Welcome to What We’d Play! With the arrival of Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, many are unsure what they’d play in Modern. That’s where we come in and let you know what we’d play and why we’d play it. Hopefully this advice aids in your decision making for your next Modern event.
Ari Lax — Mono-White Hammer (Lurrus)
I’m giving my try hard answer this week. If I had to play Modern for a significant prize tomorrow, I would regret not having played another 100 matches with Mono-White Hammer (Lurrus) over the last month. On a different weekend maybe I would say the same about Temur Crashcade or Living End, but I think those three decks are significantly above the rest of the metagame on a broad scale. Hammer is the deck you show up with when people start getting a little too weird with things, Living End when they get too interactive, and Crashcade when the interaction is required but gets a bit too specific. Right now we’re at the weird phase of the metagame, and it’s time to remind people about +10/+10 and Urza’s Saga.
Boros Burn (Lurrus), Dimir or Azorius Mill (Lurrus), and Esper Reanimator are the next few decks I have on the table. All of those decks are a tier lower in power or resiliency to direct hate compared to those prior three decks and the risk of complete failure is higher, but they are all uniquely strong enough to be worth keeping in your back pocket when it looks like the metagame is going to line up.
Shaheen Soorani — Azorius Control
- 4 Solitude
The only decision I must make in Modern is whether to play a two- or three-color control deck. The power of Azorius-based control in the format has been solid for years, even with the constant metagame shifts. Each version of the deck has the same powerful foundation, which includes strong counterspells (actual Counterspell now), card draw, and planeswalkers. If Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, and Teferi, Time Raveler exist in Modern, I will play them.
This version of Azorius Control is interesting to me and I plan on taking it for a spin this week. I’ve been in love with Memory Deluge in Standard, but skeptical on its impact in Modern. With the card draw produced by the planeswalkers, control players have been spoiled with advantage each turn they remain on the battlefield. Without Snapcaster Mage and with Chalice of the Void, Consider is not a part of the team, which then opens an opportunity for a card like Memory Deluge.
As excited as I am for Memory Deluge seeing Modern play, my heart is with Sunset Revelry. This player uses it in the main deck and the sideboard, an exact strategy that I’m deploying with every Azorius Control deck moving forward. The card is too good to not start and can single-handedly shift the metagame balance away from aggro decks of the format, in favor of control with improved lifegain. The rest of the deck is stock in the Chalice of the Void builds and I am very excited to compete with it this week!
Corey Baumeister — Izzet Midrange
This is the first week in quite a while where I would put down Grixis Death Shadow. I’m a huge fan of that deck and it suits my playstyle quite well. The problem with that deck these days is Mono-Green Tron and Boros Burn (Lurrus) have found new life in the metagame and those are both very tricky matchups.
Izzet Midrange plays pretty similarly to Grixis Death’s Shadow but it has the luxury of turning into a Blue Moon deck after sideboard against Mono-Green Tron. It’s very tough for Mono-Green Tron to win when you can start with a giant Murktide Regent and back it up with either Blood Moon or counterspells. Sometimes you get to do both with Force of Negation in your deck! You also gain a ton against Boros Burn (Lurrus) when you don’t have to deal yourself a ton of damage with the painful manabase of Grixis Death’s Shadow.
Outside of those two tricky matchups raising in popularity, Izzet Midrange has game against everything thanks to Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer backed up with disruption. You have to try really hard to make your deck bad after you start with that set of cards.
Dom Harvey — Five-Color Control
Five-Color Bring to Light disappeared abruptly from Modern and I still can’t quite figure out why (I know, it’s literally my job. I’m trying!). The deck suffers when there are several fast linear strategies demanding different responses but that phase seems to have passed. Decks like Azorius Control or Jund Midrange (Lurrus) that Scapeshift has always preyed on are gaining in popularity and the linear decks making waves right now can be fought with generic interaction that covers most of your bases. Flusterstorm fights the control and combo decks, Lightning Bolt helps with the creature decks, and the two team up for a rare crossover episode against Boros Burn (Lurrus). Relic of Progenitus hits new darlings like Esper Reanimator or Jeskai Phoenix and was always strong against Dragon’s Rage Channeler and Unholy Heat. This frees up space for narrow but effective answers like Force of Vigor for Mono-White Hammer (Lurrus).
More broadly, I’ve been more and more impressed by Omnath, Locus of Creation in various decks so my plan in many matchups involves just resolving that card and then a flurry of landfall triggers until they lose the will to keep playing. The fact that it’s the best threat possible against the resurgent Goblin Guide doesn’t hurt either. With these updates and the recent trends in the metagame I’m cautiously optimistic that Five-Color Bring to Light can become a recurring feature of Modern again.
Todd Anderson — Izzet Midrange
At this point, it is hard to call Izzet Midrange anything other than the best deck in the format. It consistently puts up absurd finishes, has one of the best aggressive gameplans in the market, and has the answers to back up those threats. It’s the Izzet Delver deck I’ve always wanted in Modern, it just doesn’t play Delver of Secrets, and that’s fine! Delver sucks anyway.
The biggest reason to play this deck is Unholy Heat. It’s essentially Swords to Plowshares in a color that traditionally has a tough time defeating large monsters like Tarmogoyf or Primeval Titan. That’s no longer the case, meaning we can play a bunch of cheap threats like Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and Dragon’s Rage Channeler and ride them to victory. In the late-game, Murktide Regent threatens to be one of the fastest closers in the business, often allowing you to cast it and protect it in the same swing.
I like this build because a few copies of Force of Negation can sway matchups that are disastrous on paper. A single Force of Negation will end the game against Bring to Light, Scapeshift, or even Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. Decks like this have played Force of Negation in the past, but it lost some popularity due to those decks not showing up. Now that they’re back, we can resume using Force of Negation to ruin their day.
This is also the best Expressive Iteration deck, which is the most outrageous card draw spell printed in years. I absolutely love casting it in every format, and this deck can often double spell off it, which is the sweet spot when you’re playing older formats. The lower your curve, and less reactive your interaction, the more likely it is that Expressive Iteration finds a removal spell and threat, or some combination of cards that wasn’t possible with a single draw. It’s the best spell to find in the late-game, and often the card that keeps you running smoothly on the third turn.
Just play Izzet. It’s the best deck.