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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Nov 29 2017 1:00pm
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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!


 Here's the latest Modern events with more than 200 players, ordered chronologically. Only one big Modern event in November, but December is definitely going to be hotter.

 November 13: MTGO Modern PTQ
 Players: 308
 Winner: mtgmulligan with Dredge
 Top 8:  Dredge, Humans, Humans, Humans, Esper Control, Humans, JundUWr Control


 Already covered: Ad NauseamAffinity, Blue MoonBloomless TitanBurnCollected Chord (aka Creatures Toolbox), Death's Shadow, DredgeEldrazi Aggro, EldraTron, Hatebears, HumansJunk, Lantern Control, MerfolkStormUW ControlValakut (aka TitanShift).

 Update: In the latest announcement last month, the Modern meta has been deemed healthy and stable, and thus is remained in November. There's a chance things will get shaken up a little in the near future, but not before February, after the Modern Pro Tour has happened. According to the MTGTop8 metagame breakdown, at the time I write this, there are 11 major archetypes (Eldrazi Aggro, Death's Shadow, UrzaTron, UW Control/Midrange, Storm, Affinity, RDW, Creatures Toolbox, Valakut, Hatebears, Junk) collectively amounting to 59% of the meta, which leaves room for a large number of other contenders, some of which still exerting a not negligible influence on the meta, and ready to surge ahead at any moment.

 Here's some more top decks in the current meta.

 Price (online): $778.92 

 Colors: Jund (BRG), duh

 How does it work: Jund plays in a similar manner as Junk, but more aggressively, focusing on disruption and removal, with Liliana of the Veil perfectly embodying both, and only populating the board with extremely efficient creatures, as both Dark Confidant and Goblin Rabblemaster work toward an ultimately overwhelming card advantage, while big old Tarmo is the choice finisher, conveniently backed up by Raging Ravine.

 Results: It used to be a bigger deal than it is now, back when Bloodbraid Elf was its centerpiece (it wasn't banned for nothing). But it's still a pretty solid option, although not a very cheap one to acquire online – but hey, it's definitely cheaper than it was a few months ago, so getting semi-affordable.

 Price (online): $281.45 

 Colors: Red, but like its cousin Burn, splashes are used to improve the reach and reinforce the sideboard

 How does it work: It's often difficult to tell Red Deck Wins apart from Burn, as the two archetypes have always been different facets of the same strategy: using red cards to directly smash the opponent's face as fast as possible, disregarding everything else. RDW is typically less extreme, running enough creatures in addition to the burn spells to guarantee some semblance of a late game. Over time, with more and more efficient burn spells being printed (sometimes requiring a little splash outside of red), the RDW route has seen a reduction in creature allowance as well, and once popular cards like Ash Zealot, Boros Reckoner and Hellrider have eventually lost their place in the deck, in favor of more firepower. In general terms, we can call RDW any Burn-style deck that includes more than 8 creatures, with Eidolon of the Great Revel currently being the most immediate indicator to gauge the difference.

 Results: It's always there, just as Burn. There's an issue with classification because, as mentioned, the two archetypes are often mixed up; in some cases, even lists like this one, which is clearly a Goblin build, are conflated under the RDW moniker: after all, that's what most Goblins decks are.

 Price (online): $293.02 

 Colors: Simic (UG)

 How does it work: Infect is one of those archetypes that are built around a mechanic. The moment poison counters as a way to win the game became a reality back in Scars of Mirrodin, the obvious consequence was the engineering of an aggro deck where you boost and protect your fast infect creatures (the 1-drops Inkmoth Nexus and Glistener Elf and the unblockable Blighted Agent), in order to seal the deal with just 10 hits rather than the regular 20. And that's pretty much it. The archetype sent a casting call for all kind of semi-forgotten pump spells, and the hexproof-granting Vines of Vastwood soon becomes the real star of the deck, recently backed up by the similar Blossoming Defense, while even Might of Old Krosa and Become Immense found an unexpected competitive home.

 Results: Infect was all the rage in 2016, but got stopped cold on its tracks this year after losing Gitaxian Probe, that basically allowed to play with 56 cards while also knowing when to go all in with the pumping because the opponent didn't have an answer in hand. The archetype survived the blow, but it now seems firmly relegated to tier-2 territory.


 Last revised: January 9, 2017 (out: Gitaxian Probe, Golgari Grave-Troll)

 Total banned cards: 35

 By Color: 

  • White: 2
  • Blue: 7
  • Black: 2 (of which 1 Golgari)
  • Red: 6 (of which 1 Gruul)
  • Green: 8 (of which 1 Golgari, 1 Gruul)
  • Colorless: 12
  • Multicolored: 2 (of which 1 Golgari, 1 Gruul)

 By Type: 

  • Creature: 4
  • Land: 8
  • Artifact: 5
  • Enchantment: 1
  • Planeswalker: 1
  • 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: 1 (from Alara Reborn)
  • Zendikar block: 5 (of which 1 from Zendikar, 3 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

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