Places to Know: Modern Decks

In today’s installment of ‘Places to Know,’ I’ll be reviewing what I believe are the five safest decks in Modern to invest in. This isn’t what I believe what are the best five decks in Modern right now or even the five decks that have historically been great, but these are the five Modern decks that have been good-to-great for a long time and I believe have a long future to go in the format. Because of their proven shelf life and speculation that they will continue to be solid deck choices, I believe this makes them great investments. Modern decks can be a bit pricey, so it’s best to make sure you don’t spend money to play a few years into the future. Without further ado, my first choice is…..

  1. Tron – Tron refers to Urza’s Tower, Urza’s Mine, and Urza’s Power Plant. These three lands make 7 mana on turn three, which is 4 mana more than most people have on turn 3. Even when this deck is “bad,” it’s still completely playable and a tournament contender. Tron is generally not the best choice when the format is about winning the game as fast as possible, because a mostly colorless deck doesn’t have the best interaction. One good part about Tron is that, as a mostly colorless deck, you can splash a color or two pretty easily depending on the metagame. If you need to play a card that is strong against combo, I would suggest playing black for something like Thoughtseize. f you’re worried about fast creatures, then a color like red can have your back with Lightning Bolt and Pyroclasm. Tron has been a top contender for years in Modern and I believe will continue to be one. Few other decks can create so much mana so early in the game, giving this deck a consistent advantage.
  2. Affinity – The second persistent archetype I’d recommend is Affinity. Affinity is a colorless-based aggro deck that uses artifact synergies to make their cards extremely powerful. Affinity has top 8ed almost every single Modern Pro Tour and has proven resilient in the face of extremely powerful cards aimed to destroy artifacts. Affinity is a deck that goes into every match knowing that their opponents’ sideboards will have 3 to 5 cards aimed specifically to beat it, but not caring because their deck can be powerful enough to overcome such things. Coming out of the gates quickly is Affinity’s business and business has been good for years with no sign of slowing down.
  3. Burn – Burn has been a staple deck in almost every format Magic has ever had. Play a direct damage spell, do it again and again until your opponent has no life points left. Simple as that. Burn has waxed and waned in performance as different decks shine, but it’s always around and at the time of this piece being published, it is in a great spot! The way I see it, burn is a deck full of extremely efficient cards and that won’t stop being true at any time in the years to come. The best way to battle with burn is to throw some fire at their head until your opponent tells you they’ve had enough.
  4. Jund – Jund might be the most modern-erny Modern deck. Jund plays the cheapest creatures, cheapest removal, and cheapest discard spells. Jund is a deck that looks at the 15 years worth of Modern legal sets and takes the most efficient cards at their particular job and shoves them into one deck. Jund is not a deck with any real synergy, but you don’t need that when every card is an expensive rare from Magic’s past. Jund is by far the most expensive decks on this list at nearly $2000, but the power it offers is often worth the price if that’s the type of gameplay you love. It’s worth noting that the cards played in Jund are played in many other decks as well so your investment will be both long-term and versatile. The banned and restricted list has been updated multiple times simply because cards in this deck were too strong. If budget is a concern, I would not recommend this deck, but if you’re looking to play long and interesting games nearly every round you can’t go wrong here.
  5. Humans – Humans is the newest “best deck” on the scene in Modern. This deck has the best creatures in terms of size (power and toughness), mana cost, and interactiveness. Creatures like Meddling Mage, Kitesail Freebooter, and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben make it hard-to-impossible for combo decks to get their cards in play while creatures such as Thalia’s Lieutenant power all of them up. A deck like humans also only has one direction to go— up. Wizards of the Coast will only be printing more humans in sets to come, meaning that every time a powerful new human is released,this deck will have a new tool to combat the metagame with. Humans isn’t higher on this list because it’s relatively new, but I think it has a lot of potential.

While these 5 decks are what I see as the most persistent decks in Modern over the years, that doesn’t mean that things couldn’t change based on bannings or new printings. Either one could shake up the format. While these decks are great to consider, the most important thing in finding a deck you can play for a long period of time is truly enjoying it. Modern isn’t going anywhere.  Until next time…

Good luck and have fun,

Daryl Ayers


Editor’s note: The opinions reflected in this piece belong only to the author and do not represent an endorsement by Arcane Tinmen or Dragon Shield.

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