Wanting to get into Modern

Modern Deck Help forum

Posted on Sept. 6, 2017, 1:26 a.m. by GemKnightDante

Greetings and Salutations fellow modern adventurers! I come to you now from the land of casual commander and long to join you in the planes of Friday Night Magic! Alas I have no experience in such realms and thus call to you for assistance in this area.

Many of the cards I've come to love are outright unavailable in this mode and cards I've never heard of reign supreme! So I ask for help in crafting a deck, suggestions towards building a Orzhov control deck, perhaps splashing into either Abzan or Mardu territory.

I have a small collection of cards I want to include already, but I simply don't know other cards to include or even if I should run these! The list lies below;

Noxious Gearhulk

Cataclysmic Gearhulk

Mana Tithe

Path to Exile

Fatal Push

And know I have no clue what my local FNM plays, and thus I don't know what tech I require! Please any assistance at all would be greatly appreciated.

Yours, The most shimmering of knights, Dante.

Lowenstein says... #2

Howdy! First recommendation would be to check out mtgtop8.com under Modern to just kinda see what's up. But what is your budget like? As you know that will affect a lot

September 6, 2017 1:37 a.m.

GemKnightDante says... #3

That it will! As for my budget, I'm willing to pay a fair amount over time to build it up, so honestly as long as there are no obscenely expensive cards I'm fine with grabbing what I need. As such I already know I'll need Marsh Flats in a set so that should give some knowledge of what ballpark I'm in.

But if I were to put a limit on the deck I'd say maybe... $500-600? But if I enjoy the deck enough I'd likely go higher.

September 6, 2017 1:54 a.m.

Lowenstein says... #4

Cool! Well for starters any semi-black-control-at-all deck always has Liliana of the Veil, she's hardcore. You may want to consider mana artifacts of some sort, or maybe like Lingering Souls to fill in the space between early game and when you are able to play those big creatures you like.

September 6, 2017 2:03 a.m.

GemKnightDante says... #5

What sort of mana artifacts are prominent in Modern? Should I be looking toward the signets or is there a better option for my needs?

September 6, 2017 4:14 a.m.

ExtraEasy says... #6


Im keen to get into modern too and it feels like a pretty tough nut to crack. Ive been watching the forums trying to find the deck for me but i feel like im not making much progress and it might take months to get a handle on all the cards especially as it feels like people only talk about the top 20 or so decks. Best of luck! Keep posting, ill be watching to try n steal from you. Id happily spend 500-600$ like you but that Lilliana is terrifying.

Good luck,


September 6, 2017 4:28 a.m.

GemKnightDante says... #7

Thank you for the kind words good sir! And yes the price of Liliana is quite intimidating, so I'll likely go light with her until I know I really like this deck.

And on another note, I've constructed the makings of the deck, just a first draft of it really. Things are subject to change!

Orzhov Control!

September 6, 2017 4:37 a.m.

Will361405 says... #8

Personally I would cut the last mercy that you have in the deck, and add another copy of lily. Also one of my favorite finishers, while still just preference, is Grave Titan or even Bitterblossom

September 6, 2017 6:37 a.m.

clayperce says... #9

First, welcome to Modern!

Second, to anyone getting into Modern, I always recommend proxying up the deck and playing it with buddies or in pick-up games at your LGS before buying in. A lot of decks play VERY differently IRL than they do while goldfishing, and it's a bummer to spend big bucks on something you think you'll like but soon don't. Watching videos helps too ... you can Google almost any archetype and find a ton of streamers.

Finally, some thought on decks:

  • The strongest BW Control deck IMO is BW Eldrazi and Taxes. Here's Isaiah Smithson's list, which he recently piloted to an SCG Open Top 16, and here's a short article on the archetype ... there's lots more info out there if it seems interesting!
  • BW Smallpox is another very solid choice; here's a short article.

Again, welcome!

September 6, 2017 6:54 a.m.

Oloro_Magic says... #10

Welcome to modern, first off let me start by saying that if you ever need help in the future don't be shy to ask me and I'll do whatever I can to make it easier for you.

Modern is a different kind of beast from most formats and while you're right that only the top 20 decks or so are talked about the difference in power level in modern between most decks isn't substantial and as such any solid deck can compete. If you are looking to go Orzhov control then I would second taking a look at BW Smallpox. My favorite part about that deck is it has tons of room to grow, it isn't the best deck in the format and people are actively trying to improve it, this gives you more room to make modifications for yourself whereas Eldrazi and Taxes while the best controlling BW deck in modern is pretty set in stone.

If you like control you may want to consider looking at some esper control lists:

Example: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/archetype/modern-esper-control-32587#paper

This would give you access to BW as well as the control aspect which you seem to like. Going Abzan kinda limits you, Abzan really wants to be a midrange deck with Tarmogoyf and a lot of discard, and possibly even a Collected Company deck (by the way Collected Company is probably the strongest card in modern as a single card).

Another piece of advice I can give you is before committing to a modern deck scope out your local modern scene, modern is a format where there are frankly good matchups and bad matchups, you don't want to be caught in a meta where your deck is surrounded by bad matchups. Get an idea of what people are playing, talk to them about their decks, most modern players invest a lot of money into their decks and are more than happy to show it off and explain how it works to new players. Once you have that information feel free to ask the community here including myself what this means matchup wise. You basically just don't want to be caught in a situation where you make this $600 deck and find your meta is perfectly positioned to deal with it.

Welcome once again to modern, I hope to hear back from you soon regarding your progress.

P.S Mana Tithe is probably the funniest card in magic props for playing it.

September 6, 2017 11:45 a.m.

APPLE01DOJ says... #11

can't believe it hasn't been mentioned.

Just play black white tokens. It's fairly inexpensive to make, is the go to B/W deck, and is actually a good deck.

Your current list is halfway there, just add in 4x Spectral Procession and some Timely Reinforcements and you'll be there. Bitterblossom wouldn't be bad either. I'm not a token player so I can't give you the best exact list advice.

Mana Tithe would be the first thing I cut.

September 6, 2017 11:58 a.m.

car says... #12

what i think you should do is play b/w midrange aka deadguy ale. it's aggro control which sounds wierd but works. it normally uses some combination of dark confidant, pack rat, tidehallow sculler, brimaz, lingewring souls and baneslayer angel as creatures and involves a lot of cheap turn one discard and a good amount of removal.

September 6, 2017 4:28 p.m.

Xica says... #13

Mana Tithe is best when combined with Smallpox and the like!
I wouldn't say its weak or bad, it blue version is a legacy staple if i recall correctly, but the card needs the correct shell.

September 12, 2017 12:23 p.m.

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