Monday’s Banned and Restricted update came and went without a Faithless Looting ban. While all the Dredge and Phoenix players shed tears of joy there were many people who did not share the same sentiment—I’m looking at all the Aether Vial players out there. Now, you can either pack up your bags and quit Modern or you can take a look on how to work through the format and adapt in the world full of Faithless Lootings.

If you’re like me and you’re choosing to stick it out, here are the cards you shouldn’t leave home without if you’re attending either SCG Philadelphia or MagicFest Tampa this weekend.

Graveyard Interaction

If you are planning in entering a Modern event in the near future you really need to pack some serious interaction for the graveyard.

There are four very good cards that are for the graveyard that you should bring with you this weekend: Rest in Peace, Surgical Extraction, Ravenous Trap, and Leyline of the Void. These cards all fit different roles in their decks and make certain archetypes viable in the format. The free spells, in the form of Surgical Extraction and Ravenous Trap, are able to slot into any deck without a large drawback. A deck that really takes advantage of this is the deck Humans since the deck operates off creature-centric rainbow lands, so they give the deck interaction that doesn’t hurt the manabase.

The enchantments, on the other hand, work the same way in the sense they aren’t too detrimental to the state of the deck. The UW control decks in Modern lean heavily on Rest in Peace to beat the Faithless Looting decks and since they don’t play many Snapcaster Mages, it doesn’t mess with their main strategy. 

Primeval Titan

If graveyard interaction doesn’t interest you, maybe you’ll enjoy everyone’s favorite six-drop Green creature.

Primeval Titan is in a great spot in the Modern with multiple style of decks being viable. You have the Amulet of Vigor version of deck which has favorable Phoenix and Dredge matchups with mainboard hate in Bojuka Bog. The Scapeshift version of the deck, on the other hand, has a rough Phoenix matchup but a favoriable Dredge matchup. Dredge has very little interaction, while Titan Shift features both mainboard Relic of Progenitus and Anger of the Gods


There are plenty of ways artifacts can help beat this powerful one mana Red sorcery.

The first artifact on this list is easily Chalice of the Void. Chalice has been ticking up in popularity again in some Eldrazi lists. The card is able to do enough to slow down the Looting decks, Izzet Phoenix in particular, to let you set up your own game plan. The drawback, of course, is that Chalice puts you one or two turns behind Dredge of Phoenix’s explosiveness.

The next artifacts that can help fight Faithless Looting are Tormod’s Crypt andGrafdigger’s Cage. The Whir decks are able to play mainboard hate without really disrupting the flow of their deck and can tutor up cards like Crypt and Cage with Whir of Invention to stop creatures from coming back from the graveyard.

The last artifact that can stand up to the Looting decks is Mox Opal. Yes, many of the Mox Opal decks, like both Hardened Scales and Experimental Frenzy Affinity, are weak to Thing in the Ice, but they can hold their own in this metagame. Mox Opal allows for some seriously explosive draws that allow you to get out front of your opponent, hopefully to the point where Thing in the Ice and dredging Life from the Loam is too slow.

Death’s Shadow

Death’s Shadow has fairly good match up against the Phoenix variants. It is able to apply a lot of pressure and back it up with just enough disruption, including key sideboard cards like Surgical Extraction. Dredge is a little bit worse for Shadow decks but it benefits from a fast clock that doesn’t give Dredge much time to combo off. With Temur Battle Rage, Death’s Shadow can sometimes win a turn faster than Dredge.

If you are heading to SCG Philadelphia or MagicFest Tampa, those would be cards and strategies I would consider playing to combat the proliferation of Faithless Looting decks. Whether we like it or not, Faithless Looting is here to stay and we need to adapt our decks to beat it. 

Zack is a SCG grinder with one ultimate goal: getting to the Players Champ. Based out of NYC, you can find him in other cities every weekend trying to hit that goal.  When he isn’t traveling he streams. Follow his journey on Twitter!

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