The Mod Squad - decklist and primer

Yeah, thanks for a post that reminds me of the good days of forums. This is great. 🙂

Great write up. I have one question, was Genesis Chamber ever considered over Animation Module? Genesis costs one more, but giving you free tokens, even off your noncounter guys, seems like it would be more beneficial in the long run? Maybe I am missing something and mistaken tho.

@Serracollector A lot of the times, Animation Module is getting you a lot more than one token per creature.

Consider, most dramatically, the case of Arcbound Ravager. Arcbound Ravager + Genesis Chamber = a 2/2 Arcbound Ravager. Arcbound Ravager + Animation Module = a Ravager that grows every turn for each spare mana you have, usually ending around 5/5 before the game ends, sometimes hitting 10/10 or so on a stalled board.

Ctrl+F for Notable Interactions to see a list of all the neat stuff Module does, basically all of which is better than a single 1/1.

I'm pretty sure an Animation Module in play is better than a Genesis Chamber, even if it cost 2 mana ... but if I had to pay 2 for it I don't think I would run the card - the deck is pretty loaded up with 2-drops as it is.

If I'm being honest I haven't tested Chamber in this list - but I have no interest, I've played a lot with the card in other decks and I just don't think it does enough to be worth the slot.

For what it's worth, the last time I won with Genesis Chamber in vintage, it was with this deck ... my opponent played a Genesis Chamber and I made more tokens off it than he did.

last edited by Brass Man

my main question here is: why would you play this list over the "regular" ravager lists?

@CwaM It's all in the post, but the tl:dr; is:


  • cheaper, easier to cast cards cards make it more consistent
  • Overseer and Module are powerhouses in aggro matchups
  • you get that without cutting the most important cards against blue decks
  • your cards have reach that can give you inevitability in game states where shops traditionally doesn't have it (e.g. a Mentor player averaging 1 monk a turn)


  • No non-artifact threats like Eldrazi, no TKS to hit key cards out of the opponent's hand
  • a 5 or 6 drop on turn 1 or 2 can be hard for you to deal with in an aggro mirror (e.g. your answers to Wurmcoil Engine take a few turns to get running, you can't just play your own to block)
  • more vulnerable to Null Rod than Chief/Inspector decks (though less vulnerable than some others)

There are probably 3 or 4 different popular Ravager lists out there right now, and I'm sure they all have their own advantages

Most of this is theoretical ... in practice it's just felt way better than the alternatives, and I don't have enough tournament losses to identify patterns yet. Once I figure out what the real weaknesses are, I'll be sure and let you know 😄

Is there any merit to having Skullclamp in the main somewhere to draw off the Servo tokens?

I know it's generally not too hot on its own, but Arcbound Crusher has nice synergy with Animation Module.


I've been playing with a similar deck, although I didn't think about animation module-nice find.

I like Chief of the Foundry out of the board. I think I like it more than crucible of worlds. Although crucible #1 is uncutable.

last edited by gkraigher

This list is gas, but the sideboard needs a ton of work. Agreeing with @gkraigher that Chief of the Foundry is incredible, I don't think I was ever sad to see him and I brought him in a lot: he definitely is maindeck worthy. The postboard games against Oath and Dredge were very soft, but that's a bit tough to avoid. I think I would pick one to focus on and abandon ship completely on the other (probably selecting Dredge over Oath). I'm not sure how well Crucible ultimately fits in, as I replaced mine with Wurmcoil Engines; however, I wished that they were Crucibles a lot. The spot removal was awesome and won me a match.

Special note on Null Rod: I only brought them in for one match, and, while I didn't see them, I was very happy they were there. More specifically, I never felt like drawing one would have been a hindrance. Conversely, I won 100% of the games my opponents played Null Rod against me. It did literally feel like they were Time Walking themselves.

I disagree with some of the listed sideboarding strategies (especially your value of Tangle Wire), but in general I think the advice is sound.

I'll probably write up a mini report and some more thoughts later, but wanted to get a few out while fresh.

looking to run this at a local event in the coming weeks. going to run a mix of inspector/chief in the main. very excited to be less and less dead to null rod/ss.

In an unrelated note, wurmcoil engine is no longer playable in vintage. There are too many null rods against the Eldrazi list that you are unlikely to cast the card. And against shops, there are too many sack outlets to get around the life gain.

Again, I'd rather have the castable chief of the foundry against both decks.

Anyone try Panharmonicon in these lists? Getting 2 moxen/planeswalkers etc off Revoker seems really good as does getting double counters on all your dudes.

@Serracollector I don't think that works as well as one would hope; those aren't triggers.


As [card] enters the battlefield is not a trigger.

Also, acrbound ravager, hangarback walker, and walking ballista do not have enter the battlefield triggers either. They enter the battlefield with those counters, nothing ever triggers.

So panharmoica does actual nothing.

last edited by gkraigher

@cutlex what does your current list look like? I am interested in running a more streamlined aggro list that is resilient to null rod (to the point of possibly running it in my board).

@gkraigher said in The Mod Squad - decklist and primer:

As [card] enters the battlefield is not a trigger.

Then why can you Stifle a Phyrexian Dreadnought's effect as it comes into play? Is it the difference in wording between "as" and "when" ?

@Minkar indeed. "when" triggers, "as" does not

@Minkar fun fact: you used to not be able to Stifle the dreadnought.

@studderingdave the list he provided is resilient to null rod. If you want to make it even less impacted, you could remove some mix of Steel Overseers, Hangarback Walker, and Animation Modules to maindeck the Foundry Inspectors. Then you can put something fun in its place in the sideboard: probably Chief of the Foundry, Precursor Golem, or something to help against Dredge.

Alternatively, you could check out some of Montolio's lists that Brassman mentions.

@cutlex I like a dedicated flyer as well. Even a hellkite is a great beater under null rod.

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