Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Sep 03 2019 12:00pm

 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.

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


 Here's the latest Modern events with at least 200 players, ordered chronologically. Find the archetypes below.

 August 3: MKM Series 2019: Frankfurt
 Players: 451
 Winner: Eric Sander with Jund
 Top 8: Jund, UW Control, UrzaTron, Valakut, Goblins, Phoenix Deck Wins, Urza Foundry, Urza Foundry

 August 9: Modern MCQ at MagicFest Minneapolis
 Players: 270
 Winner: Lito Biala with Phoenix Deck Wins
 Top 8: Phoenix Deck Wins, Phoenix Deck Wins, Urza Foundry, EldraTron, Infect, RDW, Phoenix Deck Wins, Hogaak Dredge

 August 10: Grand Prix Minneapolis 2019
 Players: 981
 Winner: Justin Plocher with Hogaak Dredge
 Top 8: Hogaak Dredge, Hogaak Dredge, Hogaak Dredge, RDW, Burn, Hogaak Dredge, Hogaak Dredge, Humans

 August 10: Modern MCQ at MagicSur Santiago
 Players: 226
 Winner: Diego Moscoso with Bogle
 Top 8: Bogle, Hogaak Dredge, Hogaak Dredge, Jund, Creatures Toolbox, Hollow One, Hollow One, Ponza

 August 16: Modern MCQ at MagicFest Birmingham
 Players: n/a
 Winner: Thomas Rasmussen with Izzet Phoenix
 Top 8: Izzet Phoenix, RDW, Infect, Jund, UW Control, Hardened Modular, UW Control, Humans

 August 17: StarCityGames Team Constructed Open: Richmond (team of three playing each a different format)
 Players: 204
 Winner: Drew Miles with Phoenix Deck Wins (teammates: Justin Miller playing Legacy, James Lu playing Standard)
 Top 8: Phoenix Deck Wins, Humans, UrzaTron, UW Control, Hogaak Dredge, Infect, Urza Foundry, Urza Foundry

Pictured: Miller on the left, Miles at the center, Lu on the right.

 August 17: Modern MCQ at Pasig City (Philippines)
 Players: 211
 Winner: Antonino De Rosa with Hogaak Dredge
 Top 8: Hogaak Dredge, Urza Foundry, Humans, Phoenix Deck Wins, Amulet Titan, Hogaak Dredge, Phoenix Deck Wins, RDW

Pictured: De Rosa during a previous event, pictures of his at Pasig City not available.

 August 18: Modern MCQ at MagicFest Birmingham
 Players: n/a
 Winner: Jonathan Canfield with RDW
 Top 8: RDW, RDW, RDW, Phoenix Deck Wins, Urza Foundry, Bogle, Urza Foundry, Izzet Phoenix

 August 18: Grand Prix Birmingham 2019
 Players: 911
 Winner: Rory Kear-Smith with Death's Shadow
 Top 8: Death's Shadow, Hogaak Dredge, Hogaak Dredge, Urza's Foundry, RDW, Hogaak Dredge, Hardened Modular, UW Control

 August 24: Grand Prix Las Vegas 2019
 Players: 1830
 Winner: Simon Nielsen with Hogaak Dredge
 Top 8: Hogaak Dredge, Hogaak Dredge, Hogaak Dredge, EldraTron, Hogaak Dredge, Hogaak Dredge, EldraTron, Urza Foundry


 Already covered: Ad NauseamAffinity, Allosaurus ComboBogleBlue MoonBloomless Titan (aka Amulet Titan), Bridgevine (banned), BurnCollected Chord (aka Creatures Toolbox), Death's Shadow, DredgeEldrazi Aggro, Eldrazi & TaxesEldraTron, Elves, FaeriesGifts ControlGrixis Control, Hardened ModularHatebears, Hogaak Dredge (banned), Hollow OneHumans, Infect, Instant Reanimator, Izzet Aggro (aka Izzet Delver), Izzet Phoenix (update), Izzet PyromancerJeskai MiraclesJund (also feat. Wrenn and Six), Junk, KCI (banned), Lantern Control, LanternlessLiving EndMadcap Gruul, Mardu Pyromancer, Martyr LifeMerfolk, Nahiri Control, Naya BurnPhoenix Deck Wins, Phoenix Wrenn and SixPonza, Pyro PrisonRDW, Saheeli EvolutionSelesnya Value, Skred Red, Spirit AggroStorm, TezzeratorThe Rock, Titan BreachTokensTwinless Exarch, Urza FoundryUrzaTronUW ControlValakut (aka TitanShift), Valakut Control, Vannifar PodWalks.

 Update: The ban hammer has struck down with extreme prejudice!

 After the July 8 announcement had made a first, somewhat timid attempt at nerfing the Dredge Invasion by taking Bridge from Below away, the latest announcement on August 26 completed the emergency demolition by banning both the main offender, Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis, and its enabler of choice, Faithless Looting.


 All this while simultaneously shaking the meta further by siccing longtime bad girl Stoneforge Mystic on it.


 It felt like they tried very hard not to be forced to ban a card of such recent release like Hogaak, which would sort of admit a flaw in the overall play design of Modern Horizons (but we know these things happen and will continue happening – Magic is, after all, the world's most complicated game). At some point, though, with the Bridge gone and yet the Hogaak decks even more rampant (the Top 8 lists of Grand Prix Minneapolis and Grand Prix Las Vegas are kind of bone-chilling), something needed to be done to put a stop to this nonsense. Basically the meta was contracting to the point that only red decks and other very fast combo builds were able to endure in the Hogaak wasteland, while slow decks like UW Control pretty much evaporated.

 The change is still fresh enough that we can't gauge the effects on the meta quite yet, but one thing we can be sure is Hoogak Dredge is no more. The sudden absence of Faithless Looting will also impact other archetypes great and small, chief among them the various Arclight Phoenix builds, which were also on the verge of becoming oppressive. And it's now open season on equipment decks, so it looks like it's time for some old trinkets to be retrieved from that dusty basement.

 Amidst all the chaos and uncertainty produced by this big coup de théâtre, what to feature? Well, we mentioned red is kind of the dominant non-Dredge color in the meta right now, and the monored family has room for tribal synergies as well, like this Goblin deck that ended Top 8 at MKM Frankfurt.


 They are currently a bit under the radar, but the Gobbos have just enjoyed a serious boost in Modern due to the recent induction into the format of both Goblin Matron (from Modern Horizons) and Goblin Ringleader (from Core Set 2020), resulting in a ton of card advantage and selection. And the Rakdos setup also leverages Munitions Expert's removal capabilities and Sling-Gang Lieutenant's noncombat-based endgame, especially effective once a hasty Krenko, Mob Boss drops onto the battlefield and starts accruing inevitability.


 During the same announcement that ended Hogaak's Modern run, Karn, the Great Creator also became the first planeswalker to ever be restricted in Vintage. He's a ponderous presence in Modern too, thanks to the prison-style, one-card combo with Mycosynth Lattice to easily grab from the wishboard. Outside of Tron lists, which remain its favorite home, the latest Karn started to appear within mana denial builds like Ponza.


 It's early to say if this will end up being a Rogue build or just the new normal, but the day after the announcement, LegenVD was already brewing a Dead Guy Ale porting from Legacy featuring the new entry Stoneforge Mystic, finally breaking into Modern after all these years. We're going to see a whole lot of the albino artificer in the future, but in the meantime, here's what a Stoneforge deck might look like right now.


 Last revised: August 26, 2019 (banned: Faithless Looting, Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis; unbanned: Stoneforge Mystic)
 Next announcement: October 7, 2019

 Total banned cards: 36

 By Color: 

  • White: 1
  • Blue: 6
  • Black: 4 (of which 2 Golgari)
  • Red: 6
  • Green: 8 (of which 2 Golgari)
  • Colorless: 13
  • Multicolored: 1 (of which 1 Golgari)

 By Type: 

  • Creature: 3
  • Land: 8
  • Artifact: 6
  • Enchantment: 2
  • Planeswalker: 0
  • Instant: 7
  • Sorcery: 10

 By Set:

  • Core Sets: 2 (of which 1 from 9th Edition, originally from Visions, and 1 from Magic 2011)
  • Modern Horizons: 1
  • Mirrodin block: 11 (of which 9 from Mirrodin, 1 from Darksteel, 1 from Fifth Dawn)
  • 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: 3 (of which 2 from Time Spiral, 1 from Future Sight)
  • Lorwyn block: 1 (from Lorwyn)
  • Alara block: 0
  • Zendikar block: 3 (of which 1 from Zendikar, 1 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: 1 (of which 1 from Dark Ascension)
  • 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!