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Much Abrew: UR Kiln Fiend (Modern)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week during our Instant Deck Techs, our aggressive, combo-ish Modern option UR Kiln Fiend came out on top, which means we're heading to Modern today to see if we can kill some people on Turn 3 by making our Kiln Fiends into 10/10, doubling striking, tramping attackers! In the (distant) past, we've played decks like Blistering Rage, which are somewhat similar to today's build in the sense that they are looking to kill the opponent quickly with Kiln Fiend, but UR Kiln Fiend is less all-in on comboing off and winning on Turn 3. While we still get the nut draw sometimes, UR Kiln Fiend can go long with a ton of cantrips and use secondary threats like Thing in the Ice or Enigma Drake to take home the victory. Can a prowess-esque UR spellslinger deck work in Modern? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck.

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Much Abrew: UR Kiln Fiend (Modern)


  • As far as the record, we started off 3-0 but ended up dropping our last two matches to finish 3-2. While this might not sound exciting, I'm pretty happy with the result considering that this was actually the second league I played with the deck and the first one was a very frustrating 1-4.
  • The biggest takeaway from the deck is that, while it might look like a relatively mindless aggro deck on paper, it's actually really difficult to play well. Occasionally, we just win on Turn 3, and those games are easy, but most of our games and matches were long and close, which meant that every point of damage (and spell that we cast to pump our creatures) had huge ramifications on the outcome of the game. If you decide to pick up UR Kiln Fiend, make sure to practice a bunch. Even though the second league went much better than the first, I still feel like I have a ways to go to really play the deck optimally. 
  • The Turn 3 Kiln Fiend kill is pretty simple. Any two spells and Temur Battle Rage is lethal, often through a blocker, thanks to trample, and the fact that most opponents take damage from their fetch lands and shock lands. 
  • As far as Thing in the Ice, it's possible for it to kill in one turn, but it either requires the opponent to take a lot of incidental damage or a copy (or two) of Mutagenic Growth to go along with Temur Battle Rage
  • Meanwhile, it's really difficult to kill quickly with Enigma Drake outside of the late-late game, but Enigma Drake makes up for being slow by being our best way of closing out the game if we don't have pump spells and Temur Battle Rage. While not explosive, it's pretty easy to get Enigma Drake up to six or seven power and win over the course of two or three turns.
  • After scrubbing out in the first league, I talked to Holy Diver (the person who keeps posting 5-0 finishes with the deck), and while the deck is too complicated to really explain over Twitter, their main advice was to play our threats as quickly as possible, even if you expect the opponent to have removal, because the deck doesn't really have that many ways to protect creatures. Rather than slow-rolling your threats to find a Dive Down, play your threats, and if they die, use your cantrips to dig for another threat. 
  • The most confusing card in the deck is Disrupting Shoal. On paper, it looks like a bad Force of Will to protect Kiln Fiend and friends from cheap removal like Lightning Bolt, Fatal Push, and Path to Exile. While this is sort of true, after playing the deck for a while, it became clear that the real power of Disrupting Shoal is that it's a bad protection spell that is also a free prowess trigger. The way Disrupting Shoal is worded, we can exile any blue card from our hand and cast it targeting any spell on the stack, even if the converted mana cost doesn't line up (so the spell won't be countered). This is relevant when we really need to get one more counter off of a Thing in the Ice or pump our Kiln Fiend one more time and don't have enough mana to cast our spells fairly—we can always just exile a random blue card and cast Disrupting Shoal targeting one of our spells to trigger prowess one more time. 
  • While having a ton of cantrips helps, one of the problems we ran into on occasion was simply not finding a threat, especially if our first or second threat was killed. Sitting around with a handful of pump spells and no action can be frustrating. 
  • So, should you play UR Kiln Fiend? I think the answer is yes—the deck is competitive and can beat many of the best decks in Modern. However, if you do decide to pick up the deck, make sure to get in a lot of practice. While it might look like an easy deck to play on paper, it's actually extremely hard to play well. When you combine this difficultly with the fact that UR Kiln Fiend plays a surprising number of close games, making one little mistake (casting a spell too early and missing a prowess trigger, or too late and missing damage) is often the difference between winning or losing the game/match. This being said, UR Kiln Fiend is a solid option if you like throwing around spells and occasionally winning on Turn 3!


Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck by liking, commenting on, and subscribing to Instant Deck Tech videos. 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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