Blood Moon Decks in Modern

Michael RappModern

Modern seems to have finally recovered from the banning of Mox Opal and Oko, Thief of Crowns. Out of the rubble, we’ve seen various builds of Amulet Titan emerge as the decks to beat. But an unfortunate side effect to having a best deck is that people will often want to see cards in that deck banned from the format. 

While I agree there are some cards inevitably need to go, I believe most people jump to these ban conclusions too quickly. As powerful as Amulet Titan may be, there are also unexplored avenues to beat it. Blood Moon is incredibly powerful against “bounce land tribal,” and we’re just starting to see decks use it to shut down Primeval Titan and friends. 


While I don’t believe Ponza is necessarily a contender in most metagames, it really shines when Amulet Titan and Tron are popular choices. 

Gruul Ponza by yPincipe

2 Chandra, Awakened Inferno
2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
4 Arbor Elf
2 Birds of Paradise
3 Thragtusk
4 Bonfire of the Damned
3 Mwonvuli Acid-Moss
4 Pillage
3 Stone Rain
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Blood Moon
4 Utopia Sprawl
7 Forest
1 Kessig Wolf Run
1 Mountain
4 Stomping Ground
4 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills


3 Anger of the Gods
2 Choke
1 Cindervines
2 Grafdigger’s Cage
2 Pithing Needle
2 Relic of Progenitus
3 Weather the Storm

This specific Ponza list seems quite advantaged against the Amulet Titan decks that are running around. Blood Moon will often choke them on colored mana, or potentially even lock them out of green mana entirely. Four Pillage, three Mwonvuli Acid-Moss, and four Stone Rain make bounce lands a huge liability; just destroying a single one can set an Amulet player back multiple turns. Choke is also a neat little interaction against Dryad of the Ilysian Grove, as it freezes all the Amulet player’s newfound Islands.

Between Arbor Elf, Utopia Sprawl, and Birds of Paradise, it is incredibly easy for these Ponza decks to stick a turn two Blood Moon or one of the three-mana land destruction spells. Lightning Bolt can buy the Ponza player time early in the game by picking off a Sakura-Tribe Scout, or an Azusa, Lost but Seeking. If the Amulet player can’t cast their impactful spells, Ponza can win the game with Chandra, Torch of Defiance, Chandra, Awakened Inferno, and Thragtusk.

Mardu Stoneblade

Recently, Omar Beldon has been taking down tournaments around Toronto — otherwise known as the Amulet capital of the world — with his take on Mardu Stoneblade.

4 Seasoned Pyromancer
4 Stoneforge Mystic
3 Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger
2 Ashiok, Dream Render
1 Batterskull
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
3 Fatal Push
2 Kolaghan’s Command
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Dreadbore
3 Inquisition of Kozilek
4 Lingering Souls
4 Thoughtseize
1 Mountain
1 Plains
2 Swamp
2 Arid Mesa
4 Blackcleave Cliffs
2 Blood Crypt
4 Bloodstained Mire
1 Castle Locthwain
1 Godless Shrine
3 Marsh Flats
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Silent Clearing


2 Nihil Spellbomb
2 Plague Engineer
3 Blood Moon
2 Leyline of the Void
1 Kaya’s Guile
2 Wear // Tear
2 Kambal, Consul of Allocation
1 Angrath’s Rampage

Fair decks usually struggle with Primeval Titan, but Omar seems to have figured it out. If you can squeeze Blood Moon into your fair midrange deck, your problems with Amulet become much more manageable. Unlike Ponza, disrupting your opponent’s mana isn’t the primary focus of Mardu Stoneblade; instead, you use Thoughtseize and Inquisition to make your opponent stumble until you resolve Blood Moon, or to even protect and set up the Blood Moon.

Ashiok, Dream Render may seem like a strange inclusion on the surface, but it really gives the big mana decks a fit, and turns Primeval Titan into Colossal Dreadmaw. Once you’ve shut off Titan‘s search effect, the “Tolaria West tutoring Titans” chain and the Field of the Dead plan both become much less effective. Ashiok will also fuel your graveyard for Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger, so you can close the game quickly before your opponent can find an answer to Ashiok.

Mono-Red Prowess

Mono-Red Prowess is one of the hottest decks in Modern by virtue of its ability to go fast. One distinct advantage that Prowess has right now is a strong Amulet match-up, thanks not only to its speed, but getting to play Blood Moon at nearly no cost.

Mono-Red Prowess by Lucas Molho

4 Bedlam Reveler
4 Monastery Swiftspear
3 Runaway Steam-Kin
4 Soul-Scar Mage
4 Burst Lightning
3 Lava Dart
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Manamorphose
4 Crash Through
4 Lava Spike
4 Light Up the Stage
13 Mountain
2 Fiery Islet
3 Sunbaked Canyon


3 Dragon’s Claw
2 Shrine of Burning Rage
4 Bonecrusher Giant
3 Blood Moon
2 Surgical Extraction
1 Anger of the Gods

Simple, streamlined, and brutally fast. Mono-Red Prowess has the speed and damage output to sneak its way under all but the absolute fastest of Amulet draws. You can kill a Sakura-Tribe Scout or Azusa with burn spells while getting bonus damage in with Monastery Swiftspear and Soul-Scar Mage. Once things slow down in the post-board games, Blood Moon can slam the door. Overall, I think Mono-Red Prowess is one of the best ways to take down the Simic Growth Chamber menace.

Izzet Breach

The last Blood Moon deck I want to talk about is Izzet Breach, which is an iteration on Blue Moon. Blue Moon has fallen out of favor as Modern has evolved, but over the last couple months, thepensword has taken these decks to the top of the MTGO trophy leaderboard.

1 Brazen Borrower
4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 Snapcaster Mage
3 Cryptic Command
2 Force of Negation
3 Izzet Charm
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Opt
4 Remand
4 Through the Breach
4 Omen of the Sea
1 Cascade Bluffs
3 Flooded Strand
7 Island
1 Mountain
3 Mystic Sanctuary
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Steam Vents
1 Sulfur Falls


2 Abrade
2 Anger of the Gods
2 Ashiok, Dream Render
2 Blood Moon
3 Dragon’s Claw
2 Flusterstorm
2 Relic of Progenitus

Izzet Breach is more of a combo deck than the other decks we’ve examined so far. As it turns out, one of the best ways to back up your Blood Moon is a combo finish. Izzet Breach has a lot of fair elements to it, but it mainly uses counterspells to stay alive until it can close the game with Through the Breach + Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

Once again, we see Ashiok, Dream Render in the sideboard here. This time, its primary focus is to prevent your opponent from searching their deck. Field of the Dead can cause some real issues for Emrakul’s annihilator trigger, so keeping Field offline is a must.

Blood Moon Rising 

Hopefully, these Blood Moon decks will help you stick it to Amulet Titan and other big mana decks. If there are any cool Blood Moon decks you think I missed, make sure to let me know on Twitter at @RappaciousOne. Until next week, all your opponents’ lands are Mountains.