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.


1x Azusa, Lost but Seeking: I originally did not like this card in the deck because it's only a 0/1 with Heartless Summoning out, but with the addition of Knight of the Reliquary to the list, we can afford to run creatures like that now. Azusa is the most efficient card in modern at the whole "play extra lands" thing.

2x 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.

1x Phyrexian Metamorph: This is probably bad, but Im trying it anyways. The idea with Metamorph is that, with Hearless Summoning out, we can cast it for one mana, and it can be whatever we need at the time. If we need more value, we can copy a Tireless Tracker. If we want more land drops we can copy and Oracle of Mul Daya or Wayward Swordtooth.

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).

3x 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 Edge of Autumn: This acts as a hedge for when we dont draw Heartless Summoning. It can ensure that were playing cards on tempo, or that were drawing threats by using its cycling ability. Edge of Autumn also has the added benefit of, when you have a Gitrog Monster in play, when you activate the Cycling ability, it triggers The Gitrog Monsters ability, allowing you to draw two cards for free (!).

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.


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 4x Swamp 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.

2x Collective Brutality: Brutality is a really good option against a lot of decks in the format. The advantage in this deck is the ability for us to either discard redundant copies of Heartless Summoning, or pitching lands when we have a Ramunap Excavator in play. We want to bring this in against burn, Jund, Mardu Pyromancer, and Control primarily.

1x Grafdigger's Cage: This is mostly meant to hate out Hollow One decks as well as dredge, but it also has application against Collected Company and Chord of Calling decks.

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.

2x Obstinate Baloth: With Jund and Hollow One being popular right now, Baloth has been really good at being a free spell. Its also a good hedge against aggro decks, which we have trouble with if we dont have Heartless Summoning down on turn two.

2x Ratchet Bomb: Ive been between this and Engineered Explosives. I like that I can play Ratchet Bomb on turn two on an empty board and decide where I want it go later, because it can end up slowing our opponents down, allowing us to make it to late game where we can end up taking over.

2x 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 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:

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 forth 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.

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.


Updates Add

Update 4/14/18


-4 Knight of the Reliquary: I decided to cut white from the list. I tried it for a while, but I feel like I’ve lost too much consistency by adding it. Knight was great in the games where we didn’t have Heartless Summoning on turn two, but those games I would typically rather have more removal or just another way to ramp.

-1 Life from the Loam: Loam seemed really good on paper, and there were scenarios where it was great (such as when we were able to play extra lands, but lacked the Ramunap Excavators to take advantage of it), but the amount of times where it was clunky and slow were significant enough to outweigh the benefit it gave. It felt very much like a “win more” card than anything else.

-1 Plains

-1 Temple Garden

+1 Ob Nixilis, the Fallen: I decided to add another Ob Nixilis. I had two in the list originally, but I cut one when I decided to add white since Knight of the Reliquary made it less necessary to have big win cons at 5 mana. What I like about Ob is that 90% of the time when we untap with him, we likely just kill our opponent that turn from his landfall ability, and being able to do that more often seems good.

+1 Phyrexian Metamorph: Trying something new, don’t judge.

+1 Wayward Swordtooth: I had three Swordtooth in the list before adding Knight, so I figured it was right to put it back in.

+1 Fatal Push: This gives us another removal spell, which makes us slightly more interactive, allowing us to survive to the point of the game where we are resolving 5 mana creatures.

+1 Edge of Autumn: This is basically filling the role that Loam was trying to. It ramps us when we don’t have Heartless Summoning out, and it draws us cards when we do.

+2 Swamp


-1 Bojuka Bog: Without Knight of the Reliquary, Bojuka Bog gets significantly worse, so we’d rather have other ways to hate out graveyards.

-1 Choke: The UW Control craze has ended, so there is less need for powerful hate cards for the archetype.

-2 Engineered Explosives: I replaced EE with Ratchet Bomb. It might be wrong, but hey, you don’t know until you try it.

-1 Nihil Spellbomb: I prefer Scavenging Ooze over Spellbomb because I can bring it in against more decks.

-1 Pithing Needle: Needle had been underperforming pretty significantly. There simply aren’t many activated abilities we care very much about in the format. It felt like a Slaughter Games effect that could only hit planeswalkers.

-1 Stony Silence: Difficult to cast this without white mana…

-1 Thrun, the Last Troll: I feel like the Jund matchup is good enough that Thrun becomes less necessary. Adding Collective Brutality and Obstinate Baloth to the board helps that matchup as well.

+2 Collective Brutality

+1 Grafdigger's Cage

+2 Obstinate Baloth

+2 Ratchet Bomb

+1 Scavenging Ooze

Thanks for all of the feedback, I'll keep updating the list as long as I make changes.


Compare to inventory
Date added 4 months
Last updated 2 months
Key combos

This deck is Modern legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.86
Tokens Clue
Folders Current Stuff, cool stuff, Modern, Modern Brews, Mdn deckz, OPCIONAL, Decks I Like, Decks, Modern Primers, Modern (Heartless Summoning)
Top rank #24 on 2018-03-07
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