Modern Esper Time Sieve Combo – Deck Guide Update

One of the biggest problems facing brewers and players who favor rogue decks in Modern is that most brews and rogue decks have either a favorable matchup versus Murktide or a favorable matchup versus Four-Color Omnath, but very few decks have a good matchup against both. Expanding beyond those matchups, brewers and pilots of rogue decks need to consider their matchup spread versus Living End, Hammer Time, Burn, big mana decks and the plethora of other strategies the format has to offer. No deck in the Modern is ever going to have a favorable matchup versus all of these strategies, or that’s to say that if a deck ever emerges to have a favorable matchup versus all other decks in a metagame, then a ban is usually needed to reset format balance. 

That being said, the blue/black/x Time Sieve combo deck list I’ve been working on is one of the only decks that I’ve found to have an outstanding matchup versus the Four-Color Omnath deck while also being a slight favorite versus Murktide, Burn, Living End and Hammer Time (if using the white splash for sideboard cards). The deck does, however, struggle versus the big mana decks of the format, especially ones using Karn, the Great Creator (although Amulet Titan without Karn tends to be an alright matchup for the Time Sieve decks largely thanks to Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar’s ability to control the matchup). So while it’s definitely a deck that I recommend setting aside if Tron/Karn become popular, in my opinion, the deck is one of the best you could choose for the current competitive metagame. If you spend time mastering the archetype in time for this upcoming qualifier season, then I expect that you’ll find tournament success with the deck. 

You can find a guide to the original list here:


If you haven’t read the original guide, I strongly recommend taking the time to do so before finishing the rest of this update. There I go into detail on the deck’s construction and game plan.

As far as the updated list goes, the main deck is actually exactly the same (aside from a few changed lands to facilitate the white splash). The deck’s new white splash allows for the deck to have a much better time against Hammer Time with added access to Prismatic Ending, but more importantly Ending gives the deck access to problematic lock pieces like Rest in Peace, Stony Silence, Sanctifier en-Vec and Pithing Needle, which were all big problems before. Pithing Needle naming The Underworld Cookbook in particular has always been one of the hardest things for this archetype to beat and since Urza’s Saga gives a plethora of decks access to Needle, having lots of answers to it via Prismatic Ending is of paramount importance. Access to Teferi, Time Raveler is nice as well, and I firmly believe that the while splash gives the deck a solid increase to the deck’s overall win percentage.

Here’s the complete list of changes:


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2 thoughts on “Modern Esper Time Sieve Combo – Deck Guide Update”

  1. This is the only deck that makes me want to play Modern. I’ve started gathering the easy stuff, but it’s so hard to get Shredders and Ursa’s saga. But it looks like this deck will be a fairly good choice in the foreseeable future, so I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to build it before too long.

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