Returning to mtg

Modern forum

Posted on Nov. 8, 2022, 9:27 a.m. by Qui-Gon-Chi-Ching


I took a few years off after my collection was destroyed when my basement got flooded a few years ago.

Came back into edh earlier this year to play with some friends and I wanna get back into modern so I can get some competitive play at my lgs.

Any suggestions for a returning player that doesn't have a collection anymore? (Budget is about 400-500$ at most).

Dead_Blue_ says... #2

Mono Green Stompy or Infect

Mono Red Prowess or Burn or Hollow One

Mono Blue Delver or Affinity or Merfolk


Mono Black 8Rack or Control or Zombies

Mono White Tokens or Budget Death & Taxes

You could also build a “Boomer” deck as a lot of former staples such as Path to Exile, Snapcaster Mage and Liliana of the Veil or Tarmogoyf are dirt cheap compared to what they used to be

November 8, 2022 9:46 a.m.

RoleSmith says... #3

If you go with infect check out Ajani, Sleeper Agent planeswalker

November 8, 2022 10:08 a.m.

shadow63 says... #4

I'm not sure when you stopped playing but you may want to look into pioneer. It's from I believe return to ravnica forward. Modern right now is basically modern horizons. Pioneer is slower and more budget friendly

November 8, 2022 10:36 a.m.

nbarry223 says... #5

I’m going to start with the obvious question first:

What is your preferred play style? Do you have other concepts that you like, any that you refuse to play?

I’m talking about control, aggro, midrange, combo, etc.

Do you want a budget version of a deck you can upgrade, or something with staples that is as competitive as possible within budget?

November 8, 2022 11:19 a.m.

nbarry223 I used to play aggro and midrange type of deck but since I came back and played edh winning by attrition and taking resources away from my opponents is something I really fell in love with (not sure if it applies in modern tho but nothing is more satisfying than hearing 3 other people sigh out of desperation).

I've really enjoy playing and trying decks with either blue and/or black decks which I never did before.

I think I would be more interested in budget decks that I can build, test and upgrade if I feel comfortable with said deck.

November 8, 2022 11:42 a.m.

Icbrgr says... #7

I recently have been attending my LGS and have a meta consisting of affinity, goblins, living end/crashing footfalls, ponza, bogles and prowess/burn.

The decklist that I brought that did well in this field was Saheeli Rai combo deck.... my decklist is just shy of 600 bucks but honestly I don't think Force of Negation is really needed... the point is that the combo is fast and consistent enough to win games get top 3 and its pretty cheap for a modern brew.... but combo isn't for everyone.

T-1000 Saheeli Rai

Modern Icbrgr


November 8, 2022 11:52 a.m.

Chasmolinker says... #8

Welcome back!

It sounds like you should be playing Jund Midrange. And I'm not just saying that because it's my favorite Archetype.

Jund can be aggressive if the opportunity presents itself, while mostly being an attrition based Midrange deck. If watching people struggle to stabilize is your jam, Jund is your Jam.

November 8, 2022 1:19 p.m.

Chasmolinker says... #9

There are many many ways to build a competitive Jund list nowadays. Whether you stick with Modern or go to Pioneer, there are competitive lists in both formats that can be customized to fit your needs. While it's position in the meta is always fluctuating, you can get good enough at the archetype to steal wins with experience and skill over pure deck ability/consistency. I see Jund as a thinking deck.

November 8, 2022 1:22 p.m.

wallisface says... #10

Based off your description of enjoying UB “cruel control” i’d suggest either Mill, 8Rack, or UB Asmo-Food. All 3 decks can be made pretty decently for $400-500, and wouldn’t take much more $$$ than that to be upgraded completely.

Examples of decks in their completed forms here:

If any of those appeal to you and you wanted to dial it back to a particular budget, let me know :)

November 8, 2022 1:24 p.m.

IXALAN_Crazy says... #11

It's may be too expensive now, but Izzet Murktide is an extremely powerful deck in Modern right now, and its fun to play!

November 8, 2022 1:37 p.m.

RNR_Gaming says... #12

With that budget it's Tron or burn but they're not teir 1. I'd say just barrow some of your friends decks unless you double your budget you're going to have a hard time squeezing out wins against the money pile decks modern consists of.

November 8, 2022 3:57 p.m.

nbarry223 says... #13

I second mill with 8 rack as a close second based on what you described.

Mill is positioned particularly well currently, since the banning of the 80 card companion, so now you are counting to 60 in almost every match.

Mill can also be looked at as burn in a sense, when you consider 3 cards = 1 life.

I’ll mention that I have a really budget blue/black rogue aggro/tempo deck that is semi-competitive, but isn’t really all that upgradable, and is never going to be a tier deck.

It’s on my profile page if interested, I think it’s costed at ~$60 last I looked. Your cheapest “tier” competitive decks are burn, green aggro, and infect, with a significant price increase for most other decks due to either the staples or manabase.

November 8, 2022 4:14 p.m.

Dead_Blue_ says... #14

Pick a deck you like and let us help you build it. Most tier decks can cut their cost significantly by playing with a budget mana base

November 8, 2022 4:47 p.m.

wallisface says... #15

I’m going to disagree with those saying Tron & Burn are the only buildable decks for $500 - as the 3 i mentioned above can easily fit within that budget and are all decently competitive. There’s also a bunch of other decks that can fit within that budget - you’re kindof only restricted by not being able to run any 4-colour deck, or a build focused heavily around UR.

I’ll also add Lantern Control to the mix of viable decks. My list is basically as upgraded as the deck can get, and apparently costs exactly $500 at the moment. It has also won me numerous tourneys, and can hold its own against the vast majority of decks. The only caveat being that it has a very-high learning curve, as far as piloting it well.

November 8, 2022 5:16 p.m.

Delphen7 says... #16

wallisface You seem to know modern, so what are your thoughts about Pox? It seems extremely controlly, decently strong, and budget friendly last I checked

November 8, 2022 5:24 p.m.

wallisface says... #17

Delphen7 I’ve had really good success with this Pox-ish list, which is also really cheap considering how easily it can shut down tier-1 decks. The main issues with it that if you can’t stop an early W&6 or Ragavan generating resource advantage it’s usually over, but if you can overcome that it’s often a free win (provided the deck doesn’t “lose to itself”). I’ve seen a few other proper Pox lists (though the decks seem to fluctuate quite a bit on what they run), and the deck does seem well positioned to compete in the current meta - though it also feels like a deck that is very meta-dependant, and could quite easily struggle if the meta shifts in a new direction.

November 8, 2022 5:38 p.m. Edited.

wallisface says... #18

Delphen7 if you have a Pox list to link here I can give my thoughts. Overall i think the archetype is strong but liable to having to make constant/regular changes to its mainboard & sideboard to cope with the meta, and its biggest weakness is often the unreliability of its draws.

I’d give the archetype around a 6ish/10 for competitive viability, +/-1 depending on exact build.

November 8, 2022 5:42 p.m.

Delphen7 says... #19

wallisface This is the list I had in mind. Reid Duke's Orzhov pox

November 8, 2022 6:58 p.m.

wallisface says... #20

It’s a very interesting list. I’d have to see some games with it to see what’s going on, though my initial concerns are that the sideboard feels pretty sub-optimal, and then secondarily that i think this deck is trying to potentially attack from too many different avenues at once. Relying on Nether Spirit seems super risky also in a world of exile & grave-hate. But the list doesn’t look bad, and seems like it should be viable.

November 8, 2022 7:18 p.m.

Dead_Blue_ says... #21

I think that list is too outdated, Pox is in an odd position in the current meta, I feel like you want to throw it into a Rakdos Scam deck but you also want double white for Damn

November 8, 2022 7:45 p.m.

Chasmolinker says... #22

There is no deck in Modern that can’t be had for $500 or less. It depends on how closely you want to match the meta vs. how creative you can get with any particular archetype. Most decks have a small number of key cards or interactions that can be had for a reasonable price or replicated with a slightly less optimal budget alternative.

Not to continue plugging deck lists, but I’ve built a reasonably competitive Jund deck for $250. The general play-style is there, discard attrition, efficient threats, but it has a more synergistic build that can be vulnerable to certain interactive decks in the meta.

If you have a deck that you want to play, pick out the key engine or win-con in the deck and see what it costs to obtain just those pieces. You’d be surprised how affordable most decks become.

November 8, 2022 8:14 p.m.

nbarry223 says... #23

That is true for the most part, but I'll just say it like this:

You can pick 3 of the 4 following options for most decks:

  1. Budget Friendly
  2. Potential Win Capability
  3. Consistency
  4. Resilience to hate

There's a few exceptions, where the "streamlined" deck is relatively cheap still, usually because the manabase isn't a few hundred dollars on it's own.

November 8, 2022 8:20 p.m. Edited.

Balaam__ says... #24

@nbarry223 well put. That reminds me of the old handyman’s mantra ‘You can have it done Good, Fast or Cheap. You can pick any two of those three, but never all three at once.’

November 8, 2022 8:23 p.m.

nbarry223 says... #25

There are decks that are good at being able to win, are budget friendly, and are fairly consistent, but a lot of them aren't considered "tier" decks because they fold to certain hate/interaction, or just are positioned poorly against other decks. Those are the types of decks I was talking about earlier as not upgradable.

I would suggest finding one or two archetypes you like (preferably close in colors so you can share the manabase) and buy a budget version, and then work towards slowly upgrading the manabase overtime. That is the consistency factor, that I would personally forgo initially if on a budget. You can use slightly worse manafixing and still have near the same power level, just with some minor downsides which you'll notice as you play more and more games (you'll have to choose lands that come in tapped sometimes, or lands that cost you more life - both of which are factors that could cost you a game).

November 8, 2022 8:29 p.m. Edited.

nbarry223 says... #26


Yup, that's kind of where I was going with it. I did realize that resilience to hate played a part as well, so I added that.

November 8, 2022 8:33 p.m.

I'm not looking to top everything all the time I just wanna have a nice time at my lgs with the buds.

I use to have a merfolk, a prowess and a collected company deck back in the day. Would any of those still be viable today if I rebuilt them ?

November 8, 2022 9:51 p.m.

Dead_Blue_ says... #28

Merfolk is in a great position right now, Prowess is the top budget deck of the format and CoCo has evolved into Yawgmoth combo, arguably one of the best decks currently.

November 8, 2022 9:57 p.m.

wallisface says... #29

Qui-Gon-Chi-Ching yeah as Dead_Blue_ has just mentioned all 3 of those decks are viable in Modern, though you'll probably be able to field either Merfolk or Prowess with less overall changes.

Get a list up and see what people suggest as changes.

November 8, 2022 10:30 p.m.

These are all very close versions of what I had back when I was playing.

Kitchen Company

Bashing Face

Old town fishies

November 9, 2022 5:53 a.m.

I do have a prefer the merfolk deck out of those three tho.

November 9, 2022 7:05 a.m.

wallisface says... #32

Here’s an example of what modern merfolk currently looks like. It looks like you’re already a lot of the way there tbh, and it’ll just be a case of making small upgrades when you’re able

November 9, 2022 1:26 p.m.

Dead_Blue_ says... #33

Absolutely nothing wrong with the list above, I like this list personally. No Glasspool Mimic  Flip is the main difference and it’s more consistent with it’s 4 ofs

November 9, 2022 1:49 p.m. Edited.

wallisface says... #34

That list i’ve posted does have 2 copies of Glasspool Mimic  Flip in the main. Also, that’s the highest quantity of that card i’ve ever seen run in competitive lists - i really don’t think you’d ever want to run more than 2 of that card.

Personally Dead_Blue_ i’m not convinced by your list. It also misses out on mainboard Subtlety, which is one of merfolks big strengths atm. Also, the sideboard feels a bit lazy/lacking

November 9, 2022 2:04 p.m.

Dead_Blue_ says... #35

I mean that’s Nikachu’s list who just top8’d magic 30

Granted he did run with 2 Subtlety’s MB but my point was no Glasspool mimic not splitting hair over where a card is in the 75

November 9, 2022 2:39 p.m.

Is sliver a thing in modern ?

November 10, 2022 12:15 p.m.

legendofa says... #37

Qui-Gon-Chi-Ching Slivers aren't really a thing at the competitive level, but I've seen some good high-casual decks. Modern Horizons introduced Cloudshredder Sliver, Lavabelly Sliver, The First Sliver, Spiteful Sliver and Scuttling Sliver as potential build-arounds, among a few others.

November 10, 2022 12:26 p.m.

The best Slivers deck I've ever run was a deck revolving around using Didgeridoo or Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord to drop Morophon, the Boundless, then casting The First Sliver for free and cascading a bunch of cards. I used cards like Hibernation Sliver and Wheel of Fate to keep the cycle going.

It was capable of turn 1 wins but it wasn't very consistent. Adding Brainstorm and such helped matter, but it wasn't perfect.

(Note: just noticed that you specified Modern. My bad.)

November 10, 2022 12:39 p.m. Edited.

Chasmolinker says... #39

Hey Qui-Gon-Chi-Ching I built a deck based on your search for Affordable Fish. I mentioned you in the description so you should get a notification about it.

So, You Wanna Play Merfolk Yea? (Budget)

November 10, 2022 3:01 p.m.

Delphen7 says... #40

legendofa At one point there was a Lurrus Slivers list floating around that was very powerful.

Here's a copy of the list, but it's not the original as far as I'm aware:

The guy who created the original list changed it to include Harmonic Slivers after the Lurrus ban, but I'm not sure what he cut (Aside from Lurrus)

November 10, 2022 5:31 p.m.

ive heard that affinity is pretty cheap

November 21, 2022 1:19 a.m.

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