MTG Dungeons and Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms available now!
   Sign In
Create Account

Metagaming Goodstuff Decks at Your LGS


Hey everyone!

Most articles I read about Modern explain weekly metagame developments which change the value of each card in the format. While this is helpful, it's really a summary about what's happening on Magic Online.

Real life Modern events have low stakes where competitive players are willing to cross state lines to play a 1K. How times have changed. Most Modern events played in paper are FNMs or other weekly tournaments. Each week you will face familiar opponents who have a general idea of the types of decks you prefer and vice-versa.

There are plenty of decks that win games via card advantage, interaction, and a unique victory condition. Each of these decks have plenty of overlap, but mixing it up makes it harder for your opponents to pinpoint the right sideboard cards and strategies when you play.

An example is moving between Grixis Lurrus and Izzet Murktide to keep opponents on their toes. Murktide Regent is a powerful dragon who is weak to Supreme Verdict, Terminate, and Solitude while Grixis Lurris is indifferent to creatures dying thanks to numerous copies of Kolaghan's Command.

Your store's metagame is also a consideration when bouncing between adjacent archetypes. For example, Chalice of the Void tends to play out better on Magic Online because it's best against Izzet Murktide and Cascade strategies. FNM is filled with decks from past years; there are likely only a handful of players with the up-to-date tech.

Today I'm going to cover the decks I've been liking and the archetypes I consider playing in the future to mix it up. Let's get started!

I went undefeated at my last FNM with Grixis Lurrus without dropping a game. It played smoothly as drawing more lands meant Lurrus could come out to play and stalling on two leads to interacting with the opponent until they ran out of resources.

Kroxa plays better in paper because goodstuff decks are easier to build. I face more grindy decks at FNM because the linear strategies require investing in cards that have little overlap with the next strategy you build.

Many lists play a Seal of Removal, Engineered Explosives, or Nihil Spellbomb in the maindeck to support delirium. Kroxa actually performs a similar function because land, instant, and sorcery go to the graveyard quickly making creature, enchantment, and artifact play a similar role.

I found that Inquisition of Kozilek plays a key role in establishing delirium early as well so I sideboard them out less frequently. Expressive Iteration is the only sorcery in the deck that doesn't discard cards and is not ideally cast until turn four. It's also a way to discard hateful sideboard cards.

Grixis Lurrus is a great gateway deck to other Ragavan decks because it plays out similarly to other value decks without needing the fourth copy of the monkey.

Kolaghan's Command is a great card to play in paper because it lines up well against Stoneforge Mystic decks. She is a crowd favorite in paper and I like to have a good matchup against equipment.

Unholy Heat played out surprisingly well last week. Aside from the obvious interaction of killing Primeval Titan and Dryad of the Ilysian Grove for one mana, I also killed Archon of Cruelty out of Orzhov Stoneblade and an infect creature with Wild Defiance on the battlefield. The one threat that scares me is a Germ token with Kaldra Compleat.

Pyrite Spellbomb played out better than expected as well. It's a tough sell to bring in Kozilek's Return or Engineered Explosives without knowing the opponent plays Sanctifier en-Vec, but Pyrite Spellbomb improves your chances of getting delirium and can draw a card each turn with Lurrus as a floor.

Most decks play Sanctifier en-Vec in the sideboard, but I've seen Heliod Company play it maindeck. This strategy is being slept on and beats a lot of 2021 decks.

Blood Moon isn't popular on Magic Online, but I wasn't surprised to see it next to me at FNM. There are some players that want to watch the world burn and others just don't want to lose to Tron again. Regardless of their motive, it must be respected and Aether Gust has earned its keep.

Aether Gust is also a way to fight the Cascade decks without committing to a narrow sideboard card like Chalice of the Void. I can put Crashing Footfalls and Glimpse of Tomorrow back in the deck or have extra interaction against Burn.

I played Burn at FNM a couple months ago and it was embarrassing because the Asmor Food decks were present. Now that Food is less popular, Burn might not be a bad choice. Just beware not everyone got the memo that Collective Brutality and Timely Reinforcement aren't 2021 Modern cards.

Flusterstorm is a less narrow sideboard option to fight Cascade because it can also come in against control decks. Celestial Colonnade decks aren't found often on Magic Online, but it's not uncommon to face Cryptic Command at FNM.

Rakdos and Mardu Lurrus

Lurrus decks with an emphasis on Black are weaker in less competitive metagames because Dauthi Voidwalker shines against Living End and Temur Rhinos. It's fine in pseudo-mirrors, but will usually die to removal spells the turn it enters the battlefield.

The splash color typically allows Rakdos-based Lurrus decks to avoid playing Dauthi Voidwalker, but White's powerful early threat is Stoneforge Mystic. This will naturally encourage you to play equipment with mana values greater than two.

A big draw to Mardu Lurrus against more unknown opponents is being able to lean on Prismatic Ending and Kaya's Guile. Most of the card advantage in Lurrus decks rely on the graveyard. When I hear people discussing Mardu Lurrus they point to Prismatic Ending being the main draw, but Kaya's Guile is the more powerful of the two spells in Modern.

RIW Teammate, Raja Sulaiman, suggested adding a Night's Whisper as a substitute for Expressive Iteration that sounds good. I trimmed a Thoughtseize to avoid taking too much damage against a potentially aggressive opponent.

This is another deck that takes advantage of Kroxa and Kolaghan's Command. It's a more well-rounded deck than Grixis Lurrus which goes over the top on card advantage and has less polarizing matchups as a result. Prismatic Ending and Kaya's Guile are able to interact with pesky permanents that threaten to shut off your graveyard-based card advantage.

Zoomer Jund (Lurrus)

If you aren't playing Grixis there aren't good options to replace Dauthi Voidwalker without playing Green for Tarmogoyf and Wrenn and Six. Aspiringspike brewed the following list:

This ain't your grandpappy's Jund deck as there are plenty of ways to spend mana in the late game to avoid flooding out and drawing nothing but hand disruption. This deck is incredibly lean and plays some of the strongest cards in the format.

The Boomer Jund decks would be lucky to have a "fast" draw of curving discard into Tarmogoyf which is now an average start for this version. You still may face Boomer Jund at FNM because a significant amount of the opponent's collection may be tied up in foiled versions of cards that are no longer top tier. The same could be said for foiled out Merfolk decks. You know the one with blue sleeves, blue playmat, and blue deck box.

Even though the Green cards are powerful they don't get away from the core issue of Rakdos-based Lurrus decks relying on the graveyard to close the game. Tarmogoyf and Wrenn and Six want a full graveyard to realize their potential.

Goyf and Wrenn can both be cast off Mountain which goes a long way to increase the number of turns you can double-spell. The most powerful 1-drops in Modern are all Red, which created tension with Dauthi Voidwalker in the Rakdos and Mardu shells.

Ancient Grudge is an excellent sideboard card that rivals Wear // Tear. It can't destroy Urza's Saga or Sigarda's Aid, but can be cast over two turns. Instant-speed is strongly preferred against Hammertime as this is a reasonable deck to face at FNM because most of the cost is from Stoneforge Mystic and Urza's Saga. I've heard frustrations from players that get beat by Hammertime when Shattering Spree was their interaction for artifacts.

This particular list plays a whopping three Engineered Explosives to clean up Rest in Peace and Sanctifier en-Vec.

Izzet Murktide

I will preface this deck with: I've tried to make splashing work, but there is just too much tension with wanting a low amount of lands and high spell velocity for Murktide Regent. If you want to play Murktide Regent, focus on speed rather than trying to answer every threat. This will naturally lead to hostile metagames making it difficult to win for an extended period of time.

In my last article I mentioned the waning popularity of Izzet Murktide only to be embarrassed by the weekend MODO Challenge results. That sums up this deck pretty well. This is the Dredge of fair decks. Just when you think it's safe to unsleeve your Terminates and Paths, a Murktide Regent will strike.

I don't expect too many Chalice of the Voids in paper, but there's an Engineered Explosives and Brazen Borrower to fight them off in the maindeck. I've seen players on Eldrazi Tron just because that was their favorite deck before the pandemic.

The top players in a local event may be playing Lurrus and lean threats, but Archmage's Charm doesn't line up well against decks that were powerful prior to 2020. I noticed the charm had fewer threats to steal in the earlier rounds. There's a reason this card wasn't popular in Modern before the pandemic.

General Ferrous Omnath Soup

This is another Aspiringspike brew. In general, I'm not a huge fan of Chalice of the Void at the moment, but General Ferrous Rokiric is a way to have a more proactive clock. Another way to have a proactive clock backed by Chalice of the Void is combining Bring to Light with Scapeshift and Dryad of the Ilysian Grove, but I don't like how that matches up against Teferi, Time Raveler.

General Rokiric allows you to effortlessly build around Chalice of the Void because multicolored spells largely cost a minimum of two mana. Don't get too carried away with filling the deck with multicolored spells to enable the General because it's pretty solid with just a single 4/4.

This is a solid deck to play if other strong players at your store are on Izzet Murktide. I don't like that Kolaghan's Command kills Chalice of the Void out of decks filled with 1-drops.

If you have been an avid collector of Modern cards before the pandemic, most of the deck should be complete with Wrenn and Six greatly contributing to the cost. This entire Omnath pillar of the metagame doesn't require Ragavan which is a big draw.

Wrapping up

The Pandemic has shaken up the game, but we are now back to playing paper events. One of my greatest strengths in prior years was picking out decks that stood up to the top players as well as the fringe archetypes. This is a skill we haven't needed for over a year due to the efficiency of online metagames. I'm happy to be using this skill once again.

Thanks for reading!


Limited time 35% buy trade in bonus buylist