Modern Metagame – Spring is Coming! (The End of Valki Winter)

A new era has begun! Or should we say… Welcome back to the past?
First of all, let me introduce myself: I’m Marco Cammilluzzi, winner of the World Magic Cup with Italy in 2015 and I’m very happy to announce that, starting from today, I will be a content producer here at 95mtg.com!
In this my first article, after Walter Scuderi’s Standar Analysis and Mike Sigrist’s Kaldheim Sealed Analysis, I will try to quickly analyze the changes that the recent bans brought to the actual Modern metagame.

 

BAN ANALYSIS

 

After a short, but very dark, Valki winter, where for two weeks Valki Cascade dominated the format taking away the joy of living for Modern players, they decided it was time to twist everything in the Modern metagame with the following bans:

 

 

Mystic Sanctuary: Finally a control player will understand what it means to draw two lands in a row at the top deck and not being happy about it! The interaction with Cryptic Command allowed a deck like 4C Omnath to become almost unbeatable. Super happy about this ban.

 

 

Simian Spirit Guide: He’s the classic friend who, when you were a kid, was always messing around but eventually blamed another child for not being punished himself. In an overpowered card format, having the ability to speed up a turn of play ruined the playability of too many games. Super happy about this ban too.

 

 

Tibalt’s Trickery: You have to be honest, who likes to see a deck with 50 lands? If we want to use it as a crazy counter, I’m his first fan. However, because of its interaction, we were able to cast the big boy Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or other super Eldrazi on turn two. For this reason I think it was the right decision to ban it. Ban approved!

 

 

Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath: Jund and Abzan players still get under the blankets with the light on when you tell them about the legend of Uro and when they remember what happens when they play against this card. I absolutely agree with the ban!

 

 

Field of the Dead: Another nightmare for midrange players! How many times did you have answers to their threats, playing against 4C Omnath or a Titan Deck, but still died because of their countless zombies? Personally a lot of times and this is the reason why I’m super happy about this ban!

 

Before these bans if someone asked me for any advice about the format, my answer was: “play Force of Negation as much as you can. Bring it with you all the time, if you go shopping, to the gym or work. Bring a Force of Negation with you because you never know!”
As a result of these bans, everybody has this question: Which are the decks that will dominate the new Modern metagame?

 

I think it’s still too early to say and I need more hours of testing in the new format, but for sure these decks are popping bottles of champagne after the bans:

 

JUND

Marco Cammilluzzi - Modern - Jund

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Planeswalker (5)
2
Liliana of the Veil
3
Wrenn and Six
Creature (14)
4
Bloodbraid Elf
1
Huntmaster of the Fells
2
Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger
1
Seasoned Pyromancer
4
Tarmogoyf
2
Tireless Tracker
Sorcery (7)
4
Inquisition of Kozilek
1
Maelstrom Pulse
2
Thoughtseize
Instant (8)
2
Abrupt Decay
2
Fatal Push
4
Lightning Bolt
Artifact (2)
2
Nihil Spellbomb
Land (24)
3
Blackcleave Cliffs
2
Blood Crypt
4
Bloodstained Mire
1
Forest
1
Forgotten Cave
1
Mountain
1
Nurturing Peatland
1
Overgrown Tomb
2
Raging Ravine
1
Stomping Ground
2
Swamp
2
Verdant Catacombs
3
Wooded Foothills
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
1
Ancient Grudge
2
Ashiok, Dream Render
3
Boil
2
Cleansing Wildfire
2
Engineered Explosives
2
Fatal Push
1
Ghost Quarter
2
Nihil Spellbomb

 

                                   

 

As soon as the old, but gold, Tarmogoyf saw on TV the news about this ban, it jumped on his chair, got super excited and left the dark cave where it was exiled for a long, long time.
Into a Modern metagame where Blitz, Hammer Time and Rakdos Death’s Shadow decks are very popular, a deck like Jund, with a strong plan vs Aggro decks, can be the perfect choice during this transition time.
Last but not least, with the ban of Uro, Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger has become one of the greatest threats in the format.

 

ELDRAZI TRON

Marco Cammilluzzi - Modern - Eldrazi Tron

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Planeswalker (5)
4
Karn, the Great Creator
1
Ugin, the Ineffable
Creature (16)
1
Endbringer
4
Matter Reshaper
4
Reality Smasher
4
Thought-Knot Seer
3
Walking Ballista
Sorcery (2)
2
All Is Dust
Instant (2)
2
Dismember
Artifact (11)
4
Chalice of the Void
4
Expedition Map
3
Mazemind Tome
Land (24)
2
Blast Zone
2
Cavern of Souls
4
Eldrazi Temple
1
Ghost Quarter
1
Scavenger Grounds
4
Urza's Mine
4
Urza's Power Plant
4
Urza's Tower
2
Wastes
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
1
Basilisk Collar
1
Crucible of Worlds
1
Damping Sphere
1
Ensnaring Bridge
1
Grafdigger's Cage
1
Liquimetal Coating
1
Pithing Needle
1
Ratchet Bomb
1
Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
2
Spatial Contortion
1
Surgical Extraction
1
Tormod's Crypt
1
Walking Ballista
1
Wurmcoil Engine

 

                                   

 

I know, I know. Why should we play a deck with creatures that cost 4 or 5 mana, when we can play decks that have bigger creatures that cost way less than a Reality Smasher?
The answer is easy: Chalice of the Void!
The deck flew under the radar because it wasn’t able to beat all the decks that played Field of the Dead and for this reason this matchup vs 4C Omnath was just horrible. Thankfully, the Eldrazis are back, stronger than ever thanks to Chalice of the Void, that can stop almost 40% of the field.
Small tip: if you will ever cast a topdecked Chalice of the Void after an Inquisition of Kozilek, you will remember that feeling.

 

HUMANS

Marco Cammilluzzi - Modern - Humans

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Creature (37)
4
Champion of the Parish
2
General Kudro of Drannith
4
Kitesail Freebooter
4
Mantis Rider
4
Meddling Mage
4
Noble Hierarch
3
Phantasmal Image
1
Realmwalker
3
Reflector Mage
1
Skyclave Apparition
4
Thalia's Lieutenant
3
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Artifact (4)
4
Aether Vial
Land (19)
4
Ancient Ziggurat
4
Cavern of Souls
4
Horizon Canopy
1
Island
1
Plains
2
Silent Clearing
3
Unclaimed Territory
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
4
Auriok Champion
2
Dismember
2
Gaddock Teeg
2
Magus of the Moon
2
Phyrexian Revoker
1
Realmwalker
2
Skyclave Apparition

 

                                   

 

This is my favourite pet deck in Modern. I played so many matches with it and I was so upset that my Champion of the Parish wasn’t good enough to fight in the Modern metagame.
Everyone knows Humans as a Combo killer, but thanks to Simian Spirit Guide, there were decks like All Spells or Charbelcher that could kill you turn 2 and you weren’t able to interact with it.
Into a more fair format, I think this deck is back and can be very competitive, but if you want to play it you have to know the format really well, otherwise cards like Meddling Mage will lose 50% of their power.
I still don’t know about Realmwalker: I didn’t play enough to say if it is better than Militia Bugler or not in a grindy matchup but, sometimes, after a lot of trades of resources, if you draw it, it can be incredibly good.

 

G-TRON

Marco Cammilluzzi - Modern - G-Tron

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Planeswalker (11)
4
Karn Liberated
4
Karn, the Great Creator
3
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
Creature (7)
2
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
1
World Breaker
4
Wurmcoil Engine
Sorcery (10)
2
All Is Dust
4
Ancient Stirrings
4
Sylvan Scrying
Instant (1)
1
Spatial Contortion
Artifact (12)
4
Chromatic Sphere
4
Chromatic Star
4
Expedition Map
Land (19)
1
Blast Zone
4
Forest
1
Mystifying Maze
1
Sanctum of Ugin
4
Urza's Mine
4
Urza's Power Plant
4
Urza's Tower
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
1
Bottle Gnomes
1
Ensnaring Bridge
1
Jegantha, the Wellspring
1
Liquimetal Coating
2
Nature's Claim
1
Platinum Angel
1
Relic of Progenitus
1
Sorcerous Spyglass
1
Spatial Contortion
2
Thragtusk
1
Trinisphere
2
Veil of Summer

 

                                   

 

In my Country we have an expression that says: “Who goes slowly, goes healthy and goes far”.
I know that this could sound strange: how can this be considered a slow deck, when you can easily get to seven mana on turn three? The main reason is that before the bans, casting a turn three Karn Liberated was just not good enough.
Combo decks simply ignore your strategy and 4C Omnath, thanks to the loop with Wrenn and Six and Field of Ruin, was able to slow down Tron and win easily with Field of the Dead plus a rain of Cryptic Command and Force of Negation.
Wurmcoil Engine coming back as a real threat is something that you have to respect. Playing four copies in the maindeck allows you to have a good match up with Burn, Blitz (if they don’t play Vapor Snag), Death’s Shadow decks and Jund.

 

I’m pretty sure that there are many strategies to explore and I can’t wait to play some matches during these days and see where the Modern metagame goes from here.

 

Thanks for reading and see you next week!

 

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