Last week I wrote about the hottest decks in Modern to be playing right now, the up-and-comers disrupting the metagame, striving to be at the top of the heap.
This week we’re going to shift gears and head towards the other end of the format, from the cream of the crop to the bottom of the barrel.
The fringes. The rogue. The unexpected and the weird. We’re digging deep for treasure. We’re going on craigslist and trying to find a Modern deck.
Jank is a subjective term. We’ll try to pick a mix of some really strange decks and some weird but playable decks with lots of potential. Some will be my own creation, and some have been putting up recent results.
All right, it’s time for my Top 8 jankiest Modern decks you should be playing right now!
We start with a deck from just this last weekend at #SCGBALT piloted by Steve Rubin. This deck is more Rakdos and more off the chain than a drunk Gore-House Chainwalker. It looks like so much fun and has a solid element of competitiveness to it as well. There are a lot of ways for things to go horribly wrong, but even more ways for things to go Hollowly right!
Will you Turn 1 Burning Inquiry and then cast multiple Hollow Ones, or Turn 1 Burning Inquiry and end up discarding all your Hollow Ones to the Burning Inquiry?
Gurmag Angler seems incredibly easy to cast as early as Turn 2 for the deck, thanks to Street Wraith, fetchlands, Burning Inquiry, Faithless Looting, and Cathartic Reunion. A one-mana 5/5 is always a good time, no matter what format or deck you’re playing.
If you’re like me, you had to read Flamewake Phoenix to remember exactly what it did. It has great synergy in the deck, though. Ideally you’re getting Flamewake Phoenix in your graveyard with all your discard spells and then returning it with the ferocious ability. You have Gurmag Angler and Hollow One to easily enable ferocious, but it also shouldn’t be hard to Flameblade Adept to get up to four power, either.
This deck is the definition of all-in with a solid core of speed and power.
- 4 Weathered Wayfarer
- 4 Springjack Shepherd
- 4 Knight of the White Orchid
- 1 Iona, Shield of Emeria
- 1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
- 1 Sigarda, Host of Herons
- 1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
- 1 Bruna, the Fading Light
- 1 Gisela, the Broken Blade
- 4 Thalia's Lancers
Here we Goat again… It just wouldn’t be an article about meme decks without mentioning Goat Devotion.
I’m no expert on Goats, so if you want to get your Goat tech fresh from the source, check out @goattribal on twitter or https://www.twitch.tv/goattribal. I have dabbled in goat-mancy before, though.
Thalia’s Lancers fits nicely with the devotion theme and gives you plenty to ramp into with Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. Unfortunately there aren’t any legendary Goats to tutor up, so we’ll have to settle for one of the many legendary creatures like Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger; Iona, Shield of Emeria; or, since planeswalkers received errata to be legendary, Elspeth, Sun’s Champion. Disappointing, I know, but it’s the best we’ve got until they print a nice juicy legendary Goat lord. Until then, we just need to keep demanding…
- 2 Birds of Paradise
- 2 Kitchen Finks
- 4 Arbor Elf
- 3 Inferno Titan
- 1 Obstinate Baloth
- 1 Thrun, the Last Troll
- 2 Huntmaster of the Fells
- 1 Thragtusk
- 2 Stormbreath Dragon
- 3 Tireless Tracker
G/R Ponza decks all look weird at first glance, but they have a bunch of strange elements that all blend together to make something delicious.
The big appeal of the deck is Turn 2 Blood Moon accelerated by Arbor Elf, Birds of Paradise, or Utopia Sprawl. There isn’t actually all that much land destruction in the maindeck, but the plan of ramping into fatties works, especially in a metagame where tribal decks are picking up steam. Inferno Titan seems like a nice card to play against Humans, Merfolk, or Elves. A quick Blood Moon is even decent against Merfolk if they’re splashing green.
Anytime I see Tireless Tracker in Constructed after it rotated out of Standard, it makes my heart flutter. A creature that draws you cards and slowly runs away with the game if left unchecked can work anywhere, anytime. Mwonvuli Acid-Moss with Tireless Tracker is also downright filthy.
Ramping into a quick Chandra, Torch of Defiance or Garruk Relentless also seems potentially backbreaking. They both act as removal or a sticky threat that starts gaining advantage immediately. Chandra, Torch of Defiance is going to be great for additional ramping, and if you flip Garruk into Garruk, the Veil-Cursed, you can use his -1 to tutor up a nice big creature like Inferno Titan.
- 1 Wall of Roots
- 4 Greater Gargadon
- 4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
- 3 Worldspine Wurm
- 2 Whirler Virtuoso
- 4 Servant of the Conduit
- 4 Rogue Refiner
I still haven’t figured out how to build this deck optimally, but something compels me to keep trying. I love the idea of sacrificing all your permanents and casting Emrakul, the Aeons Torn with Aetherworks Marvel. You can see my past attempt here.
This version is a little closer to old-school Standard versions with Whirler Virtuoso and Servant of the Conduit. Who knows? If it was good enough to be banned in Standard, it might one day be a decent Modern choice.
- 3 Eternal Witness
- 3 Tarmogoyf
- 1 Vendilion Clique
- 1 Scavenging Ooze
- 4 Snapcaster Mage
- 1 Huntmaster of the Fells
There’s not too much we haven’t seen before, but it’s not exactly a deck you see that often, so it’s worth a couple glances.
Aether Vial with Eternal Witness or Snapcaster Mage threatens to generate a ton of value when paired with Cryptic Command. Your opponent is going to always be in a tough spot if you have access to Aether Vial and untapped mana. It’s a tricky deck to play and even trickier to play against.
I love the idea of Tireless Tracker in the deck and wouldn’t mind seeing more copies. Tracker works really nicely with Aether Vial, allowing you to stockpile fetchlands until you’re ready to Vial it in. Then you can make a bunch of Clues and crack them with all that mana you saved!
Here’s the deck for anyone looking to make a pacifist run at your next Modern tournament. In this case, it would probably be more of a Pacifism run. In any case, you won’t be killing your opponents quickly, since your main win condition is Mistveil Plains. Okay, it’s actually Starfield of Nyx, but that’s just not as fun as waiting until your opponent gets decked.
Overwhelming Splendor is an expensive new enchantment that’s in our color, so why not toss it in? It might not actually accomplish a whole lot for the cost, but if it’s free to find off Enduring Ideal, then it’s a bargain. It is nice to have access to Overwhelming Splendor for shrinking your opponent’s entire team at once, and it even turns off annoying things like Tectonic Edge or Gavony Township.
The deck also gets access to Field of Ruin, which is nice compared to Tectonic Edge or Ghost Quarter, since using it doesn’t actually slow you down as you climb to seven mana.
The perfect deck for those who want to say, “You’ve just triggered my trap card!” as often as possible. Also a good deck for anyone looking to say, “I’ll start my turn by playing Visions of Beyond, which allows me to draw three more cards!”
Speaking of activating trap cards, the deck has plenty of ways to entice your opponent into searching their library for Archive Trap. Path to Exile is the main one, but Field of Ruin does the trick quite nicely too. Field of Ruin also works well for activating Hedron Crab or Fraying Sanity just a little extra. It’s also likely your opponent will just run out of basic lands before long, since you’ll be milling them as well.
Oboro, Palace in the Clouds is another way to guarantee your Hedron Crabs are happy, since you can replay it every turn you’d otherwise miss a land drop.
Crypt Incursion and Surgical Extraction are necessary ways to beat an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, which would otherwise keep shuffling your opponent’s graveyard back into their library forever as soon as you mill it. You won’t necessarily see too many flying spaghetti monsters tangling up your plans in the current metagame right now, which is a good thing for the deck. Crypt Incursion is also a major haymaker in a lot of matchups, like against Burn or Living End, that can win you otherwise unwinnable games.
Finally we have a Doubling Season deck. If you’re looking for jank, you came to the right place.
The main idea is simple. Ramp into Doubling Season. Then cast Nahiri, the Harbinger or Jace, Architect of Thought; ultimate immediately; and get Emrakul, the Aeons Torn on your side of the battlefield.
The backup plan, if something happens to Emrakul, is to ultimate Ral Zarek and possibly take some more turns, followed by ultimating Jace, Cunning Castaway; making as many copies of Jace, Cunning Castaway as you want; and making as many 2/2 Illusions as you want. Good clean fun, if you ask me.
Jank You for Reading!
Life is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get, and you never know what the next breakout deck will be! I hope you enjoyed what I had to offer today, and I’ll see you next time!