We're clayperce and Moonbar, the moderators of PonzaMTG on Reddit, and we'd like to welcome you to our Ponza deckbuilding primer.

First off, please understand this is an untuned starting point for building a Ponza deck which suits your meta, playstyle, and budget.

  • The maindeck is just the "average" competitive Ponza deck, according to MTGdecks ... it may be playable, but it's not going to be a great deck without tuning.
  • The sideboard is a mashup of the most popular sideboard cards in competitive decks, as reported by MTGdecks and MTGgoldfish.
  • The maybeboard includes EVERY card which has seen play in a competitive Ponza deck. If you know of any we missed, please let us know!
  • Cards marked with an A are HIGHLY recommended ... according to MTGgoldfish, they've been played in all of the recent competitive decks (though not necessarily in the numbers shown). Everything else is flexible.

We look forward to your questions, comments, and suggestions!

Option 1: Make a copy of this deck, as an untuned starting point. There's a white 'Copy' button on the left side menu (or immediately under this description, if you're on mobile).

Option 2: Pick a recent competitive deck, in the sub-archetype of your choice.

CLASSIC PONZA, feat. "all the key ingredients to a Ponza Rotta: The cheese (burn), the meat (big creatures) and the sauce (the land destruction)".

NAYA PONZA, usually feat. more than just a splash of White. The deck exists in a wide variety of forms, such as ...

PRIMAL PONZA, feat. the Eternal Witness + Primal Command soft lock. E.g., James Dascine-Henry's deck)

ROBOT PONZA (aka Platinum Ponza), feat. Madcap Experiment + Platinum Emperion . E.g., Ishino Takuya's deck

JUND PONZA, feat. a Black splash for Kolaghan's Command. E.g., Hshiroma's deck

MONO-R PONZA, feat. a lower curve and more consistent mana. E.g., Eduardo Bairrinhos' deck

There are other Ponza sub-archetypes as well, but they have not proven successful in recent competitive play:

  • ELDRITCH PONZA, feat. Eldritch Evolution and toolbox Creatures. E.g., Joshua Unthank's deck
  • TRIBAL PONZA, feat. Dinosaurs, Dragons, Goblins, etc.
  • FAST PONZA, feat. Hasty threats and a "1RR" mana- and dork-base

Option 3: Start with one of the most inexpensive competitive decks:

Option 4: Poke around these sites, looking at recent competitive decks until you find a deck you like:

Option 5: Pick one of the recent top finishers from a large tournament:

ALL the cards in this deck have seen play in successful competitive decks. Finding the perfect mix of cards for your playstyle and meta is very tough, but you can honestly build a very good deck with any of them!

Additionally, there are a TON of cards which haven't seen play in competitive decks (yet) ... please check out our running list of untested but potentially spicy tech. If you try anything from there, please let us know how it works out!

We highly recommend posting your deck in PonzaMTG on Reddit and the Modern Desk Help forum here on T/O, and asking for feedback. It may be helpful to include a short description of your expected meta (if you know it) and any budget constraints.

If you post on the Advertise your Modern deck thread here on T/O please follow the rules and offer feedback on the deck posted immediately before yours.

Now for the best part: Check out the Tips and Tricks from PonzaMTG on Reddit (especially our crowdsourced sideboard guide) and then get some reps in with your deck!

You'll quickly learn what works for your meta and playstyle and what doesn't. Please share what you learn with us, here in the comments or in PonzaMTG on Reddit!

Then go back to Step 2 :-)

Shout-outs to ...

  • Brian Kowal and Adrian Sullivan, who invented the original Ponza deck. And Michael Nielsen and Matt Mendoza, who first popularized the deck in Modern.
  • Everyone at PonzaMTG on Reddit and PonzaMTG on Facebook.

Finally, please +1 Upvote this primer if you found it useful! :-)


Updates Add

Changes to the main board (the "average" competive Ponza deck):

Additions to the maybeboard (every card that has seen play in a competitive deck):

Changes to the deck description:

  • Updated the sub-archetypes and decks in Step 1 Option 2
  • Updated the "recent competitive decks which are the least expensive" in Step 1 Option 3
  • Updated the top performing decks in Step 1 Option 5

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3 weeks ago)

+1 Slagstorm maybe
+1 Greenwarden of Murasa maybe