[Deck] Modern UR Rhinos

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Hiya! I’m Aqua, here to write about piles of cardboard (hopefully wrapped in plastic) for your reading pleasure. This deck’s one of my biggest pet decks, and the list has gone through multiple revisions over the months since Modern Horizons came out. Without further ado, let me present UR Rhinos! 

The Deck

UR Rhinos by Aquavulfy

Creatures (11)
Dreadhorde Arcanist
Simian Spirit Guide
Sphinx of Foresight

Spells (28)
Ancestral Vision
Crashing Footfalls
Lightning Bolt
Serum Visions
Shattering Spree
Sleight of Hand
Electrodominance
Force of Negation

Enchantments (4)
As Foretold
Lands (17)
Fiery Islet
Scalding Tarn
Snow-Covered Island
Snow-Covered Mountain
Spirebluff Canal
Steam Vents

Sideboard (15)
Abrade
Dragon’s Claw
Anger of the Gods
Ashiok, Dream Render
Blood Moon
Shatterstorm

Izzet Rhinos is a tempo-based list focused on cheating out suspend spells with the help of As Foretold, Electrodominance, and, to a lesser extent, Dreadhorde Arcanist. Of the 0 cmc suspend spells ( Restore Balance, Ancestral Vision , Living End , Hypergenesis, Wheel of Fate, or the new Crashing Footfalls), Hypergenesis is easily the most fun to build around. Who wouldn’t want to vomit a hand of Emrakuls and Griselbrands into play, along with a haste enabler like Urabrask the Hidden , and just beat face? Unfortunately, Hypergenesis is banned in Modern, and the similar card, Living End , is more Sushi’s type of deck. Look out for Hypergenesis in a future article of mine, though!

Master of Suspense…

So what suspend cards still win the game? I suppose Wheel of Fate could, if you had a Laboratory Maniac or Jace, Wielder of Mysteries in play, and less than 7 cards in your library. It could win similarly in a mill shell, as it ‘mills’ your opponent for 7 while also refilling their hand. While I could do this in a future article, today we’re here for rhinos, and as such we’ll be playing 4 copies each of Crashing Footfalls, as our main win condition, and Ancestral Vision, to refill our hand.

Izzet Rhinos casts a lot of cantrips to find a suspend spell and a method of casting it. 4 copies of Serum Visions and 4 Sleight of Hand let us churn through our deck and find the ‘combo’ of Footfalls/Vision + Electrodominance/As Foretold, and Simian Spirit Guide lets us make rhinos a turn or two earlier. Force of Negation protects the combo if you cast it with Electrodominance on your opponent’s turn, and most of our cards are blue. 13 red cards in the maindeck, as opposed to 23 blue cards, including the Forces themselves. We also have 17 colorless cards, and 4 green cards. We’re playing snow basics over regular ones so that, in a vacuum, our opponent might assume we’re on Gifts Storm (or possibly 4C Whirza), as they’re the only decks in Modern with a mechanical advantage for playing snow basics. For example, if we go Snow-Covered Island into Serum Visions, and then we die to, say Neoform, our opponent might think we’re on some kind of Storm variant. 

On a subtle note, Dreadhorde Arcanist is the best card in our deck. The floor of casting a 1/3 for 1R in Modern isn’t great, admittedly, but we play 20 spells it can cast without any extra steps. The average cast will be 1R: target opponent discards a removal spell, but every once in a while your opponent won’t have interaction and you can attack with a 1/3 and make two 4/4 tramplers for no extra cost to yourself. It can also cast free Ancestral Recalls, and that’s not insignificant either. Sphinx of Foresight lets us get away with running only 17 lands, and has the upside of being a blue card for Force of Negation. I’ve won a match against Tron by going t1 pitch Sphinx to Force your Expedition Map, and they were stuck on two lands until they were at 4 life. Even Karn Liberated can’t stop two rhinos while you’re at 4! 

Disclaimer – We at wubrg.uk do not advise that Rhinos is the answer to all of your Tron problems. Just most of them…

While our main game plan involves casting As Foretold or Electrodominance into Footfalls, we can, in theory, get there through Chalice of the Void on 0 game one (typically Eldrazi Tron or Whirza) by casting lots of Lightning Bolts and flashing them back with Dreadhorde Arcanist, or hard-casting Sphinx of Foresight or Simian Spirit Guide. It’s also worth noting that Electrodominance has a Fireball mode on it, too ~ it isn’t just good for rhino-making! Force of Negation and Shattering Spree are our only maindeck ways to interact with a Chalice of the Void, but post board it gets a lot better for us. 

Sideboarding

Our sideboard consists of a lot of artifact/tron hate, as we’re pretty favored against everything else. I’ve outraced Dredge after the Faithless Looting ban with t1 rhinos off of a Simian Spirit Guide + Electrodominance. Living End and Mono-Red aren’t really that big an issue, as Electrodominance ignores timing restrictions, so we can effectively flash in rhinos to block.  We still have 3 copies of Dragon’s Claw in the sideboard to make the matches easier, and they’re sneakily very good against Storm as well. Humans is the same way, except for Mantis Riders. Our deck somewhat folds to flying threats, so Riders must be Bolted on sight. This changes somewhat if you have a Sphinx of Foresight in your hand, but Riders are still the biggest threat in the Humans deck. 

We have a single Ashiok, Dream Render in the sideboard against greedy, fetch heavy (read: Tron, Stoneforge Mystic, Scapeshift) decks, and it’s not terrible against Dredge, either, as some of the only graveyard hate UR has access to. The other pieces would be Ravenous Trap, Relic of Progenitus, and Surgical Extraction. I like Ashiok over any of the other pieces because they shut off fetchlands as well as shutting off graveyards. If you feel like you need to stick graveyard hate faster, feel free to go down a Blood Moon or two. Oh, yeah – we have Blood Moons, too.

Because Tron.

Finally, we have two copies each of Abrade and Shatterstorm. These are mainly for Affinity, Whirza, and any deck that might have Chalice of the Void, as it on 0 completely shuts off our deck to the point where I have a single hate card for it (Shattering Spree) in the maindeck. Abrades can come in against any matchup where utility creatures are an issue. For example, it kills Sakura-Tribe Scout and Azusa, Lost but Seeking in Amulet Titan, all the problems in Affinity and Infect, and it kills Elks, which might be relevant at some point. 

Conclusion

UR Rhinos has been a pet deck of mine since Amonkhet, when got spoiled. I was at first trying to break symmetry on [c]Restore Balance, then I tried the Mono-U Living End list with Hour of Devastation’s release. Try as I might, I couldn’t find a home for As Foretold. Then along came Modern Horizons ~ while everyone else was gushing over Hogaak and the snow-lands, I was ready for Crashing Footfalls. I wouldn’t say UR Rhinos is a tier 1 strategy, but I’m confident in its ability to take down FNM. If I had to rate it, I’d put it at 1.5 before 2.

It’s certainly higher than Dragonstorm, Sushi.

Anyways, that’s all I’ve got on UR Rhinos for now. Join our discord if you’d like to talk to us about this deck! Thanks for reading, and be sure to crush your opponent underfoot.

hey sushi if you could add a picture of ‘crush underfoot’ from one of the lorwyn sets here that’d be great

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