Some Casual / Fun Modern Format Decks (MtG):

Here is an assortment of some Modern Format legal decks I have come up with recently. I will probably not actually assemble and/or test all of the following decks but I just cannot hesitiate to write down my ideas for my own pleasure nevertheless. Some however I will at least print out as proxies and play through a bit and if one or two decks turn out to be fun to play (I am not really aiming to get anything competitive out of this mental exercise) I may consider buying the cards which I currently do not own for them. But let us get started with the first of the decks:

TraumaVault Control (Modern):

Creatures…6

2 x Magister Sphinx (4UWG)

4 x Sphinx of the Steel Wind (5UWB)

Instants…12

4 x Path to Exile (W)

4 x Mana Leak (1U)

4 x Thirst for Knowledge (2U)

Sorceries…12

4 x Wrath of God (2WW)

4 x Traumatize (3UU)

4 x Open the Vaults (4WW)

Enchantments…8

4 x Ghostly Prison (2W)

4 x Eldrazi Conscription (8)

Artifacts…8

4 x Talisman of Progress (2)

4 x Lightning Greaves (2)

Lands…24 

14 x Plains

10 x Island

The Strategy:

This deck is actually quite original, at least as far as I know, as I have come up with the combo it revolves around, actually two of the so called “Crap Rares“, myself and did not just steal the decklist from somewhere. As always, I am having no illusions about being the first person to have thought about this as I have to note once again. So the basic approach of this rather slow deck is to control early on until you can use Traumatize in a way it is surely not used all too often, on yourself. Traumatize lets you put half of target player’s deck into their graveyard and is a major part of many Mill Decks, decks that is, which try to deplete the opponent’s deck as their primary win condition. In this approach I will “Traumatize” myself, sending half of my deck to the graveyard. Now you may ask “why the heck would you do this” and as a matter of course I will tell you the reason: I will follow up Traumatize by Open the Vaults, one of the notorious “Crap Rares” which allows all players, at the cost of 4WW, to return all Artifacts and Enchantments from their graveyards to play. Now having dumped half of your deck, in which such goodies as Sphinx of the Steel Wind (by far not a Crap Rare, but I happen to own a playset so I am running them) Eldrazi Conscription and one-turn-kill enabler Magister Sphinx have been wisely placed, you should get quite a few nice things back from your Graveyard. Steel Wind and Magister Sphinxes enchanted by Eldrazi Conscription should pose quite a threat to your opponent. The former would be a 16/16 Trample, Flying, First Strike, Lifelink, Vigilance, Protection from red and from green Creature with Annihilator 2 and the latter would be a 15/15 Trampler with Annihilator 5 which will reset the opponent’s life total to 10. What could be even more devastating, and enable you to kill the turn you play Open the Vaults,  would be if you happened to have some Lightning Greaves in your graveyard which would be brought back as well, ready to equip your big guys and give them Shroud and Haste. The latter would allow your big, mean monster(s) to attack right away. If you happen to have got one of your Magister Sphinxes and an Eldrazi Conscription in your Graveyard when you cast Open the Vaults, you are going to win the very same turn, provided your opponent has no way to stop the Sphinx, as she will make the opponent life total become 10 and then attack for 15. As I said this deck is really slow, and probably not very competitive as its key cards cost 5 and 6 mana respectively. On the plus side, the deck has many great and relatively cheap control elements such as Path to Exile, Mana Leak, Ghostly Prison and Wrath of God, which might allow you to stall and disrupt your opponent long enough so you can pull off the one-two-punch of playing Traumatize, followed by a massive Open the Vaults the turn after. Also, your Talismans allow you to do that on turn 4 and 5, which would considerably speed up the deck.

Blasting Beacon (Modern):

Creatures…12

4 x Llanowar Elves (G)

4 x Sakura-Tribe Elder (1G)

4 x Wood Elves (2G)

Instants…8

4 x Echoing Courage (1G)

4 x Harrow (2G)

Sorceries…8

2 x Cultivate (2G)

4 x Beacon of Creation (3G)

2 x Rude Awakening (4G)

Enchantments…4

4 x Fecundity (2G)

Artifacts…4 

4 x Blasting Station (3)

Lands…24

24 x Forest

The Strategy:

This deck idea came from an article which was posted on wizards.com during the (first) Mirrodin block era. It was all about combining three cards to dominate the field through direct damage and draw a ton of cards at the same time. Back then I built the deck as I liked the idea of doing such “non-green” things as dealing direct damage and drawing cards in a green-only deck. I recently thought of the deck which I ran back then and decided to revisit it, discovering that I would play it today pretty much the same way as I did back then. The central card combination that forms the damage&draw-engine in this deck consists of 3 cards, two Uncommons and one quite cheap to get Rare, namely Beacon of Creation, Blasting Station and Fecundity, and it works like this: While this deck is not aiming to go infinite like some decks involving Blasting Station, combining these three cards allows you to create a lot of field and card advantage. Basically you would cast Beacon of Creation, which gives you one 1/1 Insect Creature Token for each Forest you control. With Blasting Station in play, which you can use to sacrifice a creature and tap it to deal 1 damage to target Creature or Player and which untaps whenever a Creature comes into play, you can sacrifice each token when it comes into play, then untap it as the next Token comes into play and sacrifice another Creature for 1 damage and so on. It may be a bit counter-intuitive, but I know from reliable source (an expert artilce on the official M:tG homepage) that this actually works this way. So with Blasting Station in play, each Token you are going to create with Beacon translates to 1 damage to target Creature or Player. Now here comes the card advantage part: If you have Fecundity in play when doing the Beacon-Station combo, you will not only deal 1 damage for each Token generated and sacked, you will also draw one card for each. Simpy put, with Blasting Station and Fecundity in play, Beacon of Creation would read “Draw 1 card and deal 1 damage for every Forest you control. That is quite an exceptional card ability for a green Sorcery costing 4 Mana. And not to forget, Beacon returns to your deck after it resolved so you can draw and cast it over and over again. The rest of the cards support the combo and accelerate your deck. The more Forests you have in play, the more damage you will be able to deal and the more cards you are going to draw with the Beacon/Station combo. Sakura-Tribe Elder, Wood Elves, Cultivate and Harrow all up your Forest count while giving you more Mana to cast the necessary combo pieces. The main win condition is Echoing Courage. What you would do is clear the field of any opposition (opponent blockers) with Blasting Station, then cast Beacon one last time and instead of sacrificing your 1/1 Insect Tokens, just attack with them and make them all 3/3s by means of Echoing Courage. As I always want to have a backup win condition, I have added Rude Awakening to the mix, which will turn all your lands into 2/2s which would be 4/4s with Echoing Courage.

March of the Machines (Modern):

 Instants…8

4 x Mana Leak (1U)

4 x Thirst for Knowledge (2U)

Sorceries…12 

4 x Compulsive Research (2U)

4 x Trash for Treasure (2R)

4 x Wrath of God (2WW)

Enchantments…8

4 x Ghostly Prison (2W)

4 x March of the Machines (3U)

Artifacts…12

4 x Talisman of Indulgence (2)

4 x Darksteel Ingot (3)

4 x Darksteel Forge (9)

Lands…22

4 x Glimmervoid

4 x Seat of the Synod

6 x Plains

4 x Mountain

2 x Island

The Strategy:

This is another slow deck which adopts a control-style approach early to mid-game until it can the pricy cards into place needed for the win. You would try to stop early Creature rush with Ghosltly Prison and Wrath of God while countering early on with Mana Leak until you can discard a Darksteel Forge (which costs 9 Mana to hard-cast) via Thirst for Knowledge or Compulsive Research, only to put it into play from there through Trash for Treasure. This is your key card, as it is your only way to get Darksteel Forge from graveyard to the field cheaply, and you have to rely on your draw spells (Thirst for Knowledge and Compulsive Research) to get it. I was considering to add in Diabolic Tutor to solve this problem but thought the deck featured enough control and disruption to buy you time until you draw into a Trash for Treasure. Once you have Darksteel Forge in play, you would use March of the Machines to turn all your Artifacts into Creatures with Power and Toughness equal to their casting costs. With Darksteel Forge out, you will not only have at least one 9/9 Artifact Creature, but also all your Artifacts and Artifact Creatures will be indestructible. What is more, the smaller artifacts of yours like Talismans and Darksteel Ingots will be 2/2 and 3/3 indestructibles as well.

Blue/Green Land Destruction (Modern):

Creatures…20

4 x Birds of Paradise (G)

4 x Noble Hermit (G)

4 x River Boa (1G)

4 x Verduran Enchantress (1GG)

4 x Cold-Eyed Selkie (1G/U,G/U)

Enchantments…20

4 x Rancor (G)

4 x Sea’s Claim (U)

4 x Spreading Seas (1U)

4 x Oblivion Ring (2W)

4 x Copy Enchantment (2U)

4 x Annex (2UU)

Lands…20

10 x Forest

6 x Island

4 x Plains

Blue is not really known to excel when it comes to land destruction and still there are some very efficient, cheap forms of “pseudo-land destruction” available in the blue color. They mostly come in the guise of Land Enchantments, which turn the land they target into an Island, which means, provided your opponent is not running blue, your adversary would be stuck with a semi-useless land. Combine that with the many Islandwalking Creatures in blue and other colors and you got a decent plan for a blue land destruction deck with a splash of any one color you like. I also would like to highlight one card here: Annex:

Annex does not only rob your opponent of one land, it gives you control of the enchanted land, which makes it somewhat mediocre mana ramp as well, as, in the worst case you will have one generic mana more to spend on useful things. And if you run Copy Enchantment, as I do in the above listed deck, you can have 4 more copies of Annex which are 1 cheaper as well to cast. In the above deck I combined the aforementiond blue land destruction with some efficient and powerful green/blue Islandwalkers and, as the blue land destruction comes in the form of more or less cheap Enchantments, I added Verduran Enchantress as a draw engine which triggers upon playing Enchantments. Oblivion Ring is in the mix for some excellent pinpoint removal and Rancor for additional beats, comboing well with Cold-Eyed Selkie.

March of the Lands (Modern):

Instants & Sorceries…24

4 x Thoughtseize

4 x Rampant Growth (1G)

4 x Summer Bloom (1G)

4 x Geth’s Verdict (BB)

4 x Barter in Blood (2BB)

4 x Damnation (2BB)

Enchantments…4

4 x Earth Surge (3G)

Lands…32

4 x Blinkmoth Nexus

4 x Dread Statuary

4 x Treetop Village

2 x Svogthos, the Restless Tomb

4 x Llanowar Wastes

7 x Forest

7 x Swamp

I have been a passionate “Landstill” player for years (Landstill being a deck type which usually wins through lands) and have a general fondness of creatureless strategies/builds. So I inevitably had to try my a take on the land-beatdown type of deck in Modern Format as well. There are some amazing “Mandlands” available, such as Blinkmoth Nexus, turning into a 1/1 Flyer, Dread Statuary which becomes a 4/2 and Treetop Village which can be turned into a 3/3 Trampler. Now one card caught my eye in particular for the kind of “land beatdown” i had in mind: Earth Surge:

This will singlehandedly turn your “Manlands” into 6/4s, 5/5 Tramplers and 3/3 Flyers which I deem to be pretty amazing. Besides the Manlands and support through Earth Surge, this deck features a lot of universal Creature destruction which will in fact be very one-sided, as your lands will not be Creatures when you will unleash Spells like Damnation, which destroys all Creatures on the field and Barter in Blood, which makes both players sacrifice 2 Creatures. Barter in Blood can be great for getting rid of indestructible Creatures for instance. I really miss a good alternative for Innocent Blood in Modern Format… Since half of the deck is lands, I added in Summer Bloom which should speed things up considerably, letting me play 3 more lands the turn I cast it. With this deck you should have a handful of lands to drop via Bloom to speed up the beating! Out of all the decks in this article, I am most curious about this one and will definitely at least “proxy” the deck (print out cards from the web that is) and give it a go!

 

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