Plainswalker83's picture
By: Plainswalker83, Plainswalker83
Feb 01 2022 1:03pm

It has been a few years since I last wrote an article for PureMTGO. Life got a bit busy and I took a break from magic for a while. About a year ago I started playing arena because my son kept talking about it but the Historic format was not really what I was looking for. Then, a few months ago, my buddy called me about him getting back into magic with a format called PreModern. 

What is PreModern? PreModern is a format that starts where 93-94 magic leaves off. Starting at 4th edition and going to Scourge. That is a huge cardpool that has A LOT of options. It also happens to be the time that I started playing magic. I first started playing magic 22 years ago. My first deck? A green white aggro deck with cards like Armadillo Cloak and Charging Troll. I remember when Apocalypse came out and all of these new powerful cards caught my eye. I took that green white deck and added black to include a lot of the new multicolored cards. I then started to move beyond Type 2 and into the other formats. I started to play Extended which is pretty much what PreModern is.

Each new set brought more options and they were put together with the older cards to form powerful and exciting decks. Cards like Psychatog being put into decks with Brainstorm and Force of Will. Spiritmonger and Pernicious Deed joining with Wall of Blossoms and Yavimaya Elder. Perhaps my personal favorite Standard Bearer and Silver Knight along-side of Mother of Runes with Swords to Plowshares and Savannah Lions for backup.

I went out to the local game store 2-3 times a week to play and to buy more cards.I was playing every format back then. Type 1 (Vintage) Type 1.5 (Legacy), Extended, and Type 2 (Standard). Basically, whenever the store was offering something, I was there to play it. It was where I first dove into competitive play and really built up a community of other players. For me it was my "Golden Age" of Magic. Those memories alone were enough to reignite my spark and it did not take much to convince me to dive into PreModern.

What are the rules? The rules are exactly the same as current magic rules. They aren't reverting back to old rules. No damage on the stack (though I do miss that). No mana burn or anything else like that. They have their own ban list which can be found here. Also, on that site you can see the history of the format and even some deck lists. 

So, now you know what is and how to play it. The question is why should you play it? Like Pauper, PreModern is a casual format but very competitive. This is where it is unique though, there are countless cards that just do not make the cut in competitive Legacy but they have a home in PreModern. For instance, look at the following cards:

Astral Slide Recurring NIghtmare Jackal Pup 

These cards were so strong in their respective formats and do not see much or any play in the Legacy metagame. They are all deemed as too weak or slow etc. Though they can really shine in PreModern. There are established decks already and of course there is a meta, but with such a huge card pool, you can brew and try a ton of various decks to see what you would enjoy playing the most. 

One reason to play would be the chance to play with cards that are not used in other formats. That alone is a great reason. There is another reason to play PreModern though, the price. It can be a very cheap format to play. I am a player that has to be concerned with budget. I can't build decks online that are worth hundreds of dollars.

Now to be honest there are expensive cards in PreModern. Wasteland and the original Onslaught fetches are in the format. A lot of the cards are not that expensive though and you can build many decks between the $25 to $50 range. For example, this is the first deck I will be working with in PreModern. 


I just ran this deck through MTGO Traders and it under 12 tickets. The version I have is closer to 20 because I try to get all of the old borders etc. This deck has a lot of play to it and has already done quite well in the format. I only got some minor testing in with the deck but I am liking it thus far. Even with a stock list like this, there is room to add or take away things. 

Which leads to another great reason to play PreModern. There is a lot of room to experiment. There are top decks and my next article will be about the meta and what is popular now and has been. However, there is still a lot of room to build whatever you would like. Not to anyone's surprise I am working on a white weenie deck. I will be testing a few different builds though. I have this human build that I will be trying first.

This will be my first attempt and my intent will be working toward something with Land Tax and
Empyrial Armor. Chances are the knights will be replaced by Soltari Monk and Soltari Priest but it will take some testing before I find the right list. 

What interests you about PreModern? What would you want to play? If you ever want to test or even just talk about the format, just leave a comment. I am really looking forward to diving into this format and would love to help build up the community. I would love for the PureMTGO crew to try out this format.

Thank you for reading and until next time!