PTQ is Modern this season...request some help!

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Hey guys!

I'm primarily a limited player and (semi-retired) standard player.

This PTQ season is all Modern format, that being said I've never actually owned a real modern deck.

I might like to participate in a few PTQ's for planeswalker points towards my Grand Prix byes and just for the fun of it, but wont be dumping a ton of money into the format.

My question is if some knowledgable Modern players/deck builders can give me a good idea on the "semi-cheap" Modern deck. I have all the shock lands (if that helps).

I want a deck that is at least slightly above average and can win without expensive combos.

I'd rather have one that won off being more reliable than a deck that sacrifices reliability for speed.

Any ideas? Really need some help here as this format seems daunting!
bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge
Hey guys!

I'm primarily a limited player and (semi-retired) standard player.

This PTQ season is all Modern format, that being said I've never actually owned a real modern deck.

I might like to participate in a few PTQ's for planeswalker points towards my Grand Prix byes and just for the fun of it, but wont be dumping a ton of money into the format.

My question is if some knowledgable Modern players/deck builders can give me a good idea on the "semi-cheap" Modern deck. I have all the shock lands (if that helps).

I want a deck that is at least slightly above average and can win without expensive combos.

I'd rather have one that won off being more reliable than a deck that sacrifices reliability for speed.

Any ideas? Really need some help here as this format seems daunting!



I did play Zoo and Blue/Black fairies back in the day if that helps.

bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge
I did play Zoo and Blue/Black fairies back in the day if that helps.

Well, Zoo is pretty much the same minus Wild Nacatl and you can't play Faeries really because Bitterblossom is banned.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

I did play Zoo and Blue/Black fairies back in the day if that helps.

Well, Zoo is pretty much the same minus Wild Nacatl and you can't play Faeries really because Bitterblossom is banned.



Budget deck list for zoo...and can it win 5-6 matches at a PTQ?

bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge
Budget deck list for zoo...and can it win 5-6 matches at a PTQ?

I'm more of a Legacy player than a Modern one, so I'm not going to be the greatest help on a Modern decklist.  That said, what I have gathered from watching the event reports is that you'll want a deck that can beat Jund, as at least four of your six rounds will most likely be against it.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

After some browsing, I think if you could come up with this list, and traded out the Nacatls for four copies of Deathrite Shaman, you might be on the right track.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

Nice list, but I'm not sure that this is in any way a "budget" modern deck.

This deck is borderline $800 or more!!!
bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge
Nice list, but I'm not sure that this is in any way a "budget" modern deck.

A budget decklist for Modern is a pile of red cards and a prayer, and nobody is happy about being told "just go play burn."

Unfortunately, all the fun deck cost a pretty penny if you weren't lucky enough to be playing and collecting back when those cards were in full swing.  Have you considered maybe giving a G/W Hate Bears deck a spin?  It sits in about the $500 range and uses a handful of cards that a limited player like yourself would have picked up or traded for over the last few years.



The big money cards like the $100 pile of Noble Hierarchs can be budget replaced with cheapies like Avacyn's Pilgrim with only a little bit of power loss.  Kitchen Finks is freaking expensive for an uncommon these days and some people are beginning to side him out for newer things.  Frontline Medic is a passable replacement for Gaddok Teeg, though you are opening yourself up to some things without him. 

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

Depending on where you live and when you plan to PTQ, I might help you...
If the answers are "This weekend, in the ATL area" I'm going to advise you to play 5 color zoo. 

But I don't like Knight of the Reliquary in this format-Deathrite Shaman eats lands far too much. 

(at)MrEnglish22

Depending on where you live and when you plan to PTQ, I might help you...
If the answers are "This weekend, in the ATL area" I'm going to advise you to play 5 color zoo. 

But I don't like Knight of the Reliquary in this format-Deathrite Shaman eats lands far too much. 



Thanks! I live in china at the moment and have some time to build the deck (the next few months).

The problem is with building this zoo deck is that you need the Tarmo's and they are about to be reprinted so I don't want to shell out so much cash right now.

I'm willing to spend maybe $300 over the next few months. I already have all the shocklands and a playset of deathrite Shamans.

Where else can i go with this BUDGET deck. Doesn't need to win a PTQ, just a chance at 5 matches!

bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge
Tarmogoyf prices shouldn't be hit too hard. I'd be surprised if they went below 70, and shocked if they went below 60.

The Hexproof deck is just as potent as it is in standard, if not more so. Geist of Saint Traft, Slippery Boggle, and pump enchantments. If I remember right, the deck should be pretty cheap 

(at)MrEnglish22

A lot of modern is understanding what kind of decks you're good at playing and playing too those strengths. If you're a combo player, play combo. If you play aggro you can. If you play control, good luck. I think for a PTQ environment burn is very good because it's high variance and had the ability to just blow your opponent out regardless of what they're playing. Only thing expesive about burn lists are the fetch lands so you should be able to build it for not that much. 
I wish they would ban Grapeshot and unban Seething Song. For serious.
But anyway, I think if you want a solid deck, I vote for building Tron, using Through the Breach and Emrakul. I enjoyed it when I played it at a PTQ last year (was the first time playing the deck, lost in Top 8 because I didn't know what a good hand to keep was esentially) 

(at)MrEnglish22

A lot of modern is understanding what kind of decks you're good at playing and playing too those strengths. If you're a combo player, play combo. If you play aggro you can. If you play control, good luck. I think for a PTQ environment burn is very good because it's high variance and had the ability to just blow your opponent out regardless of what they're playing. Only thing expesive about burn lists are the fetch lands so you should be able to build it for not that much. 



What's a reasonable list of burn for modern?

bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge
A lot of modern is understanding what kind of decks you're good at playing and playing too those strengths. If you're a combo player, play combo. If you play aggro you can. If you play control, good luck. I think for a PTQ environment burn is very good because it's high variance and had the ability to just blow your opponent out regardless of what they're playing. Only thing expesive about burn lists are the fetch lands so you should be able to build it for not that much. 



What's a reasonable list of burn for modern?




Something similar to this did really well at some recent tournament, before BBE got banned.


4 Blood Moon
4 Ensnaring Bridge
4 Magus of the Blood Moon
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Lava Spike
4 Bump in the Night
4 Rift Bolt
4 Lash Out
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Arid Mesa
4 Blood Crypt
8 Mountain
2 Swamp

Idea is to have your hand empty in the first few turns with an ensnaring bridge in play, then just cast burn spells to kill them. Blood moon helps to make Jund very sad. 


 

(at)MrEnglish22

Here's a Burn list close to one that one a recent PTQ (pre-GTC) near me:



The deck was really, really good.
Here's a Burn list close to one that one a recent PTQ (pre-GTC) near me:



The deck was really, really good.



I cast Kitchen Finks and Obstinate Baloth. I win.
No joke, before Nacatl got banned that line of play won so many games.

(at)MrEnglish22