Recently some people finally realize how 《Runed Halo》 is great in modern and add some copies in there UW control. Personally, I am using this card for a long time. I played it in Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch in a Jeskai tempo.
It is a way to answer to annoying threat with hexproof, indestructible or color protection. It is also very strong against combo deck who has one important win condition. Otherwise, you can still use it as regular removal spell in fair match ups. 《Runed Halo》 is a card that we can’t play in any deck, but in the right one it is a very good option. It can reverse bad match ups into good one.
But how good is 《Runed Halo》 in the actual metagame in Modern?
There are few decks where the card is bad and some where it is an ultimate weapon, but generally you can all time use it for something during the first game. I will also talk about sideboard cards who can face 《Runed Halo》.
There is generally no Sideboard card against 《Runed Halo》.
Even if your opponent is playing 《Eidolon of the Great Revel》 or 《Shrine of Burning Rage》, 《Runed Halo》 is great. But name a Burn spell like 《Boros Charm》 or a suspended 《Rift Bolt》 is really annoying for him.
Grixis Death’s Shadow
The main card you want to name is 《Death's Shadow》 and you should do it as soon as possible before your opponent 《Inquisition of Kozilek》 it or have 《Stubborn Denial》. Other cards you can name if you already face it are 《Snapcaster Mage》, 《Tasigur, the Golden Fang》 or 《Gurmag Angler》.
Jund Death’s Shadow
Deck is running 2 creatures only (let’s forget 《Street Wraith》) as 4 《Death's Shadow》 and 4 《Tarmogoyf》. You could also prevent yourself to 《Liliana of the Veil》 Ultimate and -2 effect. Same as Grixis, deck is playing discard and Counterspells but also 《Abrupt Decay》.
Maindeck, 《Runed Halo》 name 《Grapeshot》 is almost win. Only 《Remand》 can interact with, and it is only a delay. You just have to take care about 《Empty the Warrens》. Note that if you name 《Gifts Ungiven》, your opponent can’t target you and can’t cast it.
It help against 《Walking Ballista》, 《Matter Reshaper》, 《Thought-Knot Seer》 and 《Reality Smasher》, but it is only about gain time. Eldrazi tron play card who can destroy 《Runed Halo》 main deck but all spells are expensive like 《Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger》, 《Karn Liberated》 and 《All Is Dust》. Make sure you have a game plan against these cards.
Jeskai and UW control
You should side out《Runed Halo》in this match.
《Champion of the Parish》 and 《Mantis Rider》 are the 2 creatures who can deals the biggest damages. Also, they are doing nothing else. If you name a creature like 《Meddling Mage》 or 《Kitesail Freebooter》, you will use a removal spell to kill it later and in this case, you will lose the advantage you get.
Best card to name is 《Codex Shredder》. It also prevents 《Lantern of Insight》 2nd effect but its not that necessary. I would name 《Codex Shredder》 with the second 《Runed Halo》 just in case opponent will get an 《Abrupt Decay》 for the first one.
Just name 《Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle》 maindeck is an insane advantage. It is very difficult to win for him without it.
Game one you can name 《Walking Ballista》 to prevent the one turn kill, but your opponent could play infinite creature and the other combo with 《Kitchen Finks》 instead. 《Runed Halo》 help if the game become a grind match and 《Finks》 is generally the most annoying card.
You will sideout 《Runed Halo》.
Abzan / Jund
You don’t have to play 《Runed Halo》 as a prevention here and should just play it as a removal spell for 《Grim Flayer》, 《Scavenging Ooze》, 《Tarmogoyf》, 《Tireless Tracker》 and 《Siege Rhino》. Still ok against 《Liliana of the Veil》. Abzan is playing 《Lingering Souls》, 《Abrupt Decay》 and 《Maelstrom Pulse》.
《Runed Halo》 is not so bad but you should sideout it if you have better cards in sideboard.
Infect plays multiple 《Nature's Claim》 after sideboard.
The most popular sideboard card is 《Seal of Primordium》.
Here you can see how is Runed Halo in the current metagame:
|Great / Good / Usable / Bad|
|Grixis Death’s Shadow||Great|
|Jund Death’s Shadow||Great|
|Jeskai / UW||Usable|
|Abzan / Jund||Usable|
I hope I convince you to play this card in modern and will crush tournaments with it.
Thank you for reading,