Summer is when you try new things, right?

modern dork prelude wheel of sun and moon

Not too long ago, another Magic writer and I were chatting over a game of Commander.

“You know what I would like to see?” he said. “Someone taking a look at Modern from the ground up. Someone coming in, basically from scratch, with no knowledge of Modern archetypes. I’d like to see how they learn about the format.”

“That sounds like a great idea,” I said, immediately planning to do it for the Mana Dork and steal all the credit. “Most of the Modern content out there is geared for people who are already deeply invested in it.”

“Yeah!” he said. “Content for brand-new Modern players? I’d read that.”

Modern Dork Prelude Cast through Time

I meant what I said in that moment—it is a great idea. Modern has a lot going for it as a format, but because it requires a certain amount of investment, it only really appeals to people who are a certain amount of invested. This means that for people interested in a non-rotating format without a Reserved List, there’s a huge wall to climb in terms of comprehension and approachability.

Longtime readers know that I rarely dabble in Constructed formats here on the Mana Dork. I like the relaxed attitude of Commander or Cube, where I can make a deck that’s weirder than an Andy Warhol painting of a Jackson Pollock painting and set it loose on unsuspecting friends.

But we must all come out of our shells sometime. Having heard that Modern has opened up in recent months, and with my Monday evenings freed up starting in July, I figured it was a fine time to take my friend up on his suggestion and start attending Modern nights at A Muse N Games.

So I’ll be doing a series of posts here over the course of the summer, detailing the decks I play with and against, and my thought processes throughout. Hopefully they’ll be worthwhile for my unnamed friend, and for anyone else looking to get into the format!

I’m going to keep my goals humble. At the end of the summer, I want to accomplish one thing: have a game win percentage above 50% in a single event.

I have a feeling this is actually going to be a bit of a struggle—I’ve really only played against my roommate’s UW Spirits deck a few times and have no idea what I’m getting into, which is the best way to try new things—but we’ll see how I do.

This one’s for you, my unnamed friend. (And I’ll be sure to give you the credit for it, if anyone ever asks (please no-one ask (I need this))!)

Are you excited? I’m excited.

modern dork prelude stormchaser mage


I’ll be starting off with a budget brew known as “Izzet Blitz”.

Here’s the decklist, minus the sideboard:




The goal is to stick 2-3 threats on the board, swing, then chain together a bunch of spells to pump those threats to lethal. It’s very much a glass-cannon, aggressive deck. It can deal lethal damage out of nowhere—as early as Turn 3 or 4, traditionally the bar for Modern—but struggles against interactive decks and ground-clogging token decks.

The really nice thing about this list is that it’s mostly commons and uncommons—the only rares are the Shivan Reefs!—and therefore very budget. If I’m not mistaken, the only individual card above $5 is Manamorphose. So if you’re interested in trying this out, you should be able to put it together quickly and cheaply. (You might even be able to pull big chunks of it out of the cards at AMNG!)

Why am I hiding the sideboard, you might ask? Well, it’s a surprise. Both for you, and my opponents. I had an idea while I was researching Izzet Blitz lists, and I want to see if it is madness… or genius. (Hint, hint.)

modern dork M19 release drafts


Well, we’ve got a bunch of other stuff happening, too!

Core Set 2019 is coming out, and AMNG will have the usual bevy of release drafts starting on Friday, Jul 13 at noon & 3:30 pm, Saturday at noon & 4:00 pm, and Sunday at 2:00 pm as well as Sealed featuring pre-release packs on Sunday at 6:30 pm. Come out and play the set based around the origin story of Magic’s greatest villain, Nicol Bolas!

See you at the store!

Jesse Mackenzie is a regular contributor to A Muse N Games. He IS the very model of a modern major-general. Tune in every two weeks for The Mana Dork, his column about all things Magic!