UR Murktide Deck Tech and Sideboard Guide (EN)

Alan Andrzejewski13.10.2021Czas czytania: 7 minut(y)

Blue-Red Murktide Decklist

Spells (28)
Archmage’s Charm
Expressive Iteration
Mishra’s Bauble
Serum Visions
Spell Pierce
Thought Scour
Unholy Heat
Lightning Bolt

Creatures (14)
Murktide Regent
Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer
Dragon’s Rage Channeler
Snapcaster Mage
Brazen Borrower
Lands (18)
Fiery Islet
Misty Rainforest
Scalding Tarn
Spirebluff Canal
Steam Vents

Sideboard (15)
Blood Moon
Engineered Explosives
Force of Negation
Entrancing Melody
Mystical Dispute
Soul-Guide Lantern
Dress Down
Void Mirror
Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Card choices


1 Fiery Islet, 7 fetches, 3 Island, 4 Spirebluff Canal, 3 Steam Vents

There is only one copy of Fiery Islet, as we don’t assume the aggressive role in every match-up. Sometimes we play more like a control deck and then we don’t really want to take damage from our lands just to cast spells.

Seven fetchlands and only six fetchable targets? Our deck relies on delirium and delve heavily. Both need lands in the graveyard to work better.

Spirebluff Canal is the best land for two-colour blue-red decks with a low curve. Our deck is exactly that.


4 Expressive Iteration, 4 Mishra’s Bauble, 3 Serum Visions, 4 Thought Scour

In the deck, we’ve got fifteen cantrip effects which justify the low land count. In the past, we assumed that one cantrip is half of a land. Having so many cards which draw more cards makes us very consistent in what we do and every game we should be able to find the perfect mix of threats and answers.

Mishra’s Bauble – The bauble is a powerful card in this deck. It helps immensely with delirium, it triggers Dragon’s Rage Channeler‘s surveil for free and provides even more utility with fetchlands. The trick is as follows – on our turn, we use the Bauble on ourselves and see whether we like the card on top. If we want it, we play a normal land or a fetch and leave it uncracked. If we don’t want it, we play a fetch and sacrifice it immediately in order to clear off the top of the deck – thanks to this trick you can draw a fresh card now.

Serum Visions  – Visions is the worst cantrip in the whole deck but there is nothing better in modern anyways. The only thing which it does relatively well is finding lands in the early stages of the game. The first thing I will do whenever a new set comes out is to see whether a better cantrip has been released.

Thought Scour – In this deck it’s often better than Dark Ritual. Not only does it reduce the delve cost by three but also draws a card in the process. 99% of the time we target ourselves, because we want more cards in the graveyard for delirium anddelve – Dragon’s Rage Channeler, Unholy Heat, and Murktide Regent. Sometimes we will do some old-school stuff – mill ourselves for more Snapcaster Mage targets. This 1% when we target the opponent is when we know they’ve got something strong on top (we saw it with Bauble) and we want to mill it off.

Expressive Iteration – Iteration is hands down the strongest card draw spell in this deck, which makes our late-game better than our opponents’ because we have more resources at our disposal. The basic rule is that, despite it costing two mana, we should never cast it on turn two or when we have two mana but no land drop available. Its biggest strength is that the most often exiled card is a land when we haven’t made a land drop for the turn yet. We can also exile a cheap spell which we can cast after paying for Iteration.

Obrazek posiada pusty atrybut alt; plik o nazwie expressive-iteration-meme.jpg


4 Unholy Heat, 4 Lightning Bolt

Bolt is a classic. This card has been the best burn spell for one mana ever since Alpha was released and it’s quite difficult to imagine WotC printing something better.

Unholy Heat is a relatively new addition to modern but it has solid ground to be considered the second-best removal costing single red mana. Its sheer presence in the format makes creatures and planeswalkers which cost more than Heat barely playable. The fact that you can kill Tarmogoyf, Primeval Titan or Teferi, Hero of Dominaria with a one-mana spell makes the only downside of playing red obsolete.


1 Spell Pierce, 2 Counterspell, 2 Archmage’s Charm

I play five maindeck countermagic effects. The biggest advantage of playing Spell Pierce is its low cost which most often means that we will trade up on mana. Its most frequent use is going to be defending our own threats from removal and counterspells. Despite its old-fashioned design, Counterspell is a force to be reckoned with and its presence in the format makes Big Mana decks struggle. You can’t just slam your spells into open two mana even if you have leftover to pay for a Mana Leak like it used to be. Counterspell most often just closes up the game when we’ve got the upper hand and we can defend this advantage from anything the opponent plays.

Archmage’s Charm is a popular variation on the Cancel design albeit with a more difficult cost. As you may already know, it’s always good when our cards give us options in what they can do and this is precisely why Charm is good at any stage of the game. When we’re in the defensive mode against aggro, we can steal their threat and force a 2-for-1 exchange or just kill them with their own Ornithopter wearing a Colossus Hammer. In the midgame, we will most often use the counterspell function and late in the game instant speed Divination. The proper choice of which mode to use in the opponent’s end step is difficult, meaningful, and carries a lot of potential consequences.


4 Murktide Regent, 4 Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, 4 Dragon’s Rage Channeler, 1 Snapcaster Mage, 1 Brazen Borrower

All the creatures from Modern Horizons 2 have redefined the removal played in modern. The removal has to be cheap (cannot cost more than the creature that it’s destroying), but cheap removal does not kill Murktide Regent. That’s why most decks have to play a mix of cheap and Murktide-killing, more expensive removal.

Since the very first turn Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer makes the opponent have to kill it, have blockers, or a deck full of cards which Ragavan’s owner can’t use such as Ad Nauseam. However, it’s the treasure tokens that make Ragavan so strong – additional mana every single turn enables us to cast more spells than our opponent which, in turn, pushes us closer to the win. Saying that every early game Ragavan hit is as if we cast Time Walk is just a bit of a stretch. Contrary to what some people have said, the dash ability is not just a flavour text, but a very powerful ability which makes the Monkey a good topdeck in the later phases of the game. It can deal last points of damage or, with a bit of luck, steal a game-winning spell. My best hit ever was Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas which killed the opponent with its ultimate using my treasure token.

Dragon’s Rage Channeler is a magical Perpetuum mobile. We feed it with spells and use its surveil mechanic to draw even more spells. Meanwhile, it also grows and makes Murktide Regent even cheaper and bigger. There is one good habit worth remembering – after your untap step, take a moment to analyse your current situation. If you have a removal spell or otherwise an instant speed spell, you can cast it in the upkeep to look whether the card on top is something you want. Then either draw it in the draw step or surveil it away and draw a fresh one.

Murktide Regent is our heavyweight champion. I’ve had situations when my dragon outmuscled creatures wearing Colossus Hammer and prevented them from entering combat. When it was spoiled, most people missed the line that said it grows when an instant or sorcery spell leaves the graveyard. My funniest lethal was when my opponent cast Sanctificier en-Vec and… promptly conceded because my Regent grew due to the exile ability of Sanctifier. In addition, Flying makes it very difficult to block. We want to play the Dragon as soon as we can but also as big as we can. When we know our opponent can cast Unholy Heat, the smallest we can allow it to be is 7/7.

Brazen Borrower is a universal answer to any permanent threat. A beautiful comparison of my LGS friend is ‘Brazen Borrower is a Remand which always draws Vendilion Clique‘.

Last but not least – Snapcaster Mage. Our good old Tiago Chan is going through the renaissance of its playability. It’s still a good top-deck and late-game threat in a deck full of card draw, countermagic, and burn. It’s certainly not the best creature in the deck, but it’s just good at generating value.

Blue-Red Murktide Sideboard Guide

In decks where there is a lot of card draw and deck manipulation, sideboards contain a lot of 1-2 ofs, because we assume we will find these cards. That’s why we don’t play full four copies of any sideboard card.

Mono White Hammer

Out: 4 Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, 2 Counterspell

In: 1 Abrade, 2 Engineered Explosives, 1 Force of Negation, 1 Entrancing Melody, 1 Dress Down

We take out the Monkeys, because the opponent has a lot of 0 and 1 mana creatures so it’s tough for Ragavan to connect. Counterspell is a very lackluster topdeck which on average costs more than the spell it’s going to counter. Gameplay-wise we most often want to play our own 1 drop and hold up mana for removal.

Force of Negation might look odd but we rarely lose the match-up in the later stages of the game so we can afford a bit of card disadvantage in the early game in order to stay alive. Dress Down is excellent at killing Urza’s Saga tokens and is arguably the only card that can go 1-for-1 with Saga which has gone through all three chapters.

5C Elementals

Out: 2 Counterspell, 1 Spell Pierce

In: 1 Dress Down, 2 Void Mirror

It’s just a bad MU. On the play, we can add 2 Blood Moons instead of 2 Lightning Bolts. If the deck picks up on popularity, we ought to squeeze in two copies of Torpror Orb in the board.


Out: 2 Counterspell

In: 1 Mystical Dispute, 1 Abrade

We take out the permission because it’s a bad top deck. We add additional removal for the 1-drops. Mystical Dispute jumps into the deck because it’s cheap when it comes to countering Expressive Iteration. The game is usually won in two ways. Either one of our one-drops is unchecked and provides a ton of value or we’re able to land a 7/7 Murktide or bigger and ride it to victory.

Crushing Foothills

Out: 4 Lightning Bolt, 4 Unholy Heat

In: 2 Void Mirror, 2 Engineered Explosives, 1 Force of Negation, 1 Flusterstorm, 2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Living End

Out: 3 Lightning Bolt, 4 Unholy Heat

In: 2 Void Mirror, 1 Force of Negation, 1 Flusterstorm, 2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor, 1 Soul-Guide Lantern

Mono G Tron

Out: 4 Unholy Heat

In: 2 Blood Moon, 1 Force Of Negation, 1Void Mirror

Boros Burn

Out: 1 Brazzen Borrower, 1 Serum Visions

In: 1 Flusterstorm, 1 Force of Negation

Grixis Lurrus

Out (on the play): 4 unholy heat, 1 Brazen Borrower
In (on the play): 1 Mystical Dispute, 1 Flusterstorm, 1 Soul-Guide Lantern, 2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor,

Out (on the draw): 2 Unholy Heat, 1 Brazen Borrower
In (on the draw): 1 Mystical Dispute, 1 Flusterstorm, 1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Translated by Filip Skórnicki

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