Uro Pile is a deck that has emerged as a powerhouse in Modern since the printing of Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath.
The deck contains some of the most powerful cards printed in Modern, several cards in this deck have featured on the Standard banned list:
Jace, the Mind Sculptor (2011)
Field of the Dead (2019)
Veil of Summer (2019)
Growth Spiral (2020)
Teferi, Time Raveler (2020)
Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath (2020)
Omnath, Locus of Creation (2020)
Utilising the power of Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath to accelerate into Field of the Dead, creating an army of Zombies, along with your Planeswalkers you out-value the other decks in Modern.
I’ll be discussing the 4 Colour Omnath, Locus of Creation variation of this deck. Here is the deck that I’m playing:
Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath has seen play in Modern since it was printed in Theros: Beyond Death. It provides slower decks like this one an early play that preserves your life total against aggressive strategies, whilst accelerating you into the late game. Uro itself is also your late game finisher, being able to cast from the graveyard every time you have five cards to exile, thanks to the Escape mechanic.
Omnath, Locus of Creation is a recent addition to the deck, following the card’s short stint in Standard. In Modern, it has access to more fetch lands which will not only gain you more life but play powerful spells off its mana-generating ability.
With an Omnath in play, along with 4 lands, playing a fetch land and activating it will gain you 4 life. It will also generate you 4 mana that can be used to cast a follow-up spell, like Teferi, Hero of Dominaria or Hour of Promise. While still having the mana available to cast Cryptic Command.
The planeswalkers in this deck all share the theme of protecting themselves and generating card advantage. With the exception of Teferi, Time Raveler, each of these planeswalkers possesses a game-ending ultimate ability to build up to.
Teferi, Time Raveler is primarily played for its static ability, which stops your opponents from playing spells on your turn, neutralising counterspells. The static ability also prevents spells from being cast from mechanics like Cascade and Suspend.
Wrenn and Six allows you to return fetch lands to your hand with its +1 ability, ensuring you hit your regular and additional land drops from Uro and Growth Spiral. Returning fetch lands facilitate Omnath’s Landfall triggers, and the fetch lands themselves can find Mystic Sanctuary later into the game.
Both larger Planeswalkers, Jace the Mind Sculptor and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria generate heavy card advantage. If left unchecked, the advantage will snowball and quickly take over the game.
On turn 2, leaving up two mana can represent a counterspell. If your opponent decides not to play anything you have the option to cast Growth Spiral. This will accelerate your land count for 4 mana cost spells, whether it be a threat like Jace or Omnath or leaving up countermagic in Cryptic Command.
Hour of Promise is in the deck to find Field of the Dead. As the land provides a late-game insurance policy, finding it and churning out Zombies is a common win condition.
With access to 4 colours, you’re able to include some of the strongest spells in Modern. Lightning Bolt and Path to Exile are both premium removal spells, with Lightning Bolt being able to snipe mana dorks, smaller creatures and low-loyalty Planeswalkers. While Path to Exile cleanly removes larger creatures and those with triggers upon dying.
Engineered Explosives fits well into the deck. It can utilise the mana generated from Omnath. With a large number of low-cost threats in the format, Engineered Explosives is well-positioned to answer them.
Like any control deck, this one plays a fair share of counterspells. Mana Leak and Force of Negation answer early troublesome cards, while also fueling your graveyard for Uro’s Escape cost. Force of Negation provides you with the option to tap out for a Planeswalker or Creature while being able to counter any noncreature spell they play on their turn.
Cryptic Command is one of the best spells in Modern. With one of the common modes being to counter a spell and draw a card. With the printing of Mystic Sanctuary, this has given control decks access to a soft lock.
The lock requires Cryptic Command, a Mystic Sanctuary with 3 other Islands and a way to draw a card. By meeting these requirements, you can either counter the first spell your opponent casts in a turn and use the other mode of Cryptic Command to bounce your Mystic Sanctuary. On your next turn, you play your Mystic Sanctuary, putting Cryptic Command on top of your library and draw it with your draw engine, whether it be Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, Jace, the Mind Sculptor or Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath.
You are constantly able to loop Cryptic Command either tapping opposing creatures or countering their first spell. This lock is best initiated when they have only a few cards in hand.
The Lands in this deck need to support several multicoloured spells in the deck, while also requiring Islands for Mystic Sanctuary as well as uniquely named lands for Field of the Dead.
and them to be uniquely named for Field of the Dead.
With the fetch lands, Ketria, and Raugrin Triome should be your primary targets as they give you access to the majority of your colours. By turn two you want the ability to cast Wrenn and Six, Growth Spiral, and Mana Leak.
Remembering that the deck also wants to support Cryptic Command and Uro’s Escape cost, Breeding Pool, Hallowed Fountain, Temple Garden are good lands to fetch to ensure you can cast these spells.
Field of Ruin is an answer to an opposing Field of the Dead, shutting down Tron as well as any creature lands that pressure you. The deck also plays one Lonely Sandbar to Cycle and return with Wrenn and Six’s ability.
Mystic Sanctuary is represented by all the fetch lands in your deck, so drawing a fetch land will turn your next draw into a spell in your graveyard.
Veil of Summer and Mystical Dispute come in for control mirrors, playing a vital role in ensuring your Teferi, Time Raveler resolves and negates their counterspells. Veil of Summer also does a great job protecting you from discard spells and your permanents from black and blue removal spells. As Gifts Ungiven targets an opponent, casting a Veil of Summer in response will counter the Gifts Ungiven.
Aether Gust and Celestial Purge are fantastic against red-based aggressive decks. They are also great against midrange decks and the various sideboards they bring in to try to slow you down, like Blood Moon, Choke and Boil.
Cleansing Wildfire’s main purpose is to destroy Tron lands and an opposing Field of the Dead, but don’t overlook destroying lands enchanted by Utopia Sprawl or even your own lands to potentially trigger Omnath.
I have Stony Silence and Containment Priest for the Oops all Spells matchup. The quick combo deck can catch you off guard if you don’t have early interaction, like Mana Leak. Stony Silence can shut down the mana producing artifacts, that help them play Undercity Informer or Balustrade Spy, thus slowing them down. Flashing in a Containment Priest in response to the graveyard triggers will stop them from putting the creatures into play and fizzle their combo.
Firespout, Timely Reinforcements and Supreme Verdict, come in against aggressive creature decks. Timely Reinforcements buys you a lot of time, gaining 6 life and creating 3 blockers can buy you a lot of time to follow up with a sweeper or play a threat that can stabilise your board. With Mystic Sanctuary, you have a chance to cast these cards multiple times or if they get discarded by hand disruption.
Generally, you want about 3 to 4 lands in your opening hand, to ensure you have lands to play for the first few turns, and to make additional land drops from Growth Spiral and Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath. In your opening hand, you are looking for either removal or counterspells, a way to play more lands like Uro or Growth Spiral and one of your Planeswalkers. This way you can react to your opponent’s early spells, play more lands and play a Planeswalker which will keep producing card advantage.
Two lands (as long as one of those lands is a fetch land), paired with a Wrenn and Six is also a keepable hand. Although it is risky given that the Wrenn could be discarded or countered.
The deck mulligans very well, so as long as you have the lands to play your spells you should be able to regain any advantage lost through mulligans.
Uro Pile features some of the strongest cards printed in the history of the format. It plays as a fair deck, but you have a sense of inevitability against a lot of decks due to Field of the Dead, Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath, and your Planeswalkers.
If you played Standard in the past two years and own a lot of these cards that are now banned, I recommend porting them over to Modern as it is one of the best decks right now.
If you are looking for a powerful Modern deck that generates tonnes of zombies, Uro Pile is the deck for you.
About the author
Kuang Wu has played Magic since the original Zendikar set. Qualifying for both Player’s Tours in 2020 and finishing 10th at Grand Prix Brisbane in 2017. He primarily plays Modern at Good Games Central and Town Hall.
You can follow him @kuangfupanda on Twitter.