Growing Robots in Modern

Parker Ackerman
December 28, 2017

People often think of technology and nature as being opposites. But why can’t these two work in harmony? Why can’t we have robots and growth working together? Well, in Magic, we can. For this week’s deck, I present to you the triumph known simply as “Growbots.” Sure, maybe the nature thing was a stretch, but it makes for a nice intro. I got the list from here, and let me say, it has been a blast to play so far. In case you don’t want to venture to tappedout, you can check out the list right here:

Grow BotsParker Ackerman Arcbound Ravager Arcbound Worker Hangarback Walker Ornithopter Steel Overseer Walking Ballista Metallic Mimic Blinkmoth Nexus Darksteel Citadel Inkmoth Nexus Spire of Industry Gavony Township Forest Hardened Scales Mox Opal Animation Module Springleaf Drum Ancient Grudge Chalice of the Void Fragmentize Ghost Quarter Scrap Trawler Whipflare Blood Moon Etched Champion Ghirapur Aether Grid

The deck is a strange mix of affinity and stompy, and is complicated enough to have a real sideboard, unlike something like Narset Cannon (which I’ve played in the past). Your basic plan with this deck is to get down a turn 1 Hardened Scales, and then just go to town from there. Every creature in the main deck with the exception of Ornithopter interacts with your +1/+1 counter strategy, and you can abuse this to devastate your opponent. The deck’s biggest enemy is variance. It can play as either an aggro deck, or more midrange, but sometimes you just draw the wrong half of the deck for what you want to do.

What the deck has an advantage in, however, is closing games from nowhere. If you’re sitting with a board of a bunch of artifacts, Scales, and a Ballista during a boardstall, a topdecked Arcbound Ravager wins you the game on the spot, since you can sacrifice your artifacts, then sacrifice Ravager to itself to trigger modular. Suddenly, you have a Ballista with well over 20 +1/+1 counters on it, and you can ping your opponent out for the win. The deck is loads of fun to play, or even just goldfish with, and has played pretty well in testing.


  • You’ll want to be naming “Construct” with your Metallic Mimic. That gets you +1/+1 counters on most of the other creatures in your deck, with the exception of Ravager and Ornithopter.
  • Never forget about your Inkmoth Nexus. It has evasion, gets boosted by Overseer, and you only need 10 damage with it to win.
  • If you have, say, a 5/5 Hangarback Walker, you can get six activations of Ravager thanks to the 1/1 thopters.
  • If you have Ravager, Worker with a single counter, and Hardened Scales down, sacrificing worker to the Ravager will actually put four counters onto Ravager. Two from the sacrifice ability, and two from modular.

While this deck did play quite well, there were a few things that seemed lackluster. These changes might not be right, but I feel they would help the deck overall.

Potential Changes

  • Remove the sideboard Fragmentize for Natural State or Nature’s Claim. We’re running off of rainbow lands anyway, and the instant speed feels worth it despite the small downsides that these green options bring.
  • I would take out a Blinkmoth for another basic. Considering we need red from the sideboard and run Blood moon, I would probably do something like -1 Blinkmoth +1 Forest.
  • Animation Module has the potential to be really good. Sometimes though, I feel like I want just about any other card. It’s almost always the first thing I sideboard out. I might move the one-of etched champion in the sideboard over to the main, and put one of the modules into the sideboard. Shoot, I might take Energy Chamber over the module.

The deck feels really solid altogether, but it feels like some changes are needed to make it a bit more consistent and resilient. I recommend taking this deck for a spin, because it’s a blast to play, and you can win out of nowhere. It seems this deck has a lot of room for growth, and despite the fact that it felt decently powerful, it can definitely be improved upon. With some tuning, I might even feel cautiously optimistic taking this to a larger event.

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