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By: R Koster, Rob Koster
Sep 28 2020 12:00pm
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I know that a lot of people are going to disagree with me here. But hear me out.

In the last few weeks, I have had a bit less time than usual to play Magic because well, life happened, a lot of it. But that all changed a few days ago, and I have been going hard on the leagues again. And to be honest, the state of the current format and what I'm getting paired against makes me want to cry and do anything else.

I hear the voices of the masses asking me why, so let's explain.

All I'm getting paired into is Uro-Piles and Mono-Red variants. During my last 25 matches, I've gotten paired into Uro-piles 8 times and into Izzet Prowess / Rakdos Prowess / Death Shadow Prowess 13 times. I also got paired against Tron and Amulet Titan a few times. But the variety is the spice of life thing that Modern was so known for is long gone, in my opinion.

I also know what caused it to happen. It's twofold.

The first problem is Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath. I called it months ago, just like everyone else. Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath is the best card in the format bar none.

Not everyone wants to play Uro, though, which leads to the second part of the problem.

People are racing it, which they should. But I am bored to tears of all the Red decks everywhere. But there aren't any other decks that are beating the Uro menace. So, I get it, I understand it, I think it's very logical. But I hate it.

I mean, things like this are happening.

 

That sideboard summarizes every problem I have with the current format. A white splash for 4 Timely Reinforcements and a back-up plan of 3 Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath. Also, there are 4 Spellskite in the 75, but I don't know if that's common. I haven't played enough Infect to know.

Uro is just the best plan you can have. In the one league I played Jund, I just felt like I lost on the spot when someone just Uro'd a bunch. I was eating them with Scavenging Ooze to make sure they didn't come back. But it felt utterly hopeless like trying to mope up the sea.

If Uro was the best card and it was in just one deck, I would be annoyed but wouldn't make a big deal out of it. A lot of cards have gotten their time to shine whether I liked it or not. That's just Magic. However, Uro is not in 1 deck; Uro is the deck.

I mean, we have an archetype called Uro-Pile now. Are you kidding me? That should not be a thing. The word Uro replaced the word Value. How much more on the nose can we get here?

These are all the archetypes that are just clinging on to life because of Uro.

- 4C Uro-Pile
- Temur Uro
- Sultai Uro
- Bant Uro
- Field of the Dead pile
- Every Yorion deck

All of these decks are just Money-Tribal based on Uro. And don't get me wrong, I love that these decks are a thing. I hate that they are a thing because of Uro. I am very much for a lot of different decks in the format. I'm not about a lot of different Uro decks in the format. I would love it if decks like 4C Value-Pile, Temur Value, Sultai Value, Bant Value were a thing. And no, I don't want Arcum's Astrolabe back, I would delete that card from the face of the planet if I could.

Oh, and for the people wanting back Faithless Looting, you want Uro gone to. Because the best Faithless Looting deck would probably be an Uro deck, I can see it now, Arclight Phoenix and Uro BFF's. Yeah, that's not happening. I hope. It would be a fun one to try in Legacy, though.

The other side of the coin is all of the Red decks. I know they are boiling hot right now because the Rakdos decks just got a new toy in Scourge of the Skyclaves and people are loving trying it out. As they should, the card is cool.

For reference, here is a list:

 

I know, I know. This deck isn't a Prowess or Red deck persé, but I wanted to show the sweetest thing people are trying with Scourge of the Skyclaves, and it's an excellent example of exacerbating the problem. People are trying Scourge of the Skyclaves in all sorts of decks, and all of them are insanely aggressive because the card literally wants you to lower everyone's life total. This is completely fine. The timing is just horrible, the Prowess and Red decks were already some of the most played decks in the format, and now there is another thing trying to kill you as soon as possible.

I love that Zooicide is a thing again though, I love that deck.

Usually, these decks are running into things like Jund that are hard matchups, but well, Uro eats those. So they are free to roam and do whatever they feel like.

It's a logical evolution that going fast or going big are the best things to be doing. That's how card games work. However, there needs to be a middle ground, and it just isn't there right now. Some die-hards are still representing Jund, but they should probably drop the Liliana of the Veil and run Uro in her place, because if you can't beat them. Join them. And some Ponza is running around, but it's few and far between.

Something that isn't a rule of thumb by any stretch of the imagination, but I have noticed over the years. When Ad Nauseam decks are doing well; I dislike where the format is at.

With that being said, there are a lot of sweet cards in Zendikar Rising, and I will write about them, but I needed to get this off my chest.