Modern Eight/Hate Rack

Are you a Quiet Speculation member?

If not, now is a perfect time to join up! Our powerful tools, breaking-news analysis, and exclusive Discord channel will make sure you stay up to date and ahead of the curve.

I'm fairly up for playing most decks in Magic: combo, control, aggro, or any sort of hybrid mix of such archetypes. As far as the colors in the game, Vegas rules; "Always bet on black!"

I've been a devoted black mage since was beat down by a Sengir Vampire playing one of my very first games and cast Spirit of the Night for the first time. I've even gone so far as to get the original art for Dark Ritual tattooed on my left arm with a black mana symbol above it to cast it.

So, yes, I'm a hardcore black planeswalker. If it plays black and is doing well, even if it's not that well, I'm on board. I played Mono-Black Control in the Odyssey Standard days, brewed my own mono-black control to crush Affinity when it was king, and most other variations of mono-black since. This is all why I'm really enjoying a tier-2 Modern deck greatly right now.

8 Rack, or as some like to call it, Hate Rack, is my current mono-Swamp mana producing weapon of choice in Modern. My friend gave me his list and I've been rocking it for about a month and a half now. It is as follows.

Eight Rack by Ernest Turck



4 Liliana of the Veil 4 Wrench Mind 4 Thoughtseize 4 Raven's Crime 4 Inquisition of Kozilek  2 Smallpox 3 Ensnaring Bridge 4 The Rack 4 Shrieking Affliction 


3 Mutavault  1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth  19 Swamp


2 Smallpox  3 Smother   3 Nihil Spellbomb  4 Pack Rat  1 Ensnaring Bridge  2 Shadow of Doubt

At first glance this deck isn't out to make friends. In all fairness, you'll probably be a fairly disliked player at the event you pilot it at.

It's fairly straightforward. Make them discard their hands with your Wrench Minds, Thoughtseizes and company, stick The Rack and/or Shrieking Affliction and keep their hands empty. Dark Confidant helps you draw out of situations and will never hit you for more than three life.

It's easy to hide under the Ensnaring Bridge, like the troll you'll be while playing this deck, to keep the aggro off of you. Liliana of the Veil keeps both players' hands empty and if need be you can always target yourself with hand hate.

From a format prospective, I feel like this deck is a card or two off from being a top tier contender. It has a good match up again most of the field and can easily stabilize and turn the game into a win rather than a loss. The hardest matchup, by far, is Burn. There's no life gain and your Thoughtseizes are counterproductive, only saving you a point or two of damage.

The sideboard is fairly straightforward as well. Bring in the Smothers and the extra Ensnaring Bridge against fast aggro decks. Nihil Spellbomb is for people who like to play out of the graveyard.

Shadow of Doubt is a little out of place with Birthing Pod not being a thing anymore. It could easily be replaced by a creature such as Lifebane Zombie.

The Pack Rat is tech against anyone who has boarded out creature removal for the total blowout against this deck, Leyline of Sanctity. If you even think this card will be making an appearance postboard, you need to have the Pack Rats. In conjunction with Dark Confidant and Mutavault, you can become a beatdown deck to the unsuspecting opponent post-sideboard.

From a budget standpoint this isn't the most expensive deck to build in the format by far, but it can keep pace with higher dollar cards. Ensnaring Bridge is currently fluctuating around the 18 to 20$ range, the commons and uncommons aren't bank breaking either with Wrench Mind coming in around a dollar in most online outlets, Inquisition of Kozilek 7-9$. Dark Confidant has seen two reprints now and is settling under the 40$ mark it seems.

The real bank-breaker here is Liliana of the Veil--she has only seen one reprint as a promo and her value continues to rise since we won't see her in a Modern Masters set for at least two more years. Currently sitting around 90$+ for the non-foil/non-promo, I'd not be surprised to see her crack the 120$ mark, if not more, before a reprint hits.

With the versions of cards in my deck, the total comes in around $960 TCGPlayer mid. For Modern, since it doesn't run fetches, Tarmogoyfs or Snapcaster Mages, the deck isn't crazy expensive and eight of your big dollar cards are used in multiple other decks and formats.

Once again please leave any comments or questions about my article and list. I'm always looking to hear from y'all.

Julian Biondillo x

Julian, AKA hardcoreniceguy on Twitter

6 thoughts on “Modern Eight/Hate Rack

  1. I personally believe the “card or two” this deck needs to be competitive is… GOYF. There is nothing better than T1 Inquisition / TS putting a creature into opponents GY, then T2 goyf off a fetchland. Follow that up w / a T3 Mind Wrench + another discard spell and you’re swinging for 4-5 on T3 and they’ve likely been stripped of any “answers” from hand. This becomes a port from an old legacy archetype, and allows for the inclusion of Abrupt Decay / Maelstrom Pulse if required. Just my 0.02 because I used to play it in legacy 😉

    1. I whole heartedly disagree with goyf. Turn 2 you should stripping more of their hand. Goyf will sit there the majority of the game unable to do any damage. And that’s 4 spots in the deck that could be relieving their hand so the rack and shrieking affliction can do their work. The only thing that could change is freeing a slot for the 4th bridge in the main. Other than that the main is solid. The board does need a little work.

      1. I could see cutting the shadow of doubts for drown in sorrow to get the extra edge against the more creature heavy burn dexks that have been popping up. It’s also good against collected company and and slows elves down enough to lock them out with bridge.

        1. I do run a copy of that in my main board. I also run 2 tragic slips, 2 bontu’s last reckoning, and a damnation with another one in my
          Sideboard. Pithing needle and nihil spellbomb are a must. I’ve been debating throwing an isochron scepter in my sideboard to mind wrench with. I choose tragic slip over dismember or disfigure because against creature based decks getting one to die a turn is easy and for one swamp you could potentially remove an Ulamog. Which I have done before 🙂

  2. What about Nyxathid? Better than goyf for sure here, and after turn 4 usually a 6/6. Perhaps he’s a better fit than the 2 smallpox in this list. A bit of non synergy with the bridge, but the number of main deck Kolaghans commands would make them a problem to keep on the board anyway.

  3. I played this in a 5k over the weekend and went 6-2, 19th place. My list has 4 small pox and 0 bridges in the main, the only deck it really helps against is burn and that’s already a match already garaunteed to be a loss so I cut them all together. The smallpox are a must because everyone keeps suck greedy hands, coming from an infect, affinity, and merfolk player, that the smallpox on turn two on the play basically wins you the game in and of itself. I wholeheartedly disagree with adding another color or creatures in the main at all, you want as many of the opponents cards to be as dead as possible and having no creatures in the main leaves a lot of draws for the opponent to be dead.

Join the conversation

Want Prices?

Browse thousands of prices with the first and most comprehensive MTG Finance tool around.

Trader Tools lists both buylist and retail prices for every MTG card, going back a decade.