Let’s Face facts. Modern is in a interregnum. There’s no great definitive best deck in the format. Even the old stand-bys are in an interesting spot where they are figuring out what sort of deck they want to be. Jeskai Control is being weird with Emrakul and Nahiri, Abzan is playing Collected Company which is messing with its creature base, several other decks are jockeying for position in the void left by Eldrazi, that filled the void of Twin, that filled the void of Cruise Delver. The short of it is that we are in the Battle of Five Kings part of Modern. There is no true heir apparent.

This is a great time to play value Gifts. I took it out to a GPT this weekend and did ok with a 3-2 record. Admittedly I could have had some better luck in my matchups but what I noticed is that I was a a bit of a dog vs UWR Nahiri. So I tweaked the list to deal with Planeswalkers a little better. This is the final list I came up with.

Junk Value Gifts

Lands (25)
Hallowed Fountain
Watery Grave
Overgrown Tomb
Temple Garden
Breeding Pool
Godless Shrine
Windswept Heath
Polluted Delta
Flooded Strand
Misty Rainforest
Ghost Quarter
Tectonic Edge
Academy Ruins
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Creeping Tar Pit
Lumbering Falls

Creatures (3)
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
Tasigur, The Golden Fang
Snapcaster Mage

Spells (32)
Gifts Ungiven
Abrupt Decay
Path to Exile
Lingering Souls
Go for the Throat
Murderous Cut
Hero's Downfall
Unburial rites
Engineered Explosives
Life from the Loam
Raven’s Crime
Supreme Verdict
Lilianna of the veil
 Maelstrom Pulse
Sideboard (15)
Golgari Charm
Fracturing Gust
Wrath of God
Timely Reinforcements
Slaughter Pact
Hero's Downfall
Baneslayer Angel
Iona, Shield of Emeria
Surgical Extraction
Pithing Needle

During the GPT I played without the Maelstorm Pulse and the Hero’s Downfalls. After this weekend I played with the changes and I’m much less worried about Jeskai. I fact I’d venture to say I’m in a pretty good position in that matchup. This weekend in Charlotte or Los Angeles I’d be happy to play my favorite four mana instant.

The real key to this deck is playing to win, while protecting yourself from what your opponent is up to. It’s not always right to cast Gifts for Unburial Rites and Elesh Norn. As flashy as that is, if Elesh Norn can be dealt with easily then you’ll need a way to disrupt your opponent’s hand and board. Often casting Gifts for three spells that fit the moment and a Snapcaster Mage is the way to go. Other times you can just search up Life from the Loam, Raven’s Crime and two utility lands like Ghost Quarter and Urborg.

One caveat: Don’t take this deck to a big tourney before getting in some practice. You need to know what your paths to victory are when cast Gifts so you aren’t wasting time looking for combos in your deck.

Good Luck this weekend!


Zac Clark is the Founder of Hipsters of the Coast. An avid gamer since his early teens, Zac can often be found in Brooklyn either playing games or taking photos. When he’s not drawing extra cards, wrathing boards and countering spells, he’s taking pictures of other peoples good times and listening to 90’s Music.

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