Brewing with Magic Origins

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Welcome back for Brewing with Magic Origins!

This is the last “Core Set” we will be getting. Blocks will now be two sets and rotates twice a year starting with Battle for Zendikar, which will make things a lot more interesting for me as a brewer.

Today I have nine Standard and three Modern decks for you to battle with. For those of you reading one of “Brewing” articles for the first time, I will provide you with four “Sideboard Suggestions” as cards to start with for your sideboard and not a fully formed sideboards since I could not test the decks and get them out in time to make them relevant if I did. Let’s get to some decks…


This is one of the decks on every ones mind, and will be a heavily played deck for a while regardless of whether it’s good or not. You may note the absence of Goblin Glory Chaser, that’s to make room for more creatures that get your Goblin Piledrivers and Goblin Rabblemasters though more often. Without an early wrath effect or spot removal nearly every turn this deck can get out of control very quickly, and that will be the biggest draw for it.

Sideboard Suggestions: Fiery Impulse, Magmatic Chasm, Obelisk of Urd, and Roast.


Elves is the other deck that everyone has their eye on at the moment, just waiting to see how competitive it is. Many lists I have seen are trying to run a bunch of spot removal, when all the deck wants to do is overwhelm the opposition. I have worked in some removal of sorts with Reclamation Sage, Eyeblight Assassin, and Gilt-Leaf Winnower as good one ofs to draw or Chord of Calling for to clear a path. I would be surprised if this deck isn’t heavily played right out of the gates.

Sideboard Suggestions: Bow of Nylea, Eyeblight Massacre, Nylea’s Disciple, and Thoughtseize.

Azorius Enchantments

This was one of the more interesting decks that I worked on, and I will likely test this out. If it does start to do well expect Back to Nature to start popping up in every green decks sideboard. Other problems could be Perilous Vault and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. This deck may even want to splash other colors in the near future to combat specific decks.

Sideboard Suggestions: Celestial Flare, End Hostilities, Font of Vigor, and Negate.


I’ve been working on Burn for a while now, and I can tell you I’m super excited for Exquisite Firecraft and even more so for Molten Vortex. I previously ran green to splash for Atarka’s Command which did steal games from time to time, but would lose constantly to flood or four toughness guys which is easier to deal with in this build. I don’t expect to see as much of this deck early on since people are looking more at Goblins.

Sideboard Suggestions: Arc Lightning, Outpost Siege, Roast, and Satyr Firedancer.

White Weenie

White Weenie is a classic, and with Kytheon, Hero of Akros and Bonded Construct has endless one drops. This build doesn’t run any creatures that cost more than two, but they all allow a huge amount of utility along with the equipment package to try to push through any kind of late game. I don’t expect a lot of White Weenie, but won’t be surprised to see it doing well.

Sideboard Suggestions: Cleric of the Forward Order, Hallowed Moonlight, Hushwing Gryff, and Vyrn Wingmare.

Mono Black Devotion

This is definitely a deck again, but fortunately without cards like Pack Rat and Underworld Connections providing an endless stream of threats and card advantage it will definitely be a lot less of a chore to play against. This deck is definitely competing with Abzan Aggro for the same spot in the metagame, but while being a slightly worse version of Abzan Aggro. That usually doesn’t stop people, so expect to see some Mono Black Devotion for a while.

Sideboard Suggestions: Drown in Sorrow, Duress, Self-Inflicted Wound, and Stain the Mind.

Mono Blue Devotion

Mono Blue Devotion is sort of back. While not quite at the power level of it’s original iteration, it will still be a fairly good deck that can just power out wins. What it really needs are some better removal spells, but you have to work with what you have access to. One of the bigger issues will be Dromoka’s Command, which will be an absolute blowout almost every time. Some counterspells and Monastery Siege out of the sideboard can help mitigate some of those weaknesses.

Sideboard Suggestions: Dissolve, Encase in Ice, Monastery Siege, and Negate.

Izzet Artifacts

This is likely the most fringe deck I’ve worked on in a while. While it is a possibility, it is a couple cards off from being good. Many of the new cards that were added from Magic Origins cost just one mana too much. Some people will play it, but I would be surprised to see it doing well.

Sideboard Suggestions: Foundry of the Consuls, Negate, Phyrexian Revoker, and Tomb of the Spirit Dragon.

Gruul Dragons

This deck gained a few very good cards, but they shouldn’t change it too much. One card that could be either really big or just a dud is Ravaging Blaze, though when it is good it will be amazing. Another interesting gain is Avaricious Dragon, which can bury your opponent under card advantage if it survives. Nissa, Vastwood Seer isn’t super exciting, but hitting seven lands is fairly reasonable in this deck and a Bordeland Ranger isn’t the worst in such a mana hungry deck.

Sideboard Suggestions: Barrage of Boulders, Gaea’s Revenge, Roast, and Xenagos, the Reveler.

Atarka Burn

I’ve been running Atarka Burn since Atarka’s Command came out, but haven’t had the chance to really talk about it. With the addition of Molten Vortex one of the biggest issues I’ve been having gets fixed, as generally I’ve been losing to drawing eight to ten lands per game. By keeping the deck just red and green you don’t get to keep white sideboard cards like Kor Firewalker, but you don’t take nearly as much damage from your own lands. My cut to add the pair of Molten Vortex was two Flames of the Blood Hand, which is one of the most frequent cards to get cut during sideboarding.

Sideboard Suggestions: Destructive Revelry, Dismember, Dragon’s Claw, and Grim Lavamancer.


Getting Goblin Piledriver is a huge win for the Goblins archetype in Modern, as one of the biggest things that was missing was a great two drop. The addition of black for sideboard cards adds a lot of options like Warren Weirding against the Bogles deck or Dismember against Splinter Twin decks. Some of the more powerful goblins cost a little extra mana, so Warren Instigator is there to drop them in for free like a less effective Goblin Lackey. While it probably won’t be heavily played, goblins now have some power behind them.

Sideboard Suggestions: Dismember, Earwig Squad, Thoughtseize, and Warren Weirding.


Elves got a huge gain in Magic Origins, and I would be surprised if there aren’t more great elves in Battle for Zendikar. While it got a few different cards, the biggest is Shaman of the Pack which can just straight up kill your opponent. The rest don’t really want to be more than one of’s since they’re just silver bullet cards. This probably won’t change the popularity of Elves much in Modern since it is already seeing a fair amount of play, but it does make it slightly better.

Sideboard Suggestions: Beast Within, Dismember, Fracturing Gust, and Phyrexian Revoker.

That’s all I have for now. I’ll see you again for Brewing With Battle for Zendikar. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below and I will do my best to answer them.

Thanks for reading,

Josh Milliken

@joshuamilliken on Twitter

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Josh Milliken

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