Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Sep 16 2020 11:00am

 Hello and welcome back to the State of Modern, our monthly rendezvous 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. The pandemic has taken a big toll on Modern, possibly in conjunction with a general decreased attention to the format.

 July 19: MTGO Modern Champs
 Players: 464
 Winner: Thetunnelingcat with EldraTron
 Top 8: EldraTron, UW Control, Death's Shadow, Bant Aggro, Amulet Titan, Gruul Aggro, Temur Reclamation, Izzet Aggro

 July 25: ManaTraders Series: Modern 15k
 Players: 250
 Winner: Bedell with Amulet Titan
 Top 8: Amulet Titan, Valakut, Dredge, Rakdos Aggro, Death's Shadow, Gruul Aggro, Gruul Utopia, Izzet Aggro

 August 9: MTGO Modern Showcase Challenge
 Players: N/A
 Winner: Lavaridge with Temur Reclamation
 Top 8: Temur Reclamation, Rakdos Aggro, Burn, Ad Nauseam, Dredge, Bogle, Bant Control, Rakdos Aggro


 Already covered: Ad NauseamAffinity, Allosaurus Combo, Bant AggroBant ControlBogleBlue MoonBloomless Titan (aka Amulet Titan), Bridgevine (banned, update: Crabvine), BurnCollected Chord (aka Creatures Toolbox), Creatures Toolbox: Heliod, Creatures Toolbox: Lurrus, Creatures Toolbox: YawgmothDeath's Shadow (update), Dredge (update), Eldrazi Aggro, Eldrazi & TaxesEldraTron, Elves, Equipment StormFaeriesGifts Control, Goblins, Green Devotion Prison (banned), Grixis Control, Gruul UtopiaHardened ModularHatebears, Hogaak DredgeHollow OneHumans, Infect, Instant Reanimator, Izzet Aggro (aka Izzet Delver), Izzet Phoenix (update), Izzet Pyromancer, Jeskai BreachJeskai MiraclesJund (also feat. Wrenn and Six), Junk, KCI (banned), Lantern Control, LanternlessLiving EndMadcap Gruul, Mardu Pyromancer, Martyr LifeMerfolk, Nahiri Control, Naya Burn, Niv-Mizzet RebornPhoenix Deck Wins, Phoenix Wrenn and SixPonza (update), Pyro Prison, Rakdos MidrangeRDW, Saheeli Evolution, Scapeshift ControlSelesnya Value, Simic FieldSkred Red, Spirit Aggro, StonebladeStorm, TezzeratorThe Rock, Titan BreachTokensTwinless Exarch, Urza EmryUrza FoodUrza Foundry (aka Whirza), Urza OutcomeUrzaTronUW ControlValakut (aka TitanShift), Valakut Control, Vannifar PodWalks, Winota Colossification, Yorion Control.

 Update: The banning of Arcum's Astrolabe was the major event of the Modern summer, which marked the sunset of Whirza, but also had the effect of purging the meta from a series of four-color and five-color builds (e.g. those based around Niv-Mizzet Reborn) that counted on the Snow artifact to fix their mana. Following the fall of Urza, the meta seems to have contracted into a number of aggro strategies, which now amount to almost half of the top placements. The already established Bant Aggro has of course incorporated Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath like any Simic and Bant lists anywhere.


 Gruul Aggro is one of several red-centric decks running Monastery Swiftspear, Soul-Scar Mage (which makes even Lava Dart viable), and Abbot of Keral Keep. The green splash is for two quality beaters, Hooting Mandrills and Tarmogoyf, two creatures that theoretically should be at odd with each other, but they're able to coexist.


 With a black splash, the quasi-RDW prowess deck becomes Rakdos Aggro. It's more control-oriented than its Gruul counterpart, having access to hand disruption and maindecking Cling to Dust to fight Uro.


 Finally, Temur Reclamation has made the leap from Standard to Modern, where it can count on a superior counterspell suite and Fact or Fiction, which had not been relevant in the Modern meta in a long while. In a further debt to cards that got the ax in Standard during the past twelve months, it's also hybridized with a Field of the Dead build.


 Last revised: July 13, 2020 (banned: Arcum's Astrolabe)

 Total banned cards: 41

 By Color: 

  • White: 1
  • Blue: 7 (of which 1 Simic)
  • Black: 4 (of which 2 Golgari)
  • Red: 6
  • Green: 10 (of which 2 Golgari, 1 Simic)
  • Colorless: 16
  • Multicolored: 2 (of which 1 Golgari, 1 Simic)

 By Type: 

  • Creature: 3
  • Land: 8
  • Artifact: 9
  • Enchantment: 2
  • Planeswalker: 1
  • Instant: 8
  • Sorcery: 10

 By Set:

  • Core Sets: 2 (of which 1 from 9th Edition, originally from Visions, and 1 from Magic 2011)
  • 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: 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: 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: 2 (both from Throne of Eldraine)

 See you in December, when hopefully Zendikar Rising will have inspired some new archetypes or at least revitalized a few old ones that are currently off-meta.