Cool Modern Decklists Before Modern Horizons 3

Ben Fraley
May 14, 2024


Modern Horizons 3 is set to release June 14th and is bound to shake up the format. After multiple leaks, powerful cards like Buried Alive, Kappa Cannoneer and Sylvan Safekeeper are slated to be printed into modern. However in the meantime, there is plenty of fun stuff to do in modern! Today I will go through some of the cool brews running around in modern leagues and challenges.


Jund Saga

Tarmogoyf (Time Spiral Remastered #235) Urza's Saga (Modern Horizons 2 #259) Thoughtseize (Double Masters #109)

First off, a deck many people claim to be dead, Jund Saga, got 4th in the Modern Showcase Challenge played by Wiltron92. The deck has Jegantha as a companion and the list overall is pretty sick with 4 Tarmogoyf. Goyf has not been seeing much play recently, but between this finish and its resurgence in Gruul Prowess it is on the up and up. Not only that but the deck is running something pretty rare, 2 Inquisition of Kozilek! This hand interaction spell has been largely pushed out by Grief and the fact it now misses so many key spells in Modern like Solitude, Grief, The One Ring, Yawgmoth, and Primeval Titan. The rest of the deck is the most powerful interaction (Fatal Push, Unholy Heat, etc), creatures (Ragavan, Bowmasters, the previously mentioned Tarmogoyf), and of course, 0 or 1 mana artifacts to be tutored off of Urza’s Saga (these include Shadowspear, Pyrite Spellbomb, and sideboard cards such as Pithing Needle or Stone of Erech). Wrenn and Six allowing you to keep playing Urza’s Saga creates a level of advantage that can not be interacted with fairly and can’t be outgrinded. 

Decklist Here


Magda Valakut

Magda, the Hoardmaster (Outlaws of Thunder Junction #133) Freestrider Lookout (Outlaws of Thunder Junction #163) Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle (Zendikar #228)

Next, AspiringSpike recently played a Magda Valakut List that he did well with in the challenge and Selesneal the following day also got top eight in the Modern Challenge 64! The deck looks to trigger the crime abilities of Magda, the Hoardmaster and Freestrider Lookout. Magda creates treasures which can be used for mana or turned into 4/4 Flying, Haste Dragons. Each option is very powerful. Freestrider Lookout is bad unless you can very consistently trigger it. But this deck can! 4 Mishra’s Bauble, 4 Relic of Progenitus, 4 Lightning Bolt provide interaction and free or repeatedly crimes! Even Wrenn and Six can ping to trigger crimes. The deck then runs Dryad of the Ilysian Grove and The One Ring as cards that provide even more power to the Valakut Plan. 2 Wish even allow for a Scapeshift plan aswell. Overall, the deck has tons of synergy and overlap and looks like a sick new brew to play while waiting for Modern Horizons 3!

Decklist Here


Though the previous two decks have performed at a high level and done well in magic online challenges if you are looking for decks to play at your local game store or on mtgo leagues your deck does not need to be top of the meta at all. With that in mind I have chosen two really cool decks I found in the league dumps that I have enjoyed playing and, while they won’t win the pro tour, can still be fun to play!


Dimir All-in Satoru

Satoru, the Infiltrator (Outlaws of Thunder Junction #230) Vein Ripper (Murders at Karlov Manor #110) Cauldron Familiar (Throne of Eldraine #81)

This deck is looking to go all in on Satoru. It wants to trigger Satoru every possible way. This deck includes the Vampire Combo common in Pioneer, Blood Ghast, Cat-Oven Combo, and, of course, Grief Scam. Each one triggers Satoru because they put a creature into play without paying mana. Sorin, Imperious Blood Lord’s -3 Ability can put Vein Ripper into play and draw a card, Blood Ghast continuously returns to the battlefield because of its landfall ability and synergies with Sorin’s sacrifice ability to repeatedly put Blood Ghast in the graveyard and Lightning Helix your opponent. This engine by itself is powerful but adding Satoru to the mix is just great. Additionally, evoking Grief triggers Satoru as it enters without mana being spent and the Not Dead After All triggers Satoru once again. Grief also works to protect the Sorin Vein Ripper Combo by taking out opposing Solitudes or other answers/creatures for the ward ability. For some odd reason the deck also plays 4 Cauldron Familiar and 4 Witch’s Oven. They do work well together and with Satoru but I have doubts as to their ability to compare to a modern power level. A repeated sacrifice outlet does work well with Not Dead After All, Blood Ghast, and Vein Ripper, however, the Cat is simply not a very good card. The deck also runs some removal and discard such as Thoughtseize, Fatal Push, and Sheoldred’s Edict. Lastly, the almost entirely mono-black deck also runs 4 Urza’s Saga for that extra grinding power. My overall review: probably not great, but it is super sick.

Decklist Here


Golgari Roots Asmo

Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar (Modern Horizons 2 #186) Ovalchase Daredevil (Double Masters #101) Insidious Roots (Murders at Karlov Manor #208)

Lastly, this Asmo deck looks to use Underworld Cookbook and Ovalchase Daredevil to go off with Insidious Roots. Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar, Asmo, finds Underworld Cookbook and can sacrifice Food tokens to kill creatures. The Cookbook has tap and discard a card: create a food token. This means that by discarding Ovalchase Daredevil it is then returned to hand and turns the cookbook into a repeated food generator. Insidious Roots creates a plant and grows plants each time a creature leaves the graveyard, which is what Ovalchase does each time. This means Cookbook not only creates a ton of food for removal but also creates a very large plant army. The deck also runs plenty of other awesome ways to trigger the roots and add to the overlapping synergy between the cards. Seed of Hope mills two cards and returns a permanent to your hand, which can trigger the roots and the deck even runs a single unmarked grave to find Ovalchase Daredevil, Cauldron Familiar or even Feasting Troll King each cards that can repeatedly return from the graveyard and synergize with food! Sarynth Steelseeker and Urza’s Saga both also add a lot of grinding power to the deck. Drawing cards or providing card selection and creating game winning constructs. 

Decklist Here


Each of these decks are cool and fun things to do in modern outside of the typical modern meta and I know I have enjoyed drawing cards of Satoru or triggering Insidious Roots in my own time. If any of these lists look fun to you, absolutely try them out and I wish you the best of luck!


Pioneer RCQ

As a final treat it is Pioneer RCQ season so I have been playing a lot of Pioneer to get ready for my own RCQs and the familiarize myself with the format for the Regional Championship in DC in October. I have been primarily playing Niv to Light in Challenges and have across 5 challenges and 35 games with the deck have a 60% winrate. I think the deck is well positioned and Ancient Cornucopia is a great card that has shored up the aggro matchups and provide even more color fixing in the main. The mana is still a problem being figured out but at the moment this is the list I ran in my most recent challenge. 

Niv-Mizzet Reborn (War of the Spark #208) Bring to Light (Battle for Zendikar #209) Ancient Cornucopia (The Big Score #16)

Decklist Here

However, Niv to Light is nothing exciting and if you want hot and spicy brews Mono-Red Magda is where to look. While sitting around with a friend we decided we wanted to brew with Magda, the Hoardmaster and have come up with two decklists that have felt very promising. 


Mono-Red Atraxa

Atraxa, Grand Unifier (Phyrexia: All Will Be One #196) Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast (Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths #125)

This list looks to play a fair-low to the ground midrange gameplan with Lukka-Atraxa to add a high-rolling aspect that fights decks that go big like Vampires or Niv. The three powerful red two-drops each add a strong aspect to the midrange gameplan. Inti generates value off of Fable and Copter and helps a more aggressive draw. Magda, Brazen Outlaw works well with the crew off of Copter and the additional treasures help Magda, the Hoardmaster make Dragons. Scrabbling Claws are a great main deck graveyard hate for Phoenix and generate tons of treasure off of Magda, the Hoardmaster because the Claws repeatedly commit crimes. Outside of that Fable helps the deck smooth out draws and interaction. Then after all that you can also simply play Lukka, -2 on your two drop creature or crewed Copter and put an Atraxa, Grand Unifier into play. 

Decklist Here


Magda Treasures

Professional Face-Breaker (Streets of New Capenna #116) Shrapnel Blast (Modern Masters #129)

This list is all in on the treasures and instead of a Lukka-Atraxa plan it plays cards like Professional Facebreaker and a couple Shrapnel Blast to maximize the power of all the treasure cards. A great strength of both lists is the combination of 4 Sunken Citadel and 7-8 Field effects (4 Field of Ruin, 3 Demolition Field) to hate on all of the lands with activated abilities, creature lands and greedy mana bases. 

Decklist Here


Though each list went 3-2 (With the treasures list not facing a ton of meta deck) they felt strong and like they needed more refining. If this inspires you please try and build Magda, the Hoardmaster in Pioneer! The strength is definitely there, someone just needs to perfect it shell, whether it is through Atraxa or other means.