Team Unified Modern will be a format played at the World Magic Cup this year and two Grand Prix next year. Wizards of the Coast released a statement earlier this year on the state of a couple of things and included this;

“However, Unified Constructed will be undergoing a rules change. To build a legal deck for a Unified Constructed tournament, other than basic lands, no two decks on the same team may contain the same card. This will replace the previous rule of only being able to use a combined 4 of any non-basic-land card in any of your team’s decks. Modern Constructed is an expansive format, and we do not anticipate any shortage of options for teams playing in this tournament.”

Now, I think this format is going to be extremely skill-testing and a lot of fun to play, and I hope I can make it to either of these GPs and play it. In this format, deck selection plays a huge role and the rules change will change more than you might think. Obviously, the fetchlands are the going to be the cards most affected by a huge margin, but also cards that are really good in diverse archetypes like Gitaxian Probe and Lightning Bolt will also be at a premium. To help figure out Team Unified Modern, we can separate the decks into a couple of different categories to help understand some basic structure. However, we are going to note that you could adjust manabases or change some things about the decks to try and fit the decks you and your teammates have so that you can play in the GPs.

Here is a cheat sheet to what popular decks are playing the most used cards, if there is a box of the same color as the card it means almost all lists play those cards, however if there is a black box it means that only some lists play the card.

Same Color: Always Played

Black: Sometimes Played/Not Crucial

 

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If you’re wondering what I might play given the opportunity to play in one of these Grand Prix, I would obviously begin by looking at my team members and evaluating a couple of important things:

  1. Are any of my team members experts with their respective strategies, is that strategy tier 1, and if so how can we as a team make sure to incorporate that into our deck selection.
  2. How are we going to divide up sideboard cards, not just if decks are playing the same colors which will compete for those sideboard cards, but also to divide up the efficient sideboard strategies against each different prevalent archetype.
  3. You don’t want to be sacrificing any of what makes certain decks good just to play the decks that you want. It isn’t that hard to fit three main decks into your team’s strategy without encumbering one with worse cards than it would normally play.     

I certainly think that players’ skills with certain decks should be taken into account, however I do think that there are some Modern decks that currently outpace the rest of the field by a really significant margin. Infect, Death’s Shadow, Jund, and Abzan Company can safely be considered tier one Modern decks. Infect and Death’s Shadow can’t be played together because of Gitaxian Probe. Jund and Abzan can’t be played together for obvious reasons and neither can Jund and Death’s Shadow. What you should be getting out of this is that three of these tier one decks cannot be played together. However, you can play two of these format frontrunners and then one more deck that doesn’t interfere with a lot of decks. Strong decks like Merfolk, Affinity, Ad Nauseum, and Tron are likely going to take up the “third” slot for a lot of the teams looking for a competitive edge. Most of the cards in these 75s are naturally not going to interfere with the other two decks. If I didn’t include one of the decks in the chart in either of these two roles it’s probably because, as you can see, they just take up too much space in terms of cards. Decks like Grixis or Jeskai Control, Bushwacker Zoo, and Abzan Midrange lose a ton of value because of all of the commonly played cards that they use and they will generally be far worse in Team Unified Modern than they would be in an individual tournament.

If I had to register three decks in a tournament for this weekend. I would register Jund, Infect, and Ad Nauseum. I would normally play Affinity in the third slot, however Inkmoth Nexus gets in the way of that plan (because it is in Infect) and I actually think Ad Nauseum is a quite powerful choice right now that doesn’t have any cards that other decks really want.

For a more in-depth look at one of the decks I discussed in this article, click here.

See you next week!

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