MtG: Surviving Judgment Day – A Modern Format Deck

Dear friends of MtG!

These days my head is buzzing with deck ideas for the incredible Magic: the Gathering CCG and hence I am going to present you with yet another one of my deck designs.

This time it is somewhat of an Aggro Control deck which center around getting out some cost-efficient beatsticks, then unleashing mass creature destruction like Day of Judgment or Supreme Verdict, whiping out all Creatures on the field. All but one – yours! How? Have a look at these two cheap instants from the new Theros Block:

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Some of you may be remembering that I attempted a similar approach in a deck I posted some time ago on here. I completely redesigned the deck, dropping the Dauntless Escorts and Loxodon Hierarchs in favor of the above two instants as the latter are considerably cheaper and not as easy to nullify than two 3 and 4 mana cost Creatures.

But let me show you my new decklist first before I go into detail regarding what I intend to do with this deck:

Doomsday Survivor (Modern Format)


4 x Sakura-Tribe Elder 1G

4 x Troll Ascetic 1GG

3 x Loxodon Smiter 1GW

1 x Isperia, Supreme Judge 2WWUU


4 x Spell Pierce U

4 x Ajani’s Presence W

4 x Emerge Unscathed W

3 x Mortal’s Resolve 1G

4 x Mana Leak 1U


1 x Reborn Hope GW

3 x Supply/Demand XWG/1WU

4 x Day of Judgment 2WW

1 x Supreme Verdict 1WWU


1 x Elspeth, Knight Errant 2WW

1 x Ajani, Mentor of Heroes 3WG


4 x Seaside Citadel

2 x Greypelt Refuge

2 x Seijiri Refuge

5 x Island

5 x Forest

4 x Plains

About the Deck:

This is not a fast deck by any means, as it adopts more of a control approach featuring cheap counterspells like Spell Pierce and Mana Leak etc. The basic plan I have laid down above already: Basically you play a Troll Ascetic or Loxodon Smiter on turn 3, then pull off a Day of Judgment or Supreme Verdict asap with one or two spare mana to invest in the Instants shown above (Ajani’s Presence or Mortal’s Resolve) to make your beater indestructible for the turn. That will leave the opponent utterly defenseless and both Ajani’s Presence and Resolve of Mortals grant your “survivor” a temporary +1/+1 boost to boot.

I could run Birds of Paradise and Noble Hierarchs (both costing 1 green mana and producing any one mana of the colors I need) to play may key creatures on turn 2, but in this particular deck I chose a slower, more control-style approach with adding Sakura-Tribe Elders for at least some mana acceleration. I prefer Elder over Bird and Hierarch, as the latter two would die to my mass creature removal and Sakura-Tribe Elder can be sacrificed in order to put any basic land from your library into play tapped. The land will survive Day of Judgment/Supreme Verdict – Birds and Hierarchs will not.

Let me show you my two main beaters in this deck. First off the by now almost “classic” Troll Ascetic, who made his first appearance waaay back in Mirrodin:

This one is simply great if your opponent does not run countermagic, as the Ascetic is terribly hard to get rid off once he is on the table through hexproof and his regenerative powers. The cool thing about Troll Ascetic and my mass creature removal is that with the Troll I don’t even need Ajani’s Presence or Mortal’s Resolve in hand to make him survive Day of Judgment and Supreme Verdict, as, contrary to good old Wrath of God, those two do not have the “Creatures cannot be regenerated” clause in their rules text. This means once you got Troll Ascetic out and have 6 mana to spare, you can fire your mass removal away and just regenerate the Troll to make him your lonely “survivor”!

In case the opponent DOES have countermagic, Loxodon Smiter will be your best friend. Just bask in his 4/4 for 3 mana glory:

Yeah that is right, a 4/4 beatstick for 3 mana – and he can’t be countered. How exceedingly amazing! (His secondary ability will hardly ever matter as I have to add.) Contrary to Troll Ascetic, Loxodon Smiter does not have any regenerative powers so in order to make him your “survivor” you will have to rely on the 1 mana Ajani’s Presence or the 2 mana Mortal’s Resolve to make him indestructable for the turn. The deal is pretty much the same as with Troll Ascetic however, as you will need 4 mana for your mass creature removal spell of choice and 1 or 2 additional mana for making the Smiter indestructible through Ajani’s Presence or Mortal’s  Resolve during the turn you unleash said mass removal.

I am running a third Creature kinda as a “silver bullet”: The somewhat more expensive but very powerful Isperia, Supreme Judge:

For 6 mana Isperia is a 6/4 Flyer which isn’t half bad to begin with but she can potentially draw you a lot of cards with her awesome ability, as you can read for yourself in the above card image.

I am running several “silver bullets” like Isperia, which are all multicolored and I use this…

…to fetch them out of my deck in case I need them. Besides Isperia, I can “tutor” for Supreme Verdict, which is a Day of Judgment that cannot be countered (tremendously handy), for a Loxodon Smiter in case I need one or for Reborn Hope in case I want to retrieve a spent/destroyed multicolor card from my graveyard – Supreme Verdict or Isperia would be good targets.

In order to effectivley stop your opponent from meddling with you plans, I am running 8 cheap counterspells in the form of the 1 blue mana Spell Pierce, which lets me counter any noncreature spell unless its controller pays an additional 2 and the 1U Mana Leak that lets me counter any spell unless its caster pays and additional 3 mana. These cheap counters will help with slowing your opponent down whilst you set everything up for the “big boom” whilst at the same time protecting your “combo”. If you are playing against countermagic or cheap creature removal, I would suggest in general that you rather wait one more turn to pull off your mass removal feat and have one spare blue mana handy for Spell Pierce so you are more or less safe from any opponent meddling and foiling.

Speaking of cheap creature removal: Whilst Troll Ascetic has hexproof anyways and thus does care for any targeted removal of the likes of Path to Exile or Oblivion Ring etc, Isperia and Loxodon Smiter are rather unprotected. And this is where Emerge Unscathed comes into play: This instant grants any one target creature protection from any one color for a turn and if you cast it from your hand, you can exile it to cast it again from the exile during your next turn. So if you opponent tries to get rid of your Smiters or Isperia, just use Emerge Unscathed to nullify the opponent targeted removal. And what is more, you can cast it once again in your next turn to give the same or another target creature protection from a color of your choice once again. Perfect for making one of your creatures, maybe even your “doomsday survivor”, unblockable if your opponent’s creatures all share one color.

In general, the three instants Emerge Unscathed, Ajani’s Presence and Mortal’s Resolve are just so tremendously useful and usable in a ton of ways, besides from being part of your “combo”. As mentioned above, Emerge Unscathed protects a key creature from any targeted harm and/or makes it unblockable in many cases. Ajani’s Presence and Mortal’s resolve grant your key creature(s) indestructibility for one turn, which can be used to save any creature from dying in so many ways and what is more, both give the targeted creature(s) a +1/+1 boost for one turn (which is never a bad thing).

Lastly I have to mention the über-awesome Planeswalkers: Ajani, Mentor of Heroes costs 3GW and I would say you best add a counter to him to put three +1/+1 counters on your lone survivor each and every turn, while Elspeth, Knight Errant costs 2WW and is best used for giving your surviving beater +3/+3 and Flying until end of turn, done by adding a counter to Elspeth. I think having a few Planeswalkers in a deck that relies on clearing the field off all Creatures whilst saving one from destruction is a great thing, as the Planeswalkers will survive the Days of Jugment and the Supreme Verdict AND the abilities of Elspeth, Knight Errant and Ajani, Mentor of Heroes greatly fit the strategy of this deck in my opinion.

Overall I like the interactions of the cards in this deck very much and I am only missing a few odd cards to build the deck as described above and will gladly put it to the test as soon as my missing cards arrive.

Hope you enjoyed yet another M:tG deck article of mine and wish you all






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