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Budget Modern Grixis Thopter-Sword – Deck Guide

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty has introduced tons of interesting and playable cards to Modern. Thankfully for most players’ wallets, the majority of these cards are commons and uncommons, making them pretty affordable. I’ve been doing a lot of playtesting and exploring with the new cards and I’ve put together a great budget Modern Grixis deck featuring some of my favorite cards from NEO – a grindy artifact deck with lots of synergy, a backdoor infinite combo and is lucky enough to play Lurrus as a companion.

As a reminder, I have three goals with these budget deck lists:

  1. I want to get you in the door playing Modern at the FNM level with a deck that you’re interested in under $200. While Burn and Prowess are still Modern’s premier budget decks, those decks don’t appeal to a lot of players. Modern is fun, interesting and dynamic at the moment and you should be able to participate with a budget deck that you enjoy playing.
  2. I want to make sure that you’re spending your money well, buying cards that can translate into other decks. 
  3. I want to give you a path to upgrade these decks into non-budget versions, as you grind with them over time. 

Here’s the deck list. I think that this build is great verses Ragavan decks and other grindy strategies, but weak to hate cards like Rest in Peace and Stony Silence and big mana/combo decks. At the time of writing, this list is around $175.

 

 

 

Budget Modern Grixis Thopter-Sword by Evart Moughon

 

Header - Synergies

There’s a lot of powerful synergies here that can be easy to miss. To make sure that you don’t miss any, let’s go over them all:

  • Both Thopter Foundry and Oni-Cult Anvil can sacrifice Experimental Synthesizer for value, giving you a robust value engine. 
  • While the deck has access to the Thopter Foundry/Sword of the Meek combo (which allows you to to pay a mana to sacrifice and recur your Sword of the Meek netting a Thopter token each time you do). Sword of the Meek can also serve as a card that you can sacrifice to Oni-Cult Anvil turn after turn.
  •  If you can get to a point where you’re making five tokens a turn, you can take Infinite turns with Time Sieve. It’s very important plan in matchups where boards get stalled. 
  • The tokens from these artifacts aren’t the only ways to bring your Swords back from the yard, as both Cauldron Familiar and Ravenous Squirrel are 1/1s to bring it back. 
  • Sword of the Meek is also an easy card to find in a deck with four copies of Goblin Engineer, since you can tutor it into your graveyard with Engineer’s ETB ability. You’ll tutor Sword more often than any other card in this deck, but the ability to grab a Time Sieve or Thopter Foundry is also really nice.
  • Goblin Engineer is another way to sacrifice your Synthesizer for value, potentially turn after turn for tons of extra cards. 
  • Beyond Thopter, Sword and Synthesizer, you have access to Cauldron Familiar sacrificing a Food token, and Mishra’s Bauble as ways to cheaply generate value with Oni-Cult Anvil and Ravenous Squirrel. I often find myself holding Bauble until turn two so I can sacrifice it the next turn when I cast Anvil.

 

Header - Non-Budget Upgrades

If you’re interested in upgrading this list into a non-budget version, you can find that version down below. The only differences between this version and the non-budget one is an upgraded mana base, Urza’s Saga and Saga targets. Glimmervoid, Springleaf Drum and Spire of Industry both do a good job making sure that you can cast your spells on a budget, but admittedly playing Glimmervoid can lead to some blowouts in a Prismatic Ending metagame. Losing Urza’s Saga isn’t as big of a loss as you might think, as playing Saga makes you more vulnerable to cards like Alpine Moon and Spreading Seas and dodging those cards is super relevant at the moment. 

Non-Budget Grixis Sword

 

Modern Non-Budget Grixis Thopter-Sword by Evart Moughon

 

If you find yourself really enjoying this archetype, you could also upgrade it into this red/black version I’ve been working on. This version is certainly more expensive since it plays Ragavan, but it’s also quite powerful, a ton of fun and I really recommend it. You can find a full guide for this list here:

 

 

Modern RB Anvil by Evart Moughon

 

Header - Sideboard Guide

As always, thanks for reading. This archetype has been a ton of fun to explore and I hope you end up enjoying it as much as I have.

Here’s how I would sideboard with the budget 75:

Blue/Red Murktide

Blue/Red Murktide

In: +2 Terminate

Out: -2 Time Sieve

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Mill

Blue/Red Murktide

No changes

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Jund Saga

Jund Saga

In: +2 Alpine Moon

Out: -2 Time Sieve

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Hammer Time

Hammer Time

Burn

Blue/Red Murktide

In: +2 Nature’s Claim

Out: -2 Time Sieve 

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Living End

Living End

In: +4 Soul-Guide Lantern

Out: -4 Ravenous Squirrel 

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Temur Rhinos

Temur Rhinos

No changes

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UWx Control

UWx Control

In: +4 Nature’s Claim

Out: -2 Time Sieve -1 Cauldron Familiar, -1 Witch’s Oven 

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Amulet Titan

Amulet Titan

In: +4 Nature’s Claim, +2 Alpine Moon, +2 Terminate 

Out: -4 Cauldron Familiar, -4 Witch’s Oven 

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Mono-Green Tron

Mono-Green Tron

In: +4 Nature’s Claim, +2 Alpine Moon 

Out: -4 Cauldron Familiar, -2 Witch’s Oven 

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