My Top 3 Modern/Extended Decks
Christian has played Magic for a long time now. Last time, he covered his favorites from Standard. Here, he's looking at Modern and Extended. Read on to find out his personal favorites, from metal men to titans of Magic history.
Last time, I took some solace in nostalgia and thought about my favorite standard decks. This time around, I'm doing the same with Modern. I think Wizards did a great job when they changed Extended, which was a rotating format like standard, just with more sets. Modern fixed a lot of rotations issues as people could stick with their favorite decks as long as they wanted to do so, while avoiding the higher prices (at least in theory) of the eternal formats. Otherwise, Magic players would have had to invest too much money in magic cards over and over again, which was the main issue with the old Extended format. Another great part of Modern is that old decks get better when new cards come out. For example, at the last Pro Tour, Bridgevine had a decent record, because Stitcher's Supplier improved the deck significantly. Sometimes new cards even create completely new decks, which is exactly what happened with Hollow One. Modern is just a great format. Now let's take a look at my favorite modern and extended decks.
|4Darkslick Shores||4Court Homunculus||4Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas|
|4Marsh Flats||4Master of Etherium||4Mox Opal|
|4Seachrome Coast||4Ornithopter||4Tempered Steel|
|3Burrenton Forge-Tender||2Duress||4Leonin Arbiter|
|4Path to Exile||2Ranger of Eos|
I played this deck in the PTQ Season 2011 to qualify for Pro Tour Nagoya. Back then, the format was not Modern, but Extended. At that time, the strongest decks were W/U Stoneforge Mystic, U/B Faeries, and Jund. I managed to Top 8 in five PTQs, but unfortunately, I always missed my chance to qualify for the PT. Nevertheless, the deck was a blast to play because it could do so many good things. Even though Robots shares a lot of cards with the Modern Affinity, it played out differently. The decklist could not be more straightforward. It only plays playsets.
Basically, you had four big artifact payoff cards in form of Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas, Master of Etherium, Steel Overseer, and of course, Tempered Steel. These payoff cards could enter the battlefield pretty quickly, as you had four Mox Opals and four Springleaf Drums to cheat on mana. I casted a turn two Tezzeret more frequently with this deck than you'd expect. Your aggressive gameplan was well supported with Thoughtseize and Tidehollow Sculler to disrupt your opponent. Like affinity, you didn't want to change your deck too much postboard because you wanted to keep your synergy. Still, additional disruption in the form of Duress and Path to Exile could prove helpful and also Leonin Arbiter or Burrenton Forge-Tender did their job in certain matchups. I still remember a Quarterfinals match where I had my opponent dead on board if I just removed a blocker with my Path. I didn't think too much about which creature I should exile, so I chose Vendillion Clique. Obviously, his last card in hand was not a land, but another Clique.
|1Eye of Ugin||1Emrakul, the Aeons Torn||4Karn Liberated|
|1Ghost Quarter||1Sundering Titan||4Chromatic Star|
|4Grove of the Burnwillows||4Wurmcoil Engine||4Expedition Map|
|1Overgrown Tomb||2Oblivion Stone|
|4Urza's Mine||4Relic of Progenitus|
|4Urza's Power Plant||4Ancient Stirrings|
|4Combust||4Mindbreak Trap||4Nature's Claim|
In 2013, Modern replaced Extended and the best decks at this time were Jund, Scapeshift, Splinter Twin and Storm. I tested a lot on MTGO for the upcoming PTQ season and my main goal was to beat Jund because it was by far the most played deck at this time.
Tron had the best matchup against Jund because having an early Wurmcoil Engine or Karn Liberated was nearly unbeatable. Postboard, things changed a bit when opposing Jund decks sideboarded land destruction, but overall the matchup was very favorable. You might wonder why I chose Tron as one of my favorite Modern decks and the answer is the sideboard.
I actually called my list Tron Hateorator. The sideboard focused heavily on certain difficult matchups, such as combo decks. Four Mindbreak Trap came obviously in against Storm, which was tough to beat game one, because only Relic of Progenitus disrupted them a bit. The Traps changed the matchups drastically. Against Splinter Twin you brought in the full playsets of Combust and Nature's Claim, which helped you to kill Twin, but also Blood Moon. The games were very controlish postboard, because nobody tapped out and eventually you won with Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. Another difficult matchup was Scapeshift, but if you cast a Slaughter Games on turn four or five you just could name Scapeshift, which basically won you the game.
The deck functioned exactly as I planned, and many opponents were surprised by that much hate postboard. In the end I managed to reach Top 8 at the first PTQ but lost a close match to Scapeshift where I could not cast my Slaughter Games because of mana screw. Five years ago, there were no Modern leagues, so you had to wait until eight people joined the queue. Until they implemented leagues, I joined Modern two-man queues and when nobody was on, I would turn to Legacy two-man queues. It turned out that Tron could actually beat a lot of Legacy decks pretty easily. Elves, for example, lost to main deck Pyroclasm and Zoo lost to turn three Wurmcoil Engine.
|4Blinkmoth Nexus||4Arcbound Ravager||1Galvanic Blast|
|4Darksteel Citadel||3Etched Champion||4Thoughtcast|
|3Glimmervoid||1Master of Etherium||4Cranial Plating|
|4Inkmoth Nexus||3Memnite||4Mox Opal|
|4Signal Pest||1Welding Jar|
|2Ancient Grudge||1Blood Moon||1Etched Champion|
|1Galvanic Blast||1Master of Etherium||2Relic of Progenitus|
Well, obviously Affinity is my favorite deck of all time. I played it to qualify for Nationals back in 2004, when Affinity was legal in standard. 2010 I qualified with Affinity at an Extended PTQ for my first Pro Tour in Puerto Rico. In the end I reached top 8 at Modern Pro Tour Born of the Gods 2014. My top 8 decklist at the Pro Tour is basically was pretty standard and ever since the Modern became popular, Affinity decklists have not changed much. The main deck is always pretty set. The only question is how to split Etched Champion / Master of Etherium and Galvanic Blast / Thoughtcast. The sideboard develops with the metagame, but Affinity doesn't really want to overboard anyways. That is the reason you mostly see one or two sideboard cards for most decks in the field, which rely on special lands, graveyard synergy, or combo plans. I decided one week after I qualified for Pro Tour Born of the Gods that I would play Affinity and therefore had over two months to test. I played around 200 Matches, but in the end the decklist was still more or less a gut feeling. The most important thing in modern is to know your deck in and out and how to play certain matchups.
I hope you enjoyed my Modern content. Hopefully Wizards spoils some cards of Guilds of Ravnica soon, because I am looking forward to brew new Standard decks!
Thanks for reading
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