Strongest Color?

Modern forum

Posted on Sept. 4, 2018, 4:54 p.m. by APPLE01DOJ

Just wanted to gather the community's thoughts. What do you feel the strongest color in modern is?

I personally feel it's white. It's easily the most balanced but it's also the only color that can deal with every thing on its own. Artifacts, Enchantments, Creatures, Planeswalkers, Graveyards. I mean I guess Blue technically can too but it's options for resolved threats are significantly less narrow.

Chandra420 says... #2

i think you mean "more" narrow. but really, there is no "strongest color". no real point to try and waste time thinking about it. find a strategy you like, then figure out which colors have the best options for that specific plan. asking which color is "strongest" is like asking what the best option is in a game of "rock, paper, scissors".

September 4, 2018 5:21 p.m.

Xica says... #3

For a very long time i was pretty unsure about this topic.

Currently i am certain, that red is the best color. It can basically do close to everything on its own. For example, other mono colored decks always struggle, while red gives, 8whack (+its flames of keld variant), burn, free win red (aka. Red yuperfriends), skred, hell even hollow one, if we can count street wraith as red sinxe we have no intention of casting it. Red also has some fancy new toys with the squee disvard variant that got its new toy, to generate bat tokens.

In general it has pretty great removal (that can hog walkers), the best 1 drops, great card filtering (and card advantage if you add squee) witj loot effects, and some of the best 5 drops.

For s long time i believed that missing out on the best 2mana stuff is a dealbreaker. Then i found Infernal Plunge. Its basically a double mana flare, where thr first flare is the creature you sac. That means pretty broken stuff is gonna happen right around turn 3.

(And with tempo gone, countering that flare is okay with me dince the fasz pressure is missing in control at the moment)

September 4, 2018 7:24 p.m.

Xica says... #4

Red lack one thing - enchantment removal, so if the meta somehow gets stuffed with Phyrexian Unlife + Solemnity combo it will suffer, until then, its awesome!

September 4, 2018 7:27 p.m.

APPLE01DOJ says... #5

Red also lacks ways to deal with Hexproof beyond the very unlikely Crack the Earth.

September 4, 2018 8:08 p.m.

Blue is the weakest color by far, and will continue to be pathetic for as long as Cavern of Souls is heavily played. Right now blue gives snapcaster mage and serum visions. That is, blue allows you to cast your good spells in other colors better.

I agree that white is the best right now, but only if you think like a fair magic player. I don't care that it can deal with anything, but rather white has the tools to stop unfair strategies. Most notably, Path to Exile and Rest in Peace in the current meta. However, white doesn't enable anything unfair.

If you think like an unfair magic player, then I suspect red is the best color. It has Faithless Looting and all the good storm cards. It enables unfair magic.

After red and white, I think black is better than green. Discard spells and better removal are definitely solid points for black. Green has Tarmogoyf, but I think that's about it.

The actual most powerful color is colorless. Friggin affinity and Tron and KCI. Stupid Ancient Stirrings and Urza's Tower and Reality Smasher and Mox Opal. Affinity is fine, but the rest of you bastards belong in standard (if you play Eldrazi), commander (if you play Tron), or legacy (if you play KCI).

September 4, 2018 9:37 p.m.

ERoss8 says... #7

Green, because Ancient Stirrings

September 5, 2018 12:05 a.m.

Xica says... #8

APPLE01DOJ Aura hexproof is vulnerable enough to Aura Barbs if you have some sort of reach to compliment it, idk ... like Lightning Bolt which is somehow managed to end up in the same color.

Plus you can access all the relevant artifact based hate cards, those often tend to be more than enough, be it Spellskite, Ensnaring Bridge, or Ratchet Bomb - remember red is a pretty agressive color, so it can race if boggles stumbles and/or lacks lifelink.

September 5, 2018 2:05 a.m.

Xica says... #9

Red really lacks some cards from eternal though :P

Chaos Warp & Breaking Point both of which could be very well levereaged by many red decks - even though they would not break the format.

September 5, 2018 2:09 a.m.

Though it's my least favourite color, I'd say Black is the strongest one. After playing against a lot of black spells, I really think it's the best color out there.

With the recent apparition of Fatal Push aka the black Lightning Bolt, it seriously got buffed. Efficient discard spells like Thoughtseize help a lot against any clunky or combo decks. Dark Confidant is still a thing in 2k18. Bitterblossom is a real beater. Black offers real big dudes at a reduced cost (Tasigur, the Golden Fang and Gurmag Angler). It allows for really unfair decks to exist with cards like Goryo's Vengeance/ Death's Shadow / Street Wraith (not OP as such but really helpful for dredge and hollow one). Also, Liliana of the Veil anyone?

Sure it can't deals with everything like white can but, like ToolmasterOfBrainerd said for Blue, I think Black does enable you to play your other colors even better. The Rock is a super grindy deck that can go the looooong way. Remove black and it's a pathetic green aggro-midrange deck. Remove black from grixis and you have a not-so-good izzet build. And so on, and so on.

NB : maybe if we get Counterspell in the format, or something like ' - counter target spell with CMC 3 or less' - basically a blue Inquisition of Kozilek - then I'll change my mind but I think it's very unlikely to happen.

September 5, 2018 4:09 a.m.

Chandra420 says... #11

WizardOfTheNorthernCoast: saying "Fatal Push is the black Lightning Bolt is not even remotely accurate.

September 5, 2018 7:15 p.m.

It's the closest thing you have for 1 CMC that takes out early threats pretty reliably. What would you compare it to since you know all about the game? :)

Very helpful comments on your side by the way, I'm sure APPLE01DOJ and everyone else in the conversation will appreciate your perfectly relevant and constructive inputs.

September 6, 2018 3:17 a.m.

Personally, I think the better equivalent is that: Fatal Push acts as a Path to Exile..

September 6, 2018 5:16 a.m.

sergiodelrio says... #14

I'm gonna agree that black is the strongest color. Through discard it has all the answers, has access to card advantage, can pay and gain life and has the best planeswalker.

September 6, 2018 6:20 a.m.

Xica says... #15


When did Gideon of the Trials become black?

(Imho black simply must have a second color for support to be viable. Sure it got some beaters with delve but they aintg gonna be on the field before turn6+ without the help of red or blue cards)

September 6, 2018 6:29 a.m.

Xica says... #16

Poor old lili is not even the most pricy walker anymore - if thats what you meant by "best"... while i agree that lili of the veil is the best walker for bgx midrange, the archetype has terrible winrates compared to other decks.

Being the best pw for a "bad" (but historically great) deck doesnt mean its the best walker ever.

(Btw. There can be a strong argument that frikkin katn is the best. Since tron is karn.deck, and is doing well with the card since a looooong time - just ask any bgx player what the would like less t3 lili or t3 karn XD)

September 6, 2018 6:35 a.m.

sergiodelrio says... #17

Xica watch gideon get sacced into Lili's -2 then :P

September 6, 2018 6:41 a.m.

APPLE01DOJ says... #18

I love black but it's downfall is lack of enchantment and artifact removal. Both of which are heavily prevelant in the current meta.

I mean against KCI white has Rest in Peace, Stony Silence, Suppression Field, Nevermore and Path to Exile that all see legitimate play.

Black has Leyline of the Void and access to Pithing Needle. If they don't discard KCI they really have no way of stopping it.

September 6, 2018 9:13 a.m.

lukas96 says... #19

Interestingly there are a lot of players that this white is the worst volor in modern.

Besides that im with Chandra420. I dobt think its a useful qiestion to ask because you play with decks and not with colors

September 6, 2018 9:15 a.m.

APPLE01DOJ says... #21

It's just a discussion, it really isn't relevant in a competitive environment but if you enjoy more aspects of the game than tier 1 play it can be interesting. At least I find it interesting enough to talk about and invite others to talk about.

September 6, 2018 10:30 a.m.

The 'issue' here is rather that everyone has a different interpretation of the title I'd say :)

  • If you consider monocolored competitive builds - we're still in the Modern section right? -, I think Red is the most powerful, simply because it has the ability to close games much faster. You will steal the majority of your game 1's.

  • If you consider what the color can bring to the table (which is how I understood the thread), I still think Black is the strongest. White can indeed deal with any nonland permanent just on his own, but honestly how many O'ring do you see at your LGS/FNM/PPTQ/GP?

And very specifically APPLE01DOJ, when you say 'you can't beat KCI unless you discard it', that's exactly why I state that black is better : Thoughtseize KCI, Surgical Extraction/Extirpate it and problem gone ;)

September 6, 2018 11:07 a.m.

lukas96 says... #23

oh absolutely its a question but i think its a wrong questin to ask. For example strong is a word that different people can have different ways to messure. What does it mean? the most played cards are from that color, the ebst decks play this color... its not well defined.

So its a question that is hard to answer and a question that we dont really can learn anyhing from because it doesnt change the way we play or build decks anyways.

Im not saying dont discuss but play tier 1 decks instead. Im simply saying that your question is not really relevant

September 6, 2018 12:25 p.m.

APPLE01DOJ says... #24

I tried to be nice but really get out of the thread if you have nothing to contribute.

You wouldn't go into a "what modern card has the best art" thread and argue how it's not relavent would you?

The thread isn't about what is useful, relevant, educational, whatever. It's about people's opinions on what color is strongest and why. If you can't get behind that step aside and stop making irrelevant "unuseful" arguments.

September 6, 2018 1:02 p.m.

lukas96 says... #25

Ihave soelmething to co tribute.

There is no best color in modern. At least not if you dont give any defenition of what that should mean.

September 6, 2018 1:53 p.m.

Actually, from a brewing perspective, this is a very relevant question to ask.

Naively, yes, the best decks are the tier 1 decks, and those are indeed decks, not combinations of colors. But if you realize that decks are flexible and can change, you can ask much more sophisticated questions.

For example, why does mardu pyromancer play white instead of blue? Why is it Mardu pyromancer instead of Grixis pyromancer? Blue has cantrips, which are very good in conjunction with Young Pyromancer, so this is indeed a fine question to ask.

One of the main restrictions of deck building is which colors you include and which you omit. And understanding the strengths of each color allows informed decisions on how and when to splash another color.

All competitive decks start somewhere. Hollow One started as an mtgo 5-0 league deck. And the early versions played Vengevine. Players tried variations and eventually settled on its current version. If you don't try to brew things you will never make your own competitive playable deck. Someone has to, so I might as well try.

Also it's undisputed that blue is the strongest color in legacy and vintage. No one who knows those formats would even think to challenge this. Why is it wrong to try to ask which color is most powerful in modern? Leaving the question open-ended can lead to a rich discussion, provided people are willing to try to have a discussion at all.

Right now I'm trying to figure out why Jund is more popular than Junk. They're both BGx decks with the same core. But with the power of white cards I'd expect Junk to be the more popular at the moment. But everyone is still on the Bloodbraid Jund train, and they're not even faring that well against the meta.

This trend speaks to the power of red cards in this meta. Granted, Jund over Junk is probably due to Bloodbraid Elf, but I'm still surprised by this.

September 6, 2018 2:49 p.m.

Thinking about what Toolmaster said about being the king of Legacy & Vintage, this is because those formats are defined by the presence of Force of Will.. On the other hand, I’ve always heard that Lightning Bolt is what defines Modern (ie. Does it die to Bolt?).. So from this simple logic is indeed the strongest, or at least most significant/defining, color in Modern..

Btw, I find this discussion amusing because my 3 favorite colors (in descending order): , , ..

September 6, 2018 6:33 p.m.

Xica says... #28


You have some major misunderstandings if you think that Liliana of the Veils -2 can even hit Gideon of the Trials (hint: its related to the question "when can you use pw abilities?")

So heres my evaluation of the colors:

  • - has the best card value, from Dark Confidant, Liliana of the Veil, Thoughtseize, Gurmag Angler, Death's Shadow to stuff like Ad Nauseam - but if you takd a step back and pretend that you forgot the decks that are built to abuse these cards, all of them habe some significant drawbacks. They are often the best core cards but need support to be viable. Black is also the second best color for hate cards.

  • - best hate cards. Rest in Peace, Stony Silence, Rule of Law... etc. Its also the king of "symmetrical" (and crippling) effects and exile - exiling creatures is VERY underutilized at the moment, just consider what Declaration in Stone does to hollow one...

  • - ramp, best fatties, insa card that support creature based strategies & ways to deal with anything but creatures. I think Primal Command & Tarmogoyf sum it up pretty well

  • - is the color of counters, stupid stuff with spells (Snapcaster Mage, Gifts Ungiven... etc.) and nearly great cards, like Vapor Snag, Reality Shift, As Foretold, Disrupting Shoal, Delver of Secrets  Flip and the list goes on. Its also USED TO BE the undisputed king of card filtering and card advantage but that got banned (Ponder, Brainstorm, Treasure Cruise) we have Search for Azcanta  Flip, Serum Visions - the draw package is much more intact than filtering (sadly it was weaker to begin with). Problem is that red is arguably better at filtering with its loot effects - scry is good for miracles if its preceeded by a draw, while looting supports any strategy that is willing to get its hands dirty with using the grave (lets hope surveil makes blue better). (And black has plenty of good draw engines.) So its basically counters + stupid support cards for instants & sorceries.

  • - is a pretty good color that is pretty nice all around, but gets little to no credit as burn is an easy cop out answer wjen asked "what does red do?". Yeah it has reach, but it also has Blood Moon, Koth of the Hammer, Faithless Looting, Through the Breach all great quality cards that need no introduction. And it has some of the best 4 & 5 drops (Hazoret the Fervent, Stormbreath Dragon) - which are great in the push + bolt meta (and not that bad when you got the help of path to be able to play them early), and the vest 1drops - yes Goblin Guide is not bad - but its no Grim Lavamancer. Oh and it has all the mana acceleration you may want - Vessel of Volatility & Infernal Plunge are absurdly underappreciated cards - the former is basically a fixed Seething Song that can't be abused by storm, the latter is frickin Dark Ritual if you have cheap creatures in your deck - which is an achievable goal (not for storm though, apparently Wotc hates storm).P.s.:if you have run the old squee, all the loot effects becom card advantage engines.

During my recent excursions into mono red hollow one land, i relized that there are stupidly powerful lands like Nephalia Academy or Scavenger Grounds that simply don't fit into 3 color decks. Am i the only person who sees these cards a very good reason to not get greedy with color splashing?

September 6, 2018 8:19 p.m.

lukas96 says... #29

This is not really relevant from brewing perspective actually.

You dont ask the question which color does my deck need. You ask the question which kind of effect your deck needs.

Mardu plays blood moon. Splashing a third color is not really what you want to do. You play lingering souls because they fit the strategy of the deck. This is not about the color white. Its about one specific card (and some sideboard stuff). You dont need cantrips in this deck and you cant suplort a thord color pretty well, so no blue for the deck.

Again why doesnt mardu play blue instead of white is the wrong question to ask.

That doesnt have to do anything with being creative and starting to brew.

Blue is the strongest color in eternal formats for sure. That doesnt make the question relevant or answerable for modern though.

September 6, 2018 11:01 p.m.

APPLE01DOJ says... #30

lukas96 Why are you trying to argue the validity of the thread? I can't tell if you're a troll that is out of steam or if your logic is just that impaired.

Look at your comprehension:

Apple: "it really isn't relevant"

Mucas96: Argues back and ends it with "Im simply saying that your question is not really relevant"

Toothpaste96: "For example strong is a word that different people can have different ways to messure. What does it mean? the most played cards are from that color, the ebst decks play this color... its not well defined."


Loophole96: "Blue is the strongest color in eternal formats for sure. "

September 6, 2018 11:39 p.m.

sergiodelrio says... #31

Xica oops, should've rtfc

Thought it was one of these until your next turn effects.

September 7, 2018 1:22 a.m.

lukas96 says... #32

Im arguing because its worth it and I think you can learn something from that.

You clearly dont understand my argumentation.

Blue ist the best color in eternal. Thats not related to modern. Just because that question can be answered for those format doesnt make it answerable for modern.

Thanks for making me repeat myself.

It doesnt matter which defenition of strong you choose. Blue will always be the answer because it has everything you need in those formats. Thats not true for modern. So we need a defenition of what you mean. Until you do this your question is nonsensical and cant be answered sufficiently

Maybe your anle to comprehend what i say after i repeated it for the 4th time(with decent spelling this time hopefuly)

September 7, 2018 12:21 p.m.

electromancer says... #33

I'm not very good at keeping up with modern (or good at magic) but just to add to Xica's input:

White is the best sideboard color. So whether or not it contributes a lot to your decks power it's rarely a bad inclusion.

As for most influential color in modern, I would guess red. As I understand it, modern's clock is determined by the speed of burn. This is what makes modern unique from the other formats. Just my 2c, could be totally wrong.

September 14, 2018 2:40 p.m.

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