8 Underdog Modern Decks that saw Top 8 over the PPTQ Season

Arran Sahota | 24th September 2018

With PPTQ tournaments popping up all over, I thought it would be cool to look at some lesser played decks that are making it into the Top 8s. This could also you give some decent ideas for upcoming GP’s or maybe something to build towards for your next FNM. Now PPTQs can be small compared to other events, but they are still great fun and a Top 8 is a Top 8!

U/B Mill

Everyone always talks about this deck and It can be strong but it does really struggle against aggro decks and can have a really rough time vs control. There are graveyard decks that don’t mind being milled. However, they do mainboard surgical extraction in most lists.

Location: PPTQ @ MagicFrag (France)
Player: Guillaume Cregut

Click to see Deck! 

Taking Turns

I have played this deck a lot and done well in a few smaller tournaments but have never taken it to a PPTQ, but it is really great to see that such janky decks make it up there. The deck is based around getting loads of turns and then using cards like Jace, the Mind Sculptor or Part the Waterveil on either Inkmoth or an Island to end the game fast.

Location: PPTQ @ XiXa (Salzburg)
Player: Stefan Stefanovic

Click to see Deck!


Ok people know this deck and it is common to see it around but this deck can really confuse people on how it actually wins, as it can win as fast as turn 2. Using Griselbrand and Goryo’s Vengeance to get it back for the turn, drawing 21 cards overall gives you cards like Nourishing Shoal, exiling Worldspine Wurm to gain life to draw more cards with Griselbrand but also exiling Spirit Guides so you can splice Desperate Ritual onto Nourishing Shoal to gain your mana. Then the last card to get to the combo is using Manamorphose to make double green to then play Borborygmos Enraged whose ability reads “Discard a land card: Borborygmos Enraged deals 3 damage to any target.

Location: PPTQ @ RAXX Hobbies Marikina
Player: Jeremy Domocmat

Click to see Deck!

B/W Control

Black and White control is a deck which can look really strong on paper, the ability to have hand hate; Pushes and Paths in your deck, also having Damnation, Languish and Wrath of God which gets around Meddling Mage if they name the wrong card. The deck plays the one Ensnaring Bridge with is clearing for creature matchups and then one Phyrexian Arena which is clearly good for the control matchups. This deck really has a really great game 1 vs so much of the current meta and then game 2 it will just get better as white decks normally have really strong sideboards. The thing is that this deck doesn’t seem to have a lot of fast wins and it is super grindy which can be its downfall against W/U control which wants your game to be long.

Location : PPTQ @ PandaPlay (Rostov-on-Don, Russia)
Player: Korshunov Sviatoslav

Click to see Deck!

Crackling Maudu

A strange take on a Maudu using the card Crackling Doom as the main theme and the deck is built around. This card also being an Instant means that it can hit creature lands as well and also have loads of removal options being in three colours. Painful Truths is a really powerful draw engine as you have 3 colours and also Radiant Flames being very similar to that effect can wipe the board with ease. The two copies of Slaughter Games in the main is really cool and really powerful as the match that this deck will struggle against is control and combo decks. There is a clear ending with Nahiri, the Harbinger which gets Emrakul, the Aeons Torn out to end the game.

Location: PPTQ @ Storytellers (Whitesboro NY)
Player: Wyatt Blatti

Click to see Deck!

Mono-green Devotion

Big creatures! This is what you think of a Green deck; powerful big creatures cheated out early. Primal Command and Tooth and Nail are the two cards that you are working towards a very simple deck idea but can catch people out really fast. This is a traditional green deck and what everyone looks towards when you think of Mono green.

Location: PPTQ @ Game Vault (El Paso, Texas)
Players: Eddie Mendoza

Click to see Deck!


Mono Black Devotion

The Gary kill with all that black devotion you have. The first black deck that everyone makes if black is their favourite colour. It has a very simple game plan which is to grind it out and then slam down a Gray Merchant of Asphodel to finish the game in one turn. Weird this list doesn’t run any Fatal Pushes but instead, there is four Collective Brutality which does have kill options but it is at sorcery speed and is two mana, there are no board wipes either. Darkblast is the card that catches my eye, there -1/-1 in games vs Humans can be amazing as you can keep dredging it back each turn. Phyrexian Obliterator is clearly the best card in the deck which can just end the game super fast and make it hard for people to attack you.

Location: PPTQ @ Qg des Avenjoueurs (Roue, France)
Player: Diego Rio

Click to see Deck!

Kiln Fiend

All in one with the Kiln Fiend? Don’t mind if I do. This deck is a very aggro and can quickly run people down and also has a good mid game with it having Bedlam Reveler to restock your hand when the game is going long. Hand hate to get rid of creature hate before you go in for your winning turn, super powerful deck but can be shut down quickly if the hand is too weak.

Location: PPTQ @ Next Level (Montbrison, France)
Player: Pernin Maxime

Click to see deck!

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