The Great Big Compendium of Modern Knowledge by Christopher Cooper

The Great Big Compendium of Modern Knowledge by Christopher Cooper

This is the third and final article in a mini-series of compendiums covering Vintage, Legacy and Modern. I’m writing them in anticipation of the mtgUK Eternal National Championships in May, but also because loving the non-rotating formats I want to share what knowledge and resources I have with as many of you as possible.

There is a lot of information about Modern available, but it is spread a lot more widely and a lot of it can be of a lower quality. What I’ve done here is cherry pick some of my favourite sites, authors and articles, as well as taking suggestions from the community, to come up with these highlights. This list is designed to provide a one-stop shop of Modern knowledge for both new and older players alike.

Modern is probably my least favourite of the three (Vintage, Legacy, Modern), but it is in no way less fun than the other two. There are still a plethora of decks available to avid fans of the format.

Probably the most essential piece of information available is the Banned and Restricted List on Wizards’ official site. It’s not something that you’ll need to constantly refer back to, but it’s quite fundamental to know what cards you should leave in a binder when thinking about Modern decks.


First up we have our own range of Modern articles here on There are all kinds of articles available for your perusal here with Deck Techs, Tournament Reports, and Metagame Analyses, to satisfy your every need. There are also a whole load of ideas for cheap decks from our Modern Event Deck Competition. It was run last year to attempt to make a better Modern deck that the Event Deck that WotC released, with some surprisingly competitive options available.

For those of you who need to consume even more content though (and let’s face it, isn’t that all of us?) there are some other options available. Probably the best option is ChannelFireball who have an incredible range of authors from Luis Scott-Vargas, Reid Duke, PVDDR, Sam Pardee, Willy Edel and many more. They have listings of all their deck techs under this tag, and most recent Modern articles under here: You’ll notice that the link ends with /modern-frf/, for older articles simply replace the frf of Fate Reforged with the three letter abbreviation of the set you’re looking for, eg. ktk for Khans of Tarkir, rtr for Return to Ravnica, etc.

There’s also brewer extraordinaire Travis Woo with his crazy brews. Travis has helped formulate some of the most innovative and quirky decks in the format and is responsible for such gems as Living End, Ninja-Bear-Delver, and a million ways to cheat Emrakul into play. He regularly comes up with fun new decks to display and does in depth strategic articles on them. He not only explains why the deck works but what angles it’s trying to attack the format from, which is always something that should be considered a lot more than it is by the majority of players.

Another great innovator of the format, albeit in a rather more specific way, is Patrick Dickmann. Dickmann is well known for his innovations around the Splinter Twin deck, with variations such as T and Tarmo Twin, all his own making. There are some players that you just associate with specific decks and cards in some formats. Dickmann and Splinter Twin are one such pair.


Having mentioned Channel Fireball it would be remiss of me to not to mention StarCity Games. Star City did lose a lot of writers in the not-too-distant past when a part of their super team split off and went to Channel Fireball to form part of Team Pantheon. Nevertheless, there is still a large amount of Modern content available on both the Select and Premium sides of their website.

They have also commited to the Modern format in an extremely large way this year by supporting the format in their Open Series. They have a full calendar of Open Series events, which also include 5k Premier IQs alongside the main events. This means that almost every weekend there is a large Modern tournament going on somewhere in the States.

StarCity Games have also got video archives of their previous Open Series events on their YouTube channel and decklists of the Open Series and Premier IQs available through their website with the Modern decklists in particular here.

There are also video archives available from the pinnacle of the Modern format available through the Wizards of the Coast Website. The most recent Pro Tour, PT Fate Reforged, was played with a focus on Modern and there are all sorts of video archives, deck techs and written articles available from this tournament. I highly recommend reading or revisiting for the fantastic level of play and format innovation on show.

For those of you who want to get down into the really nitty gritty of decklists, as always comes up with the goods with all the decklists across all the formats. With both paper Magic and MTGO results you’re bound to find a deck that suits you in here somewhere.

Finally, we come to the crowd-sourced information. If this whole article seems a little bit samey to the other two then there’s a good reason for that. There are a few websites that have the best writers, produce the best content and in this case have the best informed members. MTGSalvation probably is the best Magic forum on the internet and their Modern section is no exception. With dedicated sections for top tier decks, emerging decks, budget decks, general discussion and just about anything else you can think of, there is good reason that this site has popped up in all three articles.

mtgUK 2015 Eternal National Championship 2

And there we have it, the Great Big Modern Compendium, the Third Volume of my Great Big Compendium of Formats. I’m sure that at some point in the future I’ll revisit this series with other formats, but for now it’s time to close this book. I hope that you’ve enjoyed this little wander through the formats and that you’ve learnt something and have managed to come away with some new ideas for playing the game.

A little reminder: Eternal National Championships happen in May. If you’re planning on taking part in these, please do sign up asap to guarantee your place!

Community Question: What Dragons of Tarkir cards do you want to try out in Modern the most, and why?

What Dragons of Tarkir cards do you want to use in Modern most and why

Thanks for reading.

Christopher Cooper

Please let us know what you think below...

Visit our Manaleak online store for the latest Magic: the Gathering singles, spoilers, exclusive reader offers, sales, freebies and more!

Magic The Gatherig Freebies Giveaways