Deck Highlight: Modern Martyr of Sands


Modern Martyr of Sands by TumorBR


I’ve noticed something from playing and watching a lot of Modern lately. More than any time in recent memory, the format seems to be about attacking with creatures and damaging the opponent’s life total. Sure, there are a few popular decks – Amulet Titan comes to mind – that don’t exactly fit this mold. However, a quick look at the most recent Modern Power Rankings shows Red Prowess, Death’s Shadow, Burn, Death and Taxes, Colossus Hammer, Dredge, Jund, tribal decks and Collected Company decks driving the metagame. 

This dynamic is exploitable. One easy way to do it is to tap into the extremely potent life gain synergies available in Modern.

Martyr of Sands is one of the best life gain cards ever printed. If you’re willing to build around it, it’s easy to convert two mana into 12 or 15 life. Importantly, it comes attached to a cheap creature which can be recurred in order to effectively lock opponents out of the game. 


Martyr of SandsRanger-Captain of Eos


In this W/B Martyr deck by Magic Online player TumorBR, Martyr of Sands is the key card and Ranger-Captain of Eos helps ensure that you find one in every game. 


Orzhov CharmLurrus of the Dream-DenSorin, Vengeful BloodlordEmeria, the Sky Ruin


From there, you can recur and reuse Martyr with Orzhov Charm, Lurrus of the Dream-Den, Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord and Emeria, the Sky Ruin. Speaker of the Heavens is a life gain payoff card which, conveniently, can also be found with Ranger-Captain

The rest of the deck takes the form of a normal Orzhov Midrange deck with a Stoneforge Mystic package and efficient removal spells that can win games on its own. The sideboard is full of potent hate cards like Damping Sphere and Aven Mindcensor to shore up weaknesses against opponents who might be undaunted by a high life total. 



If you’re looking to beat up on creature decks and laugh in the face of Lightning Bolts and Lava Spikes, I recommend looking towards Martyr of Sands.



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