Let’s Travel to the Modern With Living End

Matias Leveratto


Hello everybody!

This time we are going to talk about Modern. I’ve been playing Modern a lot lately, and I have to say I’m having a lot of fun doing it. There are also a lot of relevant tournaments going on right now on MTGO, which makes it much more interesting. Standard and Historic have been in the same place for a long time and the release of Adventures in Forgotten Realms is not generating significant changes in either format, at least for the time being.

Modern Horizons 2 refreshed the format like never before, a lot of good and powerful cards came out that enabled the emergence of many new decks.


At first, I started playing decks based on 《Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar》, a new creature as powerful as it is unpronounceable, and while I really liked the decks, I felt they weren’t powerful enough to handle the width of the format.

After abandoning the idea of continuing with these strategies, I saw that Gabriel Nassif was playing Living End, and despite the fact that I did not like the archetype in the past, this new version seemed very interesting and I decided to give it a try.

Living End

This was the list he played to reach the top 4 of the Insight 5k Modern Open:

Living End

Click to Wide

I saw some of his matches and the way the deck was built caught my attention. Cards like 《Grief》 and 《Subtlety》 added a powerful interaction capacity to the deck, in addition to the synergy it had with the main plan of the strategy.

I played several leagues on MTGO with very good results and ended up playing the deck to try to qualify for the Mana Traders series of this month. I met the goal of finishing 8-2 which means that next weekend I will be playing the swiss portion of the event.

This was the list that I played:

Deck List


Click to Wide

Waker of Waves

I didn’t make many changes to the main deck, I just cut a 《Brazen Borrower》 for a third copy of 《Waker of Waves》, since during testing it turned out to be a very useful card, especially making your mulligans much better.

Leyline of the Void

On the sideboard I did make several changes. The most significant was changing the 《Faerie Macabre》 for 《Leyline of the Void》. The Leylines are too powerful against various strategies and against the mirror, and you don’t have to worry about drawing the extra copies since you have 《Grief》 to pitch them.

Dead+GoneFoundation Breaker

I think the second copy of 《Dead/Gone》 was needed and I also preferred to have the four copies of 《Foundation Breaker》 over the 《Ingot Chewer》 he was playing.


Although it may seem like a simple deck to play, in my experience it is a deck that has many tiny and relevant decisions. I realized that after playing a lot with the deck, I was winning more games than before by different little plays that I was learning as I played the deck.

As a general rule, you will always want to cycle at the end of your opponent’s turn, but like all rules there are exceptions.

Why Do You Want to Cycle On Your Turn?

Tips and Tricks

Architects of Will

If you have several cards to cycle it is preferable to save the 《Architects of Will》, since they enable the 《Grief》 and the 《Subtlety》.

If you are playing against blue decks, try to dodge the 《Force of Negation》 by cascading on their turn.

In some scenarios, you will want to cascade on their draw step to discard what they draw with a reanimated 《Grief》.

Architects of WillGrief

《Architects of Will》 and 《Grief》 coming from the graveyard together allow you to have a lot of control of their hand and draws.

Shardless AgentViolent Outburst

Do your math. Sometimes you will have both 《Shardless Agent》 and 《Violent Outburst》 and to find out which one you should play you will have to count the amount of damage you are presenting the next turn. Even though it is appealing to cascade at instant speed, against some decks it will be better to play the 《Shardless Agent》 and next turn pump your whole team with 《Violent Outburst》.

Windcaller Aven

《Windcaller Aven》 is not only a blue cycle and a 4/3 flying. Sometimes the second ability (give flying to a creature) will be relevant.


There is a very large variety of decks in Modern, and the decklist is not as stock as in other formats. That is why it is difficult to know which and how many copies of each hate card your opponent will have.

So, instead of making a sideboard guide, I’m going to talk about what cards are good against us and what cards we can use to deal with them.

《Tormod’s Crypt》/《Relic of Progenitus》/《Nihil Spellbomb》

Tormod's CryptRelic of ProgenitusNihil Spellbomb

Against these types of effects, you can either have an answer or force them to activate with a cascade effect and then fuel your graveyard again. Fueling might not be a problem but be careful since we are only running 3 copies of 《Living End》.

《Rest in Peace》/《Leyline of the Void》

Rest in PeaceLeyline of the Void

Against both cards, you will need an answer, temporary (《Brazen Borrower》) or permanent (《Force of Vigor》/《Foundation Breaker》/《Force of Negation》), but an answer nonetheless.



Probably one of the most difficult cards to deal with. We only have 《Subtlety》 and maybe if the timing is right a 《Violent Outburst》 in response.

《Bojuka Bog》

Bojuka Bog

Another difficult one to deal with. Luckily it is not a very played card and is generally played as sorcery, which allows us to play around easier.

《Sanctifier en-Vec》/《Dauthi Voidwalker》

Sanctifier en-VecDauthi Voidwalker

Both of these creatures can be a problem or can be harmless. The good thing is that you can get rid of both with the 《Living End》, but if your graveyard is not good enough before they enter the battlefield you will have some trouble. 《Brazen Borrower》 is not an optimal answer but a good enough one.

《Chalice of the Void》/《Void Mirror》

Chalice of the VoidVoid Mirror

I don’t think you have to worry much against these cards. You will see a lot of cards in the game, eventually you’ll find 《Force of Vigor》/《Foundation Breaker》 to deal with them and then go off.

《Teferi, Time Raveler》

Teferi, Time Raveler

Even though you have a decent amount of cards to deal with him (《Force of Negation》/《Grief》/《Subtlety》), it is tricky because if they manage to resolve one you are in big trouble. 《Brazen Borrower》 is your best chance to fight through a resolved 《Teferi, Time Raveler》.

《Blood Moon》

Blood Moon

If they stick one and you are not prepared it can cost you the game. So be careful how you play your lands, remember to look for the basics, especially the 《Forest》 that allows you to play not only 《Foundation Breaker》, but 《Violent Outburst》 as well.


Spell PierceForce of Negation

Use 《Grief》 and 《Force of Negation》 to be able to resolve your 《Living End》. Again, you only have 3, so make sure you don’t run out of those.

Modern is in a great spot right now, so you should definitely give it a try. I hope this article is helpful to you.

Until next time, stay safe =)

Matias Leveratto (Twitter/Twitch)

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Matias Leveratto Matias Leveratto is a veteran player from Argentina. He quit Pro Magic in 2012 but finally returned and his re-debut was insanely great. When he won two qualifiers in succession, he got a chance to compete in the highest level tournaments and he didn't miss it. At the Mythic Championship III he chose Simic Nexus as his weapon to battle against the very best players from all over the world and his trusty deck and skill just crushed EVERYTHING. Now he is a Mythic Championship winner and one of the remarkable player in the game. Read more articles by Matias Leveratto

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