Welcome to Modern Hero

Where do I even begin? This is a question many Magic players ask themselves when they get ready to play a new format for the first time. Wizards of the Coast has attempted to help you answer this question. They have created the Modern Event Deck. This B/W Tokens mid-range deck costs $75, a reasonable price compared to the hundreds of dollars required to play a deck with Scalding Tarn, Misty Rainforest, Tarmogoyf, or Dark Confidant. But, is it even worth the investment?

That’s where Modern Hero comes in. I’m going to buy the Modern Event Deck and put it to the test. Here’s what you need to know:

  • I will be using the actual event deck purchased from my local game store
  • Every week I will enter a four-round Modern tournament hosted at my LGS for a $10 entry fee
  • After each tournament I will post a report on the deck’s performance that week
  • The tournament reports will end with a poll for voting on improvements to the deck
  • A budget of $10/week will be used for making the improvements
  • Any prizes I win at my LGS will also be used to make improvements
  • After 8 weeks of testing, I will play the deck at Grand Prix Boston/Worcester
  • Once all is said and done, post-GP Boston, we will be auctioning off the final deck for charity

The total budget for this project is $275 which includes the $75 event deck, eight weeks of tournament entry ($80), eight weeks of improvements ($80) and the $40 entry fee to Grand Prix Boston/Worcester. You’ll get to follow along week-by-week and see the improvements and help direct the changes made to the deck. In the end, we’ll have a community-built deck to be proud of.

Last Week on Modern Hero

Last week we had a great performance with a lot of luck. Unfortunately our luck ran out when we faced Mono-U ‘Tron in the fourth round. We also ran out of luck periodically with some trouble with mulligans. As such we put forth the following two polls to the community:

Modern Hero - How to deal with 'Tron?

  • Protection Package: Leyline of Sanctity or True Believer (34%, 158 Votes)
  • Land Destruction: Ghost Quarter or Tectonic Edge (23%, 107 Votes)
  • Null Rods: Stony Silence or Pithing Needle or Phyrexian Revoker (21%, 101 Votes)
  • Graveyard Hate: Leyline of the Void or Grafdigger's Cage or Relic of Progenitus (10%, 49 Votes)
  • Discard Package: Duress or Raven's Crime (9%, 40 Votes)
  • Counter-Proof: Boseiju, Who Shelters All (3%, 15 Votes)

Total Voters: 384

Loading ... Loading ...

Modern Hero - What to take out for Land #23

  • Sword of Feast and Famine (47%, 178 Votes)
  • Zealous Persecution (14%, 51 Votes)
  • Intangible Virtue (9%, 34 Votes)
  • Tidehollow Sculler (9%, 32 Votes)
  • Dismember (9%, 32 Votes)
  • Honor of the Pure (6%, 22 Votes)
  • Hero of Bladehold (5%, 20 Votes)
  • Path to Exile (2%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 376

Loading ... Loading ...

Since Leyline of Sanctity is still out of our price range we’re going to hold off on Sideboard changes. We have $40 now, and if we can go 4-0 tonight we’ll have the $80 required to get a full set. Otherwise, we’ll use this poll to amend the sideboard after this week.

In the meantime, the second poll was pretty clear. Sword of Feast and Famine will be dropped from the deck in favor of the 23rd land which will be City of Brass. There was some clamoring about adding a land that doesn’t produce colored mana, such as Ghost Quarter, as the 23rd land. However, I feel very strongly that we need another land that can product colored mana so that we can play out Thoughtseize and/or Spectral Procession.

March of the Multitudes

Creatures (4)
Hero of Bladehold
Tidehollow Sculler

Spells (33)
Honor of the Pure
Inquisition of Kozilek
Intangible Virtue
Lingering Souls
Path to Exile
Raise the Alarm
Spectral Procession
Zealous Persecution
Lands (23)
Caves of Koilos
City of Brass
Godless Shrine
Isolated Chapel
Windbrisk Heights

Sideboard (15)
Burrenton Forge-Tender
Ghost Quarter
Relic of Progenitus
Stony Silence
Suppression Field
Torpor Orb

Four Rounds of Modern

Round 1 – Richard with RWU Control

Round 1

I kept a decent hand on the play against Richard’s mull to six. I opened with Windbrisk Heights, easily my favorite opening. Richard answered with a Scalding Tarn which he soon cracked in order to cast Spell Snare on my turn two Intangible Virtue. The next few turns saw Richard attempt to gain some tempo. I eventually landed a Tidehollow Sculler to see what was in his hand and it was dangerous. Bolt, Angel, Path. I took the Bolt and carried on. Fortunately for me, a couple Lingering Souls are usually too much for control decks to handle. This proved true again and I won the first game.

In game two I got absolutely demolished by Izzet Staticaster. Yikes. I was a bit unprepared for that one and made sure to play around it in game three. I think, in game two, Richard’s Staticaster killed about 8 spirit tokens. Yikes. In the third game I was able to go back and forth for most of the game. A few anthems kept him away from making Staticaster effective. Unfortunately I ran out of gas and ended up drawing half the land in my deck. It’s a rough way to lose what’s normally a much better matchup in my favor.

Event Deck 0—Not Event Deck 1Draws 0

Round 2 – Greg with Merfolk

Round 2

I’ve had mixed results against Merfolk but they all seem to hinge on my opponent having Aether Vial. Greg didn’t open with Vial. He opened with a Mutavault and then passed the turn. I wrote the word “merfolk” in my notebook and then played Thoughtseize and saw three Islands, Cavern of Souls, Silvergill Adept, and Cursecatcher. That’s a real tough keep for Greg and obviously a rough opening to hold onto the 1/1 in order to fuel the 2/1 cantrip. I took the Adept and went on build up my airborne army. Greg was able to beat me down to 4 life before I finally finished him off.

Obviously my biggest concern here is Aether Vial. The sideboard plan is designed to combat Vial and also Spellskite. The Ghost Quarters can serve two purposes. Primarily, they’re to destroy my own lands which have been enchanted with Spreading Seas and secondly they can kill an enemy Mutavault if necessary.

I lost the second game to a very fast opening by Greg which involved three or four lords accompanied by two Spreading Seas. Bad beats happen and this is pretty much one of the best draws Merfolk can get. In game three it was the opposite story as I was able to destroy my own lands with Ghost Quarter to keep Greg off of Islandwalk while I beat down with a couple spirit tokens fueled by Intangible Virtue.

Event Deck 1—Not Event Deck 1Draws 0

Round 3 – George with Merfolk

Round 3

When it rains it pours. In game one I was very fortunate that George kept a very questionable hand. He opened with Mutavault. On turn two he played an Island and a Cursecatcher. I played Thougthseize and saw Master of Waves, double Merrow Reejery, and double Lord of Atlantis along with a Silvergill Adept. I was a bit surprised at what was going on here. I took the Adept and George never mounted a huge threat before I assembled a formidable army of tokens.

  • Same Sideboard Plan as Round 2

In game two I was victimized by Aether Vial and Master of Waves. I didn’t see any hand disruption, but I did a decent amount of damage so I must have kept an aggressive hand. In game three I had to mulligan to six but was able to put together a decent hand. Unfortunately I got blown out by a few well timed Spell Pierces that I never should have just walked right into. George was a good sport when I became visibly upset about counter-magic in a Matt Jones-esque rant. We shook hands and I reported the match, knocked out of contention for a cash prize.

Event Deck 1—Not Event Deck 2Draws 0

Round 4 – Luis with RUG Twin

Round 4

In the final round of the night, and this eight-week adventure, I played against what I now consider the deck’s most favorable matchup: Splinter Twin. Luis was playing the RUG variety and in game one he was stuck on three copies of Twin without ever seeing a copy of a game winning creature until very late in the game. By that time I was stocked up on removal and Zealous Persecution to make sure he couldn’t combo.

I’m always torn between Duress and Inquisition here. One can take care of Twin and the other can take care of the creatures. The creatures can be played in response to Inquisition, which makes it a bit weaker in my opinion. So I swap them. The rest of the board choices are also to shut down the combo.

Luis was on the Huntmaster of the Fells plan in game two. I’m not sure if that’s really a sound strategy against the Modern event deck. I almost always have spells to cast to keep it from transforming. I can fly over it so it doesn’t serve as an effective blocker. I cast Thougthseize early and saw them and decided to take a copy of Splinter Twin instead. I guess Twin on Huntmaster would be really good. I’m glad it never got to that point and I was able to stabilize an army of fliers and win the round.

Event Deck 2—Not Event Deck 2Draws 0

Lessons Learned

Very good against tokens. Learning to play around this guy is critical for successfully piloting the Modern Event Deck.

The big takeaway this week was to be more careful about opponents with counter-magic. In the first three rounds I was up against solid decks which are packing plenty of counter-magic. I got blown out by several timely placed permission cards, and one cost me a match. I need to be more mindful of what my opponent could be threatening to cast. I have nine main-deck hand disruption spells. There is no reason to blindly fire off a card like Spectral Procession into several untapped Islands.

Next Time on Modern Hero

Sadly, this was the final week of competition at my LGS for Modern Hero. When we set out we decided to play eight weeks and now we have done so. Next week we are going to take a look back at how we did, analyze match-ups, and talk about getting ready for Grand Prix Worcester. We still have $40 to spend on the deck, and next week we’ll review the match-ups and decide on what to do for our final improvements.

We’ll also reveal the details of the charity auction for the deck, so you won’t want to miss that!

In the meantime, now that we’ve had eight weeks to play the deck, I want to know what you really think about it!

Modern Hero - What Did You Think?

  • I was on the fence about the deck, but you've convinced me that the deck can be a good entry point into Modern (43%, 406 Votes)
  • I always had faith that the Modern Event Deck would be playable with some improvements (31%, 289 Votes)
  • I thought the deck was garbage but you've managed to convince me it is okay, but not great, and I still wouldn't recommend it (13%, 121 Votes)
  • I was on the fence about the deck, but now I see that the deck is very limited in it's abilities and would not recommend it (6%, 61 Votes)
  • This deck is, was, and will always be garbage to me (4%, 33 Votes)
  • I thought the deck was garbage but you've managed to convince me it's actually quite good (3%, 31 Votes)

Total Voters: 941

Loading ... Loading ...

Polls close on Tuesday at 4pm!


Money Spent on Deck: $75
Money Spent on Entry Fees: $80
Money Contributed to Improvements: $80
Money Earned from Cards Sold: $6
Tournament Winnings: $41
Money Spent on Improvements: $87.00
Remaining Budget for Improvements: $40.00

Total Expenses: $235
Total Winnings: $41
Cards Sold: $6
Net Expenses: $168

Overall match wins: 19-18-1 (.509)
Overall game wins: 32-31-1 (.500)

Vs. Affinity: 2-0-0 (1.000)/4-1-0 (.800)
Vs. BG Rock: 1-1-0 (.500)/3-2-0 (.600)
Vs. Faeries: 1-0-0 (1.000)/2-0-0 (1.000)
Vs. Jund: 4-1-0 (.800)/9-5-0 (.643)
Vs. Kiki Pod: 0-1-0 (.000)/0-2-0 (.000)
Vs. Melira Pod: 1-2-1 (.333)/5-5-1 (.485)
Vs. Merfolk: 2-2-0 (.500)/6-5-0 (.545)
Vs. Mono-R Burn: 0-2-0 (.000)/1-4-0 (.200)
Vs. Mono-U Tron: 0-3-0 (.000)/1-6-0 (.143)
Vs. UW Control: 1-0-0 (.100)/2-1-0 (.667)
Vs. UW Tron: 0-2-0 (.000)/1-4-0 (.200)
Vs. RUG Twin: 2-1-0 (.667)/4-2-0 (.667)
Vs. RWU Control: 1-2-0 (.333)/4-6-0 (.400)
Vs. Splinter Twin: 2-0-0 (1.000)/4-2-0 (.667)
Vs. Storm Combo: 1-0-0 (1.000)/2-0-0 (1.000)

Change Log

Week 8:

  • -1 Sword of Feast and Famine (MD)
  • +1 City of Brass (MD)

Week 7:

  • No Changes

Week 6:

  • +1 Godless Shrine (MD)
  • -1 City of Brass (MD)

Week 5:

  • +2 Thoughtseize (MD)
  • +1 City of Brass (MD)
  • -2 Soul Warden (MD)
  • -1 Vault of the Archangel

Week 4:

  • +2 Dismember (MD)
  • +2 Stony Silence (SB)
  • -2 City of Brass (MD)
  • -2 Dismember (SB)

Week 3:

  • +2 Thoughtseize (MD)
  • +2 Suppression Field (SB)
  • -2 Shrine of Loyal Legions (MD)
  • -1 Duress (SB)
  • -1 Kataki, War’s Wage (SB)

Week 2:

  • +1 Hero of Bladehold (MD)
  • -1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant (MD)

Rich Stein is a former amateur Magic player turned Magic journalist. He came very close to making day two of several Grand Prix tournaments before metaphorically hanging up his playmat. He now returns to the table to sling spells in the guise of investigative journalism. You can also check out his weekly news column: What We Learned, which appears on Mondays on this very site.

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.