olaw's picture
By: olaw, Oliver Law
Apr 08 2020 11:00am


Welcome to another Rogues' Gallery!  March saw a banned and restricted update with Once Upon a Time being added to the banned list.  This was fairly unexpected with Pioneer looking like the most likely format to see a ban and not a lot of talk about banning Once Upon a Time. 

While I am not sad to see the card go I do think the justification for it was a bit light on detail.  Essentially all they said was that they thought it would promote diversity and make some of the top decks less consistent. I'd agree that Once Upon a Time was one of many 2019 design mistakes and especially with the London mulligan made some decks too consistent in producing optimal hands.  The banning hurts quite a few decks but it does not truly destroy any deck and so I think that is the main reason there has been very little uproar over it.  Free spells have a tendency to be problematic and so it was a surprise when they printed the card in the first place to be honest.

Kroxa Unearth

Kroxa appears to be finding a niche in the Modern format and seems to be more powerful than I originally gave it credit for.  The above decklist, which appears to have gained some popularity, is a revised version of the Lightning Skelemental/Unearth decks that were running around back when Faithless Looting was still legal.

Puresight Merrow Combo

This deck is a very sweet combo deck that I have certainly never seen before.  The combo here is to equip Paradise Mantle, which can be tutored up with Stoneforge Mystic, to Puresight Merrow.  This allows you to activate Puresight Merrow infinitely which you can use to find a Thassa's Oracle on top of your deck (if you don't already have one in hand) and then exile your deck to win the game.

The combo is a little on vulnerable side but the surprise factor is certainly there with this deck.  It also does have some more aggressive and disruptive lines and can always go and fetch a Batterskull.

Naya Zoo

It's always pleasing to me to see a straightforward beatdown decklist perform well in Modern.  He we have a pretty standard Naya Zoo with some tasty additions from Theros Beyond Death.  Gallia of the Endless Dance is a card I discussed having potential in this type of build and I am glad that is seeing some realisation here. Klothys, God of Destiny also provides a nice way to force through those last points of damage if the opponent manages to stabilise the board.  I am a big fan of this list and it seems to be picking up steam with it appearing in a number of recent decklist dumps.


It's been a very long time since I have seen a proper Superfriends style list perform well.  This decklist is truly inspired with a whole host of disruptive and advantage gaining planeswalkers.  Swamping the board with planeswalkers can make it very hard to get them off the board and cards like Dovin, Hand of Control and Teferi, Time Raveler can buy you the time you need to start hitting your bigger walkers.  A really fun and exciting list.

Mono-Red Land Destruction

I love the simplicity and compact nature of this deck.  The deck is looking to blow up opposing lands as early and as often as possible and then create a prison that locks the opponent out of the game.  I love the inclusion of Cascading Cataracts so you can cast Boom targeting it and only destroy your opponent's land.  The deck is leaning pretty heavily on Chandra to win the game which certainly feels like a bit of a problem but it appears Sondrak has managed to have some success.


It's been what feels like a really long month for us all.  I have been away in Japan for the past two weeks which was great fun but also quite an anxious time with the way the coronavirus situation developed.  I am now back home though and will be sure to get my fair share of MTGO Modern played.  It seems that more people will be playing more MTGO than ever during lockdown so lets go and brew up something special.

Thanks for reading,

Oliver Law (olaw on MTGO)