10 Decks For Throne Of Eldraine’s Top 10 Modern Cards

From small upgrades to whole new ways to build decks, Throne of Eldraine looks to shake up Modern! Bryan Gottlieb chooses his Top 10 cards for Modern and offers a decklist for each!

I’m glad Throne of Eldraine is finally on the precipice of release because I am convinced if I don’t get a concrete meta to consider soon, I will simply deckbuild myself to death. Pre-set release is a time of unfettered possibility, and any well thought out idea could find itself faced with its ideal metagame when the dust settles. Reality is often a bit harsher, as format constraints and pillars will start to put the squeeze on what is truly viable. As it stands now, though, each of these ten cards might be exactly what a certain archetype needed to rapidly ascend the Modern tier list. Here’s where to start your testing if you want a leg up on the new Modern format.

10. Rosethorn Acolyte

Not many decks are in the market for Wild Cantors five through eight, but anyone who has played their share of combo knows that occasionally the Simian Spirit Guides and Wild Cantors of the world need to get to work on some mediocre beatdowns. “Mediocre” is Rosethorn Acolyte’s middle name, and while I don’t predict this “B plan” will set the world on fire out of Neobrand, an upgrade is an upgrade. Besides, you can’t expect too much from the tenth-place slot. The fact that this set is offering up ten potential playables already says a lot about its power level.

9. Stonecoil Serpent

Hardened Scales has seemingly disappeared from the Modern Metagame after picking up a second-place finish at the most recent Mythic Championship. With the rise of Urza, the unbanning of Stoneforge Mystic, and the banning of Hogaak, artifacts have found themselves clearly in the crosshairs. While Stonecoil Serpent isn’t solving that issue on its own, it does play nicely with all the thematic bases of Hardened Scales, and there are a lot of keywords on this card. Trample alongside an occasionally relevant protection is going to make opposing combat decisions even more of a nightmare. Slots are tight, but I think we can squeeze in a couple of copies.

8. Grumgully, the Generous

Goblins have had their moment in the sun in almost every Magic format ever played. The one exception has been Modern. In Modern, the tribe has long lacked any identity. Not fast enough to play a pure aggro role, lacking the mana disruption of Rishadan Port and Wasteland, not able to grind enough to go long… what are the little critters to do? Grumgully, the Generous might not be the solution to all these problems, but it does offer an alternate angle of attack in the form of an infinite combo with Skirk Prospector and Murderous Redcap while simultaneously buffing your team. These pieces are searchable by Goblin Matron, and Goblin Ringleader is now available for some card advantage. Is this the moment Goblins have been waiting for?

7. Thrill of Possibility

The absence of Faithless Looting has left a huge void in Modern, and graveyard decks are presently scrambling to regain their footing. While Thrill of Possibility will have a hard time replacing Cathartic Reunion in something like Dredge which cares desperately about raw cards in the graveyard, there are graveyard-based archetypes that will absolutely relish the opportunity to start playing at instant speed.

Merchant of the Vale and its instant companion Haggle join Thrill of Possibility to provide a new angle of attack for an archetype that has completely fallen off the radar in recent times. With graveyard hate at an all-time low and blue mages shifted to Force of Negation as their primary form of disruption, there are a lot of reasons why producing a Griselbrand on your opponent’s end step has become much more appealing.

6. Drown in the Loch

Dimir Mill has occasional moments where the entire community gets excited about its metagame positioning, but it never seems to be able to find its big score. It tends to be at its absolute best when combo is the order of the day because its interaction is typically limited to depriving opponents from specific spells with Surgical Extraction and Extirpate. That’s all about to change. Drown in the Loch is ready to serve up a piece of interaction that is functional no matter what your opponent is up to. Just be sure to send it to your sideboard once Ashiok, Dream Render gets in the mix.

5. Mystic Sanctuary

Surely the most innocuous-looking card on this list, Mystic Sanctuary has the potential to redefine how Modern control decks are currently built.

While Counterbalance might be a bit of a stretch, a fetchable way to find key pieces of interaction seems like something that fits right into the playbook of a deck that attempts to account for every possible thing an opponent can do in the Modern format. Soft locks are back on the menu!

The sequence of “counter your spell, bounce my Mystic Sanctuary” is going to inspire dread in all Modern players. It’s slow, it’s a little clunky, but it’s a real end-game that will prove to be near-impenetrable with any planeswalker backup.

One of the biggest things Mystic Sanctuary does is allow a return to Terminus. Rather than just sheepishly putting your miracle in hand in the early-game when it would be lacking, you can simply cast it for a single mana and store it in your graveyard for later. The focus on Mystic Sanctuary costs us Rest in Peace, but a return to Terminus is solidifying the Dredge matchup regardless. The games where you can just continually cast your best spells against a given opponent will finally give Azorius Control some comfortable, easy wins. The deck has toiled in mediocrity for so long, it deserves them!

4. Charming Prince

Charming Prince doesn’t facially seem like a Modern-level card. All its abilities are slightly underpowered, and it’s forced to live off its versatility. Luckily for this Prince, his court is filled with some of the most loyal subjects around.

Humans as a deck is basically some mana and a bunch of “enters the battlefield” triggers. Charming Prince abuses all of these, while also allowing some tricky plays with a Vial on two. This all comes on a body that had the good sense to align with Modern’s deepest tribe. There will be times when specific flex inclusions are worth more than Charming Prince’s smorgasbord of options, but presently I like the versatility Charming Prince is bringing to the table.

3. Fires of Invention

I feel like I do this every single set these days, but I may as well go through the song and dance again. In Modern, there are a bunch of spells from Time Spiral (and one from Modern Horizons) with no converted mana costs. Wizards keeps giving us ways to ignore their suspend costs and cast them immediately. Eventually, these spells are going to do something top-tier in modern. Here’s the latest attempt.

At this point, we’re only barely pretending that we might ever suspend our spells, and I’m happy we’ve given up the pretense. This deck can do truly busted things but suffers from its own inconsistency. Additional methods of casting our key spells will do a lot to ease away some of the awkwardness.

2. Once Upon a Time

There isn’t a whole lot a can say about Once Upon a Time that I didn’t already cover in my article a couple of weeks ago. Multiple decks are about to receive a tremendous upgrade. One deck I neglected to mention in my first pass was Simic Infect. An extremely threat-light deck, Simic Infect is thrilled to accept additional virtual copies of its key cards. In addition, Simic Infect often wants to force its opponents into impossible situations by simply holding up mana and representing key pieces of interaction. Normally, this translates to a lot of inefficiency, but Once Upon a Time will allow you to do some digging in your opponent’s end step after a turn spent bluffing a combat trick.

1. Emry, Lurker of the Loch

How does Emry possibly miss in Modern? It is a mishmash of keywords that have historically proven to be the most problematic available. Cost reduction, plus recursion, plus self-mill, all on the same legendary creature? And the current best deck in Modern is an artifact-based deck that benefits from having its combo pieces in the graveyard! Not only is Emry sure to rejuvenate existing archetypes, I have no doubt she’ll inspire new ones all on her own. Here’s my first pass at Modern’s next nightmare.

While I’d listen to an argument that Emry Ascendancy is simply a worse combo deck than Whirza variants, I do think it picks up points by having a combo that is mostly immune to artifact hate. As the format becomes more and more Urza-centric, jukes like this could prove to be key. Plus, we can just turn into a Whirza deck in sideboard games.


Another new set, and another fleet of cards that demand respect in the Modern environment. For a format that is supposed to be more static than Standard, it sure feels like we’ve been adding new Modern cards at a rapid clip lately. On top of new cards, the format is still attempting to work its way through the information backlog that developed after a fast and furious few months of bans and unbans.

We already were dealing with a challenging puzzle to solve, and Throne of Eldraine has only served to up the difficulty.