Modern Humans with Zendikar Rising Deck Update

Zendikar Rising moved many things in the Modern format. As such, a Humans deck guide update is needed since my last one, just a month ago.

Skyclave Apparition

Skyclave Apparition is probably the best card in Modern out of Zendikar Rising, someone could also make the case for Omnath, Locus of Creation, Scourge of the Skyclaves, or Turntimber Symbiosis. The Apparition has been outstanding so far and has brought resurgence to Mono-White Death and Taxes in both Modern and Legacy.

My deck is humans only, although in the sideboard it used to run Deputy of Detention to deal with various annoying permanents post-sideboard, I’ve never particularly loved the card though. It’s not great since Oblivion Ring effects tend to be weak, but you didn’t really have any other options if you wanted to deal with Wrenn and Six, Plague Engineer, Phyrexian Unlife, and the like.

Skyclave Apparition doesn’t give the permanent back and just hands them a 1/1 or a 2/2 Illusion Token, which you can easily outrace, that makes the card fantastic against almost any strategy, particularly the Scourge of the Skyclave and the Death Shadow deck.

Why I am not playing Skyclave Apparition in the main deck? My deck wants to be very aggressive and streamlined in the main deck against the various strategies of Modern, and then post-sideboard slow down, cutting the right pieces, but expect Skyclave Apparition to be sideboarded in in almost every matchup.

Modern Humans - Andrea Mengucci

Last Sunday I finished twelfth in a in paper event with 76 people in Florence. I played my trusty Humans, which I tested the week prior going 13W-2L across three leagues on MTGO. I’m very happy with the current list and like every single one of the 75 cards.

Deck Guide

Thalia, Guardian of ThrabenPhantasmal Image

I’ve never played Humans with just two Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, but I believe it was the right cut to make room for the fourth Phantasmal Image.

Thalia has been weak for me against the various Lava Dart and Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath decks, plus some of the combo decks pass through creatures lately, making Thalia not even impressive in some of the traditionally best matchups, like against control decks playing creatures like Uro and Omnaths.

On the other hand, Phantasmal Image has been outstanding in combination with Skyclave Apparition and Auriok Champion, two sideboard cards that I find myself bringing in very often against the tier one deck of the format: RB Prowess.

Since I’ve added the fourth copy of Phantasmal Image I also wanted to cut a General Kudro of Drannith for a Militia Bugler, the combination of Militia Bugler and Phantasmal Image is always something I’ve loved to grind card advantage, and to gain board state presence.

Relic of ProgenitusPlague EngineerDamping Sphere


I decided to replace Grafdigger’s Cage with Relic of Progenitus because of Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath. I love Relic against Uro since I’m able to keep that card in check while also reducing the power of Wrenn and Six and Mystic Sanctuary.

Uro is often unbeatable for Humans in certain board states, and it’s important to keep that card in check, while also having a sideboard tool against the various graveyard strategies.

Plague Engineer is a concession to the mirror match, while also having a card against other tribe decks, for example at KOM Florence I got paired against Spirits and Goblins, the card has been outstanding.

Despite that Green Tron is on an all-time low, I always like to have a couple Damping Sphere in my sideboard, which are serviceable against certain combo decks and Amulet Titan, although I don’t like to sideboard them in against Eldrazi Tron.

Sideboard Guide

Versus Uro Piles (with Wrenn and Six)
Versus Red Prowess (either Rakdos or Izzet)


Scroll to Top