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Magic: the Gathering – Building A Casual Fun Deck For Modern

A lot of people seem to think that after I created one hell-raising deck, that I’d create nothing but destructive decks. I had a discussion a little while back, which made me reflect upon all of the terrible decks I’ve built. So, I wanted to make this right and build a deck that was a lot of fun for me, but brutal to play against. Without any hesitation, I started to make my strangest deck – So here’s a look at how I go about building fun decks for Modern.

First of all, let’s get this out of the way with:

  • I don’t play Standard very often, unless I really love a block.
  • I don’t play EDH/Commander
  • I’m very much looking forward to Battlebond!

As such, the focus of this article will be on Modern, but the principles of this can apply to Standard. Potentially it could apply to Commander, too, but I’m not great at building Commander sets.

What Do I Know Of That Works? What’s In The Meta?

I find a lot of decks are built purely on the principle of wanting to know what works. Further to this, there’s a lot of discussion around the meta. This is great for those who want to take the game super seriously; in fact, it’s the way to go. However when it comes to casual, fun games with friends, you wanna make something that’ll win, but is quirky. You don’t necessarily need to care about the meta, but you should be aware of it.

The meta is basically what works right now, but different game modes have different types of meta. What’s considered meta in Standard will not necessarily be meta in Modern – And certainly won’t be meta in Commander. With that in mind, most people will look towards whatever works; this could be done by looking at tournaments, or examining the cards and trying to understand what’s in and what’s not right now.

Building For Fun

And this is where my story comes in – The fun deck builder. You see, growing up, I’ve rarely been one to care deeply for the meta in anything. So many times I’ve been told that my favourite video game characters aren’t in the meta. My decks that I’ve built – Not in the meta. In fact, I shouldn’t really get many wins against decks, or characters, that are in the meta. Instead, I like to build, or play, purely for my own amusement. Rarely do I want to get serious and commit to tournaments and the likes, even if I feel I am ready.

Recently, I came up with a novel-enough concept. I wanted a Blue/Red ‘spell deck’, which I was to name Shock ‘n Stop – A deck dedicated to casting Instant and Sorcery spells, being supported only by artifacts and enchantments. With this in mind then, I didn’t want there to be any creatures within Shock ‘n Stop. So, I started to research novel cards that were Modern legal and started to build around those cards.

What I ended up with, or at least will end up with once I’ve bought all of the cards, is a deck that relies on multiplication. It’s certainly not a normal type of deck, especially as creatures really are the bread and butter of a deck – But let’s have a quick rundown of some of the cards that I’ll be throwing into the deck. Hopefully, you’ll see my train of thought (and then how this helps you build your own deck for fun).

Building Around Win Conditions

I saw Primal Amulet and thought that it was a great idea; make my spells cheaper, then later in the game, copy the spell if you use the land to cast it. Next up, I saw some Pyromancer Ascension, which works well when running lots of cheap instants and sorceries, such as Shock, Opt, Counter Spell and many more cheap spells. Then I saw the icing on the cake: Cerebral Vortex and Prophetic Bolt. These two cards are where the bread and butter of the damage comes from; especially as you multiply the number of times they can be used… But I was missing one last element.

I needed another win condition. I needed something big and powerful. What I needed were Planeswalkers – Two of them. I needed one for when I need support and one when I needed damage. Ral Zarek came to my aid for support – Providing an opportunity to get extra turns, but more importantly, Ral is able to tap opponents creatures (on their turn) whilst untapping my lands. Then, I went for Chandra Ablaze, just for the raw firepower she brings (pun intended). Chandra can literally turn the tide every turn by dishing a potential 4 damage, or bringing all red spells back (which includes spells which are both red and blue). I calculated that Chandra in this deck, along with the multiplies (except for clones made by Primal Amulet) would be able to (potentially) dish out hundreds of damage.

The early game, Shock ‘n Stop will look weak. Give it a few turns, I’m hopeful this thing will become a beast. I’ll let you know how this new deck does – I’m looking forward to putting it together! I’m certainly looking forward to breaking the deck in against Joel at the upcoming AmeCon… And by that, I mean I’m going to break it in with some friends and family here in Bristol, before breaking Joel’s deck with it.

Either way, I’m looking to the immense fun this deck’s gonna bring me. In the meantime, let us know what your favourite fun deck is – What does it run? What premise did you use to build it? Let us know in the comments, or over on Facebook and Twitter.


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