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Metagame Mentor: Everything to Win Your 2023 Modern RCQ

September 07, 2023
Frank Karsten

Hello and welcome back to Metagame Mentor, your weekly guide to the top decks and latest Constructed developments on the path to the Pro Tour. This weekend, the next Regional Championship Qualifier season will start, featuring Modern as the Constructed format for in-store events. To get you up to speed on Modern, today's article provides a overview of the format. I will walk you through the top 15 archetypes in the current Modern metagame, and I'll highlight my picks for new Wilds of Eldraine cards that may make an impact.

The Modern Metagame

Modern is a nonrotating format based on expansion sets, core sets, and straight-to-Modern sets from Eight Edition forward, save for cards on the ban list. With its deep card pool, Modern boasts intricate card interactions and exciting competitive diversity. The upcoming cycle of Regional Championship Qualifiers (RCQs), taking place from September 9 through December 17, will feature Modern as its Constructed format.

To grasp the latest Modern developments, I analyzed over 1,100 successful decklists from competitive events over the past three weeks. Specifically, I used all published Magic Online decklists from scheduled Modern events held from August 15 through September 4. In addition, I used all MTG Melee decklists with net positive wins from the Kadou Series Modern, $10K RCQ at The Gathering Place Games, Nordic Masters, and $20K RCQ at SCG CON Columbus, as well as the Top 8 decklists from the 4 Seasons and the Dutch Open Series. It's always great to see Modern champions hoist their trophies, especially at large events that drew hundreds of players.

To obtain a metric that combines popularity and performance, I awarded a number of points to each deck equal to its net wins (i.e., its number of match wins minus losses). Each archetype's share of total net wins is called its record-weighted metagame share, which may be interpreted as a winner's metagame that you can expect to see at the top tables.

Archetype Winner's Metagame Share
1. Rakdos Evoke 16.3%
2. Izzet Murktide 11.0%
3. Rhinos 9.6%
4. Yawgmoth 6.2%
5. Amulet Titan 5.4%
6. Hammer Time 4.9%
7. Mono-Green Tron 4.5%
8. Burn 4.3%
9. Four-Color Omnath 3.8%
10. Living End 3.2%
11. Dimir Control 2.1%
12. Indomitable Creativity 2.0%
13. Jund Sagavan 2.0%
14. Hardened Scales 1.7%
15. Mono-Black Coffers 1.5%
16. Mill 1.5%
17. Merfolk 1.4%
18. Domain Zoo 1.3%
19. Grixis Shadow 1.2%
20. Izzet Control 1.2%
21. Urza ThopterSword 1.1%
22. Izzet Prowess 1.0%
23. TitanShift 0.9%
Other 11.7%

In this table, each archetype name hyperlinks to a well-performing, representative decklist. The "Other" category included Grixis Control, Five-Color Reanimator, Golgari Midrange, Jeskai Control, Esper Control, Jeskai Breach, Storm, Mono-Red Obosh, Four-Color Control, Gruul Midrange, Five-Color Omnath, Mono-White Martyr, Mono-Black Control, Cragganwick Cremator, Mono-Black Grief, Samwise Gamgee Combo, Asmo Food, Heliod Company, Dice Factory, Bring to Light, Twiddle Breach, and more.

The number of competitively viable Modern archetypes remains enormous, and you can basically play any style of deck you want. As deck familiarity is a significant success factor, my advice for navigating the Modern format is to invest time in mastering your preferred deck. A skilled player who is well-versed in their deck's interactions and matchup strategies can win with almost everything; Modern usually rewards deep format knowledge and experience.

616933 Lightning Bolt Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer 522202 Chalice of the Void Thoughtseize 617076

The defining staples of the format (more specifically, the most-played non-land cards across all main decks and sideboards) were Orcish Bowmasters; Lightning Bolt; Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer; Fury; Chalice of the Void; Thoughtseize; and The One Ring. In Modern, it's essential to have a solid plan for dealing with Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer on turn one or The One Ring on turn four. Since Orcish Bowmasters lines up well against both of these cards, it's the defining card of the current Modern metagame.

The most notable, sustained metagame developments since Pro Tour The Lord of the Rings and my metagame snapshot in August are the rise of Izzet Murktide and the fall of Four-Color Omnath. Four-Color Omnath dwindled as a result of disappointing Pro Tour results, where it struggled against Mono-Green Tron, Rhinos, and Living End. Meanwhile, Izzet Murktide was the main benefactor of the unban of Preordain. Preordain digs a whole card deeper than Sleight of Hand or Consider and, unlike Serum Visions, finds the card you want on the turn you cast it. As a result, it provides a lot of consistency and found a home in various blue decks, most notably Izzet Murktide.

The Top 15 Modern Deck Archetypes

To take a closer look at the 15 archetypes with the highest record-weighted metagame share, in descending order, I've used a decklist aggregation algorithm that considers the popularity and performance of individual card choices.

Rakdos Evoke, with a 16.3% share of the winner's metagame, won Pro Tour The Lord of the Rings and is the most popular deck in Modern right now. It's a midrange deck that can evoke and return Grief of Fury as early as turn one. With Grief, you can discard your opponent's Lightning Bolt or Spell Pierce with the evoke trigger still on the stack, leaving them without an answer when Feign Death or Undying Malice produces a 4/3 menace with another discard attached. This powerful play can leave opponents feeling as though they were scammed out of playing a fair game. With Fury, the combo produces a 4/4 double striker on turn one.

The archetype has been known under various names over the past year, including Rakdos Evoke, Rakdos Undying, Rakdos Grief, Rakdos Scam, and Rakdos Midrange. The name Rakdos Evoke highlights the key mechanic of both Fury and Grief and features no words with explicitly negative connotations. The deck's interactive shell, including Thoughtseize and Terminate, makes it well-suited to defeat combo decks such as Yawgmoth and Amulet Titan. However, discard spells can't answer the top of the opponent's deck, so it can struggle against decks with a large amount of consistency and redundancy, such as Rhinos, Burn, or Four-Color Omnath. Following Jake Beardsley's Pro Tour winning list, most Rakdos Evoke decks now favor Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and Fatal Push over Seasoned Pyromancer and Lightning Bolt in the main deck, along with Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger for the mirror match.

When playing against this deck, it's essential to keep in mind that they usually have Blood Moon after sideboard. If your deck is vulnerable to that enchantment, then make sure to fetch basic lands whenever you can in Games 2 and 3. Rakdos Evoke is one of the most potent Blood Moon decks in the format, as it can use Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer to cast it as early as turn two.

Izzet Murktide, with an 11.0% share of the record-weighted metagame, is a powerful archetype that combines cheap cantrips, efficient interaction, and powerful threats. The card advantage and velocity provided by Expressive Iteration quickly turns Murktide Regent into a two-mana 8/8 flier. The density of card draw also means that you'll see your sideboard cards more frequently, improving most matchups post-board. This includes new tools from The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™ such as Cast into the Fire and Stern Scolding.

Izzet Murktide was the best home for Preordain. It not only makes the deck more consistent but also fuels Murktide Regent and Dragon's Rage Channeler. It also adds additional sorceries to the deck, enabling delirium more reliably for Unholy Heat. To make room for four copies of Preordain, many Izzet Murktide players have shaved a land, a Consider, a Lightning Bolt, and a final card. Unfortunately, Izzet Murktide struggles against Orcish Bowmasters, which pings its one-toughness creatures and punishes its card draw spells.

When playing against Izzet Murktide, it's important to keep in mind that they will likely have Spell Pierce in their deck. If your opponent is conspicuously holding a single blue mana open, then it may be better to cast a creature spell instead. Another thing to remember is that Ledger Shredder makes double-spelling less appealing, so be sure to sequence your spells in a way that avoids granting free connive triggers.

Rhinos, with a 9.6% share of the winner's metagame, has a straightforward game plan: cast Shardless Agent or Violent Outburst on turn three to cascade into Crashing Footfalls, unleashing a horde of 4/4 Rhinos to quickly overpower your opponent. Despite the cascade restriction, the deck contains a surprising amount of cheap interaction, such as Fire // Ice, Force of Negation, Subtlety, and Mystical Dispute. Lórien Revealed is like a land that can be pitched to both Force of Negation or Subtlety, providing both flexibility and consistency. While most Rhinos decks are Temur, versions that splash white for Leyline Binding and Ardent Plea are not far behind.

In terms of matchups, Rhinos fares well against Rakdos Evoke and Yawgmoth, but struggles against Living End. Cards that prevent you from casting or resolving Crashing Footfalls (such as Teferi, Time Raveler; Chalice of the Void; or Drannith Magistrate) can also pose a challenge. Even though Chalice of the Void is one of the most-played cards in the format, Rhinos remains a powerful deck, with a consistent and proactive game plan in every matchup. This makes it an excellent deck choice for newcomers to the format. Moreover, Flame of Anor is an efficient answer to Chalice of the Void that is never dead, and the aggregate list even features a Mutavault to act as a Wizard.

If you're considering picking up the deck, don't be scared of an opposing Ragavan revealing and casting Crashing Footfalls for free. Due to its lack of a mana cost, it cannot be cast in this way. It also cannot be suspended because it's not in their hand. Another interaction to keep in mind for versions with the white splash can come up when your opponent casts Leyline Binding and targets your Rhino token. If you respond with your own Binding and exile theirs, then your token will never get exiled and will stay on the battlefield.

Yawgmoth, with a 6.2% share of the record-weighted metagame, combines undying creatures and Yawgmoth, Thran Physician to generate card advantage and achieve infinite combos. With four copies of Chord of Calling, players can consistently put their namesake card onto the battlefield. The deck has a good matchup against Hammer Time, whose tiny creatures are easy prey for Yawgmoth, Thran Physician's activated ability. However, it struggles against Fury, which is commonly seen in Rakdos Evoke and Rhinos, and against Living End sweeping the board.

From The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™, the deck gained several upgrades in Orcish Bowmasters and Delighted Halfling. Delighted Halfling provides ramp while having enough toughness to dodge Wrenn and Six or Orcish Bowmasters. The token created by Orcish Bowmasters fuels Chord of Calling; Yawgmoth, Thran Physician; or Grist, the Hunger Tide. Moreover, Elven Chorus has proven to be a potent sideboard card, providing a steady stream of card advantage against decks like Rakdos Evoke.

When playing against Yawgmoth, it's important to be aware of its potential for infinite loops. One such loop can be achieved with Yawgmoth, Thran Physician and two undying creatures, one with a +1/+1 counter and another without. When Yawgmoth sacrifices the counterless creature, it returns with a +1/+1 counter. The other receives a -1/-1 counter, which cancels out against its +1/+1 counter. This can be repeated to draw lots of cards, and Blood Artist wins the game on the spot. Keep an eye out for these game-winning loops and try to disrupt them as soon as possible.

Amulet Titan, with a 5.4% share of the winner's metagame, is an intricate ramp deck that exploits the synergy between Amulet of Vigor and bounce lands like Simic Growth Chamber to power out Primeval Titan. After you resolve Primeval Titan, there are a variety of ways to seal the game. With Amulet of Vigor in play, Primeval Titan can grab Slayers' Stronghold and Boros Garrison and attack right away. If Dryad of the Ilysian Grove is on the battlefield, you can fetch Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle and burn your opponent to a crisp. Even if the opponent has a spot removal spell, the deck can still have a way out by picking up Tolaria West with Simic Growth Chamber, transmuting it into Summoner's Pact, and grabbing another Primeval Titan.

Mastering this deck requires a deep understanding of the various lines of play available, making it a challenging but ultimately rewarding endeavor. Amulet Titan has a good matchup against decks low on interaction, such as Hammer Time and Burn, but it struggles against Living End and against Blood Moon decks like Rakdos Evoke. However, the recent addition of The One Ring and Generous Ent make it easier to still cast some spells under Blood Moon.

When playing against Amulet Titan, one interaction to remember is that Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle checks on both trigger and resolution. So if the destruction of Dryad of the Ilysian Grove would reduce the number of other Mountains to fewer than five in response, then no damage would be dealt. Speaking of Dryad of the Ilysian Grove: Since the Dryad and Blood Moon both change land types in the same layer, the result is based on time stamps: the last-played one "wins". In addition, remember that Blood Moon doesn't just turn off Urza's Saga—it kills it. Indeed, it turns into a Mountain Saga without chapter abilities, so it will be sacrificed as a state-based action.

Hammer Time, with a 4.9% share of the winner's metagame, treats the metagame like a nail. It avoids the enormous equip cost on Colossus Hammer with the help of Sigarda's Aid, Puresteel Paladin, or the recently added Forge Anew. A turn-two kill is even possible with the right opening hand: Sigarda's Aid and Ornithopter on turn one, followed by double Colossus Hammer on turn two. However, turn three or turn four kills are more realistic, especially when cards such as Urza's Saga and Stoneforge Mystic are used to find the Hammer.

Hammer Time is well-equipped to defeat decks that rely on damage-based removal, such as Izzet Murktide or Burn. However, due to its lack of interaction, it can struggle against combo decks such as Yawgmoth, Living End, and Amulet Titan, especially when they add Force of Vigor after sideboard. The most prominent version of Hammer Time is mono-white, but there are also versions that feature a small blue splash for Spell Pierce, improving the combo matchups at the expense of larger vulnerability to Blood Moon.

When playing against this deck, it's important to be aware of the interaction between Colossus Hammer and Inkmoth Nexus. When Nexus becomes equipped with Hammer, it loses flying, but if its animation ability is activated again, Nexus will regain flying, so a ground-based chump blocker may not save you. Another thing to keep in mind is that Surge of Salvation, a big new addition from March of the Machine, will protect an entire board or hand from Fury, Force of Vigor, or Grief. Finally, if you see Emeria's Call, which is a relatively new adoption, then expect to face Solitude after sideboard.

Mono-Green Tron, with a 4.5% share of the record-weighted metagame, is a ramp deck centered around Urza's Mine, Urza's Power Plant, and Urza's Tower. This powerful trio of lands was first dubbed the "Urzatron" in the 90s, as a reference to the Voltron TV series in which robots combine to become stronger. Together, the lands enable you to ramp into powerful cards like Wurmcoil Engine or Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger ahead of time. A turn three Karn Liberated is also enormously powerful, although many players have cut this once-essential planeswalker to make room for The One Ring and Karn, the Great Creator. These four-drops are ideal when you're unable to assemble Tron by turn three, allowing you to play a reasonable game even if your land search spells got discarded or countered.

Mono-Green Tron tends to be line up well against Four-Color Omnath and Living End, and it had a fantastic weekend at Pro Tour The Lord of the Rings, where it put multiple players in the Top 8. However, it has fallen hard since then. This drop-off can be ascribed to an unfavorable matchup against Rakdos Evoke and to the large quantities of Obsidian Charmaw, Crumble to Dust, or Break the Ice that have popped up in sideboards.

When playing against Mono-Green Tron, remember that the most popular build nowadays is based on the one that Team Handshake unveiled at the Pro Tour. It uses fewer Chromatic Star and more Dismember and Urza's Saga in the main deck. Dismember can punish you from going all-in on Fury plus Feign Death on turn one, while the presence of Urza's Saga can make Expedition Map worth countering even in the late game. Also, be aware that you can cast Orcish Bowmasters in response to the card draw from Chromatic Star, which is a trigger, but not in response to cracking Chromatic Sphere, which is tied to a mana ability.

Burn, with a 4.3% share of the winner's metagame, embodies the philosophy of fire. The goal is to unleash a flurry of damage as quickly as possible, with an ideal opening hand featuring a turn one Goblin Guide, turn two double Lava Spike, and turn three triple Lightning Bolt for a staggering 21 damage. A recent development is the adoption of Roiling Vortex over Eidolon of the Great Revel in the main deck. The Eidolon is too easily and painlessly removed by Leyline Binding or Fury, while Roiling Vortex punishes opponents for casting Crashing Footfalls or evoking an Elemental without paying any mana.

Burn has been a staple of the Modern format since its inception, preying on slow decks like Mono-Green Tron or decks with painful fetch-shock mana bases like Four-Color Omnath. However, Burn struggles against Hammer Time and Amulet Titan. While Burn remains an easy deck to pick up and play, other decks such as Rhinos are similarly forgiving, and they offer better positioning in the current metagame. For this reason, I would recommend Rhinos over Burn for new or returning Modern players.

When playing against Burn, be mindful of your life total. Think twice before you pay 2 life for shock lands, consider exiling one of your own creatures with Solitude to bolster your life total, and grab Shadowspear with Urza's Saga. Another thing to keep in mind is the timing of your fetch lands against Goblin Guide. If you want to maximize the probability to draw a spell in your next draw step, then fetch in response to the trigger. If you need lands, then wait until end of turn instead. To see why, ignore the marginal impact of deck thinning and imagine the four ways in which the top two cards of your opponent's library can be ordered: land-land, land-spell, spell-land, and spell-spell. If you need a spell, then you'll get one in three out of four cases, so fetch first!

Four-Color Omnath, with a 3.8% share of the record-weighted metagame, uses the namesake card Omnath, Locus of Creation in conjunction with fetch lands to trigger it multiple times per turn. Along with efficient interactive spells and powerful planeswalkers, the deck can generate tons of value every turn. Since it has access to four colors, the individual card quality is top-notch.

Four-Color Omnath is one of the best homes for The One Ring and Delighted Halfling, so it received a substantial boost from The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™. Delighted Halfling ramps into turn-two Teferi, Time Raveler, dodging Force of Negation and shutting down cascade decks, or into a turn-three The One Ring. After The One Ring refills your hand, you can use Solitude or Fury to convert those cards into an immediate impact on the battlefield and/or use Omnath's life gain trigger to offsets the burden of using The One Ring. The deck faltered at the Pro Tour due to a weak matchup against Mono-Green Tron, but it may be poised for a comeback due to a solid matchup against Rakdos Evoke and Izzet Murktide. It's my sleeper pick for the current Modern metagame!

When playing against the deck, it's useful to be aware of how Omnath, Locus of Creation works exactly. Its landfall trigger checks how often the ability has resolved this turn. It doesn't care about the order in which the triggers went on the stack. So, if an Omnath player plays Windswept Heath and their Burn opponent responds with Skullcrack, then the Omnath player can sacrifice their land in response, get another landfall trigger, and resolve it to gain 4 life before Skullcrack resolves. For similar reasons, if a land is played while the Omnath player controls Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines, then the two triggered abilities will first gain 4 life and then add four mana.

Living End, with a 3.2% share of the winner's metagame, is a combo deck that aims to cycle several creatures and then cascade into Living End, wiping all creatures from the battlefield while returning all the cyclers. The deck has Violent Outburst and Shardless Agent as guaranteed cascade cards, effectively giving the deck eight one-card combo pieces, along with numerous other cyclers to draw them consistently. From The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™, the deck gained Generous Ent and Oliphaunt, the first one-mana landcycling creatures ever printed. They are basically fetch lands that can be reanimated as huge creatures.

Living End excels against creature-based decks with little interaction, such as Hammer Time, Yawgmoth, and Rhinos. However, Living End is vulnerable to Teferi, Time Raveler, Chalice of the Void, and Flusterstorm, which prevent Living End from resolving. Additionally, it is susceptible to graveyard hate cards such as Relic of Progenitus, Dauthi Voidwalker, and Endurance, making decks like Rakdos Evoke and Mono-Green Tron (which run graveyard hate in their main deck) particularly challenging to beat. Although Living End can fight back with Grief and Force of Negation, most opponents are well-prepared these days.

When playing against Living End, remember that sometimes your creatures are better dead than alive. Destroying or sacrificing your own creatures in response to Living End is often a good course of action. In particular, Dauthi Voidwalker is best left untapped to be sacrificed at a moment's notice, as it will return to the battlefield, exile Living End, and allow you to cast Living End on the next turn, putting all creature back to where they were.

Dimir Control came out of nowhere two months ago, exploiting all the best cards from The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™ along with permission and spot removal. It uses Orcish Bowmasters and The One Ring to control the flow of the game, largely trying to play an attrition-based, interactive flash game. The flexible Lórien Revealed can be pitched to Force of Negation and Subtlety, and the new addition of Preordain provides similar benefits.

When playing against Dimir Control, respect their countermagic. When they have three mana up, they represent Counterspell, Force of Negation, Archmage's Charm, and even an evoked Subtlety. Sometimes it's better to cast a less important card first as a test spell rather than jamming your most powerful card into likely countermagic.

Indomitable Creativity is a combo deck that aims to put Archon of Cruelty onto the battlefield by using the namesake card in combination with Dwarven Mine tokens. The deck's ability to use any fetch land to grab Dwarven Mine makes it acts like a one-card combo. There are Jund versions that exploit Persist, but the most prominent version uses all five colors for Leyline Binding. Blue mana also provides access to Preordain as a powerful card selection tool.

When playing against Indomitable Creativity, make sure to board in Orvar, the All-Form if you have it, as it can be discarded to an Archon of Cruelty trigger to turn the tables. However, Orvar is not as prevalent anymore because the previously dominant Creativity archetype has fallen hard since the release of The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™. Indeed, Orcish Bowmasters snipes Dwarf tokens, and The One Ring's protection effect annuls the trigger of Archon of Cruelty. As a result, there are fewer Creativity decks around, and it may no longer be necessary to dedicate a sideboard slot to Orvar.

Jund Sagavan—a portmanteau of Urza's Saga and Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer—brings back memories of Modern's decade-old past. Featuring iconic cards like Tarmogoyf and Thoughtseize, it's a midrange strategy for the ages. The deck had a resurgence after adopting Orcish Bowmasters in its flex slots, punishing the Preordain decks.

When playing against Jund Sagavan, remember that Urza's Saga counts as both an enchantment and a land for Tarmogoyf. Also, don't cast Lightning Bolt on a 2/3 Tarmogoyf when the graveyard features only lands and sorceries. Creatures with lethal damage marked on them are not destroyed until state-based actions are checked, and Lightning Bolt will go to the graveyard before. By the time state-based actions are checked, Tarmogoyf will survive as a 3/4 with 3 damage marked on it.

Hardened Scales can win with swift attacks, but its best draws explode in a combo-like way, producing lethal damage out of thin air. For example, suppose you start the turn with Hardened Scales; The Ozolith; a 2/2 Walking Ballista; and two lands on the battlefield. Your opponent is at 16 life, and they left themselves tapped out. If your hand contains Arcbound Ravager, then that's lethal on the spot! To accomplish this, Arcbound Ravager devours itself and puts its counters onto Walking Ballista. Hardened Scales adds an extra +1/+1 counter every time, and The Ozolith doubles modular's effectiveness. The end result is a 8/8 Walking Ballista, which will attack and ping for 16 damage in total!

When playing against this deck, you should be well aware of such combo finishes. Even if their board does not look very threatening right now, consider leaving a blocker untapped or removal mana open just in case. Especially after March of the Machine introduced Ozolith, the Shattered Spire as an additional way to boost +1/+1 counters, the deck will execute its game plan with startling consistency.

Mono-Black Coffers uses Cabal Coffers alongside Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth to produce large amounts of mana early on. The mana can be sunk into an enormous March of Wretched Sorrow or into powerful artifacts grabbed from the sideboard by Karn, the Great Creator. Karn also provides access to effectively seven copies of The One Ring. Along with Sheoldred, the Apocalypse and March of Wretched Sorrow to offset the burden of life loss, Mono-Black Coffers is one of the best possible homes for the legendary artifact.

When playing against the deck, remember that they have Field of Ruin and Demolition Field to destroy your nonbasic lands. Sequence your lands with this in mind, for example by leaving basic lands in your deck and not exposing a land that provides a key ability or color until you're ready to use it.

Promising Wilds of Eldraine Additions

Besides these top 15 Modern archetypes, there are many other competitively viable decks, and Wilds of Eldraine is adding several exciting new tools as well.

Not Dead After All Up the Beanstalk 629743

Not Dead After All is better than Feign Death and Undying Malice because it adds an extra life loss after your opponent finally deals with Grief. It's a minor upgrade for Rakdos Evoke, but when the deck is so popular, it'll see a lot of play. Moreover, since Not Dead After All doesn't add a +1/+1 counter, it unlocks Undying Evil as a secondary undying effect. It doesn't work on a creature that already has a +1/+1 counter, but it doesn't tap the creature.

Up the Beanstalk has the potential to generate a lot of card advantage, and I imagine it could find a home in Four-Color Omnath, where Leyline Binding; Fury; and Solitude can trigger it. You don't actually have to pay five mana to trigger it!

Finally, Agatha's Soul Cauldron could shine as a combo enabler. I could see it in Hardened Scales, where it can exile Arcbound Ravager and Walking Ballista from your graveyard and grant their activated abilities to all of your creatures with +1/+1 counters on them. I could also see it in Yawgmoth, where it provides counterplay against spot removal by turning Yawgmoth, Thran Physician and Grist, the Hunger Tide into major threats after they die.

Other Wilds of Eldraine cards with potential for Modern include Hearth Elemental (which could fuel Dredge), Elusive Otter (which could add to Izzet Prowess), or Candy Trail (which may fit well in Asmo Food. The new set is brimming with potential, and Modern remains a brewer's paradise. So, I am looking forward to seeing all the innovations.

Happily Ever After

For deck builders and Modern experts, there are plenty of opportunities to prove their skills as the next cycle of RCQs is about to kick off. If your dream is to qualify for the Pro Tour in the 2023–24 season via the Regional Championship qualification path, then the following infographic provides a visual overview.

Cycle 1 (Pioneer): The first cycle of Regional Championship Qualifiers has concluded, but the corresponding Regional Championships are about to kick off, using the Pioneer format. A full schedule can be found in this article, but the first ones will take place on September 30 with the Legacy European Championship in Lille, France and the Canada Regional Championship in Calgary, Alberta. Top players from these Regional Championships qualify for the Pro Tour that will be held at MagicCon: Chicago in February. More details regarding this event, including the Pro Tour formats, will be announced at a later time.

Cycle 2 (Modern): The upcoming cycle of Regional Championship Qualifiers runs from September 9 through December 17 in the Modern format. Due to format matching, they award invitations to a Regional Championship in the Modern format. These Regional Championships will take place between January 19 and March 24 in 2024 and will qualify players for a Pro Tour in the second quarter of 2024. More details concerning its location and formats will be announced at a later time. Pro Tour formats are not necessarily the same as the formats of their corresponding Regional Championships.

Cycle 3 (Standard): The third cycle of Regional Championship Qualifiers runs from January 2024 through March 2024 in the Standard format. Due to format matching, they award invitations to a Regional Championship later that year in the Standard format. Pro Tour details will be announced at a later time.

You can find RCQs near you via the Store & Event Locator or your regional organizer's website. In addition, if you're looking for more high-level Modern action, then MagicCon: Las Vegas features the format at the Secret Lair Showdown and "Win an Uncut Sheet" events, which offer really cool and coveted prizes. The Modern metagame will surely continue to evolve during the upcoming RCQ cycle, and while my column's focus will briefly switch to Standard as Magic World Championship XXIX approaches, I'll be back with regular Modern updates soon!

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