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By: BlippyTheSlug, Volker Kirstein
Feb 06 2014 1:00pm
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The Fairies Are Coming!
The Fairies Are Coming!

The cry echoed the length and breadth of the land, carried ever further by fearful tongues. Humankind girded its loins as the Fae poised to once more invade the lands of man, still scarred with the aftermath of the last war. 

Or so the Germans would have us believe.

Let me tell you what's really going on...

For those of you living under a rock, the new Banned & Restricted list came out. Lo and behold, I was wrong once more. The Poobahs did shake up Modern three weeks before a Pro Tour in that format.

So let's jump right on top of that big ol' pachyderm standing there in the middle of the room, Bitterblossom.

For those of you who were not around during Lorwyn/Alara Standard, Fae was a deck that was almost as format warping as Affinity or Caw Blade in their times. While Affinity and Caw got bans, Fae didn't. Many people still carry emotional scars from this time, which is the main source of all the moaning you hear about this card coming off the banlist.

My own feelings on this card are mixed. This card, and the Fae deck, is what soured me right out of Standard, and made me an Extended, now Modern, player. I hate Bitterblossom even more than I hate Serra Ascendant (in 2HG or Commander/EDH). I'm sure there are many players who hate this card, and Fae, as much as I do.

That being said, Modern is not Lorwyn/Alara Standard. I played a lot in the Overextended format before Modern was a thing. Bitterblossom was legal in that format, and did not run rampant. In fact, Fae were hardly a factor at all. The same can be said of Modern today. Mono Fae (MUF) is the only build that's been seen, and Mono Blue Fae decks are rare.

Whether Bitterblossom and the splash will be enough to take Fae to the next level remains to be seen. But I know it will be showing up almost immediately, in large numbers. The price of Bitterblossom has shot through the roof, relatively speaking. Try to find a copy. Good luck! It seems like everyone is sold out. This may be exaggeration, because I didn't look hard. Everyone and their brother are discussing builds. It's hard to turn around without someone waving a Fae deck in the air like they just invented the wheel.

The Fae will be coming. Oh yes, they will come. I believe Modern is capable of dealing with Fae, and don't believe they're going to be near the threat they were. However, some people will still knee-jerk scream whenever they see a Fae deck. Like me.

So. Let's jump off this elephant, and hop onto the slightly smaller one.

Now that Return to Ravnica is "out of print", Wizzo's has made enough money off of Deathrite Shaman. Believe it or not, that's a theory that's being touted as to the why of DRS getting hit by M'banor.

I can tell you the real reason why. Take a look at the meta charts below, and look at the number one spot. I mean, really look. See that big ol' honker sticking out head and shoulders above everything else? Rock is basically the only deck that "relies" on Deathrite Shaman. Sure, other decks play it on occasion, but when you think Deathrite Shaman, what's the very first deck that pops into your head? Nine times out of ten, that answer will be Jund (which we all know is Red Rock), or Rock.

Just like the Storm bans didn't knock Storm out of the meta, losing Deathrite Shaman isn't going to kill Rock, despite what the Rock whiners are claiming. (Come on, you didn't think thousands of Rock players weren't going to downright whine about losing one of their favorite cards? Guess again!) Losing Bloodbraid Elf didn't kill Jund, losing what is essentially a super mana dork isn't going to kill Rock, either. It will be interesting to see what crawls out from the Rock pile, but I expect the next generation Rock to be not much different than current builds. Most likely a 4C build like Ajundi or Junk'd w/Wild Nacatl.

Enough elephants, carpe felis! Heeere, kitty, kitty, kitty...

 Wild Nacatl was put on the banned list at the beginning of 2012 to promote "diversity".

It's hard to say whether that has happened or not. I didn't start regularly featuring new Modern decks, or tracking the Modern meta, until a few weeks after the December 2011 B&R announcement. When I did start tracking the meta, it was easy to go back and get the information because back then every event had its results published. But that is neither here nor there, and we already know what happened there.


Back to here. Now. Zoo's bad kitty is back in town. With Robots currently the leading Aggro deck, and GRuul Zoo barely making a ripple, will Wild Nacatl return to her all-star status? There's a whole crew of Zoologists out there ready to take kitty out to play in her old shells, too. Old Zoo, Blue Zoo, Big Zoo, and more are all waiting in the wings, dance card in hand. 

It's going to be an interesting few weeks leading up to PT Valencia, when we see what the pros will have brewed up. Will they play it safe? I'm guessing we'll see a lot of Pod now that Deathrite is out of the picture. A lot. Will someone bring Fae to the PT? Will Zoo break out of the cages? I'm all a'quiver in antici... 

Meta Madness

With the changes in the B&R list will come changes to the meta. The changes go into effect on MTGO when we come back from downtime next week. (February 12). This date is somewhat convenient because it happens to fall smack dab in the middle of the quarter.

I will be starting the Q1.1  version of the meta then, too. So next week's article will have a "wrap up" of the current meta, and the infancy of the post ban meta.

Once upon a time, and not so very long ago, there were results from every daily event. It was just over a year ago that they stopped with a barely audible peep.

I'm also still convinced that the timing, and placement, of the redaction announcement was a deliberate obfuscation.

All results. All the time.

The Big Picture


Higher Education

Post Graduate




High School


Primary School / The Sandbox


The Wall of Voodoo






I have consolidated D&T and Hate Bears into one unified archetype/submeta. 


UW Vial will fall into this group, as well, if/when it shows up.









It is so strange referring to a four color deck as "RDW", but here it is. Bump decks started out as , but now regularly run three or four colors.

Aggro and Burn are both "true" RDW variants, being mono . The main difference between the two is in the creature base. Aggro typically runs twelve to eighteen creatures, while Burn runs ten or less.

White Lightning is RDW Burn splashing for Boros Charm.




I'm using a dividing line of four Snapcaster Mages plus up to four more creatures to indicate Control, and more than eight creatures to signify Midrange. Keep in mind that "Midrange" in this submeta doesn't mean the same thing as it normally does. A Raka Midrange deck is still quite control heavy.







Today, the basic core of the Modern Rock deck is:

Abrupt Decay
Dark Confidant
Deathrite Shaman
Inquisition of Kozilek  /  Thoughtseize
Liliana of the Veil
Scavenging Ooze / Tarmogoyf

Everything else is “accessories”, according to the builder’s preference. Jund and Junk are two appendages of the same beast. Ajundi and Junk'd happen when the appendages slap together. But it’s all the same slavering, rabid swampbeast hybrid that comes tearing into every Modern FNM, every Modern GP, every Modern PTQ, every Modern PT. And usually ends up King of the Hill. That beast is Rock.




"Dusty" Tron is simply GR/b Tron with three or four All is Dust. "Regular" GR/b Tron runs none, sometimes one, never two.


Breakfast at Urza's is an "eggs" style deck that uses Krark-Clan Ironworks and Open the Vaults to generate huge amounts of mana to either hardcast Emmy, deliver a fatal Banefire, or durdle up a fatal storm of Grapeshots.







 Random Gibberish

I guess the Spank The Slug segment went over like a lead balloon. I mean the common concept thereof, not the actual lead balloon made by Mythbusters. So I'm going to use this space to throw random gibberish at you. Be it in the form of poetry (most likely), video composition (maybe), rambling pointless stories (also likely). If you want to see something else, ask me. So there. Here we go...

Размытые дней
Каждое утро я просыпаюсь удивлен
Я все еще здесь

 Deutsche Seele
Am Grab meinem Vorfahren
Toben zerstörte Steine
Ausgegrabenen Krallen
Unendliches Später
Schwöre ich ihre Geister
Ich war dein



Overdrive!, which started on July 4th, 2011, is the original Modern format Player-Run Event! In fact, Overdrive! is even older than Modern, having started out as an event in the Overextended format. Overdrive! is a single elimination event: two men enter, one man leaves. Registration is done via Gatherling. You can find more information at the main event thread here.



Overdrive! #117
Players: 12
Champion: ChineseNotebook / Storm
Runner up: NobleM600 / Norin Champ
Decklists and results from all Overdrive! events can be found here.

Overdrive! #118
February 10, 2014 @ 830PM Eastern




BlippyTheSlug on MTGO

USTREAM Channel: The Slug's Lair
Blog: Read At Your Peril (NSFW!)



I love Bitterblossom! by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 02/06/2014 - 14:29
Kumagoro42's picture

I love Bitterblossom!
But I hate Fae.dek. I'll never play Bitterblossom in a deck with Faeries. But I can't wait to use it for what it's really worth: sacrificial fodder! Those aren't Faeries, those are chickens ready to be eaten by something higher on the food chain! (All right, sometimes the chickens will still overwhelm the opponent. I won't oppose that).

I've also been very lucky this time around, since I bought my Bitterblossoms a couple months ago for a price that sounds ridiculous now. Sometimes this game gives you late Christmas presents.