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Modern

Basic Info:

Unlike Legacy Death and Taxes, the variants in Modern are less powerful due to both the card options and the meta. The large diversity in Modern's current meta contributes to the deck's lower tier status as well. The best variant of Death and Taxes is (arguably) Black-White Eldrazi and Taxes, which plays similar to both Legacy Death and Taxes and Eldrazi and Taxes, by adopting the Aether Vial plus Flickerwisp package from the former and the Thought-Knot Seer plus Eldrazi Temple package from the latter. In addition to BW Eldrazi and Taxes, there exists a Mono-White Death and Taxes variant in Modern (albeit more beatdown than its Legacy counterpart), along with plenty of splashes and other variations including Mono-White Eldrazi and Taxes and Chalice Eldrazi and Taxes.

Sample Decklists


Eldrazi, or no Eldrazi?

The Eldrazi package adds a ton of power to the deck. Turn two Thought-Knot Seer, while uncommon for this particular deck, is still a very powerful play in Modern. The other Eldrazi also add more value to your deck, often serving as 2 for 1s or better. However, playing with these powerful Eldrazi come at a cost- since they specifically require colorless mana to cast or use, they add a third color to the deck. Therefore, since fetch lands cannot be used in the deck (nonbo with Leonin Arbiter), you are required to play with a suboptimal mana base that can, at times, cost you the game. Overall, I personally believe that it is worth the cost to play the Eldrazi builds over the tradition Mono-White builds in Modern, as it adds a ton of power and enjoyment to the deck.

Basic Sideboarding:

Right now, Modern is a very diverse format, making optimal sideboarding difficult, but essential nonetheless. Currently, there are a few essential sideboard options for all lists (regardless of splashes)- Rest in Peace and Stony Silence. Both of these cards hurt combo and aggro decks, helping you not die in the early turns. The remaining slots are often populated with value creatures or other hate cards to combat faster decks (like Burn hate). The lists above have basic sideboards to start with, but ultimately it is best to tune your sideboard based on your local meta.

Splashing colors:

While splashing is not as easy in Modern as it is in Legacy due to the lack of painless duals, splashing in Modern is very beneficial, due to it expanding your options outside of white, which is much more limited in Modern compared to legacy. In fact, unlike Legacy, there are versions of the deck splashing every color (even blue!). There are currently not any three color versions in Modern (besides Eldrazi and Taxes), and probably for good reason (fetches are a nonbo with Leonin Arbiter).

Brief Description:

The red splash has two main advantages over other splashes- it provides the deck with strong, efficient beaters (Dire Fleet Daredevil, Pia and Kiran Nalaar) plus Lightning Bolt for more reach. The second advantage comes souly from the card Magus of the Moon- due to greedy manabases being very common in Modern, this card can just win the game on the stop in certain matchups, making it a strong reason to go red.

Card options:

  • Dire Fleet Daredevil
  • Magus of the Moon
  • Lightning Bolt
  • Alesha, Who Smiles at Death
  • Pia and Kiran Nalaar
  • Pia Nalaar
  • Harsh Mentor

Read more about Red-White D&T here!

Brief Description:

GW Taxes offers a more creature-centric build, thanks to cards like Voice of Resurgence and Collected Company, which add a more beat-down aspect to the deck. Noble Hierarch is another addition to the deck that lets the deck to play more expensive, explosive cards including Collected Company and more four drop creatures like Shalai, Voice of Plenty and Linvala, Keeper of Silence. Green also offers a large sum of two drop hatebears that cover a wide range of matchups, from the graveyard eater Scavenging Ooze to the control hoser Gaddock Teeg and many others. The deck can also instead opt to play a more value-town esque build, utilizing land creatures like Azusa, Lost but Seeking and Ramunap Excavator to make quick ruin of the opponent's lands.

Card options:

  • Noble Hierarch
  • Scavenging Ooze
  • Qasali Pridemage
  • Knight of Autumn
  • Azusa, Lost but Seeking
  • Ramunap Excavator
  • Courser of Kruphix
  • Loxodon Smiter
  • Eternal Witness
  • Knight of the Reliquary
  • Collected Company
  • Voice of Resurgence

Read more about Green-White D&T here!

Brief Description:

Splashing black gives the deck more removal (Fatal Push) and hate creatures, especially ones that shine in specific matchups (Kambal, Consul of Allocation versus Storm). In addition, the deck also gets to run Dark Confidant, a powerful card advantage engine that can win games if not answered.

Card options:

  • Dark Confidant
  • Fatal Push
  • Kambal, Consul of Allocation
  • Orzhov Pontiff
  • Tidehollow Sculler
  • Kitesail Freebooter

Read more about Black-White D&T here!

Brief Description:

Blue-White Death and Taxes in Modern is interesting- it is often a balance between traditional Death and Taxes and UW/Bant Spirits, as many of the "taxing" card options in splashing blue come in the form of spirits (Mausoleum Wanderer, Spell Queller, etc.).

Card options:

  • Mausoleum Wanderer
  • Meddling Mage
  • Phantasmal Image
  • Spell Queller

Read more about Blue-White D&T here!