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By: BlippyTheSlug, Volker Kirstein
Jul 05 2012 8:26am
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The Modern Meta: Phase 3
In Which Doris Gets Her Oats

  Here we are, at the start of another quarter. In the past few weeks, some new archetypes (and sub-archetypes) have come forward and made a major splash on the playing field in the past few weeks. Several archetypes that were once players have all but disappeared. So once more we wipe the slate and start anew.

  To show you how the meta evolves, compare the two pie charts shown here. These show the MTGO Scheduled Event meta from Q1 and Q2, respectively.


  One can see how Jund has fallen from King of the Hill to the number five spot, and how overwhelming Delver has become. One can also see how other archetypes have shifted up or down, or disappeared entirely. I believe in this next quarter, we're going to see a rise of Restoration Angel decks, which will come to dominate the meta as Delver does now.

  There are a few decks to watch out for:

  • Restoration - This is the WU Aggro/Control deck that's been chewing it's way to the top. I covered this archetype in a bit more detail two weeks ago. I believe this archetype will be on the top of the food chain by the end of week two this quarter.
  • Restoration Taxes - There is a version of Restoration running Aven Mindcensor. It will be found in the W/x Control archetype.
  • Restoration Flare - This is Solar Flare with angels jammed in, and would be found with W/x Control. This deck has made two appearances since the release of AVR. (On a side note, Solar Flare will also be moved from U/x Control to W/x Control.)
  • Naya/x Restoration Pod - This is the deck that took GP Yokohama by storm. It's very similar to Splinter Twin, except it uses Kiki & Restoration Angel to produce an infinite amount of hasty 3/4 fliers. This flavor has also already chewed a significant bite into the Q2 Pod submeta in the weeks since GP Yokohama, and I believe will surpass the "traditional" GBW Pod this quarter:


  • Vex Bomb Bump - This deck was originally discussed here when AVR was first released, and was making its presence felt in the paper world. It has since risen to the middle of the R(x)DW food chain. If the trend continues, it will start in the number one spot for R(x)DW this quarter.

  Some archetypes that I think will fall by the wayside this quarter:

  • Caw - With the rise of Restoration Angel decks, Squadron Hawk suddenly finds it's role as flying sword bearer gone. The hawk still finds a home in Soul Sisters and Martyr Proc, tho.
  • Bant - Bant has been falling out of favor for a while. Geist of St. Bant has dropped G and turned into Restoration.
  • Rock - Not much has been seen from Rock lately. There are some rock-like mashups, like 4cc Swiss Army Knife, and Gifts Rock, but I'll deal with those if/when they show up. Which I don't think they will.
  • Fae and Merfolk - These are a bit trickier. Both archetypes are power players in other formats, but continue to be meh! in Modern. As more and more people jump into Modern, particularly Legacy players, many will try to port these decks over. And find out the same story: they just don't seem to "cut the mustard" over the long haul. So they'll pop up now and again. And may even go on a slight tear. But overall, I think the fairies & fishfolk are on the decline. (EDIT: and then Fae shows up twice over the weekend just to taunt me!)


But What Does All This Mumbo Jumbo Mean?

  With some decks rising, and others falling, and some scurrying off to woo woo land, I think a housecleaning is in order. So let's get the beaters out and thrash those rugs! Here is how I see the Tiers going into the third quarter, in alphabetical order:

Tier 1

Can Go Either Way
  Splinter Twin

Tier 1.5
  Hive Mind
  W/x Lifegain/Aggro
  W/x Tokens

Can Go Either Way
  W/x Control

Tier 2
  Living End
  U/x/x Control

  You'll notice several archetypes are no longer on there. I'm talking about your Fringe oddballs like MBC, Second Sunrise, Gargageddon, Land Destruction, Dredge, etc. These are decks that have occasionally placed on the lists, but haven't really made any kind of impact. I think it'd be a waste of space to include them on a Tier chart.

  An interesting note, while Q1 had over 5,500 decks entered, Q2 had less than 2,200. The main reason for the difference in numbers would be the "doldrums" that occurred after the end of the PTQ Barcelona season. We'll see how this quarter's meta matches up to my predictions, and the previous quarter's numbers, in a few short months:

  I will revisit the tiers from time to time throughout the summer as things develop.



GP Columbus

Do you feel lucky, punk? Well? Do you?

Thank you to Gaea's Regent for the cool artwork!

  Our next Modern format GP, GP Columbus, is coming up quick! Here we are, still shaking off the Sake hangovers from GP Yokohama, and now we have to get ready for yet another dive into the maelstrom that is Modern. In just three weeks' time. Woo hoo!

  The city we know as Columbus was originally settled in 1509, during Columbus' fifth, and final, voyage. During his journey north on the Mississippi River in search of the "Father of Great Waters" (Great Lakes, specifically Lake Michigan), he led an excursion up the Ohio River, and headed north at the Scioto River. At the confluence of the Olentangy River, Columbus met, and fell in love with, the local chieftain's daughter,Ojàwashkwà-nishkìnjig ("Ojos Verde" in his journal, or Green Eyes).

  Columbus, and many of his crew, never sailed back to Spain, and lived out their days with the Shawnee, happy and content. This thriving hub of a short lived era was called Wàbà Tibik-kìzis Miskwà Kìzis (White Moon Red Sun) by the inhabitants of the region.

  When the Iroquois "assimilated" the Shawnee in the mid 1600's, during the Beaver Wars, they referred to the settlement as Genh'ge:nh Enhni'da:' Otgwenhj'ia:' Ga:gwa:', keeping the same name in Iroquois. This conquest proved short lived, however. By 1700, white men were flooding into the Ohio Country, and you know the rest from your history books. Named in honor of Christopher Columbus, Ohio's capital city was founded over a century later on February 14, 1812, on the "High Banks opposite Franklinton at the Forks of the Scioto known as Wolf's Ridge." At the time, this area was a dense forestland, used only as a hunting ground.

  Let me quote you the Wizzo's page on the event: Grand Prix Columbus offers you a fantastic opportunity. Not only is Columbus centrally located, but Columbus is an affordable city -- just what you need in today's economy. Plus, you'll get friendly Midwestern hospitality. 

  Yeah, yeah. But to hear residents tell about it, ducks fly upside down over Columbus.

  Anyway, we get another Modern format GP stateside! Woo hoo! I can't wait to see what kind of weirdness crops up here!





Overdrive! #53 Round-up

pelao28 - Overdrive! #53 Champion - 1st 6x Champ!
Martyr Proc
4 Ajani's Pridemate
4 Serra Ascendant
4 Ranger of Eos
4 Soul Warden
4 Squadron Hawk
3 Martyr of Sands
3 Soul's Attendant
26 Creatures

4 Honor of the Pure
4 Spectral Procession
3 Proclamation of Rebirth
3 Path to Exile
14 Other Spells
Basic Lands
18 Plains
2 Tectonic Edge
20 Lands

Martyr of Sands


  Wona against RDW Sligh, Jund, Geist of St. Bant, RUG Twin.


JPLiberato - Overdrive! #53 Runner-up
RUG Twin

Combo Creatures
4 Deceiver Exarch
3 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
3 Pestermite
3 Spellskite
13 Creatures

Combo Piece 
4 Splinter Twin
Draw and Filter
4 Serum Visions
4 Sleight of Hand
4 Dispel
4 Remand
3 Flame Slash
23 Other Spells

Basic Lands
4 Island
1 Mountain
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Scalding Tarn
2 Arid Mesa
1 Halimar Depths
4 Sulfur Falls
2 Steam Vents
1 Breeding Pool
1 Stomping Ground
24 Lands

Splinter Twin



  Won against BYE, GBW Restoration Pod, Single Serving Bant, lost to Martyr Proc.



Geist of St. Bant

Mana Dorks
4 Noble Hierarch
3 Birds of Paradise
1 Dryad Arbor
3 Geist of Saint Traft
3 Knight of the Reliquary
3 Strangleroot Geist
3 Troll Ascetic
3 Qasali Pridemage
2 Kitchen Finks
25 Creatures

4 Path to Exile
4 Spell Pierce
3 Mana Leak
2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
13 Other Spells

Basic Lands
3 Forest
1 Island
2 Plains
4 Misty Rainforest
3 Verdant Catacombs
1 Marsh Flats
1 Stirring Wildwood
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Horizon Canopy
2 Razorverge Thicket
2 Temple Garden
1 Breeding Pool
22 Lands

Geist of Saint Traft


  Won against Boros, Geist of St. Bant, lost to Martyr Proc.



  Won against Dredge, Ritual Gifts, lost to RUG Twin.



Eurodrive! #36 Round-up


  Won against BYE, Bant Restoration Pod, Project Melira, WB Tokens.


CloudOfTheStars - Eurodrive! #36 Runner-up
WB Tokens
3 Doomed Traveler
2 Geist-Honored Monk
2 Mikaeus, the Lunarch
2 Thraben Doomsayer
1 Bloodline Keeper
1 Requiem Angel
11 Creatures

4 Honor of the Pure
4 Intangible Virtue
3 Go for the Throat
2 Doom Blade
2 Grasp of Darkness
1 Day of Judgment
4 Timely Reinforcements
3 Midnight Haunting
2 White Sun's Zenith
1 Increasing Devotion
1 Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
27 Other Spells
Basic Lands
14 Plains
4 Swamp
4 Isolated Chapel
22 Lands

Sorin, Lord of Innistrad



  Won against BYE, Death & Taxes, Puresteel Quest, lost to Gifts Rock.




  Won against BYE, Kithkin, lost to Gifts Rock.


Puresteel Quest

4 Glint Hawk
4 Kor Skyfisher
4 Memnite
4 Ornithopter
4 Puresteel Paladin
4 Squadron Hawk
2 Kor Duelist
26 Creatures

The Quest
4 Quest for the Holy Relic
1 Mox Opal
3 Mortarpod
2 Argentum Armor
1 Basilisk Collar
1 Sword of Body and Mind
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
14 Other Spells

Basic Lands
20 Plains
20 Lands


Argentum Armor



  Won against RDW Browbeat, Stuffy Doll Boros, lost to WB Tokens.



 Where Angels Fear To Tread #14

   Players: 13
    4-0: AphesisBliss
    3-1: LarryJ, NetworkGuru, DirtyDuck, KaraZorEl

   Players, pairings, results, and standings can be found here.
   All decks for WAFTT #14 can be found here.




Interesting Tidbits

  The end of August will see the Player of the Year crowned at PAX Prime. But get this: the Event is over half Modern! Day One is three rounds of Modern, followed by three rounds of Cube Draft, Day Two is three rounds of M13 Draft, followed by three rounds of Modern. The big event on Day Three will be the Top 4 Modern 3of5 matches to crown Player of the Year!


  In addition to keeping track of the SE meta, I'm also going to be tracking PE's, and other online Modern events:


  Modern SE continues to track well. It appears the "doldrums" are over.