Modern RG Midrange Deck Guide

Cristian Ortiz Ros

Cristian Ortiz Ros

Introduction

Hello! I’m happy to be here one more time.

Today it’s time to talk about Modern again, the format that I love the most without no doubt and for this article my deck choice is one of the most famous at the moment… RG Midrange! Well, or also known as RG Ponza.

Explanation of the Strategy

Magus of the MoonPillageArbor ElfUtopia Sprawl

Well, the first thing that we are going to highlight is that we are talking about a deck whose main plan is to try to make our opponent’s mana base uncomfortable as much as possible with cards like 《Magus of the Moon》 or 《Pillage》 and at the same time obtain a certain acceleration in our own game, in the form of 《Arbor Elf》 and 《Utopia Sprawl》.

Seasoned PyromancerBloodbraid ElfGlorybringerKlothys, God of Destiny

Once we start developing our first turns with them, we discover high quality cards at different costs such as 《Seasoned Pyromancer》, 《Bloodbraid Elf》 or 《Glorybringer》 and of course 《Klothys, God of Destiny》 which became the latest addition to the deck. Surely, they are not the most striking cards individually, but they can help us in the different situations and can beat everything together. Those our threat took the strategy to the point of becoming a consolidated Tier 1.

Urza's TowerValakut, the Molten PinnacleSimic Growth ChamberField of the Dead

Based on our plan, it is easy to understand that our best confrontations are the strategies which focus on the mana acceleration like Tron, Eldrazi Tron, Scapeshift variants, Amulet or Titan Field. We also defend ourselves very well against midrange decks like Jund / Golgari, Mardu or the different versions of Shadow and of course, against control decks like Bant Snow, Azorius Control or Simic Reclamation. We worsened considerably against the more aggressive strategies like Burn, Mono-Red Prowess or Naya Zoo-Whack and of course also against combo decks like Izzet Storm, NeoBrand, Ad Nauseam and graveyard-based strategies like Dredge or Living End among others.

I think it is interesting to show the facelift and evolution that the deck has undergone as we were used to. Moving on to a more midrange, powerful and stable field.

RG Ponza Becomes RG Midrange

RG Ponza

PillageMolten RainStone RainBlood Moon

This is a clear version of what we call RG Ponza, with seven / eight land destructions in the form of 《Pillage》 / 《Molten Rain》 or 《Stone Rain》 and undisputed 《Blood Moon》 playset. In addition, we have 《Tireless Tracker》 as both finisher and card advantage engine and there are so many 3 drops indeed. Though, our ideal start contains 《Arbor Elf》 or 《Utopia Sprawl》 and you can usually play those 3 drops on turn two.

This strategy has a potential to become a Tier 1 or 2 deck but in reality it was struggled to be there until transforming into the midrange shell.

Let’s see now my current list and how has evolved the strategy with which I managed to make a 5-0 in a Modern Preliminary on Magic Online just a few days ago.

RG Midrange

This is the list that I am currently playing and we can see some changes compared to the previous one.

Changes

《Seasoned Pyromancer》

Seasoned Pyromancer

It helps you to find some specific card to obtain victory in the confrontation that we are facing. It also allows us to have two 1/1 creatures if we decide to discard two non-land cards, which we do not need or we will not be able to cast in the near future.

《Klothys, God of Destiny》

Klothys, God of Destiny

《Klothys, God of Destiny》 gives us a great advantage, either adding an additional mana each turn if we decide to exile a land card in a graveyard or helping us to gain two life while dealing two damage to our rival with exiling any other type of card that is also in a graveyard. Furthermore, it is very useful to be able to exile a card that may be annoying to us.

《Magus of the Moon》

Magus of the Moon

We include 《Magus of the Moon》 playset instead of 《Blood Moon》 as it gives us the possibility of reducing our opponent’s life at some point. It was not ruled out to continue playing 《Blood Moon》 or a possible combination between both, the taste of each card is different.

《Wrenn and Six》

Wrenn and Six

It is worth noting the two copies of 《Wrenn and Six》 in our maindeck to make our game more stable and it increases the card advantage immediately when it enters the battlefield.


Isn’t it true that the deck looks better now than before? It finally reached the Tier 1.

Play Order of the Each Mana Cost

1 Mana

Play Order Card Name
1st 《Arbor Elf》
2nd 《Utopia Sprawl》
3rd 《Lightning Bolt》

Against aggro or specific situation where we want to remove a ramp creature from our opponent, seeing a clear gain in success with it, we would play 《Lightning Bolt》 first.

3 Mana (Acutually Turn Two Plays with Our Mana Accelation)

Play Order Card Name
1st 《Klothys, God of Destiny》
2nd 《Pillage》
3rd 《Magus of the Moon》
4th 《Seasoned Pyromancer》

In the situations where we have to find a specific card quickly, you’d better opt for 《Seasoned Pyromancer》. However, if we play against Tron, it is better to cast 《Magus of the Moon》 or 《Pillage》 first.

2 Mana

Play Order Card Name
1st 《Wrenn and Six》
2nd 《Scavenging Ooze》

The order would be different if you are playing against a graveyard strategy or need a blocker for a better future in the game.

4 Mana

Play Order Card Name
1st 《Bloodbraid Elf》
2nd 《Chandra, Torch of Defiance》

We would change the order if we have to deal with a creature with Chandra’s [-3] ability.


We must remember that while this is the correct order of each mana cost to cast in general, it can be completely different depending on the game states or strategies in front of us, as we have just seen in the previous examples.

Sideboard Guide

Mono-Red Prowess

Against Mono-Red Prowess

Out

Pillage Pillage Pillage Pillage
Magus of the Moon Magus of the Moon Magus of the Moon

In

Anger of the Gods Anger of the Gods Kitchen Finks Scavenging Ooze
Obstinate Baloth Obstinate Baloth Obstinate Baloth

Amulet Titan

Against Amulet Titan

Out

Scavenging Ooze Scavenging Ooze
Klothys, God of Destiny

In

Cindervines Cindervines
Stone Rain

Jund

Against Jund

Out

Pillage Pillage Pillage Pillage
Magus of the Moon

In

Obstinate Baloth Obstinate Baloth Obstinate Baloth
Kitchen Finks Scavenging Ooze

Dredge

Against Dredge

Out

Lightning Bolt Lightning Bolt Lightning Bolt Lightning Bolt
Pillage Pillage Pillage Pillage

In

Anger of the Gods Anger of the Gods Collector Ouphe Collector Ouphe
Obstinate Baloth Obstinate Baloth Obstinate Baloth Scavenging Ooze

Bant Snow

Against Bant Snow

Out

Lightning Bolt Lightning Bolt Lightning Bolt Lightning Bolt

In

Choke Choke
Boil Stone Rain

Tron

Against Tron

Out

Lightning Bolt Lightning Bolt Lightning Bolt Lightning Bolt
Glorybringer

In

Cindervines Cindervines Collector Ouphe Collector Ouphe
Stone Rain

Humans

Against Humans

Out

Pillage Pillage Pillage Pillage

In

Anger of the Gods Anger of the Gods
Kitchen Finks Scavenging Ooze

Burn

Against Burn

Out

Pillage Pillage Pillage Pillage
Magus of the Moon

In

Obstinate Baloth Obstinate Baloth Obstinate Baloth
Kitchen Finks Scavenging Ooze

NeoBrand

Against NeoBrand

Out

Glorybringer

In

Stone Rain

Mirror

Against Mirror

Out

Magus of the Moon Magus of the Moon Magus of the Moon Magus of the Moon

In

Obstinate Baloth Obstinate Baloth Obstinate Baloth
Scavenging Ooze

Tips

Alert On Modern!

I would like to highlight the arrival of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths in our game, especially Modern, of course, which brings us a new ability that I want to teach you.

Companion: You can have up to one Companion for each game. That chosen Companion doesn’t contain in your main deck and it’s a card in your sideboard. If you reveal a Companion outside of the game, for as long as it remains there, you may cast it any time it’s legal to cast. Once you do, it comes into the game and behaves like any other card you’ve brought into the game. For example, if it’s countered or destroyed, it’s put into your graveyard, remaining in the game.

This new edition brings ten new creatures with this ability. But only five of these creatures are going to have or are having an impact on our format. But this can always change.

Lurrus of the Dream-DenGyruda, Doom of DepthsYorion, Sky Nomad
Kaheera, the OrphanguardZirda, the Dawnwaker

I believe that none of these new cards with Companion ability enter our strategy, it’s sad. Also, this edition brings us a very special card, which shares our same colors and which is awesome, yes, 《Godzilla, King of the Monsters》. I was thinking about this card, but unfortunately I can’t see it in our seventy-five cards.

Godzilla, King of the Monsters

Conclusion

It is time to say goodbye, and it is always difficult to say goodbye, since I really enjoy commenting here on all my experiences and opinions on the different strategies that cover us throughout our favorite game.

First of all, and as usual I want to thank all the Hareruya team for the opportunity that they continue to give me day by day to be able to be here.

Secondly, I want to thank my girlfriend for all the constant support I receive from her. Thanks Di.

And thirdly, to thank and dedicate this article to all the health workers and hospitals in the world for the great work they do day by day in this situation we are experiencing.

Remember, if you have any question, I will be happy to answer you on social networks.

Stay safe.

Cristian (Twitter / Twitch)

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Cristian Ortiz Ros

Cristian Ortiz Ros Cristian Ortiz Ros is a veteran player from Spain. He is a Modern enthusiast and well known as an expert of the format especially his hallmark deck; Living End. He became the finalist of the Grand Prix Copenhagen 2017 with it and he finally won the whole thing at the Grand Prix Madrid 2017 with UR Storm. Also, Cristian is very famous on Magic Online and surprisingly, he did earn 38 trophies in a cycle and he finished that cycle as a trophy leader. Read more articles by Cristian Ortiz Ros