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By: R Koster, Rob Koster
Apr 14 2020 12:00pm
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Roses are Red
Legacy is Blue
Modern is Green
and that's just true

I've been getting to play a ton of Modern recently, and there is just one thing that I've been noticing. It's something that has happened in Legacy as well, but now it is befalling our beloved format as well. And it's the following; the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer.

Wait? What in the world are you talking about?

I'm talking about the difference in power level between the tier 1 and tier 2 of Modern. There are a few decks that are just miles beyond the rest of the pack at this point. I'm going to be honest; I'm not registering a non-green deck for anything I care about. Wizards has finally printed enough Green nonsense cards to get there. It only took Oko, Thief of Crowns and Veil of Summer followed up by Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath. But they've finally done it. Modern now has Green in the same way Legacy has Blue. All the best cantrips and threats are Green Adventurous Impulse, Ancient Stirrings. The best tutors are Green Collected Company, Chord of Calling. The best threats are Green Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath Primeval Titan, explicitly not naming Tarmogoyf here, by the way, I love the pretty little thing, but its time as the king (queen? I honestly have no idea what gender Tarmogoyf is. I'm assuming it can be both, because how else would all the little Tarmogoyf be born?) of Modern has passed. Yes, I know you still play four copies in your Jund deck, and that's ok, we all have our vices. The best Cryptic Command is Green Veil of Summer.

The best decks are just all Green. I'm not saying the others aren't performing every once in a while, but Green is just dominating the format. I think someone at Play design just really likes Simic because good lord the Simic cards have been just shoved and pushed beyond anything reasonable these last few years.

I mean look at what the best five decks in the format are right now:
Bant Snow Control
Jund
Ponza
Tron
Amulet Titan

I know more decks are doing well, but I feel like these five are head and shoulders above the rest of the format.

Having a tier 1 of the format is fine, I don't have a problem with that. But a lot of what's happening currently is that these decks are just crushing me when I'm playing the tier 2 decks. And when I'm playing these decks, I feel like I have 1-2 bye's every league. Which is great, don't get me wrong, but slaps the WotC ideal of Modern being this wide-open format in the face with a large trout. And it's not like the other decks can't do well anymore, but why limit yourself to hard matches if you're purely going for prices? Why not play these and get a bye tossed in every once in a while?

With three of them being big mana decks and one of them being a predator to those, I still feel like the big Mana is just a bit to easy in Modern. It's not like 3-4 years ago where we would just sacrifice a goat to the gods to hope that we don't get paired against them, but big Mana still is just the best thing you can be doing in Modern. All I'm waiting on at this point is the big Mana versions of Ponza and Jund. I mean, those decks can support Primeval Titan and Field of the Dead, so it can't even be that hard to pull off. There already are Golgari based Amulet Titan decks with Thoughtseize in them. So it might take a month, maybe two, maybe three, but we'll get there.

Besides that little problem, though, Modern is in an ideal position. If you just look at the results of the latest big tournaments, there seems to be a very balanced metagame forming just behind the big ramp decks. You've just got to ignore that almost everything that's performing is Green, and you will be fine and can play everything you want. I mean you have Green Ramp in Tron, Green Midrange in Ponza and Jund, Green Artifact Combo in Whirza, Green Aggro in Atarka Blitz, Green Control in Temur Uroza, just standard combo Green in Temur Kiki and Green Tempo in Merfolk or Spirits.

And not only are all the best decks green. All the other decks are all becoming Green as well, my beloved Blue Moon now has the best threat it has ever had in Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath, and getting Weather the Storm and Veil of Summer on sideboard never hurt anyone playing Blue and Red together either. They are some serious upgrades over Dragon's Claw and Spell Pierce. I mean I've said it before, and I'll repeat it, I don't think there is any reason to play just Izzet, the splashes are just so easy with Arcum's Astrolabe being a card. And with the new lands coming in Ikoria that everyone on Reddit is saying are terrible, it'll be even freer. Just for consideration, I'll just spell it out here; my three-color Arcum's Astrolabe based Blue Moon deck had better Mana than regular Izzet Blue Moon, and the Mana is getting better with Ikoria.

Storm and Ad Nauseam are now running Veil of Summer in the sideboard. I've encountered multiple Selesnya and Abzan Hatebears decks.

This all makes me think about if any other decks should be splashing Green as well. Why isn't the Rakdos Unearth deck splashing Green for Veil? Why isn't Mardu Shadow? Why isn't Esper Control splashing for it and just becoming four-color control? Why isn't Blue Tron becoming Blue Tron with an actual Burn matchup by playing Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath and Weather the Storm? Is anyone playing Temur Through the Breach out there? Because I think it would be a pretty good deck.

Let's see; I'm going to give a swing at a Temur Through the Breach deck.


I don't think this list is perfect at all, but just putting it out there and reading it back again, it just looks very reasonable. But there is probably someone doing something better somewhere. There always is, after all. I'll run it through a league and see what I think about it.

This development also has its victims. I haven't seen Death's Shadow do well in forever. And how could it? How is that deck ever beating turn 1 Cryptic Command, turn 2 Baleful Strix with Flash, and turn 3 Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath? And all of that backed up with Veil of Summer in the Sideboarded games. Even if that curve wasn't already very powerful, I believe that just the existence of the stain of a card we call Veil of Summer just single-handedly pushed out Death's Shadow, it won't be the only thing pushing it out. I know Death's Shadow doesn't do well in a Midrange and Ramp centric format. After all, it's a deck made for disrupting other linear decks while presenting a fast clock. But Veil of Summer is the straw that broke the Angler's back.

So if you want to play Modern, take your tools out of the shed and put on those gardening gloves, because Modern is the Green format!