With Mythic Championship II just behind us and Modern Horizons coming up, there’s been a lot of buzz about the Modern format. We’ve also seen a huge influx of new Magic players to the competitive ecosystem with the advent of MTG Arena, so we wanted to offer a quick introduction to the Modern format.
Modern is a non-rotating format that includes cards from Eighth Edition to the present. That card pool includes some of the most powerful and efficiently-costed creatures and spells ever printed, so Modern decks have a much higher power level than the Standard decks you may be used to.
An extensive banned list keeps the Modern format in check. Here’s a list of all the cards that are currently banned in Modern:
Bridge from Below
Dig Through Time
Eye of Ugin
Field of the Dead
Glimpse of Nature
Green Sun’s Zenith
Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis
Oko, Thief of Crowns
Once Upon a Time
Rite of Flame
Seat of the Synod
Sensei’s Divining Top
Simian Spirit Guide
Tree of Tales
Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath
Vault of Whispers
Last updated: February 15, 2021
Modern Decks for Beginners
Competitive Magic players often refer to Modern as “The Players’ Format.” Unlike Standard, whose metagame changes rapidly and rewards players who choose the right deck for the tournament, Modern rewards those who know their decks inside and out. The format is diverse enough that your favorite deck often has a fighting chance, no matter how fringe it may be.
If you’re looking to start playing Modern, here are a few beginner-friendly decks that we’d recommend.
Burn is a perennial favorite for newer Modern players. It’s relatively affordable to build, and even budget versions of the deck can be successful in tournaments.
Modern Burn is blisteringly fast, with plenty of one-mana creatures and spells in its arsenal. That means you can power up a Monastery Swiftspear quickly, especially if you have a Rift Bolt coming off suspend the turn you attack with it. Eidolon of the Great Revel is also a fantastic tool for Burn to win races against other decks that have low-cost spells to cast.
Burn’s game plan is easy to understand, but its nuances take time and practice to master. We highly recommend it to any new Modern players, or players looking to expand their range.
Like Burn, Bogles has a straightforward game plan:
- Play a creature with hexproof (such as Slippery Bogle)
- Attach auras to it
Most importantly, the Bogles deck has the tools to deal with just about any challenge. Worried about board wipes? Suit your Bogle up with Hyena or Spider Umbra. Blockers in your way? Give your creature flying with Gryff’s Boon or protection from creatures with Spirit Mantle. Liliana of the Veil got you down? Play a Dryad Arbor and sacrifice it so you can keep your Slippery Bogle.
Tribal decks are fixtures of the Modern metagame. While Humans and Spirits tend to get the most press, there are plenty of other viable options, including a favorite of green mages: Elves!
Elves is a creature-combo deck that uses Nettle Sentinel and Heritage Druid to generate absurd amounts of mana. Its Plan A is to flood the board with creatures and win with a Shaman of the Pack trigger, though attacking with those creatures can often get the job done, especially when you have Ezuri, Renegade Leader to make them bigger.
Elves is a great starting place for aspiring combo players, or anyone looking to get some extra mileage out of their Collected Companies.
Which deck would you like to try out in Modern? Let us know on Twitter at @Card_Kingdom!