This weekend in competitive Magic featured our second straight weekend with Modern, as the SCG Tour visited Columbus. After 15 rounds of swiss and 3 elimination rounds, 2 time Invitational winner Tom Ross emerged victorious with G/W Tron. The rest of the top 8 featured many big names, and finished second through eight as follows: Matt Ayers on Dredge, Robert Cucunato on Affinity, Kevin Jones and his beloved Grixis Delver, Ben Wienberg on Burn, Adam Fronsee and Dan Musser piloting Bant Eldrazi, and Todd Anderson with Jund.

As I talked about in last week’s Weekend Recap, which you can read here, Modern is an incredibly diverse format. After all, Skred Red, which has been described as “comfortably tier 5”, just took down a Grand Prix. This weekend, there was no Skred to be seen. Additionally, the deck that many people considered to be the best in the format, Infect, missed out on top 8 entirely. Meanwhile, Merfolk, Amulet Titan, Madcap Experiment Combo, Soul Sisters, Temur Battle Rage Combo, and Kiki-Chord all made appearances in the top 32. Decklists for all of the top 32 at SCG Columbus can be found here.

Analyzing Modern is a frivolous task. It sounds a little crazy to say, but there are probably 25 viable decks in the format, which cannot be said about any other format in Magic, currently. Play what you know, and know what you play. Instead of the usual Modern Takeaways section that you would find below, instead I’ll be listing 3 Modern cards that I think are well-positioned or have performed well over the past few weeks, along with some reasoning for each.

3 Standout/Over-Performing Cards in Modern

  1. Glint-Nest Crane – The Kaladesh uncommon made its first competitive appearance outside of Standard this weekend, with 2 copies in the 10th place Lantern Control deck piloted by Carter Newman. The applications of this card are limited, but expect to see more and more being played in the Lantern Control deck, as it checks off a few boxes for the deck that it previously had slight issues with before.
  2. Rally the Peasants – This card showed up as a maindeck 1-of in the 2nd place Dredge deck piloted by Matt Ayers. I could see this card show up more and more, as the burst damage that it offers can frequently be the difference between winning or losing a close game. Dredge can afford to have more of these narrow application cards than most decks, because it accesses more cards, so if Rally the Peasants isn’t relevant, you didn’t waste a draw on it.
  3. Blood Moon – This card is great for the Modern format as a whole. In Legacy, Wasteland is the main “fun police” for manabases, and having one in Modern that is seeing as much play as Blood Moon is is only a good thing. Many people consider this card to have narrow applications, but as long as the format is dominated by greedy, linear strategies, this card will be viable.

This weekend features the SCG Open in Knoxville, which will showcase Standard, and the World Magic Cup, which promises to be one of the most exciting ones in a long time. My patriotism will be worn on my sleeve. Go Team USA!

Are you interested in the theory behind problem solving in Magic? Read Ryan Saxe’s final article here on before his big move to here.

Until next time.

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