shardless-agent
1, Jun, 21

Will Shardless Agent Be Good In Modern?

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The long awaited Arrival of Shardless Agent

Shardless Agent, the once for commander only card, turned legacy powerhouse, has recently been spoiled by Wizards of the Coast as an inclusion in the new Magic: The Gathering set Modern Horizons 2! This card has been one that had been requested to be injected into Modern by the community for sometime, and that time is now. The only question that remains is will Shardless Agent be good in Modern?

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Wizards of the Coast

READ MORE: Modern Horizons 2 Spoiler Gallery

A Short History of Shardless Agent

To understand where Shardless Agent may fit into the Modern format, we need to go back to the past and see how Shardless Agent was utilized in it’s star format, Legacy. In times past, one of the premier decks in Legacy was Shardless Bug. This deck was a control deck that leveraged Shardless Agent to cascade into efficient creatures like Tarmogoyf, Deathrite Shaman and Baleful Strix. It also sported a few Planeswalkers in Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Liliana of the Veil, and a smattering of removal, hand disruption and counter magic. In the end, you’d amass enough value from Jace and Tarmagoyf to close the game out. Eventually the deck transitioned into 4 colors, incorporating Bloodbraid Elf as another way to power out your board presence and cast multiple spells in the same turn.

The deck eventually fell off a bit in popularity, and now with cards like Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath and Leovold, Emissary of Trest, Shardless Agent sees little play in Legacy now a days.

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Wizards of the Coast

Replicating Shardless Bug

To me, the first logical step in finding a home for Shardless Agent is to try and replicate the Shardless Bug of Legacy. We have a fair number of the cards from that list, and fine replacements for many other cards.

 

This list offers us a solid creature base that we can cascade into, our control Planeswalker suite, hand disruption, and a little bit of counter magic in Force of Negation. We can from here build our sideboard to accommodate for the metagame. Our early game of Goyf, Ice-Fang Coatl, and Shardless agent should generally be a great way to keeps alive, with our back up options of Abrupt Decay, Assassin’s Trophy, and Fatal Push. Another important piece of this is keeping our opponent’s hand rather threat light with Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek. Force of Negation allows us to be able to play our hand and commit to the board, while keeping some protection up against nasty combos or removal. Since we are playing a bit more mana than the Legacy version of the deck, another option may be to play the newly added, but increcibly versatile card, Counterspell

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READ MORE: Will Counterspell Be Too Good in Modern?

What this deck lacks is a way to reliably set up the top of our library for our cascade hits; We lack Brainstorm. Jace is currently the only way to be able to do this, and being at the top end of our curve, and generally a must answer threat, this isn’t great. Opt allows us to dig through our deck with a small amount of selection, but doesn’t quite fill that void of being able to stack the top of our library that Brainstorm provides.

Shardless Agent’s Combo Potential

There are other routes that we can take Shardless Agent, as cascade is already an established mechanic if the format. Another card that was spoiled in Modern Horizons 2 that lines up really well with Shardless Agent is Glimpse of Tomorrow.

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Wizards of the Coast

Glimpse of Tomorrow is a cheaper, more competitive version of a 8 Mana Sorcery, Warp World. We can utilize Shardless Agent to abuse Glimpse of tomorrow by Cascading into it and casting it for free as a finisher. Naturally, we want to build our deck with mostly permanents, and traditionally the best ways to cascade in Modern are going to be sorceries or instants. Shardless Agent helps solve this issue by being a creature that’s the same mana cost as those spells. Here is a Rough Draft list -3 Glimpse of Tomorrow.

 

The mana base is modeled similarly to Amulet Titan, which accounts for some combo finishes with Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle or Slayers’ Stronghold and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. Our goal is to produce permanents on the battlefield, by means of Tireless Tracker and Primeval Titan. Then we cast Shardless Agent and our only cascade hit is Glimpse of Tomorrow. This should allow us to flip our board of lands, creatures and clue tokens into more lands, creatures and clues. If we hit an Eternal Witness, we can get back our Glimpse of Tomorrow from our graveyard. We have a couple of enchantments to include here as well, in As Foretold to allow us to cast a Glimpse from our hand for free, whether it be in our hand naturally, or the one that we get back from Eternal Witness, and Rhythm of the Wild mostly to give our creatures haste, but making our creatures uncounterable can be useful as well.

We are about to enter a new era of Modern when Modern Horizons 2 releases on June 18th, 2021! There’s a lot of crazy powerful cards in the set, but will Shardless Agent be good in Modern? With Cascade being one of the most powerful mechanics in the game, I think that there’s a lot of potential, and this card is generally loved by a lot of the community, so I expect that this card will definitely make a splash in the format.

READ MORE: Modern Horizons 2 Reveals A Powerful New Mythic Rare Dragon

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