Modern Yawgmoth - Post Modern Horizons 3

Ben Fraley
June 25, 2024


Modern Horizons 3 has provided an exhilarating shake-up to the Modern format. New strategies are emerging, current ones are sticking around and even old ones are taking their vengeance and appearing once more in the format (looking at you landfall aggro).

Yawgmoth, Thran Physician (Dominaria Remastered #110)

However, for this article, I will be focusing on something close to my own MTG heart, Yawgmoth. Yawgmoth has received a ton of new cards from MH3 and it is hard to tell what is good, what is bad, and what may be a bit of both. This is all from my first impression so as the format evolves cards could increase or decrease in their relevance or power in regard to the format.


Flare of Cultivation

Flare of Cultivation (Modern Horizons 3 #154)

First up, I am going to start with what I think is the star from the new set for Yawgmoth: Flare of Cultivation. Flare of Cultivation is a Cultivate that can be cast for free by sacrificing a non-token green creature. This works great with Young Wolf as Young Wolf just comes right back because of undying but Flare is also good with any green one-drop. Flare can turn mana-dorks such as Ignoble Hierarch, Gilded Goose and Delighted Halfling into lands which makes it much harder for your opponent to interact with your turn 2 3-drop. A common play pattern is for a deck like Rakdos Scam of Murktide to kill your one-drop to prevent a strong 3-drop coming into play on turn 2, however with Flare the only thing stopping that now is a counterspell such as a Force of Negation or Flare of Denial. Flare also guaranteeing the following land drop makes it especially powerful because the card ramps you, sets up the next turn, and is net neutral on cards when cast for free. 

Some people have expressed doubt concerning the viability of Flare of Cultivation for two reasons: a deckbuilding cost for including more basics, and that it is a bad draw late game. However, from my testing, I believe these two worries are not as problematic as they may seem. The first one, a worse manabase, is far outweighed by the power of Flare itself. In most flare lists there are 5-6 basics and this will certainly obstruct some draws, but the games that Flare wins because of its power makes them well worth it. Additionally, Flare will fix these mana problems itself because it finds you lands. The second problem, Flare being a bad late-game draw, is honestly a pretty poor argument because Yawgmoth is a deck with plenty of poor topdecks and Flare replaces lands to a certain extent so in most situations where topdecking a Flare is bad, topdecking a land also would not have been that great. With the new card Springheart Nantuko, a card to be discussed later on in this article, Flare is a pretty good draw as it creates 2 insects for either 3 mana or sacrificing a creature. 

The last important point about Flare of Cultivation is the hard-to-disrupt speed it provides for the deck. In this new modern format, it is important to be able to compete and compete quickly. Flare of Cultivation provides that for the deck.


Birthing Ritual

Birthing Ritual (Modern Horizons 3 #146)

Birthing Ritual is a card I have been disappointed with. It looks really cool as a new take on Birthing Pod but far more fair and slow. The other problem with it is its speed. It accrues value slowly and Yawgmoth lacks good 3-mana cards that are good creatures for Birthing Ritual. Grist, the Hunger Tide entering on the endstep at 3 loyalty dies to a strong breeze and gets no activations, Geralf’s Messenger is slow and hard to cast. The best option is arguably Renegade Rallier which puts the deck into a 3rd color which is a real cost on the mana and life total, two things especially important to Yawgmoth since it really wants to use its mana and its life total is a resource. Ritual also requires a decent number of creatures at each mana cost to make it possible to consistently hit creatures of increasing mana value. Additionally, in matchups where speed is vital (like against titan game 1 or other combo decks) Ritual is a big hindrance to winning as it is effectively close to a blank piece of cardboard. 

It can certainly be defendable and be a decent card but when looking to build the best possible deck I believe that Birthing Ritual could be good but would require more significant changes to the construction of Yawgmoth. Recently there have been some interesting builds with Ritual that have been finding success that use Prosperous Innkeeper and Marionette Apprentice.


Phyrexian Tower

Phyrexian Tower (Modern Horizons 3 #303)

Phyrexian Tower is incredibly powerful. It is a sacrifice outlet and a sol land of sorts so it can pretty reliably produce the mana for a turn 2 Grist or other ramp you. It is great but needing a creature to produce both black mana and extra mana means the card is polarizing. When you don’t have extra creatures to sacrifice it is very bad and when you have an abundance of resources it feels very good. It requires cards like Tukatongue Thallid, Strangleroot Geist or other cards to enable it consistently. Additionally, it is a legendary land so it is incredibly poor in multiples. I think it is likely that this card will see play as a 1 of pretty frequently and could see more copies being played if the deck is built around maximizing the card.


Grist, Voracious Larva

Grist, Voracious Larva // Grist, the Plague Swarm (Modern Horizons 3 #251) Grist, Voracious Larva // Grist, the Plague Swarm (Modern Horizons 3 #251)

Grist, Voracious Larva is a very strong card but requires a lot of setup for it to be good. I believe that it needs to be run alongside Chthonian Nightmare, for any more than 1-2 copies it should also be in a deck with Flare where it being a one-green mana creature that is put into the graveyard works as an upside. With these requirements met, the card performs very well. It is a 1/2 with deathtouch so it puts itself into the graveyard profitably by blocking and it can flip turn 2 with the combination of Wolf and Flare. Grist, the Plague Swarm is incredibly powerful. It mills the deck at twice the rate of Grist, the Hunger Tide and can give the insects deathtouch if a black card is milled. The -2 is awesome as maindeck artifact and enchantment removal is nice, especially against Amulet Titan. The ultimate ability is amazing though. Yawgmoth’s proliferate makes it very easy to achieve. Creating a copy of every creature in the yard even as a 1/1 is incredibly powerful and wins the game. Grist, Voracious Larva is an insect which causes Grist, the Hunger Tide’s +1 ability to repeat.


Springheart Nantuko

Springheart Nantuko (Modern Horizons 3 #171)

Springheart Nantuko has been great in my experience as it really powers out a ton of insect tokens for Chord of Calling and is also a strong card in the late game as its bestow ability can be great on Orcish Bowmasters, other Springheart Natukos and even Dryad Arbor. Dryad Arbor also will repeatedly trigger the Nantuko allowing you to make as many copies as you can pay one and a green mana. Bestowing it also makes it far more resistant to removal both. By bestowing the Nantuko it no longer dies to Orcish Bowmasters and all other sorts of removal that are used. Another key aspect of Nantuko is its creature type. Being an Insect makes Grist, the Hunger Tide repeat its +1 ability. Natuko really needs a good amount of fetchlands to be worth it, plus it only has 1 toughness which is bad against Galvanic Discharge.


Chthonian Nightmare

Chthonian Nightmare (Modern Horizons 3 #83)

Chthonian Nightmare is a “fair” version of Recurring Nightmare, an incredibly powerful reanimation spell. Cthonian Nightmare is limited by energy, which it produces for itself, and can very easily return a large board of creatures as returning something like Orcish Bowmasters creates an extra token to then also sacrifice to the nightmare. Nightmare is incredibly powerful and an engine by itself and synergizes great with Grist, Voracious Larva. Nightmare single-handedly breaks a stalemate by being able to recursively bring creatures back to the battlefield and makes any sort of removal null a good portion of the time. It is bad in multiples so I don’t predict Yawgmoth lists will run more than two. It is strong but you don’t need to draw a copy every game and you don’t want to draw more than one.


Eladamri, Korvecdal

Eladamri, Korvecdal (Modern Horizons 3 #149)

Eladamri has impressed me a lot, however given the popularity of Bolt and Galvanic Discharge in so many decks having your three drop be killed so easily makes me doubt its viability. The other three drops in the deck, Grist, Endurance (and Bogart Bog) are far more resistant to those removal spells as Grist goes to 4 loyalty before the opponent gains priority, and Endurance has four toughness and arguably the most important part of it is the enter the battlefield trigger. (Bogart Bog also deals with the graveyard on entering the battlefield.)

I do not think Eladamri is going to be good enough because it is not a good spell to play on turn 2 or 3 and dies very easily. If it is played at all it will be played as a 1-of.


Boggart Trawler

Boggart Trawler // Boggart Bog (Modern Horizons 3 #243) Boggart Trawler // Boggart Bog (Modern Horizons 3 #243)

Boggart Trawler is amazing. It is a black source that you can pay 3 life to have enter untapped and it also can be tutorable graveyard hate for Chord of Calling. The maindeck Endurance has been a requirement for a long time, however, Boggart Trawler subverts this requirement by allowing one of the lands to act as tutorable graveyard hate. Even in matchups where you don’t need graveyard hate one of your lands now just being a 3-mana 3/1 is just good. The matchup where it is most important is Burn as it is a single colored source that costs 3 life if you want it untapped. It also can be vulnerable to Thoughtseize which isn’t great for a land. Despite these downsides I think of any new card from the set Boggart Trawler is the one that will almost always see play. It is especially great against reanimator with Buried Alive exile means that they can never get the cards again as opposed to Endurance which puts them back in the deck.


Marionette Apprentice (+ Prosperous Innkeeper)

Marionette Apprentice (Modern Horizons 3 #100) Prosperous Innkeeper (Adventures in the Forgotten Realms #200)

Marionette Apprentice is two bodies on one cards but can’t effectively replace Blood Artist in the deck by itself. I don’t think Marionette Apprentice is going to be very good unless the deck goes all in on making it effective with Prosperous Innkeeper. The builds of Yawgmoth that are on Birthing Ritual, Marionette Apprentice, and Prosperous Innkeeper provide a combination of synergies that allow the deck to replace Blood Artist and obtain value from Birthing Ritual.

Overall I think Flare of Cultivation and Boggart trawler are easily the best new cards for Yawgmoth from Modern Horizons 3 and that with all the new cards Yawgmoth has received it will continue to be a viable deck in the modern format. The bigger problem will be finding what build of Yawgmoth is best.

If you like my articles and want more Yawgmoth content please check out my Youtube or Twitch! My twitch is and my Youtube is I have been streaming and playing a lot of Yawgmoth and will soon be playing more pioneer for the RC.