Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Apr 07 2022 11:02am

 Hello and welcome back to the State of Modern, our periodical 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 150 players or otherwise relevant for the meta, ordered chronologically. Find the archetypes below.

 January 17: MTGO Modern Super Qualifier
 Players: 16
 Winner: FerMTG with Death's Shadow
 Top 8: Death's Shadow, Death's Shadow, Dredge, Dimir Control, UrzaTron, Crashing Footfalls, Yorion Control, Yorion Control


 February 5: Hareruya's 19th God of Modern
 Players: 158
 Winner: Jeremy Dezani with Death's Shadow
 Top 8: Death's Shadow, Rakdos Aggro, Burn, Crashing Footfalls, Crashing Footfalls, Death's Shadow, Living End, Dimir Mill

 February 11: SCG CON: Philadelphia I
 Players: 400
 Winner: Jordan Berenhaus with Burn
 Top 8: Burn, Izzet Murktide, Yorion Control, Living End, Crashing Footfalls, Death's Shadow, Jund, Izzet Murktide


 February 12: SCG CON: Philadelphia II
 Players: 400
 Winner: Ben Katz with Creativity
 Top 8: Creativity, Jund, Death's Shadow, Izzet Murktide, Yorion Control, EldraTron, Hardened Modular, Izzet Murktide


 February 19: NRG Series Trial: Milwaukee
 Players: 185
 Winner: Antonio Zanutto with Hardened Modular
 Top 8: Hardened Modular, Izzet Murktide, Crashing Footfalls, Death's Shadow, Burn, Puresteel Hammer, Puresteel Hammer, Jeskai Control


 February 26: 2021 Magic Online Champions Showcase #3
 Players: 8
 Winner: Nathan Steuer with Death's Shadow
 Top 8: Death's Shadow, Yorion Control, Crashing Footfalls, Death's Shadow, Puresteel Hammer, Landless Belcher, RDW, Dimir Mill

 February 28: MTGO Modern Super Qualifier
 Players: 16
 Winner: sokos13 with Death's Shadow
 Top 8: Death's Shadow, Death's Shadow, Death's Shadow, Death's Shadow, RDW, Amulet Titan, Creatures Toolbox: Yawgmoth, Creativity

 March 5: RGB Series Main Event (Douai, France)
 Players: 200
 Winner: Merliche with Yorion Control
 Top 8: Yorion Control, Crashing Footfalls, Amulet Titan, Death's Shadow, Puresteel Hammer, Puresteel Hammer, Creatures Toolbox: Heliod, Urza Foundry


 March 6: NRG Series Trial: Chicago
 Players: 211
 Winner: Cris Smith with Creatures Toolbox: Yawgmoth
 Top 8: Creatures Toolbox: Yawgmoth, UrzaTron, Yorion Control, Valakut, Amulet Titan, Death's Shadow, Puresteel Hammer, RDW


 March 13: Hunter Burton Memorial Open (Hurst, Texas)
 Players: 491
 Winner: Gary Wong with Amulet Titan
 Top 8: Amulet Titan, EldraTron, Creatures Toolbox: Yawgmoth, Izzet Murktide, Jeskai Breach, Death's Shadow, Goblins, Elementals


 March 20: SCG CON: Indianapolis
 Players: 311
 Winner: Andrew Bader with Living End
 Top 8: Living End, Azorius Control, Creatures Toolbox: Yawgmoth, Living End, Jeskai Breach, Living End, Affinity, Izzet Murktide


 April 4: NRG Series: Fort Wayne
 Players: 257
 Winner: Piper Powell with Living End
 Top 8: Living End, Yorion Control, Blue Moon, Azorius Control, Yorion Control, Yorion Control, Living End, Living End


 Already covered: 4-Color RampAd NauseamAffinity, Allosaurus Combo, Azorius ControlBant AggroBant ControlBogleBlue MoonBloomless Titan (aka Amulet Titan), Bridgevine (banned, update: Crabvine), BurnCollected Chord (aka Creatures Toolbox), Crashing Footfalls (aka Temur Rhinos), CreativityCreatures Toolbox: Heliod (aka Heliod Life aka Heliod Company), Creatures Toolbox: Lurrus, Creatures Toolbox: Yawgmoth (aka Yawgmoth Chord), Death's Shadow (update), Dredge (update), Eldrazi Aggro, Eldrazi & TaxesEldraTron, ElementalsElves, Equipment StormFaeriesGifts Control, Goblins, Green Devotion Prison (banned), Grixis Control, Gruul AggroGruul UtopiaHardened ModularHatebears, Hogaak DredgeHollow OneHumans, Infect, Instant Reanimator, Izzet Aggro (aka Izzet Delver), Izzet MurktideIzzet Phoenix (update), Izzet Pyromancer, Jeskai BreachJeskai MiraclesJund (also feat. Wrenn and Six), Junk, KCI (banned), Landless SpyLantern Control, LanternlessLiving EndMadcap Gruul, Mardu Pyromancer, Martyr LifeMerfolk, Nahiri Control, Naya Burn, Niv-Mizzet Reborn, Orzhov EphemeratePhoenix Deck Wins, Phoenix Wrenn and SixPonza (update: Prison Ponza aka Gruul Karn), Puresteel HammerPyro Prison, Rakdos Aggro (MH2 update), Rakdos MidrangeRDW, Saheeli Evolution, Scapeshift ControlSelesnya Value, Simic FieldSkred Red, Spirit Aggro, StonebladeStorm, Temur ReclamationTezzeratorThe Rock, Titan BreachTokensTwinless Exarch, Urza EmryUrza FoodUrza Foundry (aka Whirza), Urza Outcome, Urza's Kitchen (aka Grixis Food), UrzaTronValakut (aka TitanShift), Valakut Control, Valki Cascade (obsoleted), Vannifar PodWalks, Winota Colossification, Yorion Control.

 Update: This quarter we had the first new ban in Modern in more than a year. Last time it happened, it was a big clean-up measure hitting powerhouses like Field of the Dead, Mystic Sanctuary, Simian Spirit Guide, Tibalt's Trickery, and Uro, Titan of Nature's WrathThis time, it's just a single offender, that recurring Nightmare of a Cat called Lurrus. The little guy was abudantly overplayed in fast archetypes, but it's interesting that the rationale for the ban also mentions "community feedback". Apparently, complaining loudly does get the job done.

 Apart from that, there's nothing really meaningful to note about the Modern meta. While the major events that took place between January and March had mostly different winners compared to those from the previous three-month period, the overall success of the leading archetypes remains consistent. A few decks lead the way, particularly the unassailable Death's Shadow, which scored the largest number of wins and placements in the quarter, with an impressive Top 4 in February's Super Qualifier. Yorion Control and Izzet Murktide lists are also continuously strong, and we're seeing a definite top-tier resurgence of both cascade-based builds, the older Living End and the more recently established Crashing Footfalls.


 But that's just a fraction of the meta, with Death's Shadow's slice of the pie amounting to a mere 8% – more of a "primus inter pares" than a dominator. The second most successful list of the quarter, alongside Yorion, is actually the Puresteel Hammer combo, while the various RDW/Burn builds (which are splashing extra colors more and more frequently these days) are still a force to be reckoned with, and so are the Creatures Toolbox variants, particularly those centered around Yawgmoth, Thran Physician.


 And if the impact of any Modern Horizons set remains undeniable, Modern proves to have a long memory, because the grandfather of its archetypes, UrzaTron, is still very much around, and a deck like Amulet Titan, which is based on the interaction between cards that are 12-year old or more (the bounce lands come from original Ravnica block, which released in 2005-2006). The only real new addition to that archetype is Urza's Saga as a way to fetch the Amulet, and Cultivator Colossus as a secondary wincon.

 But the main strength of Modern is that it's completely possible to pilot to top 8, if not even to first place, any random tier-2/tier-3 list like, say, Hardened Modular, Goblins, or Blue Moon. Here's two of the most unexpected success stories of the quarter. Affinity got back under the limelight! Lest we forget it was once one of the major players in the meta. But what does an Affinity deck look like in 2022, i.e. almost five years since we last checked on it?


 It is quite different. In a way, it resembles the old Pauper version, with no fancy creatures like Arcbound Ravager, Steel Overseer and Signal Pest, and instead just actual affinity beaters like Frogmite and Myr Enforcer, along with their descendants: Sojourner's Companion and Thought Monitor, the duo that revitalized the archetype in the first place. The deck is also blue-based for Thoughtcast rather than red-based for Galvanic Blast, which is also more along the lines of the Pauper list. Nettlecyst is a fifth Cranial Plating, and Urza's Saga is a new centerpiece. The mana base is completely renewed. Only Darksteel Citadel remains; both Nexuses are gone, while Treasure Vault and the Bridges from Modern Horizons 2 ushered a new era of artifact lands.


 And what about the Goblin Charbelcher list that showed up in the latest Magic Online Champions Showcase? Exploiting the modal double-faced lands from Zendikar Rising as a novel way to allow the titular weird artifact to do its thing.


 It's worth noting this isn't even a tier-4 archetype. It sure is a known combo, but not one that actually takes an active part in the competitive meta. But that's the beauty of it: this is Modern, too.


 Last revised: March 7, 2022 (banned: Lurrus of the Dream-Den)

 Total banned cards: 47

 By Color: 

  • White: 2 (of which 1 Orzhov)
  • Blue: 8 (of which 2 Simic)
  • Black: 5 (of which 2 Golgari, 1 Orhov)
  • Red: 8
  • Green: 11 (of which 2 Golgari, 2 Simic)
  • Colorless: 18 (of which 10 lands)
  • Multicolored: 4 (of which 2 Golgari, 2 Simic)

 By Type: 

  • Creature: 6
  • Land: 10
  • Artifact: 9
  • Enchantment: 2
  • Planeswalker: 1
  • Instant: 9
  • Sorcery: 10

 By Set:

  • Core Sets: 3 (of which 1 from 9th Edition, originally from Visions, 1 from Magic 2011, 1 from Core Set 2020)
  • Modern Horizons: 2
  • Mirrodin block: 12 (of which 9 from Mirrodin, 2 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: 4 (of which 2 from Time Spiral, 1 from Planar Chaos, 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: 5 (of which 1 from Scars of Mirrodin, 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: 6 (of which 3 from Throne of Eldraine, 1 from Theros Beyond Death, 1 from Ikoria, 1 from Kaldheim