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Modern Archetypes, Midrange and Control

Written by LegitMTG Staff on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Modern

Welcome back! I covered several Modern aggro decks in my last piece, and now we’re going to go over the midrange and control decks in the current field. While there seemingly aren’t many of them, these decks probably have the most options when it comes to customization, so don’t let the smaller amount of actual decks fool you. Let’s jump right into it with the generally accepted boogeyman in the format.


Jund has it all: Acceleration, consistency, excellent spot removal, versatility, and disruption. Jund maximizes the use of those aspects to near-perfection, and everything is tied together by Bloodbraid Elf. Some builds utilize Lotus Cobra to allow for a higher curve and more explosive hands. Other builds centralize around the card Boom/Bust, which can turn into an Armageddon off of a Bloodbraid Elf, and is very useful against Tron and Scapeshift. There are a ton of ways of building Jund, and if you’re going to play Modern, you need to be prepared for it, regardless of what you’re playing.

U/W Midrange

The Delverless Delver-esque midrange decks have been tearing it up on MTGO, with the exact same U/W/R list taking down two PTQs in a row! U/W midrange behaves much differently than the U/W/R version, with U/W able to take a more defensive role, and U/W/R performing closer to a Zoo deck. Both of these builds are incredibly flexible, and can put out a lot of raw power on the middle and top end, especially with a Geist of Saint Traft and Remand, Lightning Helix, Mana Leak, or Restoration Angel backup. The consistency is very high with these builds, and this is one of the more explosive midrange decks out there right now.

R/G Tron

R/G Tron has similar characteristics as the Mono-Green Eldrazi decks a few seasons ago in Standard. Here, we utilize the super powerful Urza-Tron, along with assorted ramp spells, to power out one of the scariest cards in the format, Karn Liberated, as early as possible. Not many decks can beat a turn four, or even turn three Karn, and if they can, they’d have to deal with whatever happens after that! This is one of the premiere “go huge” decks available, and it doesn’t get much bigger than Karn and Emrakul.

Mystical Teachings/Gifts Ungiven

These control decks have a similar look and play to them, but utilize different angles of attack. Mystical Teachings and Gifts Ungiven are extremely effective tutor effects, but each of them provide entirely different results. Gifts Ungiven gives more of a combo feel to the deck by reanimating a huge game ender, while also being a straight up tutor for tools you may need in that current situation. It’s not uncommon for some Gifts builds to run different wrath effects (e.g. Day of Judgement, Wrath of God, Supreme Verdict). Mystical Teachings gives you access to almost your entire deck at instant speed, allowing for immense flexibility and options. These are two of my personal favorite true control decks out there, and they reward tight play very well.

There are still a lot more decks to cover on the combo side of things, so stay tuned next week!

Twitter: @aulowry

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