The Real Power of Runed Halo in Modern

Jeremy Dezani

Jeremy Dezani

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.

Runed Halo

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》.

Affinity

runedhalo

It’s not rare to play 《Runed Halo》 against multiple copies of the same creature. It is also a good way to deal with 《Etched Champion》, 《Blinkmoth Nexus》 and 《Inkmoth Nexus》.

Etched ChampionBlinkmoth NexusInkmoth NexusVault Skirge

There is generally no Sideboard card against 《Runed Halo》.

Burn

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.

Eidolon of the Great RevelShrine of Burning RageBoros CharmRift Bolt

《Destructive Revelry》 is the sideboard card you could face game 2 and 3. If 《Runed Halo》 is the only target, no sure your opponent can sideboard too many.

Destructive Revelry

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》.

Death's ShadowSnapcaster MageTasigur, the Golden FangGurmag Angler

The only card I can see after sideboard against 《Runed Halo》could be 《Engineered Explosives》 but not sure your opponent wants to sideboard it. He will just try to discard or counter it.

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》.

Death's ShadowTarmogoyfLiliana of the VeilAbrupt Decay

After sideboard opponent don’t have additional 《Disenchant》 but can play alternative kill like 《Lingering Souls》.

Storm

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.

GrapeshotGifts UngivenEmpty the WarrensRemand

After sideboard, you can face 《Swan Song》 and some bounce spell like 《Echoing Truth》, 《Wipe Away》 or 《Consign to Dream》.

Swan SongEchoing TruthWipe AwayConsign to Dream

Eldrazi Tron

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.

Thought-Knot SeerMatter ReshaperReality SmasherAll Is Dust

Eldrazi tron has some 《Ratchet Bomb》in sideboard. It could be good for him to play it if 《Runed Halo》 is not the only thing to destroy.

BG Tron

《Runed Halo》 doesn’t do anything great here. The most relevant thing is to prevent 《Emrakul, the Promised End》.

Emrakul, the Promised End

Deck has access to 《Nature's Claim》 after sideboard, but 《Runed Halo》 is bad in this match up and you should side out it.

Jeskai and UW control

Maindeck you can use it for 《Celestial Colonnade》 and 《Snapcaster Mage》 mainly. Against Jeskai, you could also name burn spells like 《Lightning Bolt》 or 《Lightning Helix》.

Celestial ColonnadeSnapcaster MageLightning BoltLightning Helix

You should side out《Runed Halo》in this match.

Dredge

runedhalo

《Runed Halo》 is amazing against Dredge. It helps so much against 《Bloodghast》, 《Prized Amalgam》 and 《Conflagrate》.

BloodghastPrized AmalgamConflagrate

《Nature's Claim》 and 《Abrupt Decay》 are the cards Dredge can add to fight it.

Nature's ClaimAbrupt Decay

5C Human

《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.

Champion of the ParishMantis RiderMeddling MageKitesail Freebooter

Lantern Control

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.

Codex ShredderLantern of InsightAbrupt DecayNature's Claim

Lantern can add some 《Disenchant》 effect with 《Nature's Claim》 or 《Maelstrom Pulse》.

Valakut

Just name 《Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle》 maindeck is an insane advantage. It is very difficult to win for him without it.

Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle

Opponent will side in 《Reclamation Sage》 and 《Nature's Claim》 for it and alternative win conditions like 《Obstinate Baloth》, 《Tireless Tracker》 or 《Thragtusk》.

Reclamation SageNature's ClaimTireless TrackerThragtusk

Abzan Company

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.

Walking BallistaKitchen Finks

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》.

Grim FlayerTarmogoyfAbrupt DecayMaelstrom Pulse

《Runed Halo》 is not so bad but you should sideout it if you have better cards in sideboard.

Infect

《Glistener Elf》 and 《Blighted Agent》 are the two main win conditions for infect.

Glistener ElfBlighted Agent

Infect plays multiple 《Nature's Claim》 after sideboard.

Bogles

You just have to wait to face a big 《Gladecover Scout》 or 《Slippery Bogle》 (sometime 《Silhana Ledgewalker》) and named it.

Gladecover ScoutSlippery BogleSilhana Ledgewalker

The most popular sideboard card is 《Seal of Primordium》.

Ad Nauseam

《Lightning Storm》 is the main win condition of the deck. Your opponent can still win with 《Laboratory Maniac》 but it is more complicated.

Lightning StormLaboratory Maniac

Generally, 《Ad Nauseam》 only have one 《Echoing Truth》 in sideboard. And try to draw the whole deck and bounce 《Runed Halo》 before playing 《Lightning Storm》

Echoing Truth

Here you can see how is Runed Halo in the current metagame:

Great / Good / Usable / Bad
Affinity Great
Burn Good
Grixis Death’s Shadow Great
Jund Death’s Shadow Great
Storm Great
Eldrazi Tron Good
BG Tron Bad
Jeskai / UW Usable
Dredge Great
5C Humans Good
Lantern Good
Valakut Great
Abzan Company Bad
Abzan / Jund Usable
Infect Great
Bogles Great
Ad Nauseam Good

I hope I convince you to play this card in modern and will crush tournaments with it.

Thank you for reading,

Jeremy DEZANI

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