This past weekend was filled with a ton of Modern-legal Magic. Between the Starcity Games Invitational tournament and the Modern open that took place this weekend there are a lot of decks and trends to review. Today I am going to touch on just a few of the cool things to take away from this weekend over both events that might be helpful moving forward when considering deck and card choices in the Modern format.
- Occasionally volatile, often consistent
Modern is commonly known as a format where deck diversity is at a maximum, and its not totally false. Modern is a format that rewards innovative and creative thinking, and is certainly healthy enough to welcome new archetypes into the format. If you look at the Top 32 standing from the past 5 Opens or Classics, you will surely see a range of decks that is unique to Modern as format. With that being said however, there are also decks in Modern that consistently put up good results and that provide a foundation so-to-speak for the Modern format. If we look at the Top 32 standings from the most recent Open this weekend in New Jersey, this becomes quite clear. While there are a few uncommon decks in the mix that did well like a Mardu Control list, a U/W Flash list and a Blue Moon list (which has not been popular for a while) there are also the mainstays of the format in abundance such as Jund, Affinity, and Eldrazi variants. This is simply to say that Modern will have times where it seems as if the format is run by brews and rogue builds, but on the whole the format while open to those decks, does have deck consistency as well.
So I know I mentioned this last week when Dredge really made its debut onto the “big stage” of Modern Magic, but this past weekend further enforced the idea that Dredge is a deck to beat in Modern now. The deck Top 8’ed both the Invitational and the Modern Open (by Tom Ross and Ross Merriam respectively no less) which is accomplishment enough in itself, but the deck also peppered the Top 16 of the Modern Open as well. Throughout the course of the Invitational, we saw the deck falter a bit against Jund, which is a matchup that Dredge is typically believed to be favored in, as Scavenging Ooze proved to be a powerful card against the Dredge strategy. However, the deck still proved that it can win from some very precarious positions which speaks to its potency in the format. If you are tweaking a sideboard for an up coming Modern event, be sure to have a good suite of answers for Dredge because the deck is fast, resilient, and powerful and can be very difficult to beat.
- Jeskai Control
Jeskai Control is another deck that performed relatively well at both the Invitational and the Modern Open, placing in the Top 8 and reaching 12th respectively. It can often times be hard to play a control deck in Modern given the wide range of threats (both known and unknown) that you need to answer. This is why before the advent of Nahiri, the Harbinger into the Modern format, traditional control decks were few and far between. Now however, times have changed, and Jeskai Control has looked a very powerful and consistent deck to pilot. Furthermore, a benefit to playing a control deck is that you can constantly change your deck to fit the current metagame, so your deck will always be tuned to answer the popular decks and strategies of wherever you choose to play Magic. While there are often many decisions to be made in a given match while piloting this deck, and the learning curve can be relatively high, Jeskai Control is still a great deck to pilot at any Modern event.
- Blue Moon
So I had to mention this deck because we haven’t seen it have too much success in a while. Personally, I admire the deck quite a bit due to the fact that it is pretty much a pure draw-go deck which has not existed in Modern for quite a while. With that being said it has not been particularly well positioned in Modern recently, so to see it Top 8 the Modern Open this past weekend was definitely a surprise. The list that I am referring to, piloted by Benjamin Nikolich, was, in my opinion, a thing of beauty. In addition to the large suite of removal spells and counter magic, Nikolich ran two copies of Docent of Perfection, a new release from Eldritch Moon. This card seems perfect in a Blue Moon shell – you’re casting tons of spells and gaining insane amounts of board advantage at the same time…its perfect! We’ll see if more people take on this new addition and are able to make Blue Moon a relevant deck again. Personally, I would like to see it happen because the deck in skilled hands is a lot of fun to watch.
Anyway, that’s all for now. This weekend was filled with a lot of awesome Modern action, and I am looking forward to writing about more later on. Have a good week all.