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Modern Mastery: A Mind Boggling Turn of Events

Written by LegitMTG Staff on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Modern

Welcome back! I have to regrettably apologize for my absence last week, but I’m back with a furious vengeance. We had to complete our two-week run with Bloody Zoo before looking at the format and talking about what could be in store for the future. I still had not had a chance to battle against the Slippery Bogle deck during any of my streams, so I really wanted to get a feel for what the deck’s turns and play sequences were actually like. Thankfully, I did not have to look very far for a worthy opponent. Kar Yung Tom — the North American Bogle expert, ManaDeprived.com editor in chief, Captain Canada himself — is only a quick IM away for me. KYT has been a strong mainstay and supporter of this archetype, so much so that Reid Duke reached out to get some thoughts on the deck archetype for one of his Star City Games premium articles. Who better to bash against than the leading authority?

Since I know it has been some time since you have seen my list, here is what I packed for battle:

And here is what we would be facing:

On paper, it seems like I could be in for a world of hurt. All of my removal requires targets, and all of his creatures have hexproof. The auras also do a very good job of allowing his creatures to just walk through mine, either with first strike, trample, totem armor, or straight-up protection from creatures. I’m not without my own effective weapons, however, because Blood Moon should do a huge amount of work if it makes a Turn 2 or 3 appearance, and I do have large, efficient creatures at my disposal along with a secondary target for all my removal: his face. Postboard, I have a good set of tools that would incidentally help me overcome some of the more powerful auras. If I can drop Spellskite or Qasali Pridemage and follow up with some threats of my own, I should be in an excellent position. Let’s see how it went:

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As you can see, we are actually pretty favored in this one after all. Blood Moon was a total beating, instantly stealing all tempo from KYT’s meager mana resources; provided I’m not asleep again, Spellskite can do a huge amount of work, too. I had a ton of time to win with Spellskite on the board, and having outs with Qasali Pridemage made me more hopeful when KYT had someone all suited up for the beats. Knight of the Reliquary continued to impress me in this format, which now contains about 50 percent less Deathrite Shaman.

KYT and I took some time to discuss the format, as he had just finished playing regularly in the PTQ season. We should very likely expect WOTC to pay close attention to the format during the next eight months. Modern is basically in the safest place that it has ever been, because the bannings have safely created an environment littered with Rock decks, Blitz decks, random Control decks, and Combo decks that consistently execute between Turns 3 and 4. (I put RG Tron in this list). Despite this variety, the professional community is voicing concern about how impossible it is to innovate a format-breaking deck, because there are so many different decks being played.

I have made no secret that I feel Modern is one of the most amazing FNM formats ever. It is a complete possibility to break the format formed by your local decks, and as such, opens the deck availability even further at that level. I can understand the professional crowd being dissatisfied with having to choose safe and well-rounded decks instead of decks with a wide space between match percentages across the field. Pros are at these events to place highly and earn Pro Points, which contribute to the continued attendance to future events. If you need to perform more consistently, why would you ever play a deck with a wide array of matchup quality in a tournament of 1,500-plus people? There will literally be every deck in the format in the room, so why risk playing Matchup Roulette?

I expect we will see some good changes to the format as we get closer to the Modern Pro Tour and next PTQ season. I always hope new sets bring new and great mechanics and strategies thatwill shake up the format, but similarly, I hope some sweet un-bannings hit just in time for these events, making Modern a brand new shiny format. My first shot at unbanning would likely be Mental Misstep, but Splinter Twin might have to be banned if that ever happened. Who knows, right? Tell them what you would like to realistically see from the format. I would love to hear about it.

This week’s winner of Legit MTG store credit goes to Terry Hall! Please email sales@legitmtg.com to collect!

Join me next week, when we are going to begin setting the skies on fire!!!

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