoogland stream inspired me to try my own version. It's better than I expected; both in terms of how good it is when it resolves against a variety of strategies, and how consistently it can be cast on turns 2-4 with delirium online. The sultai deck looks very solid, the numbers look tight and it was gas on stream. The things that stood out to me as not necessarily ideal were the opts (these type of cantrips feel too slow in the deck from previous experience), and not having battle rage, which is just too important against the wide-open modern field IMO.
This is what I've come up with, only about 10 matches deep but it's been smooth:
An extra lili of the veil and push are on the radar for the 75, likely sideboard. Wouldn't mind a Grim Flayer. If anyone tries this list or is running something similar would love to hear input on how to improve the list.
Is it really worth lowering life total, playing a bunch of cantrips/cards that interact badly with BBE, just to have traverse + shadow, with no TBR? TBR is what makes traverse shadow a good deck in this format, IMO. If shadow ever got out of hand, I think TBR is the card they could ban to neuter the deck. You can configure the deck to attack from multiple axis; hand disruption, removal, counterspells, etc, but TBR gives the deck the combo finish it needs in practically every single non-midrange matchup. How can you win consistently with this deck in modern, without TBR? BBE is a great card, I'm still not convinced it belongs alongside death's shadow/traverse.
I would recommend trying some noble hierarchs if you're on jace. It's proving to be quite a good card in the deck in general, certainly more impactful than adding jace himself to the deck. Like you said, he might just be a SB card, or a 1 of MD for respect of his power level, but either way, NH works well with him, and it works great with your big fatties and TBR. So far im 13-2 in leagues using that configuration, playing against a wide variety of archetypes.
Not a bad looking list at all. However, based on the meta, I think a few more proactive choices would be better against the open field. Grim flayer over snap, cut the breeding pool since you dont need UU, replace with stomping ground, cut a delta for a misty (to grab the ground), cut 1 stub (lots of matchups where its useless, 3 main too many), and then 2 of push/AD/Lili for 2 tarfire and a dismember.
That build gives you maximum aggression and consistency. Don't underestimate tarfire, card is great in the meta right now, I like a 1/1 LotV b/w main and SB, she has quite a few bad matchups too. The tarfires and dismembers ensure you can always have huge threats and TBR them while still having Stub backup and whatnot. Tarfire kills a lot of ***** in the current meta, queller and mantis rider being 2 of the misses, and even against decks like tron and valakut it typically stays in post SB depending on your SB, because it can clear Sakura, go to face and help goyf race, or go to your own face and let shadow race while fixing your graveyard.
BBE doesn't fit it at all no matter how good a card it is. Too many situational cards, TBR, Stub, all the removal, Baubles, turned off traverse, etc. Not to mention 4 mana isn't even a consistent threshold you reach every game - if you're playing 4 copies your hand will be cluttered too often, and if you play less copies or use it as a traverse bullet then its a wildly inconsistent card in a deck that needs consistent results with the way you're managing your life total. Re-imagining the deck to fit BBE turns it in to a regular Jund deck with no shadows.
I see a lot of discussion on how Jace affects the deck, but all of it aimed at him being played against us. How about Jace in the deck? 4 mana is a lot, but I'd be looking at 2 copies max, maybe 2 main or a 1/1 split, and he would be much more powerful in Traverse Shadow than BBE @ 4 mana. The deck is loaded with fetches and traverse, has access to discard to pave a way for him, removal to keep the board under control, and the baddest threats in the format. Untapping with a resolved Jace seems like huge game to me, well worth re-configuring the deck fairly significantly IMO. His bounce is a great tool against delve threats and stuff like Mirran Crusader that demand specific answers that we don't have many of. Just seems great.
Here's a list I've put together - haven't had a chance to try it yet, waiting for it to hit MODO tomorrow.
Noble Hierarch is the card that stands out the most I think - I got the idea from an old video series with Michael Majors. It looked good for him but that was one matchup and he drew Jace every game. One of my obvious concerns with it is the fact that it doesn't produce black - but it's great with tarmogoyf and liliana especially, enabling T2 liliana or tarmogoyf + discard/removal/stub. Dismember, TBR, Jace, AD, Dismember, Liliana, Stub, Snap, Noble, Goyf, Flayer and potentially Street wraith are all MD cards that this helps cast. Another concern is the fact that we want to cast discard on T1 a lot of the time, and there are hands where the noble is essentially a useless card (ones full of cheap black cards). Exalted isn't irrelevant and why I started with Nobles, but if the mana accel proves valuable while the lack of black is troublesome, birds is always an option as well. I like that it's a creature as Liliana protection, you can brainstorm extras away with jace, or discard with lili. It fits the theme of the deck as an individually very powerful, 1CC card that enables explosive draws. Starting with 3, as you want it early but not in multiples, and I feel comfortable cutting a fetchland with 3 extra mana sources in the deck.
1 Grim flayer as I've absolutely loved the card at 2 copies, but want to play a 1/1 split with snap for more traverse options.
1 inquisition had to go to make room for all of the new stuff - since we have nobles to cast on T1 it made some sense, and snap allows us to buyback discard spells if those are what we really need in any given game.
Couple removal slots got cut as well (these were tarfires and a dismember for me, was running 2/2/2), but again a reason I like having the 1 snap available to buyback if needed. Never really felt like this is a deck that wants to kill every single creature that hits the board - usually just use discard to take out any creatures that may cause problems, let them cast something that's easily dealt with for tempo, and then dwarf everything else with huge threats. Jace can also be used a pseudo removal spell in some situations.
Cut 1 traverse, I find that they get stranded in your hand way too often at 4 copies, without tarfire (also, tarfire was amazing in this deck).
Speaking of tarfire, cut it because the deck is very minimal on red mana. I previously had the option the fetch a stomping ground and watery grave to turn on all 4 colors, but we have breeding pool now.
TBR stays in the deck, because it's just one of the most important cards for the archetype to have success in Modern IMO. 2 maindeck, 1 side has always felt perfect to me.
2x Stubborn Denial is where I want to be in Modern, with this deck. I definitely want 4 against some decks because it's just the best card, but there are quite a few matchups where it's just completely dead and drawing multiple is very likely a loss or mulligan.
Sideboard: Izzet Staticaster, another grudge are at the front of the list among many things to consider, with Kommand and lavamancer likely the first cuts.
Lots of flexible cards that can be used in a variety of matchups, going through sideboard plans quickly in my mind I feel like it is well configured to allow us to always have relevant cards to board in for any matchup and take out the bad cards.
Last thing to touch on is the manabase - 17 lands is different and a little risky, but the nobles actually put us up on mana sources overall - not counting it strictly as a land, but adding 3 of them and cutting 1 land seems reasonable. And the list is just so tight as it is, I want to keep it full of gas.
I can see the deck needing a forest if the mana denial decks (UW in particular, Jund with fulminators) really pick up in popularity. But at the end of the day, I think it's just a weakness of the deck, and there are so many more games and matches where mana denial is irrelevant (even against these decks) and having the forest is a solid detriment. Anyway, cutting a card and adding a forest is the easiest solution if that's your concern, to stay on 17 lands and play forest isn't really something I want to do, having less than 5 shocks in this deck comes up as an issue quite often for me. Any game where you are managing your life total conservatively through the early turns can have you run in to the problem of not being able to turn on your shadows later on. There's also the corner case of having the 1 of mire and having already fetched a grave, but needing another blue source. Cutting down to 11 fetches is something I started doing a while ago and am comfortable with, but definitely not less than that.
That's a big wall of text, but I'm hoping to elicit some discussion and hear others ideas on this type of build. I love this archetype and the idea of adding a card as powerful and fun as jace to it has me really excited.