List originally based on:

The Goal: Outvalue our opponents by obtaining card advantage by drawing a lot of cards and seeing more cards than them.

Card Selections:


4x Heartless Summoning: I feel like its important to start here because this is the engine of the deck. The entire purpose of the summonings is to set up explosive turn three and four plays. We run a lot of three to five drops, and Heartless Summoning allows us to pump out creatures, which allow us to play a lot of lands each turn and generate significant card advantage.


4x Knight of the Reliquary: This along with our Tireless Trackers are our best three-mana threats in the deck. Knight is the only reason we run White, as it can generate value with the other creatures in the deck by generating landfall triggers, putting lands into our graveyard, and tutoring out some of the utility lands in the deck (including the Bojuka Bog and Grasping Dunes on sideboard).

1x Ob Nixilis, the Fallen: This is our most efficient finisher in the deck. With the amount of extra lands we can play each turn, it is not uncommon for us to be playing two fetch lands the turn Ob enters, making our opponent losing 12 life. If you need more proof of the power of Ob, check this link:

2x Oracle of Mul Daya: This is the first of many instances of playing extra lands in this deck, and definitely the most efficient. Being able to play lands off the top as well as see the top card for the purposes of planning activating our clues allows us to make the best use of our mana each turn.

4x Ramunap Excavator: This is probably the second most important card in the deck behind Heartless Summoning. The ability to make land drops regardless of whether or not lands are drawn is vital to the deck, as well as the ability to lock our opponent out of lands with recurring Ghost Quarter every turn. I would not cut Ramunap for any reason.

3x The Gitrog Monster: The other 5 mana finisher in the deck, Gitrog acts both as a beater to end the game in a hurry and as a value engine, drawing a significant amount of cards through the use of Horizon Canopy, Ghost Quarter and Fetch Lands. It pairs very nicely with Ramunap Excavator, and with Heartless Summoning we can tempo this out on turn three.

4x Tireless Tracker: This is the most consistent card advantage engine in the deck. We want to play Tracker on turn 3-4 every game. The great interaction with the card is being able to play it for one mana on turn three with a turn two summoning, play a land and crack a clue in the same turn as well. Being able to pump out clues turns our trackers into finishers as well.

1x Vizier of the Menagerie: Vizier is an additional way to generate card advantage with the amount of lands we play as well as it is very powerful when paired with Oracle of Mul Daya and the clues made by Tracker. It is easy to plan out our turn and play optimally when we have knowledge of the top card of our library.

3x Wayward Swordtooth: This card imitates Exploration that is able to attack late game through the help of clues letting us reach the amount of permanents necessary to ascend.

Instants and Sorceries

2x Abrupt Decay: Decay is a great card. It allows us to get rid of problematic creatures and permanents game one, and game two it deals with some problematic sideboard cards such as Rest in Peace, Scavenging Ooze, Blood Moon, and Stony Silence (for clues).

2x Fatal Push: This is the best removal spell in modern. There's not really much else to say. If you're playing a non-Living End black deck in modern, you should play Fatal Push.

1x Maelstrom Pulse: Pulse is the catch-all answer to any problematic permanent in the format.

3x Inquisition of Kozilek: Hand disruption answers the spells that our removal cannot as well as it helps plan out our turns due to the significant amount of decisions made throughout each game with how mana is spent and how lands are played.

1x Edge of Autumn: This acts as a hedge for the games when we don't draw our Heartless Summonings, so we are still able to play efficiently.


8x Fetch Lands: These are the best lands in the format, and they're even better in our deck with us running a lot of landfall spells as well as creatures that give us value for putting lands into our graveyard.

5x Forest 2x Swamp 1x Plains 1x Temple Garden and 2x Overgrown Tomb: We run a lot of basic lands in this deck because we want to be able to fetch for basics rather than shock lands in order to preserve our life total, as well as we don't want to run out of basics because we fetch a lot each game as well as we activate our Ghost Quarters targeting ourselves a lot of the time. This also protects us against Blood Moon a bit, as it is a common sideboard card brought in against us.

4x Ghost Quarter: Ghost Quarter acts both as a card advantage engine by allowing us to get more landfall triggers form Tireless Tracker and Ob Nixilis (as well as triggers from The Gitrog Monster), as well as it allows us to lock our opponents out of the game by replaying Ghost Quarters with Ramunap Excavator and targeting our opponent's lands. This card is bread and butter for the deck and I would not cut it for anything.

2x Horizon Canopy: This card is another way we are able to generate a significant amount of card advantage with the deck. Since we have Ramunap Excavator as well as a lot of ways to play many lands per turn, Canopy allows us to keep drawing cards and generating advantage at a low cost in both deck construction and in-game.


1x Abrupt Decay: We bring in the third decay against decks that run a lot of three or less mana cost permanents that we want to destroy. This answers a lot of sideboard cards against us as well, as stated previously.

1x Bojuka Bog: This is one of our deck's ways to deal with graveyard strategies, which are plentiful in modern. The advantage of Bojuka Bog is that we can find it with the Knight of the Reliquarys in the mainboard.

1x Choke: With lots of Jace, the Mind Sculptors running around, it is good to pack Choke as a significant hate card against control decks. It helps prevent us from getting buried by looping counterspells, as well as we have Ghost Quarters to destroy all of our opponent's non-island blue mana sources, so they cannot rely on lands such as Celestial Colonnade and Sulfur Falls to help them climb out of the Choke lock.

2x Engineered Explosives: This helps us not get run over by creature-based decks like Humans right off the bat so we can hit a point in the game where we outpace/outvalue them. This is also becoming a stronger sideboard option with the rise of Bogles.

1x Grasping Dunes: Bring this in against decks with a lot of X/1s. It's great against Affinity, Counters Company (although it gets awkward with them running Vizier of Remedies, Death and Taxes, Lingering Souls, Elves, Goblins, and any deck that is playing Birds of Paradise or Noble Hierarch.

1x Liliana, the Last Hope: Good at grinding with Control and Midrange decks, as well as it helps us not get rolled by decks with a lot of x/1 flying creatures such as Spirits and Lingering Souls decks.

1x Lost Legacy: This is, admittedly, a bit of a pet card of mine. I refuse to play a black deck in this format without running it on sideboard. It is probably our best piece of interaction against any of the combo decks in the format. It hits Ad Nauseam, Gifts Ungiven, Empty the Warrens + Grapeshot , Living End, Scapeshift, and Primeval Titan. There is also argument for bringing it in when our opponent has All Is Dust and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, but I prefer to be the aggressor in that matchup and try to lock them out with our Ghost Quarters rather than with our spells.

1x Maelstrom Pulse: Like Abrupt Decay, we're bringing this in when our opponent runs a lot of permanents we want to remove.

1x Nihil Spellbomb: It's between this, Scavenging Ooze, Tormod's Crypt, and Leyline of the Void. Personally, I like Spellbomb more than the others because we can play it turn one and feel set for a while, as well as get a bit of value when we do eventually cash it in, but others may disagree.

1x Pithing Needle: Another pet card of mine. I will never play a modern deck that does not have Needle on the sideboard. It helps us answer a plethora of problematic cards form Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Relic of Progenitus, Scavenging Ooze, Celestial Colonnade, Liliana, the Last Hope, and many, many others. This card is great, run it.

1x Scavenging Ooze: This is another way to combat graveyards in our deck, as well as it is helpful in the grindy matchups where we want to shave down a couple of our Heartless Summonings, such as Jund and Control.

1x Surgical Extraction: This card is very good in combination with Inquisition of Kozilek and Thoughtseize, as well as it is very powerful against the many Snapcaster Mage decks in the format.

1x Thrun, the Last Troll: We bring this in when we want to grind with Jund, as their only way to deal with the Troll is Liliana of the Veil, as well as Control, as most of them are cutting Wrath of God in favor of Supreme Verdict as of late.

1x Whisperwood Elemental: This card is a house in grindy matchups. It is always a great topdeck, it gets out of hand in a hurry, and it protects us from sweepers such as Damnation, Wrath of God, Supreme Verdict, and Day of Judgment. Being able to land this on turn three as well can seal the game in a hurry in some situations.

Cards I have considered and why I don't run them:

Azusa, Lost but Seeking: The first question I get asked whenever I show someone this deck is "Where's Azusa?" The reason we don't run Azusa is twofold. First, we run Heartless Summoning, so Azusa is being cast as a 0/1 creature. That is no bueno. I would much rather have a creature that plays us one fewer land every turn, but can attack as a 4/4 (eventually) in Wayward Swordtooth than Azusa. This deck does not have a ton of finishers, and I personally don't think that slots can be used in the list for creatures that cannot attack or block profitably in any situation without having some other special benefit (such as Oracle of Mul Daya allowing us to play lands from our library or Ramunap Excavator allowing us to play lands from our graveyard). There is, admittedly, some argument to be made to go down one Swordtooth for one Azusa, but I don't think that is a good tradeoff.

Courser of Kruphix: This is another card I am recommended often with this deck, and normally I'm 100% on board with it in Valuetown/Lands strategies, however it is not very good when paired with Heartless Summoning. GG for a 1/3 with Courser's effect is not good, to put it plainly. It dies to bolt against burn, which is normally where Courser shines the most, it does not allow us to play extra lands (although being able to play from the top is a great effect), and it can't really attack profitably at any point in the game. My suggestion: don't play this card if you're running Heartless Summoning.

Retreat to Kazandu: At face value, this card seems really good against aggro decks. After all, we are commonly having 4-6 lands enter the battlefield on any given turn. After playtesting it, however, it has been coming down on turn three, sometimes after we resolved a Heartless Summoning on turn two, and by that point we have already been completely buried by the aggro deck and there is no chance for coming back, even if we manage to gain 4-6 life on turn 4.

Field of Ruin: Having to pay two mana for Ghost Quarter is not good enough in this deck, even with the payoff that it does not put us back a land. We typically do not have difficulty spending our mana every turn with running clues and all, so Field of Ruin is not really necessary.

Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth: This is a card I have been back and fourth on. What I like about it is that we are able to tap our Fetches and Horizon Canopies without losing life, as well as our forests all become Bayou. The reason I have not added Urborg is because I don't think it is better than any other land in the deck. I think it requires more playtesting.

Life from the Loam: I don't think you should run this card when you already have 4 Ramunap Excavators.

Sideboard Plans

Midrange Decks (Jund/Junk): In the midrange matchups we are going to cut down on some of our deck's explosiveness in favor of late-game resilience. You typically want to cut 2 Heartless Summoning as well as the three Inquisition of Kozilek in favor of resilient threats such as Thrun, the Last Troll and Whisperwood Elemental, as well as Abrupt Decay, Maelstrom Pulse, and Scavenging Ooze. Additionally you can shave down one or two Wayward Swordtooth for Liliana, the Last Hope and one of either Engineered Explosives or Pithing Needle. Against Abzan you also want to cut a land (probably a Ghost Quarter) for Grasping Dunes to help combat Lingering Souls.

Control: Our sideboard plan against control is very similar to midrange, however our hand disruption is much better in that matchup. We still want to shave two Heartless Summoning and three Wayward Swordtooths (Swordteeth?) in favor of cards like Thrun, Whisperwood Elemental, Scavenging Ooze, and Liliana, the Last Hope, so that we can grind out games, but we also want to fit in Choke, Abrupt Decay, Maelstrom Pulse, and Pithing Needle, as well as maybe Lost Legacy. For these we want to Cut Fatal Push and Edge of Autumn.

Combo: What we bring in for the combo matchup heavily depends on the deck. We almost always bring in Lost Legacy and Surgical Extraction, but for something like Storm, we also want all of our graveyard hate, against Ad Nauseam we want Abrupt Decay/Maelstrom Pulse, and for Titan Shift, we really don't want to bring in much.

Aggro: Our sideboard is well suited for permanent-based aggro decks. For something like Bogles, for example, we have Engineered Explosives, Abrupt Decay, Maelstrom Pulse, and maybe Thrun/Lost Legacy. For Burn, which is probably our worst matchup, we don't have much beyond Scavenging Ooze and Pithing Needle (if they run Shrine of Burning Rage). Graveyard based aggro decks like Dredge and Hallow One we have spellbomb, Bojuka Bog, Scavenging Ooze, and Surgical Extraction. Against heavily creature-based decks such as Elves and Counters Company, we can bring in more removal and Whisperwood Elemental to try and go wider than them. We typically want to shave some of our more expensive cards against aggro decks such as one or two gitrog monster , the Vizier of the Menagerie, one or two Wayward Swordtooth, and maybe Maelstrom Pulse, but these obviously depend on the matchup.

Anyways, that's about all I have to say. I hope you like the deck, let me know anything you would change, I'm always open to comments and criticism.


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Key combos

This deck is Modern legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.83
Tokens Clue
Folders Uncategorized, Current Stuff, cool stuff, Modern, Modern, Modern Brews, Mdn deckz, OPCIONAL, Decks I Like
Top rank #24 on 2018-03-07
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