When I first started building Bant Spirits a few years ago, I didn’t have a lot of money to spend (who am I kidding, I still don’t have money to spend) but I really wanted to build Spirits. I was looking into alternatives for the more expensive cards in the deck and came across Aethermage’s Touch as a replacement for Collected Company. The card seemed really interesting and is almost unheard of in Modern. It does have some flaws associated with it, but I thought it was unique enough for me to try and break it.
Aethermage’s Touch works best when the creature that enters the battlefield leaves a lasting effect. If you just put into play a creature without any enters the battlefield or leaves the battlefield effects, all Aethermage’s Touch did was draw you a card that can be Lightning Bolted. Because of this, we want to build this deck similarly to a flicker deck and employ a lot of creatures that have great enter the battlefield effects such as Blade Splicer and Reflector Mage. Then when Aethermage’s Touch returns them to our hand at the next end step, we can redeploy them again for massive amounts of value.
This, however, is not a good enough reason to play Aethermage’s Touch. To truly break the card, we need to abuse cards that have enters the battlefield and leaves the battlefield effects. Thragtusk is the perfect example of a card that Aethermage’s Touch breaks. Using Aethermage’s Touch you can flash in Thragtusk before blockers, gain 5 life, untap and attack with it, then return it to your hand to do it all over again next turn. You can also respond to the “return to your hand” text by flashing in Restoration Angel and flickering it, making it a brand new creature, and getting all of the juicy triggers to happen again.
If you still aren’t convinced on Aethermage’s Touch, what if I told you that this card also allows you to have an instant speed one-sided Armageddon? With Sundering Titan, you can flash in a 7/10 on your opponent’s turn, wipe out all of their lands, untap and smack them, and then bounce it to your hand to destroy what’s left of their manabase. Aethermage’s Touch is no Collected Company, but because it lacks the CMC restriction that CoCo has, it allows us to be much more creative with it and do much more devastating plays.
This deck is also relatively cheap for Modern. The core of Aethermage’s Touch, Thragtusk, Restoration Angel, Sundering Titan, Blade Splicer, and Reflector Mage is only $30. Of course, once you factor in manabase and cards like Noble Hierarch the deck starts to become significantly more expensive, but this kind of deck is very doable on a budget. Thank you all for reading, I hope you have a great week and an amazing Tuesday!
Link to Decklist: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1804909#paper