Tempo-Twin for Grand Prix Boston-Worcester

Greetings Magic the Gathering fans. This is my first actual article for Battlegroundgames.com and in it, I’m excited to be writing about the ever-evolving Modern format — a format I use to very much dislike. Thankfully, I found an archetype I can get behind and now fully support this really interesting format. Can you guess what it is?



Yup, that’s the one – Splinter Twin; the Blue-Red Tempo version, to be exact. There’s nothing more exciting that creating four-billion 2/1 or 1/4 creatures! This will be my weapon of choice for Grand Prix Boston-Worcester 2014 tomorrow morning.


The deck plays essentially like a control deck with a combo finish, utilizing the Splinter Twin (or Kiki-Jiki) plus Deceiver Exarch or Pestermite combo in order to make an infinite amount of token creatures. Here is the final decklist and sideboard:



5 Island

1 Mountain

4 Scalding Tarn

4 Misty Rainforest

1 Desolate Lighthouse

1 Stomping Ground

4 Steam Vents

3 Sulfur Falls



4 Deceiver Exarch

2 Pestermite

1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

4 Snapcaster Mage

2 Vendilion Clique

1 Spellskite



4 Splinter Twin

2 Electrolyze

2 Flame Slash

4 Lightning Bolt

1 Dispel

2 Cryptic Command

4 Remand

4 Serum Visions



2 Anger of the Gods

2 Blood Moon

2 Ancient Grudge

2 Keranos, God of Storms

1 Counterflux

1 Negate

1 Echoing Truth

1 Dispel

1 Batterskull

1 Vedalken Shackles

1 Spellskite


Essentially, a fairly standard list, all things considered. When compared to most other versions out there, I have an extra Steam Vents (for the Vedalken Shackles in the sideboard); only one Spellskite; an additional Electrolyze; and no Peek/Gitaxian Probe. Spellskite seems to be increasingly mitigated of late as a lot of matchups are increasingly prepared for this card. However, having an 0/4 blocker can be useful and it’s redirect ability is still randomly useful and has a wide range of applications. Electrolyze has been amazing lately and I play the deck as a control deck that wins with a combo;  Electrolyze helps with that goal. Finally, Peek/Probe felt far too low impact and often times, regardless of knowing my opponent’s hand, my lines of play were the same regardless.


Why Splinter Twin?


This goes back to Grand Prix Richmond 2013. After the banning of Deathrite Shaman, I immediately gravitated toward the Blue-White-Red Control deck that Shaun McLaren won Pro Tour Born of the Gods with. I’m a control player at heart and this deck felt perfect to me. Despite this, I put up a very disappointing 2-1-2 record and dropped, disappointed. What happened? The metagame had shifted; Lightning Helix just wasn’t cutting it and the deck has an awful lot of trouble actually finishing a game (hence the draws). So, I went back to the drawing board.



Never underestimate this little guy.


I knew I wanted to play something powerful, especially given the amount of combo decks in the format. I owned all the cards for Splinter Twin and I played the deck when it was Standard-legal. With that, I didn’t see that I had any other choice; Splinter Twin it is.


Ultimately – aside from card availability and basic familiarity – I chose the deck because it’s inherently powerful, consistent, and has positive match ups against the other combo decks (though Scapeshift is a bit closer) and Affinity. Furthermore, the mana is solid and allows for the use of Blood Moon (a very powerful trump in a lot of matchups, especially the Jund/Junk/Rock decks). I briefly tried the Tarmo-Twin deck popularized by German professional Magic player Patrick Dickmann, but I hate losing to my mana base, despite gaining some powerful cards and – I think – a better sideboard. Overall, consistency goes a long way to generating wins, especially in long tournaments.



I’m excited to be doing battle with Splinter Twin and very much looking forward to the Grand Prix. I’ve put a lot of practice into the deck, so I feel confident for big things. Wish me luck and look forward to an after-action report following the Grand Prix! If you’re in attendance, please say hello!


About the Author

Chris Alexander is the Online Store Manager for Battleground Games & Hobbies. He has a vast amount of experience in the industry having stints with other major internet companies. He is a lover of games and Islands. He dislikes Mountains and anything associated with them except for Splinter Twin. When he is not playing “Magic: The Gathering” or board games, he can be found with his two loving dogs; typically cleaning after them.



About Battleground Games & Hobbies

Battleground is one of New England’s premier game stores with two convenient locations. We are fully stocked in all the major product lines for the serious gamer and we specialize in card games, board games, miniature games and role-playing games. Our deep stock, great events and friendly, knowledgeable staff make Battleground the top choice for your one-stop, friendly local game store!
Battleground Games & Hobbies

1423 Bedford Street
Abington MA, 02351
Battleground Games & Hobbies

25 Taunton Street
Plainville MA, 02762
Join Our Mailing List! – Check out our Instagram! – Follow our Tumblr! Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our videos on YouTube