This weekend, the Star City Games Tour concluded season 2 with an Invitational featuring Standard and Modern and an Open featuring Modern. After 16 rounds of the Invitational, the top 8 battled it out for the glory. In the end, the trophy ended up in the hands of Liam Lonergan, after he defeated Jadine Klomparens in the finals. Thomas Smiley was victorious in the Modern Open, after he dispatched Evan Whitehouse in the finals. Since this weekend featured two formats, let’s discuss each individually, starting with Standard.
When looking at a two-format event like an Invitational or a Pro Tour, it’s important to acknowledge that the players who made the top 8 of the tournament are not the same players that did the best in one of the formats. Of the 7-1 or better Standard decks, only 2 of them had pilots who made the top 8, Jadine Klomparens and Lucas Loysen, both of whom piloted Bant Company. You might be thinking, “Jonah, 4 of the 8 decks in top 8 were Bant Collected Company decks, surely that’s just a fluke and the 7-1 or better decks didn’t have similar results, right?” Wrong. Of the 12 decks that had a record of 7-1 or better, 7 of them were Bant Company. That’s right, over 50% of the most successful decks in the tournament were this deck. That’s pretty crazy. The other 5 decks are very clearly positioned to beat Bant Company. They are: Jund Delirium, U/B Zombies, 2 copies of U/G Crush, and Esper Control. It’s important to note that U/R Burn did not have a great showing this week. It did put one player in the top 8, but that player, Miles Rodriguez, did not go 7-1 or better with the deck. I can safely and confidently say that this is because the deck is extremely poor against Bant Company, and can’t survive if Bant is as large as it is today. But keep an eye on Thermo-Alchemist if Bant ever recedes in this format. The top 8 was Modern so how the Standard decks ultimately finished in top 8 is irrelevant. Here’s what the tier-list probably looks like right now:
Mono White Humans
I’m being a little generous here. A better representation of the format would probably be to move Temur Emerge and B/G/x Delirium to Tier 1.5 and leave Bant by its lonesome. If you’re playing in a RPTQ this weekend, getting a knowledge of this format will be critical.
Modern is diverse! The top 8 of the Invitational had 8 different archetypes present and the 7-1 or better decks had even a few more unheard from archetypes. The 8 archetypes in the top 8 battled it out and in the end, Liam Lonergan won with…Elves?
Yup, the rather unheard from tribe (in Modern, at least) shook up the format by powering through a field light on board wipes. No Glimpse of Nature or Natural Order? No Problem! Ezuri, Renegade Leader can be the payoff card. This deck is a little whacky and I’m not sure that it’ll start dominating the format, but definitely keep an eye on it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some people pick it up this weekend after its finish here.
In the Open, the top 8 was not quite as diverse, with only 6 different archetypes represented (Modern is healthy, yay!). The interesting thing about this top 8 was that of the 6 archetypes, only 2 were really expected to show up in force this weekend, Dredge and Affinity. Instead, Bant Eldrazi, which has been lurking in the shadows of the format for a while, put 3 copies in the top 8. Blue Moon (read about the deck here!), G/W Boggles, and Mardu Control were also represented in the elimination rounds, despite not being expected to do so. Bant Eldrazi ended up taking it down in the final against Mardu Control. Here’s what the metagame should shape up to look like in the coming weeks:
Death’s Shadow Zoo
This coming weekend is the second weekend of RPTQs for Pro Tour Kaladesh, so there won’t be a Weekend Recap next week, but hopefully I’ll have a tournament report early next week about my successes at the RPTQ (hopefully…please).
Is Elves here to stay in Modern? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Until next time.
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