This deck came about because I really liked The Gitrog Monster in my testing of it when coming back to magic after a long hiatus post Summer Bloom ban while trying to revamp my favorite deck:

Viga-BOOM! (New Tech)

Modern nbarry223

SCORE: 210 | 690 COMMENTS | 46543 VIEWS | IN 95 FOLDERS

I like this breakthrough just as much as when I found Glittering Wish for that deck. I actually find this build to potentially be even more powerful, since there's so many possible threats and routes to go with it. Needless to say, I'm really excited about the concept.

There's custom categories on the deck, which you can view by either clicking one in the pie chart to the right, and it will highlight the cards in that category, or by going to the categories dropdown and scrolling down to the bottom and selecting custom. This will group cards by their uses a little better (some cards are in multiple categories). It will just help to give a better understanding of the deck initially, so feel free to give that a peak.

The deck is basically an explosive toolbox deck (Karn, the Great Creator gives full access to my artifacts in the side game 1 and Search for Glory lets you search up any snow land, legendary land, legendary planswalker, or legendary creature, so it is ramp or a threat, whatever is needed at the time).

We also function as a prison/stax archetype, so you can catch opponents off-guard by using one strategy one game, then winning with a different strategy the game after. It makes sideboarding against an unknown deck-type like this very difficult.

The basic play of the deck game 1 is to look at your hand and hope for Ancient Stirrings or Amulet of Vigor + bounceland for an explosive start. You basically want to have a plan to have potential for around 5+ mana out by turn 3 when you look at your opening hand, or at least a bunch of little guys that synergize well and create board presence. You need at least a basic mana engine and some board presence (can look for a lock if you know opponents deck also I guess).

We have two different routes to go about winning games. There's the obvious outpace our opponent and put more/bigger threats than they have answers, which amulet/tron decks are good at doing. However, this deck also has the Prison/Stax route, where you just straight up deny your opponent the ability to play a normal game of magic. We attack their manabase in a few different ways with this deck, so if they are a slower, more controlling deck, it is usually an easy win for us. We also have a lot of consistent lifegain in the form of Courser of Kruphix, Wurmcoil Engine and Search for Glory, so aggro decks aren't much of a threat either (usually). So, the main decks to worry about are combo decks that can just outrace us.

We have 3 main interactions in the deck, and they all synergize with each other, so it's pretty nice. The Gitrog Monster is our main enabler. Once its value starts going, you quickly outpace your opponent. We basically want to dump lands into our graveyard to draw cards, and play lands from our grave (Crucible of Worlds) or top of deck (Courser of Kruphix) to generate card advantage that's really hard to keep up with. We have some really broken combos in here like Crucible of Worlds + Ghost Quarter with all of our extra land a turn cards. Even Blast Zone gets really powerful when you can recur it whenever. Last but not least is our mana engine, which is powered by Amulet of Vigor and the bouncelands, to allow us to fully utilize our land drops until we get the grave/top deck options online.

Something worth mentioning is that since our lands don't need to remain in play to produce mana when Amulet of Vigor is out is what gives this prison archetype its power with Hokori, Dust Drinker becoming very one-sided. If you land a well-timed Hokori, Dust Drinker when they are tapped out, it is usually game over as they are unable to recover fast enough.

Disclaimer: This may not be 100% up to date, as I am still actively changing this version of the deck, since it is a novel concept.

Amulet of Vigor - one of the cards that makes this deck really shine, allowing you to produce mana with bouncelands. Multiples of this ramp me really fast, and is a force to be reckoned with.

Ancient Stirrings - this card is super powerful in here, since we are running colorless planeswalkers and artifacts along with a high land count. Let's look at some quick math for the opportunity value behind this card (values change as deck consistency changes obviously):
~47.5% chance of a bounce land
~30.1% chance of Amulet of Vigor
~47.5% chance of colorless threat (planeswalker + Wurmcoil Engine)
~80.1% chance to find an untapped land
~93.1% chance to find a land
~99.95% to not fizzle (find something colorless)

Search for Glory - this one is just amazing in here. It is lifegain, and an awesome tutor all wrapped into one neat little package. This card lets me find any planeswalker I could want, most of my utility lands, and even Azusa, Lost but Seeking + The Gitrog Monster. Not really much more I can ask for when I can tutor for 40% of my deck with one card. It is a little overpriced and slow, so I'm only going to run 1-2 copies of it, but it is definitely a nice tutor.

Ghostly Prison - this is a card to help protect myself. It can essentially lock the opponent out of attacking if I get down one of my mana-denial cards. Since we also have a lot of deathtouch/big creatures, this lets us easily block the singular threats while locking out swarms in a lot of cases. It's comparable to Ensnaring Bridge but is one-sided instead of being detrimental to us as well.

Crucible of Worlds - this card can lock some decks out of the game when combined with Ghost Quarter. Not only that, but it lets us reuse our fetches, play Flagstones of Trokair to sacrifice to The Gitrog Monster, or even recur a fetchland to utilize my land-drops. It just generates crazy value with a deck that puts lands into the graveyard as much as this one does.

Karn, the Great Creator - This guy is really good, he's just in an awkward spot of the mana-curve, which is where his tutoring ability is very relevant. 4 cost is an awkward spot for this deck, as you generally jump from 3 to 5 or more relatively quickly. However, Karn, the Great Creator mitigates that with his -2 which let's you grab any artifact from your sidedeck and potentially play it in the same turn, mitigating the risk of not having something big enough to use all your mana on. He also can be very relevant artifact hate, both with his passive and +1 which is lowkey removal for any artifacts that are or / .

Karn Liberated / Ugin, the Ineffable / Ugin, the Spirit Dragon - These are just crazy good value engines. There's a reason that decks like Tron with enough mana to play these cards, well play them. They're just really good, and even more so when you can tutor up the one you need with Search for Glory.

The Gitrog Monster / God-Eternal Bontu - probably the best card in this deck. If you can keep him on the field, you just win. Sacrificing your lands to draw cards is just amazing. This deck doesn't need its lands in play to produce mana, since Amulet of Vigor lets you fully utilize all the extra land drops with a single bounceland in hand. God-Eternal Bontu is like a one time use version, that isn't quite as good, but I can have one of each legendary out at once and double trigger on the sacrifice, so he's decent.

Hokori, Dust Drinker - this guy synergizes very good with our Amulet of Vigor mana-engine. Since we don't need to untap our lands to produce mana, and can instead bounce them back to our hands, this is a really evil 1-sided card against most decks, that locks them out of playing and minimally affects us.

Azusa, Lost but Seeking - Two additional land drops per turn. Super powerful in this build. She is legendary, so you never want more than 1, which is why I only run two copies of her.

Dryad of the Ilysian Grove - Additional land drop every turn, mana-fixing, and a solid 2/4 body for 3 mana. Also combos with Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle as a win-condition if you decide to go that route, but I find that unlike traditional amulet decks, we don't want to keep lots of lands in play, so it doesn't really fit in here.

Courser of Kruphix / Augur of Autumn / Lotus Cobra - Courser of Kruphix is good at letting me eliminate land draws, which can really be a problem sometimes. It also is Lightning Bolt proof, which can be huge sometimes. Lifegain from lands hitting play is just icing on the cake. Augur of Autumn does basically the same thing as Courser of Kruphix, but it is geared more towards gridy control matches instead of aggro decks, since it doesn't broadcast info. Augur of Autumn can let you play creatures from the top of your deck as well if you have 3 creatures with different power. Lotus Cobra helps to produce extra mana of any color with all of our land drops. Lotus Cobra is more of a combo deck option, while Courser of Kruphix and similar are a little slower, but allow you to grind out more plays and eliminate land draws to an extent. They all have nice uses and synergy with the deck. Lotus Cobra can almost be viewed as a worse Amulet of Vigor while Courser of Kruphix and friends are closer to our extra land play cards.

Wurmcoil Engine - just one of the best colorless creatures in the game. It allows us to find it with Ancient Stirrings and is just resistant to removal and great value.

Wall of Shards - an amazing body attached to a 2 cost creature, with a major drawback of giving my opponents crazy amounts of life. Since one of our wincons is capable of mitigating that (Karn Liberated) and sometimes we need this to block with it makes the cut.

Ohran Viper - this is basically a deathtouch creature that produces card advantage if we attack with it. It's pretty great in any type of control-like deck.

Selesnya Sanctuary / Golgari Rot Farm - green bounce lands, the main mana engine this deck revolves around. It is a good idea to keep one of these in hand at all times to make the most of your multiple land drop potential. The only time I play my last one in hand is if it means I can hard cast a bomb that I feel will get through when I untap next turn. Otherwise it is best to keep them in hand with the potential of drawing extra land cards or Amulet of Vigor, allowing you to "go off" in a lot of cases (considering you have either an amulet in play, or dryad/azusa in hand, and are just waiting on the other piece).

Blast Zone - This is more of a utility land to deal with the decks that pump out tons of low cost creatures/board presence. This is basically an Engineered Explosives attached to a land. It's biggest drawback is that it can't hit 0 cost permanents, since it enters with 1 counter on it already. You can also use it to blow up some big hard to remove threat with hexproof/shroud if you have enough mana.

Lotus Field - this land actually enables our strategy by dumping lands into the graveyard and reducing our land count, and it also works as "ramp" sometimes because of enabling us to use those lands that we just sacrificed. It's also useful for mana-fixing and the hexproof is handy against land destruction.

Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth / Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth - This gives all my lands the ability to tap for or which allows the deck to stretch it's manabase a little thinner.

Flagstones of Trokair - a singleton land that can become quite powerful if utilized correctly. I don't run more because I don't really have the slots, but I would definitely run more than one copy if I could.

Ghost Quarter - land destruction that can double as another copy of a basic land if I am facing hate like Blood Moon.

Snow-Covered Forest / Snow-Covered Plains - basic lands are needed, enough said. It stops Path to Exile from being as devastating, and allows some powerful interactions by targeting yourself with Ghost Quarter, along with giving hope against Blood Moon.

Windswept Heath / Verdant Catacombs - fetchlands so you can find your various snowlands (these also make the Blood Moon matches a little easier).

Temple Garden / Godless Shrine - shocks, not much more needs to be said.

I've not really come up with a definitive sideboard yet, but I was contemplating some kind of transformative sideboard option, for if they happen to have replacement effect graveyard hate, as that will be one of our decks biggest weakness (we can basically just ignore normal gravehate, as we only really care if our lands hit the graveyard so we can draw cards).

What I mean by transformative sideboard options, is where I basically change the play of the deck, so all of their specific hate they sided in becomes dead cards. I'm currently exploring that route, as it has worked out well for me in the past, and there just may be enough open slots in the deck to do something like that, as there's not a lot of free slots in the deck currently. For now, I've set up the sideboard as some of the better Karn, the Great Creator targets and Dead of Winter because I run snowlands. Open to suggestions, especially if you see another win-con or something that can fit in on the board to basically change how the deck is played.

Chalice of the Void - very powerful denial against decks that are efficiently mana-curved, as most modern decks are. This is one that is best played early for 0 or 1, maybe even 2 if facing a hatebears/goodstuff kind of deck. It doesn't deal with any current threats at that CMCm, it only prevents future ones from being played. This also hits your own cards as well, so be careful about that.

Pithing Needle / Sorcerous Spyglass - quite powerful against planeswalkers, fetches, and anything else with an activated ability. Either option can break certain combo decks if they rely on activated abilities.

Relic of Progenitus / Tormod's Crypt / Grafdigger's Cage - Relic of Progenitus is reusable graveyard hate capable of cantrip'ing itself. It doesn't get much better than that. Tormod's Crypt is not quite as good, but sometimes the 0 CMC is relevant, for example if there's a Chalice of the Void set at or you want to find it with Tolaria West. Grafdigger's Cage isn't strictly graveyard hate, but I grouped it here. It is also very relevant against decks like Collected Company which seek to set up combos with their creatures. All three have their pros/cons but basically fill the same slot.

Engineered Explosives / Ratchet Bomb - targeted CMC removal.

Nevinyrral's Disk - basically removal for everything; it also combos with Amulet of Vigor so you can board wipe immediately.

Ensnaring Bridge / Storage Matrix / Trinisphere / Thorn of Amethyst - This stops you from being overrun. Sometimes you just need to buy time to get to your better answers, and these help to do just that, albeit in different ways (still very similar).

Void Mirror - extremely good against mainly colorless decks like tron and affinity.

Defense Grid - good against control decks, but I feel most of our other answers put us in a good enough spot that this isn't necesarry.

Spellskite - good against aura decks, and a good magnet for removal if the need arises. It can also be useful against aggro decks to block with.

Walking Ballista / Wurmcoil Engine - finisher options with slightly different uses. With Walking Ballista you can make a large threat which can use it's ability to deal with planeswalkers etc at instant speed if need be. Wurmcoil Engine is just huge value and has built in recursion when it dies.

Liquimetal Coating - basically removal for all activated abilities (including lands) when used in conjunction with Karn, the Great Creator. Slowly take away your opponents ability to do anything. You can permanently remove lands with Karn, the Great Creator's +1 making them into 0/0 creatures that are removed, so you only need to protect him one turn before he can start to devastate their manabase.

Maskwood Nexus - if you are running The World Tree as a land, this card combos with it, allowing you to play all the creatures in your deck. That's usually enough to end any game of Magic.

I'll add in exactly how I sideboard in various matchups once I playtest this version more. I've still not fully settled on a mainboard or sideboard yet, so this will come after that.

Crucible of Worlds + Ghost Quarter - Crucible of Worlds + Ghost Quarter is a nasty land destruction engine, especially against multi-colored decks. It is that much nastier when you can use the same Ghost Quarter multiple times a turn because of our extra land play creatures.

Karn, the Great Creator + Liquimetal Coating - Karn, the Great Creator + Liquimetal Coating is some more nasty land destruction. Usually you want to wish for something to protect him first, like maybe an Ensnaring Bridge, but once he is safe, you can just go to town blowing up their lands with his +1.

Hokori, Dust Drinker + Ward of Bones - Hokori, Dust Drinker + Ward of Bones is really broken, especially if I sacrifice all my lands away, and just produce mana with bounces and Amulet of Vigor. If I manage that lock, most decks scoop as they literally can't do anything.

Don't hesitate to suggest something, leave trying to fit it in to me.

All suggestions are more than welcome.


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  • Achieved #54 position overall 3 months ago
  • Achieved #52 position in Modern 3 months ago
  • Achieved #1 position in Modern BRGW 3 months ago
Date added 3 months
Last updated 1 week
Key combos

This deck is Modern legal.

Rarity (main - side)

12 - 4 Mythic Rares

30 - 8 Rares

4 - 3 Uncommons

11 - 0 Commons

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 3.53
Tokens Cat Beast 2/2 W, Spirit 2/2 C, Treasure, Wurm 3/3 C w/ Deathtouch, Wurm 3/3 C w/ Lifelink
Folders Uncategorized, Modern
Ignored suggestions
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Revision 12 See all

1 month ago)

-1 Archon of Emeria side
+1 Thalia, Heretic Cathar side