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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Jul 03 2018 12:00pm
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 Hello and welcome back to the State of Modern, our monthly rendez-vous with all things Modern, including big tournament reports, the decklists and prices for the archetypes that are currently the most successful in the meta, and an up-to-date ban list. If you never tried your hand at Modern, this is the right place to know everything you need to know in order to begin; and if you're already into it, it can still be a good way to make sure you know everything that's happening in the format. And by the way, if you seek a nice free online tournament, I run Modern Times every Thursday at 7:00 PM UTC.

 The series archive is here.
 Let's start a new ride!


 THE BIG EVENTS

 Here's the latest Modern events with more than 200 players, ordered chronologically. Find the archetypes below. June has been a very slow month, with only three major events (Grand Prix Barcelona will count as July).

 June 17: Grand Prix Las Vegas 2018
 Players: 2776
 Winner: Matt Nass with KCI
 Top 8: KCI, UrzaTron, Death's Shadow, Humans, Creatures Toolbox, Jeskai Control, KCI, UrzaTron

 June 18: MTGO Modern PTQ
 Players: 333
 Winner: rizer with RDW
 Top 8: RDW, Infect, Death's Shadow, Dredge, Affinity, Bloomless Titan, Blue Moon, Infect

 June 30: MTGO Modern MOCS
 Players: 217
 Winner: Mou with Affinity
 Top 8: Affinity, UrzaTron, Mardu Pyromancer, Izzet Pyromancer, Jeskai Control, Mardu Pyromancer, Blue Moon, Bogle


 THE MODERN META

 Already covered: Ad NauseamAffinity, BogleBlue MoonBloomless TitanBurnCollected Chord (aka Creatures Toolbox), Death's Shadow, DredgeEldrazi Aggro, EldraTron, Elves, Gifts ControlGrixis ControlHatebears, Hollow OneHumans, Infect, Instant Reanimator, JundJunk (aka The Rock), KCILantern Control, Living EndMadcap Gruul, Mardu PyromancerMerfolk, Nahiri Control, PonzaRDW, Selesnya ValueStorm, Tezzerator, Twinless ExarchUrzaTronUW ControlValakut (aka TitanShift), Valakut Control.

 Update: While the July 2 announcement came and went leaving the Modern meta untouched, KCI is gaining more and more steam (Matt Nass is 36-6 piloting the archetype in his last three Modern Grand Prix), Death's Shadow is making a timid comeback, and UW/Jeskai Control is stronger than ever. It's worth noting how the planeswalker that pushed the archetype even higher is not, as feared, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, but the freshly printed Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, which seems purposely designed with UW Control decks in mind: he can get rid of an annoying permanent even more effectively than Big Jace, and his card advantage option comes with double land untapping, which leaves permission players free to tap out when needed and still have mana open to counter.

 Mardu Pyromancer is also having a good moment, occasionally shedding white (which is mostly there for Lingering Souls) and adding Thing in the Ice in its Izzet variant.

 Here's some more decks from the current meta.


 Price (online): $207.48 

 Colors: White

 How does it work: A close relative to Soul Sisters, Martyr Life is about getting a big life boost early on by sacrificing Martyr of Sands, in order to trigger a 6/6 Serra Ascendant, gaining even more life, thus ensuring the Ascendants stay big. Both the Martyr and the Ascendant are tutored by Ranger of Eos and recurred by Proclamation of Rebirth. The deck also plans to set up recursion via Emeria, the Sky Ruin by manipulating its own mana base via Ghost Quarter, Field of Ruin  and Flagstones of Trokair. And Squadron Hawk is able to fetch its fallen comrades thanks to Mistveil Plains. So in the end Wrath of God doesn't really stop this team.

 Results: The archetype is not encountered very frequently, and it's mostly played by enthusiasts that keep it in the meta through sheer devotion. This said, it can be surprisingly effective.


 Price (online): $95.18 

 Colors: Blue or Dimir (UB)

 How does it work: Also known as Turns, this peculiar deck aims to cast Time Walk variants again and again, to the point of taking over the game. Digging for Time Walks is done mainly by making all the players draw (if everything goes according to plan, the opponent won't have the occasion to exploit the extra cards anyway), which is accomplished via classic Howling Mine, good old Jace Beleren, and especially Dictate of Kruphix, which is a Howling Mine that benefits the caster first, thanks to flash. Paid for its miracle cost, Temporal Mastery is straight up Time Walk, while Part the Waterveil's awaken provide one of the wincon, the other being Thassa, God of the Sea, or just shuffling the library together with Elixir of Immortality while the opponent decks out. The version featured here is from last year (a Top 4 result); lately, Autiquet has added a black splash and replaced Thassa with Tasigur, the Golden Fang, while Gigadrowse (another way, along with Exhaustion, to virtually "take an extra turn", by tapping out the opponent) has made maindeck.

 Results: Some, but mostly what said for Martyr Life above applies here, too.


 THE MODERN BAN LIST

 Last revised: February 12, 2018 (unbanned: Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Bloodbraid Elf)
 Next announcement: August 20, 2018

 Total banned cards: 33

 By Color: 

  • White: 2
  • Blue: 6
  • Black: 2 (of which 1 Golgari)
  • Red: 5
  • Green: 7 (of which 1 Golgari)
  • Colorless: 12
  • Multicolored: 1 (of which 1 Golgari)

 By Type: 

  • Creature: 3
  • Land: 8
  • Artifact: 5
  • Enchantment: 1
  • Planeswalker: 0
  • Instant: 7
  • Sorcery: 9

 By Set:

  • Core Sets: 2 (of which 1 from 9th Edition, originally from Visions, and 1 from Magic 2011)
  • Mirrodin block: 10 (of which 9 from Mirrodin, 1 from Darksteel)
  • Kamigawa block: 4 (of which 2 from Champions of Kamigawa, 2 from Betrayers of Kamigawa)
  • Ravnica block: 1 (from Ravnica)
  • Ice Age block: 2 (both from Coldsnap)
  • Time Spiral block: 2 (both from Time Spiral)
  • Lorwyn block: 1 (from Lorwyn)
  • Alara block: 0
  • Zendikar block: 4 (of which 1 from Zendikar, 2 from Worldwake, 1 from Rise of the Eldrazi)
  • Scars of Mirrodin block: 4 (of which 1 from Mirrodin Besieged, 3 from New Phyrexia)
  • Innistrad block: 0
  • Return to Ravnica block: 1 (from Return to Ravnica)
  • Theros block: 0
  • Khans of Tarkir block: 2 (both from Khans of Tarkir)
  • Battle for Zendikar block: 0
  • Shadows over Innistrad block: 0
  • Kaladesh block: 0
  • Amonkhet block: 0
  • Ixalan block: 0
  • Three-and-One Sets: 0

 See you next month, when we'll keep exploring the Modern meta. In the meantime, don't be ancient, play Modern!