Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Aug 07 2019 10:20am

 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.

 July 1st: MTGO Modern MCQ
 Players: 293
 Winner: Lennny with UW Control
 Top 8: UW Control, Hogaak Dredge, Hogaak Dredge, Burn, Hardened Modular, UW Control, Hogaak Dredge, Phoenix Deck Wins

 July 14: MOCS Prelim Q3
 Players: 219
 Winner: Zachattack23 with EldraTron
 Top 8: EldraTron, Death's Shadow, UrzaTron, UW Control, Jund, Hogaak Dredge, Hogaak Dredge, Hogaak Dredge

 July 14: StarCityGames Modern Classic: Worcester
 Players: 252
 Winner: Miles Wilson with EldraTron
 Top 8: EldraTron, Humans, Burn, Humans, Eldrazi Aggro, Izzet Phoenix, Izzet Phoenix, UW Control

 July 20: Harureya's 14th God of Modern
 Players: 274
 Winner: Takimura Kazuyuki with Dredge
 Top 8: Dredge, Blue UrzaTron, UrzaTron, Valakut, Burn, Hogaak Dredge, UrzaTron, Tokens

 July 20: StarCityGames Team Constructed Open: Philadelphia (team of three playing each a different format)
 Players: N/A
 Winner: Shaheen Soorani with UW Control (teammates: Peter Ingram playing Legacy, Corey Baumeister playing Standard)
 Top 8: UW Control, EldraTron, Humans, Puresteel Paladin, EldraTron, Izzet Phoenix, Urza Foundry, Whir Prison


Pictured: Baumeister on the left, Soorani at the center, Ingram on the right.

 July 26: MagicFest Barcelona (Mythic Championship IV)
 Players: 455
 Winner: Thoralf Severin with UrzaTron
 Top 8: UrzaTron, Hardened Modular, EldraTron, Jund, Hogaak Dredge, Jund, Phoenix Deck Wins, Urza Foundry

 July 27: StarCityGames Modern Open: Columbus
 Players: 765
 Winner: Dominic Harvey with UrzaTron
 Top 8: UrzaTron, Hogaak Dredge, Hogaak Dredge, Izzet Phoenix, Hogaak Dredge, Hogaak Dredge, Urza Foundry, UrzaTron

 July 28: StarCityGames Modern Classic: Columbus
 Players: 266
 Winner: John Hata with Urza Foundry
 Top 8: Urza Foundry, Bloomless Titan, Humans, UrzaTron, Phoenix Wrenn and Six, Hogaak Dredge, Jund, Merfolk

 July 28: Grand Prix Barcelona 2019
 Players: 1514
 Winner: Troels Munk with Jund
 Top 8: Jund, Jund, Esper Control, Humans, EldraTron, Hogaak Dredge, Izzet Phoenix, Urza Foundry

 July 29: MTGO Modern MCQ
 Players: 276
 Winner: rastaf with Hogaak Dredge
 Top 8: Hogaak Dredge, Phoenix Deck Wins, Phoenix Deck Wins, Hogaak Dredge, Creatures Toolbox, UrzaTron, Death's Shadow, UW Control


 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 DredgeHollow OneHumans, Infect, Instant Reanimator, Izzet Aggro (aka Izzet Delver), Izzet Phoenix (update), Izzet PyromancerJeskai MiraclesJundJunk, KCI (banned), Lantern Control, LanternlessLiving EndMadcap Gruul, Mardu Pyromancer, Martyr LifeMerfolk, Nahiri Control, Naya BurnPhoenix Deck WinsPonza, 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 latest Banned and Restricted Announcement on July 8 ended Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis's reign of terror. Or did it? The choice to target the most violently emerging new deck from Modern Horizons by banning only its more degenerate engine in Bridge from Below purposely let the big dude around – and we can see how that decision only slightly affected the meta's presence of the Hoogak Dredge archetype – which we might well just call "Dredge" at this point, since it's now hard to picture a version of the strategy that doesn't include at least one copy of the black-green Avatar.


 Or is it? We know for sure Bridgevine is no more, and even the Altar of Dementia endgame has been largely shelved, in favor of a more aggro-oriented, "fair" Dredge. In fact, Japanese Pro Tour champion Takimura Kazuyuki won the latest Hareruya's God of Modern tournament with a list that featured no Hoogaks at all. It's definitely not a reflection of the primary trend, but this achievement shows the post-ban archetype is not necessarily a slave to the 8/8 cookie monster. And it's still overall the #1 deck of current Modern, with a 13% share of the meta.


 In the rest of the meta, despite the decline in overall popularity (only 5% of the Top 8 decks in the past two months), various Tron lists, including the less played but still very powerful monoblue version, stepped in to fill the alleged power vacuum in a series of high-profile events, including Barcelona's Mythic Championship IV, where German player Thoralf "Toffel" Severin took the first prize with this classic monogreen build, still running Karn Liberated over Karn, the Great Creator (and his Mycosynth Lattice prison combo) and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon over Ugin, the Ineffable. You can watch the video of his final match against Álvaro Fernández Torres's Hardened Modular on Twitch.


 And while we mention the great artificer's name, Urza Foundry lists are still the hottest new thing, and grabbed some juicy placements and one of StarCityGames's top bounties. Arclight Phoenix still does Phoenix things, and had an interesting team up with Wrenn and Six, the unfathomable two-mana planeswalker from Modern Horizons. This deck is essentially monored Burn with a few cool twists.


 Of course Wrenn and Six's main Modern home is Jund, where they contribute their early pinging and ramping to builds like this one, that won GP Barcelona in the hands of Troels Munk.


 One last update that feels significant: the established tier-2 Creatures Toolbox deck, featuring the Vizier of Remedies/Devoted Druid infinite mana combo (into Duskwatch Recruiter into Walking Ballista) has now the option to ditch the less consistent combo digger Collected Company in favor of the likes of Finale of Devastation from War of the Spark, classic Eladamri's Call from Planeshift by way of Modern Horizons, and even the mostly overlooked Incubation/Incongruity from Ravnica Allegiance



 A little new section to feature a totally rogue deck that has the potential to challenge the meta decks, while also being a lot of fun. We begin with LVD's Dimir Ninja build, which you can witness in action in this YouTube video, also providing a detailed deck tech. It's worth noting that the list (minus the sideboard) is just two Ninjas short of actually being Tribal Wars legal (with Changeling Outcast being a Ninja both technically and in spirit). To fully get there, I'd just add a third Mistblade Shinobi and maybe one Fallen Shinobi as a powerful curve-topper.



 Last revised: July 8, 2019 (banned: Bridge from Below)
 Next announcement: August 26, 2019

 Total banned cards: 35

 By Color: 

  • White: 2
  • Blue: 6
  • Black: 3 (of which 1 Golgari)
  • Red: 5
  • Green: 7 (of which 1 Golgari)
  • Colorless: 13
  • Multicolored: 1 (of which 1 Golgari)

 By Type: 

  • Creature: 3
  • Land: 8
  • Artifact: 6
  • Enchantment: 2
  • 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: 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: 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!