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. Today's article focuses on Modern, the Constructed format for the current cycle of Regional Championship Qualifiers (RCQs). I'll review the biggest metagame changes over the past month and I'll highlight seven sweet decks that have found success with new Wilds of Eldraine cards.
Modern Metagame Update
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 showcases an abundance of viable decks. For new and returning players, my format primer from early September provides an in-depth introduction to the format.
To grasp the latest Modern developments, I analyzed nearly 700 successful decklists from competitive events over the past three weeks. Specifically, I used all published Magic Online decklists from scheduled Modern events held from September 22 through October 9. In addition, I used all Top 8 decklists from the Swiss Magic Masters and RCQ at Tabletop Gaming Center, as well as all decklists from Secret Lair Showdown Qualifiers with net positive wins. To each deck, I assigned an archetype label and awarded a number of points equal to its net wins (i.e., its number of match wins minus losses). Each archetype's share of total net wins can be interpreted as its share of the winner's metagame.
|Winner's Metagame Share
|8.Bring to Light
|19.Samwise Gamgee Combo
In this table, each archetype name hyperlinks to a well-performing, representative decklist. The arrows in the table represent the biggest movements compared to my format primer from early September. The "Other" category included Mill, Mono-Black Control, Izzet Prowess, Dimir Coffers, Izzet Wizards, Grixis Shadow, Timeless Amulet, Miracles, Jund Sagavan, Mono-Black Grief, Dimir Shadow, Jund Shadow, Affinity, Jeskai Control, Four-Color Control, Mono-Red Midrange, Ponza, Temur Wizards, Tameshi Bloom, Golgari Midrange, Jund Reanimator, Asmo Food, Belcher, Carth Superfriends, Black Burn, Glimpse of Tomorrow, Trash for Treasure, Mono-Red Obosh, Jund Midrange, Storm, Merfolk, Eldrazi Tron, Dredge, Rats, and more. The number of competitively viable Modern archetypes remains enormous.
Rakdos Evoke is the dominant deck at the moment. After winning Pro Tour The Lord of the Rings and gaining
However, it does not go unchallenged. Based on the round-by-round results from the Pro Tour, Rakdos Evoke struggles against Four-Color Omnath, Rhinos, Hammer Time, and Burn. These decks are relatively resilient to discard, can answer explosive turn-one-plays with cards like
The drop in popularity of Izzet Murktide, which held the number-two spot a month ago, is not a big surprise, however. The adoption of the unbanned Preordain only worsened the deck's struggles against
Wilds of Eldraine introduced a variety of powerful new cards to Modern. As I already highlighted in my analysis of the Secret Lair Showdown Championship, the most important ones are
Accordingly, all of these decks have soared ahead in the metagame ranks over the past month. Hardened Scales, which was nowhere to be found at the Pro Tour, has suddenly become a major player in Modern.
7 Sweet Modern Decks with Wilds of Eldraine
The impact of Wilds of Eldraine is not limited to new additions for Rakdos Evoke, Four-Color Omnath, Bring to Light, and Hardened Scales. To emphasize this, let's take a closer look at seven successful Modern decks that have recently posted a positive record with new Wilds of Eldraine cards.
The most important benefactor of Wilds of Eldraine that I hadn't highlighted previously is Yawgmoth. Although it traditionally struggles against Rakdos Evoke,
The addition of
The combination of
As most five-mana spells are too slow for Modern, the key challenge posed by Up the Beanstalk is to find enough cards that have mana value 5 or greater officially but that can be played for alternative or reduced costs in practice. The miracle mechanic does exactly that—when it's the first card you draw in a turn,
The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™ introduced
The list is reminiscent of Izzet Murktide, but it eschews
Food decks with
Black Burn is a strategy that aims to reduce the opponent's life total down to zero as quickly as possible. Unlike most burn decks in Magic's history, it uses black life-loss effects instead of red direct damage spells, using
Although this strategy is not entirely novel, Wilds of Eldraine improved it further, and Shawman took it to a 5-0 finish in a recent Magic Online League.
The key new addition is
The list of decks that benefited from
Tulio Jaudy, who always brings the spiciest decks to premier events, finished 28th at a Modern Challenge last weekend with a deck no one saw coming: Rats!
Wilds of Eldraine introduced three powerful Rats, providing a critical mass.
The real workhorse in the deck is
Another benefit of the deck is that it's not particularly vulnerable to
Wilds of Eldraine has introduced new tools for Modern archetypes both old and new. If you'd like to test your mettle, then you can find Modern or Limited RCQs near you via the Store & Event Locator or your regional organizer's website. There are also several huge Modern events coming up that will provide big prizes, multiple Regional Championship invites, and/or live streaming coverage:
- October 14–15: Modern $20K at MXP Portland.
- October 14: Modern Super RCQ at CommandFest Birmingham.
- October 15: Modern Super RCQ at CommandFest Birmingham.
- October 15: Modern $10K Team Trios at NRG Indianapolis, with live coverage on Twitch.
- October 21–22: Grand Open Qualifier at LMS Sofia, with live coverage on Twitch.
- October 22: Modern $10K at SCG Dallas.
To help everyone follow along, each tournament name hyperlinks to the corresponding event page on Melee. I hope that organizers will publish the top decklists publicly after each event, as I'm excited to see all the Modern innovations!