In this guide, I will walk through the basics of the Green/White Treshgeddon (Threshold Armageddon) deck in Premodern. Premodern is a casual format spanning Fourth Edition through Scourge, and features a banlist that sets it apart from existing formats.
The deck started as an effort for me to find a home for Weathered Wayfarer in Premodern. As a Legacy Lands player, I’ve always drifted towards lands-focused strategies. Existing decks in the Premodern form such as Terrageddon and Lands didn’t do it for me. I found the former’s games ran too long, and the latter relied too much on Horn of Greed to succeed. Additionally, I’ve never enjoyed Weenie (aggressive creature) decks, which were often a home for Weathered Wayfarer.
The first iteration of the deck was surprisingly similar to what’s typically run now. It was largely inspired by a few decks:
- Aggro Mulch from Nils Håkon Delphin which crushed me in the Top 16 in November 2020
- Bant Threshold which was rarely seen at the top tables
- Terrageddon, largely for its Terravore into Armageddon synergy
After the first iteration went 4-2 in the Premodern January Monthly 2022, the second iteration won the Premodern March Monthly 2022 (113 people) which piqued people’s attention.
Why you should or shouldn’t play the deck
- Quick games: The deck can close games quickly so you can finish your games before your spouse gets angry and your dinner gets cold.
- Versatility: Between the lands, main deck flex spots, and sideboard, you have the opportunity to customize your deck depending on your meta.
- Matchups: Most games feel winnable.
- Land destruction: Remembering that Premodern is a casual format, Armageddon and repeated Wastelands may draw groans from your playgroup, or angry scoops.
- Cost: The cost of Mox Diamonds will prevent some people from picking up the deck. If Mox Diamonds are not in the budget, I suggest other Threshold variants.
- Interaction: With limited Instant spells, you often aren’t interacting with the stack.
How the deck works
The deck wins through a combination of:
- Big creatures: Through natural gameplay and interaction, your graveyard will reach Threshold. Once it does, your cheap creatures are now threats.
- Mana denial: Between Armageddon and Weathered Wayfarer’s continued access to Wasteland, you can often advance your board state while your stifle your opponent’s. Because your threats are so efficient, you can do a lot with very little mana.
4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Weathered Wayfarer
4 Mox Diamond
4 Swords to Plowshares
2 Wax // Wane
2 Seal of Cleansing
2 Sylvan Library
1 Archaeological Dig
1 Kor Haven
1 Nantuko Monastery
1 Rath’s Edge
2 Rith’s Grove
3 Secluded Steppe
3 Tranquil Thicket
2 Treetop Village
4 Windswept Heath
2 Cursed Totem
3 Heroes’ Reunion
1 Tormod’s Crypt
2 Vengeful Dreams
Building the main deck
Barring exceptional circumstances, your main deck should have, at a minimum, the 16 creatures above.
There is some flexibility (and some rigidity) with the spells:
- Mox Diamond is essential to advancing your mana while hiding behind a Weathered Wayfarer or maintaining pressure post Armageddon and Cataclysm. It is also critical to escaping Winter Orb and Tangle Wire.
- Swords to Plowshares is premier removal in any format it’s legal in, and that includes Premodern.
- Three land destruction effect feels good. The balance of Armageddon versus Cataclysm will depend on what decks you expect.
- With a terrible Oath of Druids matchup, and with the number of decks that rely on Survival of the Fittest, four enchantment removal is a good starting point. Wax // Wane offers versatility and Seal of Cleansing allows you to put it on the battlefield when it’s convenient while you continue to maintain pressure.
- Sylvan Library can draw a lot of cards versus slow decks and allow you to dig for answers. Also, you have enough ways to shuffle your library.
With the lands, there isn’t a perfect land composition. This will vary widely depending on personal preference, meta, and main deck and sideboard choices. The foundation is:
- Windswept Heaths and accompanying basics
- Wasteland is a core strategy and a win condition.
- Cycle lands (Secluded Steppe, Tranquil Thicket) for grinding value with Weathered Wayfarer or filling your graveyard
- Manlands (Nantuko Monastery, Treetop Village) for tutor-able threats.
- Rith’s Grove for mana-fixing, a bad impression of Lotus Petal, and returning cycle lands to your hand
- Utility lands (Rath’s Edge, Dust Bowl, Kor Haven)
Building the sideboard
Like most decks in Premodern, your deck needs to attack a few angles:
- Decks that go-wide (ex.: Elves, Goblins, Landstill)
- Enchantments and artifacts (ex.: Enchantress, Mud, Oath, Survival of the Fittest)
- Decks that deal damage (ex.: Burn, Draco blast)
- Combo decks (ex.: Stiflenought, Enchantress, Turtle Splash)
The approach for the deck above:
- Cataclysm is good where Armageddon is not. You could even play all 5 versus control and some combo.
- The rationale behind Heroes’ Reunion is similar to Seal of Cleansing, you can’t afford to hold up mana with Circle of Protection: Red. Reunion buys time while you keep up the pressure.
- Cursed Totem is common sideboard versus Elves, Full English Breakfast. It’s so good it’s worth turning off some of your creatures.
- Four Swords to Plowshares is often not enough. Pacifism can buy time versus Oath, Reanimator, and Stiflenought, and give you additional answers to midrange decks. Vengeful Dreams is still being tested.
- Tormod’s Crypt is a format superstar that can buy time versus a number of decks.
- Disenchant and Naturalize and effects are essential in sideboards versus decks who rely heavily on cards such as Survival of the Fittest and Oath of Druids.
This is a relatively fair deck so with most decks, be mindful about over-sideboarding. This is how I would approach which cards to cut:
- Trim useless utility lands.
- Trim Sylvan Library versus Burn.
- Trim Weathered Wayfarer versus decks that function on very little lands.
- Trim Nimble Mongoose versus Elves
- Trim Mox Diamond versus midrange and control
When sideboarding, be aware of:
- Cursed Totem
- Phyrexian Furnace (which is better versus the deck than Tormod’s Crypt)
- Ensnaring Bridge
- Pernicious Deed
- Exalted Angel
- Mother of Runes
Tips and strategies – Cards
- Weathered Wayfarer‘s ability checks that you have less lands on ability, not on resolution. This means your opponent can’t sacrifice lands in response. Most importantly though, it means you can advance your board state with Wasteland or buy playing fetches. You can sacrifice either of these lands on your turn, hold priority, and fetch a land with Wayfarer, provided you have less lands.
- Bouncing a land with Rith’s Grove is a choice. You can add mana to your pool with the sacrifice trigger on the stack.
- Discarding a land to Mox Diamond is also a choice.
- Nantuko Monastery‘s ability can be activated if you have Threshold. Your opponent can’t Tormod’s Crypt in response, for example.
- Though Cataclysm is often used for creatures and lands, it also forces opponents to sacrifice artifacts and enchantments.
- Seal of Cleansing and Wasteland can target themselves.
- A Rith’s Grove can save a land by returning it to hand before casting Armageddon.
Tips and strategies – Gameplay
- Mulligan aggressively: Game 1, your hand needs to have a plan. Turn 1 Weathered Wayfarer is a plan. Three Wastelands is a plan. A horde of 1/1 Werebears is not. Games 2 and 3, your plan needs to consider your opponent’s imminent threats. Mulligan to removal, if needed.
- Hide key cards with Sylvan Library versus Duress decks for example. Bonus: Keep a Cycling card in hand to draw it if needed.
- Draw liberally with Sylvan Library if you can afford to. Greatness at any cost.
- Do not overextend if you are already the aggressor.
- Do not overextend on filling your graveyard as you may need to recover from a Tormod’s Crypt.
- Armageddon does not need to hit 4+ lands. Sometimes hitting 2 is enough.
Cards that didn’t make it
- Savannah Lions can pressure combo and control decks, however, they don’t have the versatility we need in the main versus weaker matchups.
- Mulch was used in earlier versions, however, while drawing 1.8 cards and putting 3.2 cards in the graveyard is appealing, you often wanted the cards you put in the graveyard. Sylvan Library was much more versatile.
- Mystic Enforcer is often suggested at the top end. Terravore is better in most use cases, and costs less.
- Enlightened Tutor and its silver bullets may seem appealing, however, more decks are playing enchantment removal in their main decks and their sideboard. Your Worship, Ivory Mask, Sphere of Resistance, may only be buying you a turn, while you skipped your own turn playing them.
- Caller of the Claw may be attractive if you imagine having Wrath of God cast against your board of 4 creatures, it is almost certainly better not to overextend and to save the 2 sideboard slots.
- Sylvan Safekeeper and Mother of Runes weren’t good enough and didn’t help bad matchups.
With the caveat that Premodern is constantly evolving (players, decks, sideboards, data), my best approximation based on archetype:
- The good: Control decks, fair decks
- The okay: Aggro decks
- The bad: Combo decks, go-wide decks
- I don’t have Mox Diamonds. Can I still play the deck? In the strongest terms, no. The strategy crumbles without it. Like I mentioned above, you could play other Threshold variants without it.
- How’s the matchup versus (deck name here)? I haven’t played against the full gamut of Premodern with this deck so I feel woefully inadequate when answering that question. I could theorize, but it may lead you in the wrong direction.
- Have you thought about (card)? Probably not. I don’t have extensive knowledge of the card pool and I’d love to hear any ideas you might have.
- What about splashing another colour? Some people have had success splashing blue for Meddling Mage but I’m not sure the concessions on slots (for the Mages or for the lands needed) are worth it.
- I have ideas, how do I talk to you? You can tag @Narcism in the Premodern Discord.
- A special thanks to Adam Rice (Attila The Fun#9918) for his continued enthusiasm for the archetype. Many iterations and additions were thanks to him.
- My friends who asked questions and made suggestions over the course of deck development.