13, Mar, 24

Top Five Most Broken MTG Modern Decks of All Time

Article at a Glance

Since Modern was created back in 2011, there have been a multitude of extremely powerful decks that have emerged and required bannings to keep in check. From elite build-around pieces like Second Sunrise to overly efficient enablers, such as Mox Opal, Modern has had its fair share of bans over the last decade and change.

Most recently, Violent Outburst bit the dust in Modern, weakening Crashing Footfalls and Living End shells alike. While Violent Outburst has certainly overstayed its welcome, these decks are far from the from the strongest archetypes we’ve seen in Modern.

As more cards continue to earn the banhammer in Modern, we thought it would be interesting to look back at the strongest decks that have ever existed in the Modern format. Notably, Modern has been around for a long time, and frankly, there are a ton of busted decks to choose from. As such, there are bound to be some elite omissions from this list. If anything, this highlights just how absurd the decks that ended up making the cut were at the time. Now, without further ado, here are the top five most broken MTG Modern decks of all time!

#5 Summer Bloom Titan

Primeval Titan

First, we have a deck that, despite receiving a ban back in 2016, is actually somewhat reminiscent of a top tier strategy today. At its base, this deck revolves around Primeval Titan, Amulet of Vigor, and various bounce Lands like Simic Growth Chamber to net lots of mana. Back in 2014-2015 when this deck was quite popular, though, the likes of Urza’s Saga and Dryad of the Ilysian Grove weren’t around yet. So, what made this version of Amulet titan so scary?

The answer is very clear: Summer Bloom. Summer Bloom allowed for incredibly fast starts, especially with Amulet in play. Getting to play three extra Lands meant that, even if you didn’t have access to Amulet, it was trivial to set up Titan for the following turn. Given the presence of Summer Bloom as a major ramp enabler, this deck also made great use of Hive Mind as an alternate win condition.

Alongside Summoner’s Pact or Pact of Negation, you could force your opponent to make a copy of your Pact and ultimately lose the game when they failed to pay their Pact trigger on upkeep. This deck isn’t quite as outrageous as the other four on this list, but the sheer speed Summer Bloom offered earns it a spot at the bottom of this list.

You can go a step further with this archetype and include the Cloudpost version of the deck that quickly got banned after Modern’s introductory events. This may very well be the most broken deck of all time for the Modern format, but it did not exist for very long.

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#4 KCI

Krark-Clan Ironworks

Modern KCI decks utilized the namesake card, Krark-Clan Ironworks, as a combo engine. With Mox Opal, Myr Retriever, Scrap Trawler, and Chromatic Star in the mix, it wasn’t difficult for players to churn through their whole library and generate enough mana to kill the opponent on the spot.

Beyond just its power level, KCI combo was one of the most convoluted combo decks in MTG history. It promoted some corner-case scenarios within the rules that made gameplay very confusing. The deck was also relatively difficult to hate out. Basic Artifact removal spells wasnt super effective, and because Krark-Clan Ironworks’ ability is a mana ability, cards like Pithing Needle didn’t help enough.

Given its complexity, the deck didn’t have quite as overwhelming of a metagame share as it otherwise could have. Don’t let that fool you, though, this deck was busted. For more information on combo lines, take a look here.

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#3 Valki Cascade

Violent Outburst

Funnily enough, while Violent Outburst was just recently banned for its role in Crashing Footfalls and Living End decks, there used to be a much more broken Cascade deck available. See, before a major rule change associated with the Cascade mechanic, players were able to cast the flip side of Valki, God of Lies with cards like Violent Outburst. Even though Tibalt is a seven-mana Planeswalker, you could simply Cascade into Valki, then choose to cast the Tibalt side instead.

This deck was so dominant that it forced Wizards of the Coast to act hastily and change how modal double-faced cards worked with Cascade. The change forces players to only cast spells via Cascade if their mana costs are less than that of the Cascade spell’s mana value.

If Cascading into Tibalt on turn three weren’t powerful enough, players were also able to utilize Simian Spirit Guide as an accelerant! This deck was fast, repetitive, and relatively toxic. Luckily, it didn’t last in Modern for too long, because it completely warped the format while it was legal.

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#2 Hogaak Nonsense

Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis

Hogaak is certainly one of the most infamous cards to ever enter the Modern format and is honestly a pretty egregious design. From Treasure Cruise to Dig Through Time, we’ve seen just how easy it can be to fuel Delve. Even though Hogaak also required two Creatures to help Convoke it out, Stitcher’s Supplier and Satyr Wayfinder made this trivial.

From there, you get an 8/8 with Trample to completely rule the battlefield. The fact that this card is such a huge Trampler and could enter play on turn two without a ton of work put in made it very difficult to race. Meanwhile, most graveyard hate pieces like Grafdigger’s Cage and Relic of Progenitus were nowhere near strong enough to hold this deck down. It was easy to refuel your graveyard in the face of Relic, and you could simply cast Hogaak from hand with Cage in play.

Players went as far as to put Leyline of the Void in their maindecks to try to get an edge. If that doesn’t showcase how dominant the Hogaak archetype is, I don’t know what does. The fact that Bridge from Below was initially banned to try to slow down the Hogaak deck, only for it to take new form and run rampant is quite amusing. I wouldn’t fault anyone for having Hogaak as the number one most broken archetype ever in their eyes, but we feel there’s one deck that beats it out.

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Eldrazi Winter

Eye of Ugin

In our view, the most egregious Modern deck of all time was Eldrazi aggro. Commonly referred to as Eldrazi Winter, the period of time while Eye of Ugin and a plethora of cheap Eldrazi were legal together was incredibly hostile. Eye of Ugin actually existed in Modern for a long time with no issues. Primarily used as a tutor target for Expedition Map and Sylvan Scrying out of Tron decks in Modern, Eye of Ugin helped give big mana decks extra inevitability against slower strategies.

The issue with Eye of Ugin was that, once Battle for Zendikar and Oath of the Gatewatch entered the fray, all hell broke loose. Now, players had access to cheap Eldrazi like Eldrazi Mimic and Endless One. It wasn’t out of the question to cast a bunch of two-power Eldrazi on turn one after playing Eye of Ugin. Afterwards, a turn two Thought-Knot Seer or even Reality Smasher thanks to the existence of Simian Spirit Guide could shut the door in short order.

Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch featured a whopping SIX players utilizing an Eye of Ugin Eldrazi shell in the top eight. By comparison, as amazing as Hogaak was, it only managed to put one player into the top eight of Mythic Championship IV Barcelona. Even though there were some variations between decklists, the Eldrazi archetype completely warped the format beyond repair, earning it the top spot in our rankings.

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