Regional Championship Prep Modern

Regional Championship Prep: Modern

Mason ClarkModern

The next Regional Championship Qualifier season begins in just a month or so and will use the Modern format for the first time. While many are still competing in Pioneer, it’s important to start looking ahead.

Modern is also a format that many haven’t touched, so figuring out which deck to buy can be an incredibly daunting decision given the average price tag. Our goal is to help you with those problems by covering a wide swath of decks that are viable, reasonable choices for the upcoming season.

First, a disclaimer: metagames are constantly in flux. Whatever is at the top of the dog pile this weekend might change by the next one. But one good thing about Modern is you have access to enough sideboard cards to help with any matchup. So, while your deck might be not as well positioned this weekend as it was last weekend, theoretically, you’re still able to compete. 

Another thing to keep in mind is Modern can be expensive. That means switching decks can be incredibly challenging. If you have $300 you can change standard decks pretty easily, but in Modern that will barely cover the lands for a new deck. 

Izzet Murktide

Since the release of Modern Horizons 2, this deck has been one of the most successful and played in every Modern tournament. It’s a solid Midrange deck that can adapt to the metagame. 

That said, a big part of playing Murktide are its sideboard cards — and that’s exactly why I’m suggesting it as an ideal investment. With Murktide, you can build this deck and swap around a few sideboard cards if the meta shifts. 

Like all Midrange decks, Murktide does require you to play very well to get the most out of it. However, this does mean the more time you put into the deck, the more you will get out of it. 

Just keep in mind that Murktide is often overplayed and not as good as the general public perception. However, it is still an incredibly solid deck option if you’ve enjoyed decks like Rakdos Midrange in Pioneer.

Four color 

Four color is my personal favorite deck in Modern. I have been playing it for the last year and a half and done quite well with it. The most recent set has added a lot to the deck, too. 

If you like tap-out Midrange/Control decks that drown your opponent in card advantage, this is the deck for you. It can be very tricky to play optimally, but your raw power will often bail you out. 

On paper, this deck looks stupid in some ways since you just play the strongest cards in each color. But all that power makes it a very expensive archetype to invest in. The stack will open the door for more decks in the future, but the upfront cost is going to be a lot heavier on this one than most. 

Still, Four Color also has access to every tool in Modern to adapt to the metagame. That makes it perfect for busting up a local deck you just can’t beat, like Belcher. 


Rhinos is one of Modern‘s most consistent players in the metagame. While recently it has been dominating, it has always been a well represented deck. 

Rhinos and a few other decks in Modern abuse the cascade mechanic, which lets you cast a card of less mana value than the one with cascade. So, players build their decks to always hit the same card — Crashing Footfalls, in this case. 

All these cascade decks abuse the same core cards but use different payoffs. As for this one, it’s very much a Tempo deck looking to trade mana efficiently against other decks to keep the lead with their rhinos. 

This deck is easy to pick up but hard to master, so if that sounds appealing this might be your best bet. Your mana also ports over to multiple other decks, so committing here opens the door for things like Murktide or even the other cascade deck, Living End. 

When it comes to sideboards, Rhinos decks often have very rigid boards. This is due to the nature of the cascade decks limiting your sideboard options to cards that cost three or more mana. This means you will not be able to adapt quite as well as the last two decks we’ve talked about.

Living End

This is the other cascade deck in the meta. Here we are trying to assemble a combo of multiple creatures in the graveyard, cast Living End to put them all on the battlefield early and attack our opponent to death. 

While incredibly simple, the deck is also very powerful. You use cards like Force of Negation, Grief, and Subtlety to their fullest. 

But much like Rhinos, even though it’s easy to pick up, mastering it will take work. A large part of that comes from learning to play through the sideboard hate that the other decks provide. 

Cards like Chalice of the Void, Rest in Peace, Leyline of the Void, Endurance, Flusterstorm and so many more can all be huge thorns in your side. To be successful with Living End, you have to learn how to answer the cards above. If you can, you’ll be in a good spot. 


Before the release of The Lord of the Rings, this was either the best or second best deck in Modern, depending on who you asked. 

This deck is the cousin of Four Color, but instead of playing cards like Omnath and more interaction, it instead plays a combo: Indomitable Creativity into Archon of Cruelty. Both decks are more controlling, but this deck just looks to win by going over the top (an advantage in pseudo-mirrors). 

If you’re a fan of Control decks, this might be the way to go since your big picture plan is to trade resources and then go over the top. It’s another expensive deck, but it does lead into multiple other choices since you do get all the shocks and fetches. 

Your sideboard options are also plenty as you are technically a five color deck. As a result, you will be able to adapt to the metagame as the weeks go on. 

Finally, even if this deck got zero new cards from Tales of Middle-earth, it is still quite powerful.


One of the more popular decks in Modern despite not having the best win rate for a long time is Yawgmoth. However, lately it has been on a huge upswing. 

As we talked about the other day, this is a combo creature deck. Your main goal is to assemble Yawgmoth, two undying creatures and a Blood Artist. We actually have a whole primer on the deck here that walks through the whole plan in great detail. 

This deck’s mana doesn’t port to others super well, but it can transition to a few other decks. Meanwhile, your sideboard options are fine, but they are not over the moon like the other lists we’ve mentioned. 

At the end of the day, Yawgmoth is a solid choice and one where the more time you put in the more you will get out. 


Scam has been growing in popularity, and rightfully so. This is a Midrange deck that has the ability to overwhelm on turn one with lines like turn one Grief or Fury

Many players thought this deck was a meme due to the nature of its construction since it looks like two different decks smooshed together. But against all odds, it actually works very well. The Undying Evil effects are great with all the utility creatures this deck plays. 

This deck’s mana ports over fairly well to other red/black decks, but that’s about it. Your sideboard options also are fine, but lacking a third color means there are some card types (like enchantments) you’re really going to struggle against. 

Some of the harder matchups are decks like Four Color, which can just out grind you. But if you love decks like Rakdos Midrange in pioneer (or old jund in modern), this should be a serious contender. 


This is a classic staple of Modern. The tron deck is fairly cheap to pick up but very powerful in the right matchups. And even If you have never played Modern, you still might have heard of this deck. 

Its goal is to get Urza’s Power Plant, Mine and Tower all in play as quickly and consistently as possible. Then you start slamming huge, colorless threats. 

This deck shines against people trying to play a fair, grindy game and severely lacks against anyone trying to kill you quickly. 

The deck is basically the most consistent and easy to pick up deck on today’s list. If you’re new to Modern and playing a big mana deck is fun to you, you might like Tron. 

As for the nitty gritty, this deck’s sideboard options are fairly limited since your sideboard often has a decent number of spots committed to Karn, the Great Creator. You also are just barley a mono green deck. 

Really, the hardest part about this deck long term is it doesn’t really port into anything else. Cards like Karn, the Great Creator see play in decks like E-tron (which is basically a midrange deck) and Karn sees play in other formats, but most of the cards don’t really translate anywhere else in Modern.

But, if you like big mana, don’t let that stop you!

End Step

Modern has so many decks I could easily do another 10 before bumping up against the ceiling of playable options. If you’re planning to compete next season, find a deck you like and give Modern a whirl!

That said, if you’re anxious about RCQs then it’s a good time to get started. The more experience you have, the better the events will go for you.