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Against the Odds: Necro Black Burn (Modern)

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another edition of Against the Odds. This week, we're heading to Modern Horizons 3 Modern for an update on one of my favorite decks: Black Burn! You might remember the infamous Black Burn deck from Budget Magic a year or two ago. Today's deck is similar but with a massive Modern Horizons 3 addition in Necrodominance! While our new Necro seems good in burn decks in general since it offers a way to refill your hand and finish the game, it's especially exciting in Black Burn because of Soul Spike! The idea is that we'll deal some damage with our janky black burn spells over the first couple turns of the game and then, on Turn 3, play Necrodominance, pay all but one of our life to draw 20 or more cards, and then win the game on the spot by casting a bunch of Soul Spikes for free by exiling black cards from our hand! How good is Necrodominance in Modern? Is Black Burn real now? Let's get to our games and find out!

Against the Odds: Necro Black Burn

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Record-wise, we ended up going 3-3 with the deck. (We played this on the new Magic Online early-access day with a free #MTGOCreator account from Wizards, and leagues were three matches rather than five, so we played two and went 3-3). This is a pretty solid record for a super funny, janky brew. More importantly, we got multiple Turn 3 kills with Necrodominance!

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It turns out that being able to draw 20 or more cards is incredibly powerful, and doubly so with cards like Soul Spike, which we can cast for free on our end step before having to discard a ton of cards to hand size. While there's always some risk of whiffing if all the Soul Spikes are on the bottom of our deck, both times we went for the Turn 3 kill, it ended up working!

So, is Necrodominance busted in Modern? Honestly, I'm still not sure. When things go well, it feels downright broken, although it is also worth pointing out that we had games where we stuck Necrodominance only to have our opponent play an Orcish Bowmasters and essentially lost the game on the spot. Because Necrodominance makes us skip our draw step, if our opponent plays an Orcish Bowmasters, we're essentially locked out of drawing cards for the rest of the game. (Technically, we can still draw with Necro, but in practice, if we do, we typically just die to Bowmasters triggers and Necro damage.) All in all, I think Necrodominance is incredibly strong in Modern—perhaps one of the strongest cards in the entire Modern Horizons 3 set—but there's also very strong counterplay, which might help keep Necro from breaking the format.

Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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