MtG: Building a Modern Deck for a New Friend!

Dear readers and friends of the fine Magic: the Gathering CCG!!

As you may have realized at the very latest upon reading my last Magic-related article, in which I proposed a cheap but good beginner’s deck to an acquaintance of mine, I am a  very helpful person, or at least I am trying my best to be. So again, this shall be an article about a deck I did not build for my own enjoyment and use (though I would enjoy it myself as well for sure) but rather for a new and already very good (gamer) friend of mine. My new friend Stefan is a true old-school MtG veteran and stopped active play during the Urza Block. That means the good man missed over 15 years of MtG history and, before we met, didn’t even have a clue that they changed the card layout back in 8th Edition, let alone that there is now a proper format in which only cards from sets with the updated (modern) layout are allowed, so from 8th Edition onwards.

So, seeing Stefan’s interest in the game rekindled, thanks to me or rather by my fault so to say, we decided to build him a Modern legal deck at some point so we could participate in Modern Format Tournaments in our nearby Magic store some time. In order to save the good man some time and to spare him from the chore of going through some 16 years worth of new Magic Editions with hundreds of new cards each, I just quickly assembled something that may be to Stefan’s liking. It may not win him any big tourneys but for our local Modern crowd it should do just fine, plus it has some old-school charm, featuring a guy from back in the days that was hella expensive previously but had its price drop to next to nothing when they reprinted him with kickass artwork in a Modern layout base set. I am of course speaking of none other than mighty (or mighty annoying rather)…

Also, Stefan was pretty astonished and enticed at the same time when he saw that they released a cheaper (and better) Megrim, which he was familiar with from the VERY old Stronghold Edition:

Stefan’s excitement about Liliana’s Caress lead me, among other things, such as my new friend  marvelling at one particularly awesome Uncommon from pretty recent Zendikar (and I too keep marvelling at it as well)…

…lead me to build him a black discard Modern Format Deck with a splash of Red for things like classic Lightning Bolt and Terminate as well as for…

…which is just plain evil in conjunction with Liliana’s Caress – or Megrim. But let me show you the decklist I came up with for my new buddy Stefan before I discuss the deck any further. I will also include something akin to a “Maybeboard” – cards, that is, that Stefan can include and swap in to try out what suits him best. I am not the person to dictate which kind of deck another guy is supposed to play Odin forbid!! One last thing I have to get off my mind before going on. Hell, this deck NEEDS Dark Ritual!! Come on Wizards (of the Coast), do a Modern reprint!!!

Ok here comes my PROVISIONAL Decklist:

Stefan’s Modern Discard Deck:


4 x  Hypnotic Specter 1BB

4 x Vampire Nighthawk 1BB

2 x Blazing Specter 2BR


4 x Lightning Bolt R

4 x Terminate BR


4 x Duress B

4 x Sign in Blood BB

4 x Blightning 1BR


4 x Liliana’s Caress 1B

2 x Megrim 2B


2 x Loxodon Warhammer 3


4 x Sulfurous Springs

4 x Dragonskull Summit

8 x Swamp

6 x Mountain

More About The Deck:

Well obviously the plan is to force the opponent to discard, which disrupts them considerably all by itself, with one or even more Liliana’s Caresses and/or Megrims out. With one of the latter, Blightning will, at the cost of 3 Mana, inflict a massive 7 damage to your opponent. PLUS they lose 2 cards that may have been important or even crucial to their strategy. I built the deck a bit more “control-ish” with very few Creatures, all of them starting at the 3 Mana cost level. Goddamnit, Dark Ritual would SO rock in this build, but sadly, we are confined to Modern Legal cards here…

Anyways the general plan is to use turn 1 to Duress your opponent for an important card on turn 1 or pass and burn away one of their early Creatures with Lightning Bolt on turn one or destroy a creature with Terminate on turn 2. Another good play for the 2 mana / second turn slot would be quality card draw Sign in Blood. Obviously, a second turn Caress would rock if you follow up with Blightning or Hypnotic Specter on turn 2. I threw in 2 Loxodon Warhammers, which might seem a bit random, but I do think, as the few Creatures you have are rather weak stats-wise but have awesome evasive abilities (among other awesome things), that Warhammer could actually speed things up quite a bit and turn your Specters in mighty (lifelinked, trampling) beaters!

This Deck could be played in a more “aggro-ish” style through altering the card composition by adding in some cheaper creatures. I have picked out a number of one and two drop Creatures for Stefan to consider and choose for himself whether he would like to run them in the deck, as what I proposed above is, as a matter of course, just a suggested decklist. Furthermore I will not comment on the deck’s competitiveness but think it could be a good start for Stefan to get a headstart into the Modern Format.

Among the MAYBE cards are cheap one and two drops such as Vampire Lacerator and Pharika’s Chosen as well as 2 Mana Nantuko Shade (which used to be super expensive in the past and now you’d prolly get a playset for a dollar).

Vendetta would be cheap Creature removal although in a Red/Black build I would think Terminate would be the better choice. Gatekeeper of Malakir would be basically an additional 3 drop and so would be Phyrexian Arena, which would generate some additional card advantage.


Well and that is my deck suggestion for my new, good friend Stefan, whose interest in Magic was, quite to my own joy, awoken again. Stefan will be visiting in an hour or so from now and then we’ll see what he thinks about my humble Modern Deck suggestion for him!!

Happy gaming!




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