Analyzing Zendikar Rising’s Impact on Modern

Michael Rapp Modern

Zendikar Rising has shown that it has a number of cards that are Modern-playable, and many of them are already bearing results. While I wrote about how premier decks such as Amulet Titan and Death’s Shadow were getting new toys, it was the dark horses of Modern that had the most to gain. Death and Taxes, Dimir Mill, and Belcher …

Top 5 Zendikar Rising Cards for Modern

Michael Rapp Modern

Wow, I can’t believe that Zendikar Rising is already here! Naturally, as I do with each new set, I sat down and found what I believe are the best five cards for Modern. Zendikar Rising was a bit tougher than previous sets, as the party and kicker mechanics don’t translate well into eternal formats. That left two categories: cards that …

Zendikar Rising: Best Budget Cards

Scott Cullen Modern, Pioneer

Zendikar Rising is just upon us, and it’s looking to be a set that’s breaking new ground. Literally — it’s doing some weird new things with lands. While this may be a lower-power set compared to others from the past year, it’s already proving to have many useful and flexible new toys for us to play with. Most of the …

A New Scourge in Modern

Michael Rapp Modern

I can’t think of a new Magic card in recent memory that has excited me as much as Scourge of the Skyclaves. Black has certainly taken a back seat in recent sets when it comes to Modern-playable cards, especially aggressively-slanted creatures. But Scourge of the Skyclaves looks a lot like Death’s Shadow if you squint hard enough, and as a …

Modern Horizons: Past, Present, and Future

Michael Rapp Modern

On June 14th, 2019, Wizards of the Coast released Modern Horizons: a groundbreaking new set that seeded cards directly into Modern — something players had been requesting for years. Modern Horizons was supposed to fill holes in Modern by providing new cards tailored just for the format while bypassing Standard. Naturally, there were some growing pains involved in designing and …

Playing Control in Modern

Michael Rapp Modern

If you were playing Modern before the release of War of the Spark and Modern Horizons, you may not think that putting Cryptic Command in your deck is a winning strategy. Modern decks have long been built for speed and efficiency, and tapping out for a Cryptic Command could often leave control players in a tenuous spot. You’d usually be …

Modern Niv to Light Deck Guide

Michael Rapp Modern

Wait! Before you close this tab, yes, this is a Modern Niv to Light article. Many of you may know Niv to Light from its success in Pioneer, but it’s been making the rounds in Modern, too. If, like me, you’ve played the Pioneer version of this deck, it’s worth giving the Modern equivalent a look — especially if your …

Why You Should Play 4-Color Shadow

Michael Rapp Modern

Chances are if you’re a Death’s Shadow fan, or in tune with the movements of Modern, you’ve noticed a certain divide between Jund Shadow and Four-Color Shadow. Naturally, when two variations of a deck are close in power, there will often be questions about which version they should play, and today I’m going to make a case for Four-Color Shadow. …

The Rise of Ponza in Modern

Michael Rapp Modern

For a long time, Ponza wasn’t considered a competitive Modern deck. It emerged in an environment with strong combo decks, where it was often at a disadvantage, and lacked the card quality to keep up with other midrange decks. But now, Ponza — more commonly known as Gruul Midrange — is among the best-performing decks in Modern.  What happened? How …

Modern Izzet Blitz Deck Guide

Michael Rapp Modern

Over the last few months, red-based prowess decks in Modern have adopted a variety of secondary colors. The first stop was white, largely to use Path to Exile to gain some advantage in the mirror and against Eldrazi Tron and Primeval Titan decks. Then came Lurrus of the Dream-Den, and the prowess decks moved to black to incorporate Fatal Push …