One interesting part of non-rotating formats in Magic is that players learn how the wide array of cards start to work together in new and exciting ways over time, which allows for strategies to crop up using cards that have been available for a long time. This doesn’t happen often, but players have recently discovered a handful of new, viable Modern decks that serve as a perfect example of this phenomena.
These decks all can easily crush the Modern metagame, with one of them taking the Magic Online scene by storm. Let’s take a look and see how they flew under the radar for so long.
Aspiringspike has done it again: he has created one of the most exciting decks in Modern deck. This deck has major KCI energy, which mostly means it can be hard to even figure out the way it wins by just looking at the list. Don’t worry — we are gonna break it down.
The way this deck wins is by getting Myr Retriever to cost zero mana. From that point, you can then loop two copies of Myr Retriever from the yard with their own ability. This creates an infinite loop.
From that point, you activate either Grinding Station (I know, another station deck) or Altar of Dementia to mill yourself and ultimately the opponent, depending on the texture of the game (though you always end games by milling them). It’s a much easier and faster loop than KCI-of-old used to win the game.
Since this new deck first popped up, players have added the Tron lands and Karn, the Great Creator to the deck. This has allowed it to play more of a fair game while also utilizing the combo finish. Adding resilience with both Force of Vigor and Stony Silence has led to this deck quickly becoming one of the scariest in Modern.
The deck has a lot of cute tricks to it as well, including both Mystic forge and Grinding Station to reset the top of your deck. This lets you keep going with spells at a reduced cost.
While the deck is weak to cards like Force of Vigor, Rest in Peace or Endurance, other, more impactful hate isn’t a huge part of the Modern metagame — though that might change if this deck rises up the tier list. However, for now, you are able to simply go into your leagues and RCQ’s and dominate all the non-green players.
For a long time, Murktide was the de facto best Izzet deck in Modern. Then, for a while, it was Grinding Station Breach. Now, those two decks have had a love child that has already dominated multiple Modern challenges and the showcase last weekend. Welcome to the new best deck in Modern.
Breach had already been one of the best modern decks for about seven months, as the powerful nature of Underworld Breach drew in combo players far and wide. Eventually, the Grinding Station deck popularized by Jesse Robkin took the metagame by storm and encouraged many players to pick up the list.
While the inevitable tuning process that comes along with widespread deck adoption doesn’t mean the “best Breach deck” has been found, a new wave of players are throwing the card into new lists. “Fair Breach,” as players are calling it, is just an interactive blue/red/x deck that looks to use Breach in a couple of ways.
The new trick players have discovered is using it alongside Dragon’s Rage Channeler and Mishra’s Bauble to draw four to five cards for two mana. This utility will fundamentally change the way fair red decks are built in the format going forward, in my opinion. We have already seen the tech branch out into the Prowess decks, which now can draw three to four cards and get a resource boost along the way.
Otherwise, players can use Breach in the late game to just bolt your opponent to death. And the way this deck also just has a combo kill rolled into everything else is very strong (if mana intensive).
Any way you slice it, while Murktide was a big player in Modern since its release, fair Breach decks seem on the fast track to supplant the dragon as the Izzet deck of choice.
Goyf is there so you can embrace your proactive beatdown nature while Wrenn ensures you make all your land drops so you can actually cast a bunch of bolts on the turn you play Breach. While having the five mana to bolt three times was the biggest hurdle, Murphy has found a way to solve that problem.
There is some antagonism with Goyf and Breach forcing you to eat your graveyard, but it’s not as bad as it first looks. Often, if you have a Goyf or two going, you can simply attack in and wait to cast Breach until it’s lethal or the Goyfs have died.
Plus, by then your opponent is going to have cards in their graveyard, making sure your Goyf is still a 4/5 after the breach dies at the end of the turn.
So while at first glance these cards might not seem like they go together, in practice the deck actually plays out very well. And in the end, both this deck and the one before it just show how having access to Underworld Breach is incredibly potent these days.
Modern is an incredibly deep format, and as players learn to use cards in new ways while learning more about deck building, they will discover increasingly stronger strategies. In the meantime, let me know if you have any decks that might be going unnoticed by the format at large on Twitter.
Mason Clark is a grinder in every corner of the game who has played at the pro level and on the SCG Tour with Team Nova. Whether he’s competing in Standard, Historic or Modern, Mason plays with one goal in mind: to be a better player than he was the day before. Check out his podcast, Constructed Criticism, and catch his streams on Twitch.