Getting started in modern

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I have this conspiracy theory that wizards is making standard suck so that people move to modern. I think its working for me.

I want to play some kind of control. Where should I start?

I started gathering weird lands, since I probably wont be dropping money on shocks and fetches. So far I have 4 shivan reef, 3 underground river, and 2 caves of koilos. I also have playsets of seachrome and darkslick, which I will probably just pull out if I need them for standard, if I figure out what I want to play. Im guessing vivids arent acceptable, but Ive gotten some of those too.

Mostly I just need ideas. I dont know whats good in this format at all so a nudge in the right direction would be great.
Well, welcome to Modern, the format where control goes to die.

Not really, but you're more likely to find people either running aggro (Zoo, Jund, Affinity) or combo (Birthing Pod, Exarch-Twin, Storm). Regardless, there are several decent control decks of various sorts running around, so I'd suggest you start with those.

If you don't have the money for fetches or shock lands, then you might have a bit more trouble with control than you'd like. and control variants thrive off of fetches and either Watery Grave or Hallowed Fountain, and those are some of the more solid control options in the format.

For starters though, let's look at your main options, which are probably either Faeries, WU, UB, WUB, Merfolk, Urzatron (it's control, right?), and maybe something like Bant, UR control, some sort of Gifts Toolbox, or Loam.

No shocks and no fetches really hurts your options, so you're pretty much left with Merfolk, Faeries (you might be able to get away with splashing black using cheaper dual lands), Tron, and maybe Toolbox, assuming you, once again, go with a budget sort of manabase.

I've excluded Bant, and several other options, like Loam, because they run Tarmogoyf, Thoughtseize, and/or Dark Confidant, all of which make shock lands and fetches seem absolutely budget friendly. So, with your options sort of on the table, let's take a look at them.


4x Coralhelm Commander
4x Cursecatcher
4x Lord of Atlantis
2x Merfolk Sovereign
4x Merrow Reejerey
2x Phantasmal Image
4x Silvergill Adept

Other Spells:

4x Aether Vial
2x Cryptic Command
0-4x Dismember (If not in the main deck, sideboarded.)
2x Disrupting Shoal
0-4x Remand and/or Mana Leak and/or Rune Snag
0-4x Spell Pierce and/or Spell Snare


14x Island
4x Ghost Quarter or Tectonic Edge
4x Mutavault

The main problem here is going to be the Mutavault, Aether Vial, and Cryptic Command. Everything else shouldn't be too hard on your wallet. I haven't seen many people running Merfolk, but I think it's one of the more solid control options available, particularly if you can splash black for discard or white for better removal.


4x Mistbind Clique
4x Scion of Oona
0-4x Spellskite (You want some in the sideboard regardless.)
4x Spellstutter Sprite
3x Vendilion Clique

Other Spells:

4x Cryptic Command
3x Remand
3x Mana Leak and/or Rune Snag
2-4x Spell Pierce
2-4x Spell Snare
2-3x Vedalken Shackles


0-2x Faerie Conclave
18-20x Island
4x Mutavault

Probably better than Merfolk, but also a great deal more expensive. Not only does it use more Cryptic Command, but it also has Mutavault, Vedalken Shackles, and Vendilion Clique. A solid deck, but far from cheap.

I'm not going to bother with a list, as I hate making Gifts lists due to the sheer number of different options available. You could probably find a good list floating around somewhere that is decently budget. I like Gifts less than I do Urzatron, but it's an option so I listed it.
Ive liked the way that some faeries lists have played, but Im not sure I like tribal all that much.

I guess I should clarify. If I absolutely need something for a deck I will try to get it somehow, but since the cards I will need are probably ones that people are going to hold on to, my real options are kind of limited to shelling out the dough. I suppose fetches arent too back breaking, supposing that I dont need a play set of all of them.

Im kind of interested in red blue, but not so much for splinter twin. But I guess there wouldnt really be a deck there without the combo.

Is there a viable Time sieve deck? Thats another one that Ive always been sort of interested in, but I couldnt dig up anything substantial.
Red/Blue Tron is the most control deck in Modern right now. Time Sieve isn't that great, I have it built and durdle around with it for fun but not much else. Its too slow.


That deck does look interesting. And its probably in a respectable price range. Thanks for the tips. Now I just have the task of getting everything together. Shouldnt be too hard.