R/W Prison by Koleigh1 on MtGO

Creatures (5)
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 Simian Spirit Guide

Non-Creature Spells (30)
3 Anger of the Gods
1 Blessed Alliance
4 Lightning Helix
2 Wrath of God
1 Ajani Vengeant
1 Banishing Light
4 Blood Moon
4 Chalice of the Void
2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
2 Gideon Jura
2 Journey to Nowhere
4 Nahiri, the Harbinger

Lands (25)
4 Arid Mesa
2 Gemstone Caverns
1 Mountain
9 Plains
3 Rugged Prairie
2 Sacred Foundry
4 Temple of Triumph

Sideboard (15)
1 Anger of the Gods
2 Blessed Alliance
1 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
3 Leyline of Sanctity
1 Ravenous Trap
3 Rest in Peace
3 Stony Silence
1 Wrath of God


Prison decks have always occupied an odd space in Modern, including this one piloted by Koleigh1 on MtGO on January 8. Many of the cards that Modern prison decks play currently thrive in Legacy prison decks, so it’s always an appealing proposition to take that strategy to Magic’s favorite non-rotating format. However, success in that department has been limited. Recently, Skred Red won a Grand Prix in Dallas/Fort Worth, but hasn’t been seen on the big stage since. This version uses the prison elements available in both red and white to try to attack the format from a different angle.

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The central, prison-focused cards of the deck are Blood Moon and Chalice of the Void. Blood Moon is good against a large portion of the format that plays fetchlands and shocklands. Aggressively casting Blood Moon using Simian Spirit Guide has been extremely successful at times in Legacy, and the same theoretical advantages can be gained in Modern. However, in Modern, decks like Burn laugh in the face of Blood Moon. Chalice of the Void attempts to cover some of the blind spots that dedicated Blood Moon decks have. The artifact is excellent against Burn and Grixis Delver when X=1. That alone would make it a viable sideboard card in the format, but its applications against Infect, Affinity, and Zoo give enough reason to mainboard the card. The idea behind putting 4 Blood Moon and 4 Chalice of the Void in the mainboard of a deck is that one or both of the cards will be backbreaking to any deck in the format, covering each other’s blindspots.

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This R/W Prison deck, specifically, relies less on those cards, and uses its suite of planeswalkers and efficient removal to play a relatively fair game against opponents. Nahiri, the Harbinger, specifically, puts in fantastic work in this deck. She filters out dead draws, which happen frequently in this deck, removes pesky permanents from the opponent’s side of the board, and provides inevitability with the 1 Emrakul, the Promised End floating around in the deck. The 5 mainboard board wipes and 8 removal spells allow the deck to keep a clear board that allows the more powerful planeswalkers to work their magic.

The issues with this deck generally come from poor draws and an inherent lack of filtering that the deck has access to. Nahiri, the Harbinger solves some of these problems, but the remaining ones are what have caused the deck to never reach its full potential in Modern. If you enjoy these types of decks, you will certainly win some matches with this deck in any tournament, but striking the perfect balance of power and consistency with this deck is your task if you want to win a tournament with it.

Note that by not removing Rest in Peace, I’m assuming that Dredge will still remain in the format, despite the banning of Golgari Grave-Troll. Here are the changes I would make going forward:


-1 Ajani Vengeant

-1 Lightning Helix

-4 Plains

+2 Mountain

+4 Lightning Bolt


-1 Ravenous Trap

-1 Anger of the Gods

-1 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion

-1 Blessed Alliance

+3 Spellskite

+1 Leyline of Sanctity

This is day 11 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different deck that we recommend you give a shot in Standard, Modern, or Legacy. You can read day 10 here, where I went over another unconventional Modern deck that could gain some traction given the new Modern bans.

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