Inspired by the Modern Event Deck competition I came out of hiding to write my first article in a looooooooong time. For those who don’t remember me, I used to write a lot and I used to play a lot but then real life took over. I have a favouring for 15-card formats and UW aggro-control decks but am fairly flexible.
The first step in the challenge of considering how to make a competitive deck for under £65 was to find a build-around card or mechanic that wouldn’t break the bank.
This would probably mean no Mythic Rares as the good ones are quite expensive. Considering good rares which have had a fair printing, are powerful, but niche enough in application that they don’t see massively widespread play, I stumbled across Inkmoth Nexus.
Inkmoth Nexus was a massive player in Standard when it came around, to the point that WotC had to print it in an Event Deck just to help with supply. Unlike the card they concurrently did that with, Stoneforge Mystic, it wasn’t banned (but also the Nexus doesn’t see Legacy play). Due to that I thought I might be able to sneak in under budget.
The Event Decks each contained two copies, but also brought me some neat sideboard cards in Dismember, Gut Shot and Torpor Orb. I may have a particular love of Gut Shot due to winning many games with one to the face (including winning a PTQ finals!). However, Torpor Orb is fantastic versus both Birthing Pod decks and Splinter Twin decks.
That gave me an excellent start to the deck, but meant I had to fill it out with other sweet Infect cards. Already in competitive Infect decks in Modern are Glistener Elf and Blighted Agent. Along with Nexus these give you the speed and robustness for the deck to try to kill people as fast as possible.
Modern Budget Infect
4 Inkmoth Nexus
4 Simic Guildgate
4 Glistener Elf
4 Blighted Agent
3 Viridian Corrupter
4 Giant Growth
4 Mutagenic Growth
4 Vines of Vastwood
3 Gut Shot
4 Torpor Orb
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Viridian Corrupter
Groundswell and Vines of Vastwood are very cheap ways of “boon”ing your guys to make them deal more damage to the opponent. In case you haven’t played an Infect deck before, pump spells are twice as effective as normal because each poison damage counts double; your opponent needs to take 10 poison counters before they die so +4/+4 is like a regular +8/+4 – not a bad deal for a single Green mana!
To round out the creatures I opted for:
The Manabase is the best I can do within budget, but Pendelhaven is a sweet way to get extra value out of your lands. You have 12 creatures which are 1/1’s and +1/+2 is really strong with the Infect mechanic.
The plan is to lay an Infect creature down and then pump it to get your opponent to 10 poison counters. Things to be aware of are cheap removal spells and blockers. However, you can play around this by making multiple creatures and not pumping if you don’t have to.
Using the event decks and the cheapest copy of each card available, this came under budget at £63.29; Hooray!
Ways to improve the deck
I would remove the more expensive creatures to make room for Noble Hierarch if you can find any. The manafixing and ramping helps with deck speed, but the Exalted ability is very strong again in this deck.
I realise that these are some quite expensive changes, but my aim is to provide a decklist which is competitive and then suggest some changes that will provide you with an improved deck and also some long-term format staples (i.e. cards you can play in multiple decks).
Remember, if the deadline for all deck list submissions for the Modern Event Deck Competition is Friday 30th May. Please make sure that send your entries in by then. You can find the full details of this competition here –