Forgotten Realms Top 5 for Modern


What our latest staff writer thinks are contenders for best card in the set

Autor: Andrea Piemonti

Andrea Piemonti.jpg

Hi everyone! My name is Andrea Piemonti, better known as PieGonti in the MTG-MTGO community. I am currently a full time Magic Online grinder and streamer; now I have the pleasure to join Three for One Trading Blog team!

New sets and innovation

As an avid Modern player, I love to innovate decks and dig deeply through new sets and cards.

Today, I am going to explore the world of Dungeons&Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, trying to find the best cards for the Modern format.

👉 You can find all our Forgotten Realms singles on Cardmarket.

Even if the set seems designed mostly for Standard format, there are many cool cards that are already getting inserted in decks and sideboards in other formats.


Let’s start with a couple of “atypical” cards that are currently being played in some decks.

Honorable Mention 1: You Find a Cursed Idol


Venture into the Dungeon… in Modern? I was very skeptical by the Venture into the Dungeon ability, since it seemed quite clunky for my beloved Modern format. However, the card You Find a Cursed Idol is seeing some play in combo decks, namely in Charbelcher, taking advantage of the “Steal Its Eyes” option to ramp by creating a Treasure token and scry using Lost Mine of Phandelver’s first room.

Charbelcher by Sodek

Honorable Mention 2: Wish


I really love how cleverly the name of this card describes exactly what it does. Apart from that however, the card seems not good enough for Modern now, even if I can see some uses in a storm/spells matters deck.

Being able to find the perfect tool to remove hate pieces, like Fury versus Humans, a Gigadrowse or Defense Grid versus Control or an additional Past in Flames for consistency could be the right use for this card.

Will someone eventually break it, or it will be just a wish?

Wish.dec by Jacob Nagro

Honorable Mention 2: Man Lands

Man Lands, being lands that cab turn into creatures, are frequently played cards in Modern – and I’m pretty sure every single one of you has lost at least one game due to Celestial Colonnade activations, or quick Mutavault swings.

AFR Lands are mono-colored and can enter untapped if you control one or fewer lands as they enter the battlefield. The best one seems to be Lair of the Hydra, that already made the cut in some Amulet Titan lists.

Other good ones could be the Cave of the Frost Dragon, providing an elusive threat in the late game and Den of the Bugbear, capable of putting an extra attacker each time it swings. The land and the token even have a relevant creature type: Goblin.

Now I will try to analyze what I think are…


The best five cards for Modern.


5. Treasure Vault

In the last month, mainly due to Modern Horizons 2, artifact strategies went on a rise. Affinity is a powerful strategy, and I am pretty sure Arcbound Ravager’s fans will love Treasure Vault.

Apart from being an untapped artifact land, it can produce more artifacts in the late game, fuelling your Affinity for artifacts cards and pumping Urza’s Saga constructs or Ravagers.

Since the ban of Mox Opal, artifact lovers struggled to find a good way to build the deck, balancing the number of lands and artifacts.

Now with this last update on top of MH2 cards, Affinity can steal the crown of the best aggressive/swarm deck in Modern.


4. Ingenious Smith

As I’m writing this article, Hammer Time is arguably the best deck in the format, being fast, consistent, and difficult to disrupt.

Ingenious Smith seems a particularly good card to play in this deck, since it can be both a creature to equip and a way to cantrip into an artifact.

Also, it can play a role in grindy games, where it can grow bigger and bigger each turn, becoming a must answer threat that can steal the game by itself.

In the late game, the Smith can be replayed over and over with Lurrus of the Dream Den making it a useful source of card advantage.

With that being said, I am not a big fan of Ingenious Smith for the Hammer deck. Sometimes you really want to hit Colossus Hammer or Shadowspear over anything else, and since the lists usually features from 20 to 23 creatures, you often don’t need another random body.

Still, it already made numerous decks that reached various Top 8’s in MTGO Challenges as well as many 5-0’s, so at least it’s a card to keep in mind while building Hammer Time.


3. Portable Hole

This card seems awesome in a format where most of the threats cost one or two mana.

Being able to Oblivion Ring a Dragon Rage Channeler, an Amulet of Vigor or even a Wrenn & Six is for sure great.

Also, this card being an artifact can synergize well in a deck with Urza, Lord High Artificier or Puresteel Paladin.

Although Portable Hole right now seems strictly worse than Prismatic Endings, arguably the best white removal in the format.

Another downside of Portable Hole comes right from its types: being an artifact in an Urza’s Saga meta, means that hate cards are plenty, so you don’t want to play a removal that dies to cards such as Kolaghan’s Command.

However, I strongly feel the card is pretty good and probably will see play in the future.


2. Tasha’s Hideous Laughter

When I read this card, I thought it’s probably the coolest mill card printed in the last 5 years!

Why? First, it is very efficient. Nowadays most of the decks run Lurrus of the Dream Den as a companion, and in general the curve of Modern decks tends to be as low as possible. Tasha mills usually 20ish cards, and it is easily the best “mill” spell in the deck.

Second, it plays incredibly well around hate. What are the worst nightmares for a Mill player? Leyline of Sanctity and a shuffler effect like Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or Gaea’s Blessing.

Tasha plays around both by not requesting a target and by exiling the cards.

After playing a bit with the card, I eventually noticed that Tasha interacts horribly with some other cards in the deck, specifically Drown in the Loch, Crypt Incursion, Visions of Beyond and Surgical Extraction.

This is particularly important, since the mill decks revolve around a strict balance between card draws, interactions and “action spells”. If this equilibrium tears apart, the deck just does not work.

Another small downside is that the card does not mail a certain amount of cards. Even if it usually mills 20ish cards, it can be a mill 4 or even less sometimes (because some people still play Tron)!

Now, keeping those downsides in mind, I will still play four copies of Tasha’s Hideous Laughter in my Mill deck, and I am sure the number is right.


1. Demilich

This giant blue skull was probably the most exciting card from AFR previews, and as it turns out, it is actually pretty good!

This card does a lot of powerful things, and I want to analyze it as deeply as possible:

UUUU, and it costs one less for each instant or sorcery cast this turn.

Considering the Modern format, is dominated by Manamorphoses and Lava Darts, it’s pretty easy to “cheat” Demilich into play for zero mana on turn two or three. Consider also that if you have multiple copies of this card in hand, all of those get the discount!

When Demilich attacks, exile one instant/sorcery, copy it, and you may cast the copy.

This ability is just great. Considering the right way to build a deck with Demilich is putting a lot of cheap cantrips, such as Thought Scour or Serum Visions or some red burn spells like Lightning Bolt in your deck, and being able to recast one mana spells to produce card selection, card advantage or extra reach is awesome.

You may cast Demilich from graveyard, exiling 4 instant/sorcery and paying its other costs.

Even this part is amazing, making Demilich an endless threat that needs an answer each time, or it will get value as soon as it attacks.

Now, the big question: What’s the best deck to play Demilich in?

By this quick analysis, I understood that the card cares about instants and sorceries, and needs to be played in a deck that fuels the graveyard quick and often.

So, naturally it’s the perfect pair with Arclight Phoenix! Even if Faithless Looting is banned, I feel the deck can shine again mainly due to Dragon’s Rage Channeler, a powerful one drop from Modern Horizons 2 that fuels the graveyard quickly.

Is it the time to resleeve Arclight Phoenixes, Gut Shots and Manamorphoses? I am a believer.

Demilich by DrPP


Adventures in Forgotten Realms will probably not have a huge impact in Modern. None of the cards printed are broken or format defining.

Also, the fact that AFR came just three weeks after Modern Horizons 2 was released means a lot of decks, brews and cards are still being tested and tinkered with.

That being said, I am genuinely happy about this set so far, since it provided small upgrades to various decks, making even more strategies viable.

Also, even if I am not personally a Dungeons and Dragons player, I am sure a lot of people will be more stimulated to try Magic the Gathering, and I am always happy to see new players approaching the game I love.