Top 5 Magic: The Gathering Hate Cards That Will Make You Ragequit in Modern, by Joseph Dunlap

Inquisition of Kozilek

Top 5 Magic: The Gathering Hate Cards That Will Make You Ragequit in Modern

So you’re at a Modern tournament, and things are going well. You just beat your current opponent in Game 1 of the match, and it wasn’t close. You’re feeling good about things. If Game 2 is as quick as the first, you might have time to grab some food before the next round.

Then Game 2 starts. You cast Gitaxian Probe, Inquisition of Kozilek, or a similar spell, and you take a Peek at their hand…



5. Land Destruction

If you’re playing a deck that’s heavily reliant on the use of nonbasic lands, few things can shut you down as quickly as land hate cards. This is usually in the form of land destruction, but there are other ways to shut down nonbasic lands.

The three most popular land hate cards in Modern: Blood Moon, Fulminator Mage, and Ghost Quarter.

Ghost Quarter can often be found in small quantities in most maindeck lists, due to its ability to be tapped for a colorless mana on its first turn, and the cheap cost to blow up an opponent’s land. The card has had such an impact on the Modern metagame, it is one of the reasons most decks will run a single basic land, just so they have something to tutor for when Ghost Quarter rears its ugly head.

Fulminator Mage is found most commonly in the maindeck of Living End, as it can be brought back and used again. In the sideboard, its ability to either destroy a crucial land or just act as a beatstick makes the Mage a good choice for a myriad of decks.

The winner: Few cards in the Modern format bring about a ragequit quicker than when a Blood Moon resolves. Does your deck rely on nonbasic lands? Too bad. Don’t play red? Sorry.

Remember when I said Ghost Quarter is one of the reasons most decks run a single basic land? Blood Moon is the other reason, so they can remove the enchantment.

The only drawback when playing Blood Moon is its impartiality. If you play it, you either need to be playing mono-red, enough basic lands to function with it in play, or already have your board presence established. All things considered, its raw stopping power more than makes up for these drawbacks.

Blood Moon even finds its way into Top 8 maindecks such as Jelger Wiegersma’s Splinter Twin deck that made it to the semifinals of Pro Tour Fate Reforged (eliminated by Antonio Del Moral León’s Splinter Twin list that did not run Blood Moon in the main list).

Blood Moon


4. Burn/Aggro/Combo Hate

If you play an aggressive deck such as burn or aggro, or rely on a combo with low-toughness creatures, it hurts to see your opponent draw their aggro hate in Game 2. There are several popular sideboard cards that can shut down aggressive decks.

The three most popular aggro hate cards in Modern: Leyline of Sanctity, Pyroclasm, and Izzet Staticaster.

Each of these cards have their own uses. Leyline of Sanctity is a burn-stopping card and has other uses as well. Pyroclasm completely wipes the board against aggressive creatures. Izzet Staticaster is a combo killer, which hurts decks like Splinter Twin, but it can also be brought in against other decks that rely on smaller creatures, utilising its flash ability (such as killing Inkmoth Nexus when it is activated).

The winner: If you evaluate these cards purely based on their effectiveness against aggressive decks, Pyroclasm would probably be the first pick.

If you evaluate them based on their overall effectiveness, Leyline of Sanctity is the card that would prompt the most ragequit scoops. It stops burn decks in their tracks, it shuts down targeted discard, it stops two out of Liliana of the Veil‘s three abilities, it stops Ad Nauseam’s Lightning Storm, and so much more. Unless you have a reasonable chance to remove Leyline, seeing it hit the battlefield might be cause for an instant ragequit.

Leyline of Sanctity


3. Artifact Hate

Several Modern decks rely heavily on artifacts: Affinity, Tron, Lantern Control, or decks that run Æther Vial. In these matchups, artifact destruction is absolutely devastating. What are the most effective artifact hate cards?

The three most popular artifact hate cards in Modern: Ancient Grudge, Stony Silence, and Shatterstorm.

Stony Silence utterly shuts down the effectiveness of artifacts with activated abilities, which is almost all of them. In many situations, a Stony Silence landing on the battlefield is game over.

Ultimately, Stony Silence can be removed so even if it does lead to the artifact player’s ultimate demise, it does not usually elicit the instant scoop of its counterparts.

The winner: Because of the intricacies of interactions in Modern, Ancient Grudge may have the most effectiveness against artifacts. Its low cost and flashback ability provides the perfect amount of spot removal to shut down whatever cards are the biggest nuisance and swing in for the kill. In fact, decks with red in the mana base, such as Splinter Twin, will sometimes run a splash of green in the base for Grudge’s flashback cost.

But we’re not talking about spot removal. We’re talking ragequit cards. Against an artifact deck, nothing brings about a ragequit quicker than Shatterstorm. The cost may be steep in quick matchups, but the moment it lands, the game is pretty much over. Scoop, Game 3, thank you.



2. Graveyard Disruption


As we reach the end of the list, we get to sideboard cards that have a broad impact against the Modern format. Obviously Dredge and Living End are most hurt by graveyard hate, but any deck running Academy Ruins, Snapcaster Mage, Tarmogoyf, and many other cards, is hurt by graveyard hate. They simply can’t function effectively without access to the graveyard.

The three most popular graveyard hate cards in Modern: Relic of Progenitus, Grafdigger’s Cage, and Rest in Peace.

Grafdigger’s Cage is an effective way to prevent creatures from being tutored onto the battlefield or returned to play from the graveyard, or to prevent flashback cards. It may not be a ragequit-worthy card, but it deserves mention.

Relic of Progenitus is great for spot graveyard removal (much like maindeck Scavenging Ooze), and ultimately Relic can be “popped” to obliterate all graveyards and draw a card – both effects very relevant. If a Relic hits the battlefield, it’s pretty much over.

The winner: It we’re talking instant scooping, table-flipping ragequits for a graveyard-abusing deck, there’s nothing like a Turn 2 Rest in Peace. Did you sideboard any enchantment hate? Where is your Abrupt Decay? Those, and many other thoughts enter your mind during the seconds prior to flipping the table – I mean scooping and going to Game 3.

Rest in Peace


1. Pithing Needle

Maybe it’s because I’m a Lantern Control player, but in my opinion, Pithing Needle is deserving of its own category. As such, it is #1 in my list of hate cards. It can be found in nearly every sideboard in Modern because it shuts down so much.

Tired of a particular nonbasic land such as Academy Ruins, Desolate Lighthouse, Inkmoth Nexus, Horizon Canopy">Horizon Canopy, fetchlands – and I could go on – but don’t want to shut down your own? Pithing Needle can take care of that.

Want to shut down a combo or sac outlet? Pithing Needle can do that.

Remember all those activated abilities Stony Silence shuts down? If you’re only concerned about one or two of them (or if you run artifacts and would be equally hurt by Stony Silence), give Pithing Needle a call.

Is a planeswalker giving you grief? There’s a Pithing Needle for that.

On the other hand, if your strategy is easily disrupted by Pithing Needle


Okay, Pithing Needle may not necessarily be a ragequit-worthy card, but it’s certainly frustrating to see on the other side of the table. You might spend the entire game trying to find an answer to it and hoping you can pull out a win without that particular piece of the puzzle. You’ll dig through your deck, you’ll play around it, and it will be a thorn in your side until you can remove it.

And that’s why Pithing Needle is the best hate card.

Pithing Needle


So that’s our list of top 5 hate cards in Modern that will make you just want to ragequit, what do you think of the list? And what are your top 5 ragequit cards in Modern? Please let us know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading,

Joseph Dunlap

Top 5 Magic: The Gathering Hate Cards That Will Make You Ragequit in Modern, by Joseph Dunlap
So you're at a Modern tournament, and things are going well. You just beat your current opponent in Game 1 of the match, and it wasn't close. You're feeling good about things.

Please let us know what you think below...

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