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Four Modern, and One Legacy, Decks


Hey everyone!

I've been playing a lot of Modern lately and have plenty of updates to my favorite decks. Today I'm going to share lists for my top four Modern archetypes. My range is fairly deep in Modern so there should be a deck for most of you. Check out my previous articles as I've done deep dives on most of these archetypes recently.

I also have a Legacy 1K on Saturday and none of the stock lists have fully appealed to me. Zach Allen and I played a league with a Jeskai Control deck that plays a ton of staples I think you'll enjoy.

Let's get to it!


Temur Rhinos hasn't let me down yet. Each week I pilot the deck I get closer to the list I want to be playing in some of the higher stakes Modern events coming up.

The pieces of the maindeck I have been tweaking are:

2 Cryptic Command - I continue to be impressed with Cryptic. The latest list incorporates some changes to the mana base to better support the three Blue pips.

3 Dead // Gone - Each time I play Dead // Gone I add another copy to the deck. When I began playing Rhinos I was losing a ton of games on the draw, but the one-mana interaction helped me keep parity.

3 Seasoned Pyromancer - Three Pyromancers change the way the deck needs to be built and viewed. When I played fewer copies of Pyromancer It would be the last spell cast in hand to get value. Now that it's more likely I will have cards remaining in hand I cast them more aggressively. It ensures I will at least have a pair of rhinos on the fourth turn or I can filter away the Force of Negations or removal in Game 1.

The Seasoned Pyromancers play a different role after sideboard. Since your spells will be more relevant after board they help keep the raw card quantity high for your pitch cards. Interact early and often then refill.

1 Gemstone Caverns - Cryptic Command can be tricky to cast if I want to fetch an early Stomping Grounds, so I cut the second Caverns. It hurts my games on the draw which is slightly remedied by the extra Dead // Gone. Seasoned Pyromancer also makes the deck more color intensive, too.

2 Steam Vents - Now that I'm casting Dead // Gone and Seasoned Pyromancer more aggressively I want to skew the second color heavily toward Red. For this reason, I swapped the second Breeding Pool for Steam Vents. I only need double Green after board for hard casting Endurance and Force of Vigor.

3 Island - I swapped the second Gemstone Caverns for a third Island in order to cast Cryptic Command through Blood Moon. It's only realistic to cut a Caverns for the third Island because beginning the game with Island and a colorless Gemstone Caverns cannot cast Violent Outburst. Island pairs best with Stomping Ground which casts both Dead // Gone and suspends Crashing Footfalls on the first two turns.

A second Forest isn't needed for Blood Moon because I don't think Force of Vigor or Endurance is good against Tron. The only matchups I want Blood Moon and a double Green spell are Living End (Endurance) and Amulet Titan (Force of Vigor).

I have been keeping more seven card hands without cascade spells as my flex slots become more well-rounded cards. It's perfectly reasonable to suspend an early Crashing Footfalls and then interact with the opponent until it resolves.

Overall, Teamur Rhinos is my #1 deck at the moment.

I won a local tournament with Burn and this feels like the right build. There have been other versions of Burn doing well lately so it's a good choice regardless of the specifics.

One note about Burn's position in the metagame is the introduction of Sunset Revelry. Azorius Control will sideboard a couple copies and Elementals will also augment their life gain after board.

If you like Burn I fully endorse playing it right now.

Rakdos-based Lurrus decks have been falling out of favor recently, but Dress Shadow remains a powerful option if you like Thoughtseize. Jund Sagavan has been the most prevalent Rakdos-based Lurrus deck lately, but it hasn't felt strong. The lack of pressure and counters makes the uninteractive matchups less favorable.

A few weeks ago I was concerned about the rise of Jeskai Phoenix created by Aspiringspike, but it didn't gain traction. For this reason, I'm not considering Surgical Extraction in the sideboard. This had the potential to be one of the worst matchups. Dodged a bullet.

Azorius Control has been playing just two Chalice of the Voids recently making high velocity decks more appealing in the short run. In the past Azorius was leaning toward three Chalice of the Void and a Rest in Peace. They are taking a more reactive approach to maximize casting Memory Deluge at instant speed.

Azorius Control is the best way to play Hallowed Fountain in Modern at the moment. Control has plenty of options to interact with spells, creatures, and even lands. I'm opting to take a more classical approach to the archetype.

Spreading Seas has been very good for me which pushes toward a tap out strategy. Chalice of the Void and Rest in Peace prevent Unholy Heat from killing Jace, the Mind Sculptor. I prefer Jace to Memory Deluge because it affects the board. Even Jace's fateseal ability is stronger with the lock components that help protect him in the first place.

I've been wanting a maindeck Rest in Peace as it's strong against most Chalice matchups besides Rhinos, but helps cover other matchups. It's also White to pitch to Solitude if it's not the right matchup.

I tried the deck with twenty-four lands and I got land screwed multiple times. Azorius Control has a hard time winning without seeing the fourth land, but has plenty of mana sinks. I don't want to make an awkward play like cycling typhoon to hit a land drop.

You may notice the sideboard is filled with cards for big mana matchups. This is because I feel Game 1 is shaky so I would like some more game against Elementals and Tron.

I tried three Dovin's Veto in the sideboard and it was too many because it's like playing seven Counterspell. Force of Negation helps me be more proactive against Burn, Dredge, and Tron.

Azorius Control is a strong deck, but you can time out in close games. Most of your decisions matter a lot so it can be hard to get it right.


I tried Izzet Delver and it wasn't exactly my style. Once players see Volcanic Island they start playing around Daze making the counter suite weaker. The metagame has also adapted to Izzet by playing more removal for Murktide Regent. Even Baleful Strix is making a comeback as a flying blocker is quite strong.

Bant Control was a deck that interested me, but I didn't like playing such a high land count for Uro. I had to mulligan too many hands where I didn't start playing Magic until the third turn. This isn't where I want to be in a format where the game can be decided on the first turn.

I was then drawn to Gary Wong's winning decklist in the Legacy Pit Open:

The core of the deck has exactly what I want. Ragavan is strong in Modern, but even better in Legacy. I can ramp into planeswalkers while revealing the occasional cantrip to cast.

Dragon's Rage Channeler enables cantrips and removal to ensure I don't draw too much land. Between DRC and Ragavan I have plenty of early threats to make sure the game doesn't go on too long.

The planeswalker package of two Narset, Teferi, and Jace provide an additional card type for delirium. Izzet Delver plays Mishra's Bauble and most Jeskai decks are based around Urza's Saga for the same reason. Narset is very well positioned against Control and Combo. She embarasses Uro, Brainstorm, and Sylvan Library while finding the next Expressive Iteration.

Daze feels out of place to me, but does play well in some games with Ragavan and Mystic Sanctuary. I watched some games where Daze could counter a spell, but declined to be cast because landing a planeswalker was more important. I would rather play more interaction that scales well into the late game to clear the way for Ragavan.

Here's my list I'm likely to play in the Legacy 1K this weekend:

Not only is this my style of deck, but could be a consideration for Zach Allen when we play the NRG Team event at the end of November. I'm the Modern seat, but I do want to have an informed opinion on deck choice for Legacy.

Overall, the idea of the deck is the same, but I lean harder on Expressive Iteration. Seriously you should play four copies because the card is broken.

Mystic Sanctuary is replaced with Plateau because it's the ideal third land to play around Wasteland. The original mana base is only Tundra and Volcanic Island for colored mana making the single dual a sitting duck.

I don't want to add Mystic Sanctuary now that Plateau will be my optimal choice for a third land as it's not an Island. Wasteland is about forty dollars which makes it very accessible in paper so I want to have a stable mana base. Plateau also helps play around Carpet of Flowers in post board games against Bant Control.

The fetch lands no longer need to be blue as Misty Rainforest and Polluted Delta don't find Plateau and Mystic Sanctuary isn't a consideration. They should be diversified for Needle effects.

Since this deck is focused on generating card advantage and interacting with the board, I can cut down to two Murktide Regent. If I churn through the deck to find a threat, Murktide will be fantastic, but I don't want to be clogged with giant threats. Murktide is also strong when Dragon's Rage Channeler fuels the graveyard, but I don't want to make inorganic surveils just to make dragons larger.

Snapcaster Mage is another top end threat using the graveyard like Murktide Regent. I think of Snapcaster Mage as a fifth Expressive Iteration that can be reset with the Teferi, Time Raveler. It also doubles as graveyard hate after sideboard with Surgical Extraction.

The second Wasteland is the twentieth land. I can't cast the early spells with colorless mana, but the planeswalkers can benefit. I also wanted more cards that can be put into play easily with Expressive Iteration. I don't expect Gruul Lands to be popular in paper, but Selesnya Depths is on my radar.

That's all I have for today. Modern and Legacy remain exciting. Hopefully I'll be back with a good result at the Legacy 1K.

Thanks for reading!


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