If you’re an aficionado of the Modern format, this article probably isn’t for you. If you were a little peeved that the newly spoiled Modern Event Deck didn’t contain any fetches or shocks, well, this might not be your favorite article either. If you’re rolling in cash (or an inordinately large collection of cardboard), and you’re the type that refuses to show up to a gunfight with a knife, get on with your life and spend whatever time you would’ve spent reading this looking up the tier one decks of the format. However, if you’ve been sitting on the sidelines while your buddies are cracking their fetches for shocks, and felt the tiniest tinge of longing to be able to try your hand at the format, read on. If you’re a Standard player or even a drafter who has some of the cards from recent sets but wanted to give Modern a shot during the upcoming PTQ season, this is for you. If you aren’t Scrooge McDuck and can’t just drop $500+ (and that’s a lowball number) on a deck but have been dying to show the guy with the ‘goyfs and/or Bobs who’s boss, well, I might have something for you, here. This past week, Wizards dropped the Event Deck list heard-’round-the-world and there was a lot of outcry, mostly from the people who I described in the first three sentences of this article, myself included. (Though my reason for outcry was different than most people. I wasn’t hoping to pilfer preconstructed decks that were meant for new players so that I can get expensive cards. I just wanted to see more supply of the expensive cards injected into the market to reduce their value so that the format would be more accessible for others to get into, even if it meant the value of my collection takes a little hit. At the end of the day, I just want to play more Magic and have more fun. Ok, that’s the end of that digression.)

All that said, what is the purpose of this article? I want to take the out-of-the-box precon and show a clear pathway for the people that this deck was meant for—players with little to no experience in the Modern format that want to get their foot in the door—to turn this into a tier 1.5 list that can have respectable FNM showings, and with a little luck, maybe even deliver a strong performance at a PTQ. Disclaimer: I am not providing a primer for how to play the deck, but rather a reasonable guideline to transform the out-of-the-box list into a list that can put up respectable results with a fixed budget. For the purpose of this exercise, I’m going to demonstrate that we can turn this into a competitive deck on $30 per week (using TCG Player mid prices), but you can adjust your pace accordingly if that’s above or below your budget. Another disclaimer I should point out: these are the prices as of 5/14/2014; as we get closer to Modern season, it wouldn’t be surprising if certain staples, such as Marsh Flats (since nobody bothered to reprint any of those), experience a price increase. I guess for starters, let’s have a look at what $75 gets us:

March of the Multitudes

Planeswalkers (1)
Elspeth, Knight-Errant

Dudes (5)
Soul Warden
Tidehollow Sculler

Spells (30)
Honor of the Pure
Inquisition of Kozilek
Intangible Virtue
Lingering Souls
Path to Exile
Raise the Alarm
Shrine of Loyal Legions
Spectral Procession
Sword of Feast and Famine
Zealous Persecution
Lands (24)
Caves of Koilos
City of Brass
Isolated Chapel
Vault of the Archangel
Windbrisk Heights

Sideboard (15)
Burrenton Forge-Tender
Ghost Quarter
Kataki, War’s Wage
Relic of Progenitus