GerryT’s 10 Things: Legacy In Modern Times

Get the popcorn! GerryT has gathered his favorite (or shall we say, the most interesting) decks from Magic Online in both Legacy and Modern! Let’s study the online meta’s various quirks and innovations with one of the best!

While I was at #GPVegas doing #MarduThings with 10,000 of my closest
friends, the rest of the Magic world was battling online, creating brews
solely for your entertainment.


10. Robot Prison

This deck makes a ton of sense and is actually really scary. Prison decks
now have an additional way to cast Chalice of the Void (for one) on Turn 1
with some fast Mox Opal draws. You don’t have to work too hard to get that
package in the deck since having Welding Jar to protect Ensnaring Bridge is
actually great. Sorcerous Spyglass provides answers to cards like Karn
Liberated and Oblivion Stone that could break up your lock.

Ghirapur Aether Grid is a beautiful finisher that’s capable of removing
Meddling Mage on Ensnaring Bridge. I could see Karn, Scion of Urza being a
little awkward with Ensnaring Bridge, but you have complete control over
that. The backup plan of creating giant Constructs (that happen to shoot
things with Ghirapur Aether Grid) is probably too good to pass up.

The more these prison decks evolve, the more terrified of playing Modern I

9. A Control Deck Only A Hall of Famer Could Love

With some random looking numbers–Three Serum Visions and two Opt? Thirteen
basic land? Random Pithing Needle?–and a sideboard completely full of
singletons, it’s clear that this is a Gabriel Nassif creation. To top it
off, The Scarab God makes an appearance in Modern, which isn’t completely
surprising. It’s even less surprising that the first person I know of who
goes 5-0 with The Scarab God in Modern is Gab.

Still, there should be a lesson here. If Jeskai Control is one of the best
decks in the format, there are likely other control options that are
viable. Maybe Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is the new hotness, but it’s not
like Jeskai is only viable with Teferi. Given that, it means there are
other shells for controlling decks out there that could be great.

8. 18 Islands

You know, blue sure does have a lot of counterspells in Modern. We don’t
quite exist in the olden days where you could play 30 counterspells and get
away with it, but twelve counterspells and some threats seems to get the
job done.

There are some sketchy choices here, like Snapback, Blighted Cataract, and
Whiplash Trap, but it’s not like Mono-Blue is typically known for its
powerful sideboard options. A small splash for Lightning Bolt doesn’t seem
difficult since there’s no real reward for playing 18 Islands, but it is
very cool to 5-0 on hard mode.

7. Maindeck Pyroblast Makes Me Happy

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Painter, but now that Kolaghan’s Command
is all over the place, it’s pretty likely that it will stay that way. If
you can keep a Painter’s Servant on the battlefield, Pyroblast can protect
it, but it’s a tall order. Your best bet is probably Blood Moon locking
them out of a color.

This version of the deck might have too much going on, specifically with
the Imperial Recruiter package. It might seem nice to have an answer for
anything, but you need to hammer down and focus on what you actually need
during games. Dire Fleet Daredevil and Goblin Rabblemaster strike me as

Treasure Map is a cool addition that doesn’t quite replace Sensei’s
Divining Top, but it does give you a mana boost that’s necessary to play
and activate the combo all in one turn.

6. Counter-Cat Comeback

Tribal Zoo, Delver of Secrets, and Counter-Cat have basically been absent
from Modern as of late. One of the very, very good reasons for that is
Humans, since it mostly invalidates other disruptive creature decks. I
don’t think much has changed here, especially since Delver of Secrets has
less than a 50% chance to transform.

Utilizing Spell Snare as the counterspell of choice is odd, especially
considering it’s close to dead in many matchups. I’m curious to see what
the rationale there is. Overall, the card quality here is high, and
Snapcaster Mage on Tribal Flames will end a lot of games, but I can’t
recommend playing a deck similar to this one.

5. Getting Fancy

When did Pox-ing people become so complicated?

Now there’s Chalice of the Void, a small Living Wish toolbox, and host of
crazy numbers. Bontu’s Last Reckoning even makes an appearance!

Are we in such a world that rather than grind our opponents into dust with
Raven’s Crime, we must be doing something more proactive? Is grinding
someone out actually better than trying to resolve a Chalice of the Void?
Is this deck the successor to Four-Color Loam or something else entirely?

Time will tell.

4. Day Of The Fae

If you’re looking for something that beats up on blue mirrors in Legacy, it
must be immune to both Pyroblast and Hydroblast. Being a creature is fine,
but it would be better if it weren’t because of the plethora of removal
that’s in these decks.

Bitterblossom is one of the cards that people are turning to, hoping to
gain an edge against other blue decks, and this deck basically pushes that
to the max. There aren’t many synergies with it, but the game plan is
clearly to stick one early and ride it to victory. There’s the ubiquitous
splash for Deathrite Shaman, but other than that, you can find most of what
you need in blue and black.

3. Tom Ross Is Gone, But His Legacy Lives On

Aaron Barich may have won the Invitational with G/U Infect, but G/B Infect
put two copies into the Top 8 of the Magic Online PTQ last weekend.
Phyrexian Crusader looks great, as do the other black cards, and that seems
to give G/B Infect a significant advantage over its counterpart. With Fatal
Push and discard in the mix, you get to interact a bit more and slow your
opponent down, which makes Phyrexian Crusader playable.

Despite being relatively new and unrefined, G/B Infect has had numerous
successes in the last couple weeks. With the format shifting more toward
Tron and Ironworks, Infect looks to be in a great position to capitalize,
regardless of what it looks like.

2. Standstill Being Playable Is A Myth

The only time I have ever registered Standstill in Legacy was when Mental
Misstep was legal. When you had Mental Misstep, it was comically easy to
untap on a dry battlefield and play Standstill. Everyone has several
one-drops nowadays, including Deathrite Shaman, so making Standstill work
in your favor isn’t easy. I suppose Myth Realized is a solution to that
particular problem, but it isn’t a good one. It’s not a good threat on its
own and playing poor cards to make Standstill work doesn’t seem worth it to

If you must play Standstill at parity, you need to make your land drops,
lest you risk constantly discarding to hand size. Playing Ponder alongside
22 lands is normally reasonable, but with Standstill, you’d often prefer
those Ponders just be lands.

This deck is a cool take and something to do with your Terminuses in the
wake of the Miracles nerf, but this isn’t where I’d want to be.

1. 8 Whack = 1 Win

Rizer is one of the winniest players on Magic Online, at least in premier
level events. He once won two of the giant MOCS tournaments in a row. He
won the entire event with Goblins, a deck most people don’t respect nearly
enough. For this PTQ, he even streamed the entire event with no delay!

Four Grim Lavamancers highlight the innovation in this archetype, although
there’s more to it than that. There are no Goblin Chieftains or Mogg War
Marshals in this Goblin deck, so aside from Goblin Grenade, there really
aren’t any tribal synergies. He also included Devastating Summons to go
with his 8-Whack package and had nine cards from Dominaria in his

Congrats to Rizer! Welcome back to the Pro Tour.