Know Yourself: 5 cards ready for more modern play

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s addition to know yourself. Here today we are going to take a look at five cards I think need to see a little more play in the modern format. Some of these cards can only be played as a one of or more likely as a sideboard card, but these are powerful cards that aren’t getting their dues in the format currently. On the flip side, some of these cards will define their own decks, based entirely around that card due to their sheer power and requirements. Without any further ado, here are the cards in question this week.


Honorable Mention: Blessed Alliance

While Eldrazi tron may not be the goto big mana strategy at this moment in time, Tasigur, Death’s shadow, and Geist are all still primed and ready to get into the red zone. This card cleanly deals with the larger creatures in question, and does so without targeting and at instant speed (also allowing you to cast it before the angel trigger resolves) and makes for a great spell currently if your deck is running white. (bonus points if you kill an etched champion or slippery bogle with this spell)

5. Murderous Cut

Make no mistake, this card is deceptive in its printing and power level. Think to modern: think on fetchlands, cantrips, mishra’s bauble, thought scour, serum visions, and one mana spells. This card is not 5 mana; in fact, I don’t think I have ever cast it in my magic career for more than a single black, modern or otherwise. It is an incredibly powerful spell that doesn’t get the slots it deserves. However, in the current iterations of modern decks like Abzan and Grixis deaths shadow, due to the delve threats and cards like lingering souls, I do feel that this card should be strictly a one of if those shells are going to continue to be the dominant midrange decks, but I do think it more than earns a slot in those decks.


Do you like the humans deck, but feel like storm lightning bolts your meddling mage too often? Do you want to play a card like that but not in a humans deck, shutting down combos for days? Say hello to the three mana enchantment taking the combo meta down a notch, nevermore. Seriously, this card is a house against single spell decks and does a ton of work in keeping you on the front foot. It does double duty if you can accelerate it out under their more important cards, which is honestly where this card shines. It is not as good on the draw, however, I feel that the juice is worth the squeeze. Living end, Ad Nauseum, Storm, valakut (to an extent), this card single handedly hoses a lot of combo decks that need to resolve a single spell in ways I can’t do justice in a single paragraph. Honest to goodness this card puts in major work.

3. Grim Flayer

Is deaths shadow so horribly warping that 2 mana 4/4’s with trample and card advantage just aren’t good enough anymore? We already starting playing traverse the ulvenwald in our lingering souls decks, what happened to this card? I feel that this card is sorely underappreciated in the current format. I understand that tarmogoyf is bigger and that fatal push is a card that you have to look out for, but I feel like a variant of death’s shadow that runs blossoming defense or something akin to it could really benefit from the grindy midrange aspect that this card offers. I don’t know who killed him off in our decklists, but grim flayer deserves a little more respect for being able to filter out the additional lands in your midrange deck and get right to the goodstuff, which is more than a lot of bauble’s and thought scours can do. hes a green creature that lets you look at 3 cards for doing the thing you already want to be doing, honestly.

2. Delver of Secrets / Young Pyromancer

Oh delver of secrets, how the mighty have fallen. While I understand that this is technically two cards here, I do truly feel that they fall into the same type of deck, and pair well together. The pressure exerted on your opponent when this deck runs hot is really something to behold, and these two cards paired together make a nasty base for an aggro tempo shell. Whether it’s temur, grixis, or just straight blue red, I really do expect to see these two make a comeback in the coming months when more decks start to beat up on deaths shadow, and a new aggro tempo deck that can leverage more advantage comes into play. I mean, honestly, who thought we would play modern in a world without remand and lightning bolt being at the top of their game, and where putting yourself to 5-6 life in a world with burn and affinity is a good thing? I’m not disparaging deaths shadow, the deck is incredibly powerful, but this dynamic duo (along with their good friends monastery swiftspear and snapcaster mage) have some serious credence coming down the pipeline. Keep an eye out, and your fatal pushes close.

1.Thrun, the Last Troll

Good lord this card is superb right now.


From Jeskai being at the top of its game to grixis shadow and other black based removal decks running around, this card just does not take any crap from anyone right now. It is a monster in combat, blocks Geist all day, and I am fairly sure is just unkillable if you’re playing jeskai control. If you’re on the play and you have resolve this card, I’m fairly certain that the game is just over for jeskai. I’ve checked the lists twice, and there isn’t a single card that is in that deck that kills Thrun. Unless your jeskai control deck plays wrath of god (but who would since supreme verdict is uncounterable) the only possible way to deal with thrun is spell queller, which coincidentally dies to so many removal spells that you still have in your hand (because you can’t target Geist of Saint Traft with any of those spells to begin with) that the spell queller discussion is only relevant if jeskai is ahead. Seriously, if you are playing green and are worried about jeskai or other blue decks, two of Thrun, the Last Troll will make your life much, much easier going forward. For the control players, keep an eye out, because Thrun is on the move.


But what do you think? Will these cards see more play?


let me know in the comments!

-Forrest W.





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