Getting stomped in Modern, my new Modern Deck Plans + Bonus: Doran Tiny Leaders!

Dear readers and friends fo the grand Magic: the Gathering TCG!

First off my humble apologies to those who are anxiously waiting for a non-MtG related post direly… Don’t worry I will eventually bring in some diversity sooner or later but it is just that I am REALLY really much into Magic these days as you may already have realized by now! 😛

Anyways, yesterday Friday a good buddy and I gave us quite the MtG tournament marathon at the local Magic Shop, first participating in a Modern Tourney from 4 pm till about 8 pm and then, on top of that a Legacy Tournament from 8:30 pm until almost midnight. So, while much fun was had, I got stomped badly in Modern, as, rather than playing my pretty standard but highly powerful, quite competitive “Affinity” Deck (you can barely call it that anymore since the only Affinity card it still runs is 4 copies of Thoughtcast…), I chose to play something out of the ordinary, rarely seen but, well, less competitive. The Deck I ran was a Doran/Defenders Deck in Green/White/Black. I will spare you the full list but just so much: The key card is this nice, quite new, crap rare here:

While well-known and quite popular Doran the Siege Tower is great, Assault Formation is THE key to the deck’s suggest as it runs lots of powerful Defenders, such as the massive mana generating Overgrown Battlement, the card drawing Wall of Omens and Carven Caryatid and the – with Assault Formation – quite insane Tree of Redemption, which is a 0/13 for 4 mana, with an awesome ability to boot:

Well, in theory the deck should work like a well-oiled engine and if you draw properly it can apply quite some pressure pretty early on – however, and this may sound like a bad excuse – if you draw badly time after time, all the intricate plans are in vian more or less. So yeah out  of 5 rounds I won just 3 games and finished last or second from last with my Doran Defenders Deck. Luckily, I am not the person taking pride in or desiring victory – for me it is all about an interesting and entertaining gameplay experience – and that I did definitely have, so all is fine! 😀

Still, I wanna retry my hand in a Modern Tournament again some time soon, and I already have a deck in mind which has the qualities I am looking for in a deck – it being original, in fact being a build I came up with all by myself, a kind of deck which I take most pleasure in running – and which I played in a Legacy Event while ago. In Legacy it had zero chance but many people recommended to try it – in a modified version without old Dual Lands and stuff obviously – in a Modern Tournament and noted that it might in fact perform decently well in a Modern setting.

The deck I am talking about is one I showcased here before, but it’s been a while and I think I had some ideas for modifying it a bit as well, so I will just show you my WIP, preliminary list right away and then discuss the plan, the strategy behind it. So here comes…

Modern Survivor:


4 x Birds of Paradise

4 x Fleecemane Lion GW

4 x Troll Ascetic 1GG

2 x Thrun, the Last Troll 2GG


4 x Path to Exile W


4 x Day of Judgment 2WW

4 x Supreme Verdict 1WWU


4 x Oblivion Ring


3 x Chrome Mox 0


2 x Elspeth, Knight Errant 2WW

2 x Ajani, Mentor of Heroes 3GW


4 x Seaside Citadel

4 x Yaviamaya Coast

4 x Brushland

3 x Adakar Wastes

4 x Treetop Village

4 x Mutavault

About the Deck:

Well as I said I posted a very similar deck list – for Legacy Format with proper, original Dual Lands etc, on here already but as it has been quite some time since that, I doubt many will remember it.

Anyways I named the deck “Survior” because it is all about efficient mass Creature removal (4 Judgment Day and 4 uncounterable Divine Verdicts) combined with (rather) cheap and equally efficient Creatures that would survive said mass removal, either by being indestructible – that would be Fleecemane Lion –  or by inexpensively regenerating them  – in this case: Troll Ascetic and his superior Thrun, the Last Troll.

The latter is especially evil and VERY hard ot get rid off, as he cannot be countered, has Hexproof AND regenerates for 1G. What an awesome package on a 4/4 body for 4 Mana.

But even if my Ascetics or Thrun get removed SOMEHOW I got an awesome backup plan that actuall helps the main (Creature based) strategy a ton as well. So get this: I am running 4 so called “Manlands”, lands that is, which can be turned into a Creature until end of turn by spending some mana. Namely I got 4 Treetop Villages which will be 3/3 Tramplers when activated for 1G and 4 Mutavaults, which cost just 1 generic mana to active and will be 2/2s (with all Creature types, but that doesn’t really matter in the context of this build). Now destroying all Creatures and then beating down on your oppoent with Manlands would be, in many cases, enough for the win. However: Add two copies each of two awesome Planeswalkers to the mix. For once I am running 2 of…

as well as this awesome fellow:

First off, giving +3/+3 and flying OR place three +1/+1 counters on Troll Ascetic or Thrun should be quite unfortunate for your opponent, as they will become insanely huge faster than you can say Planeswalker three times in a row. However, what I find even more awesome is to use the Planeswalker’s Effects on some of the Manlands. Remember, Judgment Day and Supreme Verdict will most likely level the battlefield when it comes to Creatures. Planeswalkers and Lands will be unharmed, so with Elspeth you can easily turn your Mutavault into a quite impressive 5/5 Flyer. A Treetop Village would be a 6/6 Flying Tramper even! The more I think and write about it, the more I like the concept to be honest.

As for some of the other card choices: I am running 4 Birds (of Paradies) as I want to have a one drop that enables me to play an Ascetic on turn 2 and play my mass removal one turn earlier, even if the Bird(s) will fall to it.

As my weapon against anything non-Land, I am running 4 Oblivion Rings, mostly out of sheer fear againt nasty Planeswalkers like über-powerful (and über-expensive) Liliana of the Veil, which had cost me 2 rounds in yesterday’s modern tournament pretty much. Furthermore I am running what is probably the best Creature pinpoint removal in the white color in Modern – 4 Path to Exile. Lastly, I added 3 Chrome moxes so I can speed the deck up further. Note that Fleecemane Lion is even quite good without being Monstrous as I could play a 3/3 on turn one with a Mox in play.

OK you guys, I think this rogue-like, very unusual and self-developed deck in then next Modern tourney I am going to attend – hopefully soon – and put it to the test in what is quite a hostile environment – not when it comes to the games who are pretty cool and relaxed but rather concerning the decks they play!


OK, as promised in the post title, I have some bonus for you: My new Tiny Leader Deck about which I am highly excited to try it out some time soon hopefully. So here comes the decklist – explanation and thoughts will follow on the foot!

Tiny Doran Defenders (Tiny Leaders Format):

Leader: Doran the Siege Tower BGW


1 x Birds of Paradise G

1 x Treefolk Harbinger G

1 x Pride Guardina W

1 x Perimeter Captain W

1 x Disowned Ancestor B

1 x Overgrown Battlment 1W

1 x Angelic Wall 1W

1 x Wall of Blossoms 1G

1 x Wall of Omens 1W

1 x Wall of Mulch 1G

1 x Carven Caryatid 1GG

1 x Axebane Guardian 2G

1 x Black Poplar Shaman 2B


1 x Enlightened Tutor W

1 x Worldly Tutor G

1 x Vampiric Tutor B

1 x Smother 1B

1 x Aprupt Decay BG

1 x Tower Defense 1G

1 x Kin-Tree Invocation BG

1 x Mortify 1BW

1 x Putrefy 1BG

1 x Maelstrom Pulse 1BG


1 x Unearth B

1 x Inquisition of Kozilek B

1 x Demonic Tutor 1B

1 x Idyllic Tutor 2W


1 x Lignify 1G

1x Eland Umbra 1W

1 x Heroes Resolve 1W

1 x Sterling Grove WG

1 x Assault Formation 1G

1 x Pernicious Deed 1BG


1 x Slagwurm Armor 1


1 x Marsh Flats

1 x Windswept Heath

1 x Wooded Foothills

1 x Temple Garden

1 x Overgrown Tomb

1 x Command Tower

1 x Sandsteppe Citadel

1 x Forbidding Watchtower

1 x Stirring Wildwood

3 x Forest

2 x Plains

2 x Swap

About the Deck:

Well, this Tiny Leaders Deck is pretty much an adaptation of my Modern Deck which I discussed briefly above. So the basic plan is to get Doran out and attack for massive damage. However the most important card, even more important than the leader is, once again, Assault Formation. I will show it to you once again in case you forgot what it does! 😀

With Assault Formation, as long as I have green mana to spare, will be able to attack, and attack big because even most of my one mana Creatures have a respectable 4 toughness. In order to get out my single copy of Assault Formation, I am running tutors galore, some of which can fetch you other card types than just Echantments but all my 6 Enchantment Tutors should make sure I WILL get a hold of Assault Formation rather sooner than later. The best cards to “finance” Formation are Overgrown Battlement and Axebane Guardian.

This deck futhermore features a ton of highest quality pinpoint Creature Destruction, such as the super-awesome…

…as well as similarly awesome Smother, Mortify, Putrify and Maelstrom Pulse. I think the Black-Green-White color comination is just awesome when it comes to removal! Oh and if need be, I have also kinda a “reset button” in the form of Pernicious Deed!

Futher cards that I want to mention are Slagwurm Armor, Heroes Resolve and Tower Defense. Slam Slagwurm Armor on Doran or any attacking, high-Toughness Defender (being able to attack through Assault Formation) or likewise a Heroes Resolve and in the case of Doran, he will attack for 11 or 10 respectively, whilst Tower Defense gives ALL your Creatures +5 Toughness (and Reach to boot!) which could be a game winning move.

A card that deserves a honorable mention is Kin-Tree Invocation:

With a regular Doran out you will get a 5/5 for just two mana through Invocation… if Doran, or any other high-toughness Creature is pumped consicerably, the token might well be 10/10 of even more. I like! 😀

Alright you guys, that was my article about my plans on my next Modern Format Tournament Deck and about my new, kickass (at least I could imagine it’d kicks some butt lol!) Doran Tinly Leaders Deck. Can’t wait to try these out, even if it is just with friends at home for the time being.

Well as always I hope you enjoyed the article and I thank you very much for being a reader!

Game on!




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