Most pros and grinders haven’t touched Modern since PT Fate Reforged and GP Vancouver. Even though I had the chance to play a lot with Elves, I haven’t really caught up with the rest of the format either.
Let’s see what has changed in the last three months.
Melira, or more appropriately Abzan Company, is basically the Pod deck we had before it was banned with value creatures, mana accelerators, and a sweet combo. 4 Eternal Witness is the selling point. It gives your Collected Company a recursive feeling just like Birthing Pod did.
There is a Domain Zoo deck already in the format, but Naya has never really been popular outside of the Pro Tour after Wild Nacatl was unbanned. I’m sure Brian Kibler has good arguments about why putting Knight of the Reliquary and Tarmogoyf in play with Collected Company is powerful, but you don’t need to hear them to figure out why, do you?
This card has seen close to zero play in Standard because of its relatively low power level. When put in the context of Modern, versatility becomes a huge factor that makes it interesting.
The second deck to abuse Kolaghan’s Command is a deck no one missed: Jund. Love it or hate it, it’s back. It plays some of the most powerful cards in the format and Kolaghan’s Command is one of them. It complements your discard spells, shock can kill many creatures, Raise Dead brings back the mighty Dark Confidant and Tarmogoyf, and add to that the ability to take care of Spellskite, Aether Vial, Vedalken Shackles, or the robot of your choice.
Gerry Thompson has been championing the deck recently, here is how he thinks it should be built:
Next up is Grixis Control, a fairly under-the-radar deck—to be honest I haven’t seen much of it, but ChannelFireball’s own Matt Costa had some success with it lately. Take a look at his choice of 75 cards, I’m sure he will write about it!
This is one of my favorite strategies in Modern, unfortunately it seems to have fallen out of favor these days. Between Jund and Delver, which are both poor matchups, it hard to make an argument for playing the deck unless you have some sort of new technology. I’ve seen Kolaghan’s Command in the deck, but I doubt it fits what you want to be doing. Going back to Tarmogoyf could be an option? Spreading Seas? Either way, I still think it will come back at some point—Tron and Amulet are both popular and they are terrible against Twin.
Expected Metagame at GP Charlotte
Of course, this is a Grand Prix and not your small local event, trying to metagame is usually a bad choice since there are so many players at the event, of which most will simply play what they own. I still believe that you should be prepared against the decks you think the best players will play. Don’t completely skew your 75 toward them—you’re just making some tweaks.
Amulet Bloom – Based on recent Magic Online results and the SCG Invitational, this is probably the most played deck. It’s a very complex deck and I recommend knowing how it plays out if you want to beat it. Twin is your best option if you want to have a great matchup against it.
Tron – The strategy has been the same for 3 years, jam but threats all day every day—Ugin is the only new face here. This deck saw almost no play at the Pro Tour, since it was terrible against Twin, Infect, and Abzan with all their Stony Silences and Fulminator Mages. Now we have two new Birthing Pod-like decks and Jund is popular again—all excellent matchups for Tron.
Delver – I haven’t had the opportunity to play with it yet, so I can’t tell you what exactly its good and bad matchups are. If I assume it’s similar to its previous incarnations, BGx and UWR were not matchups you wanted to face.
Twin – Despite what I said about it, the numbers don’t lie. The most popular version played has been Grixis with Tasigur, Terminate, and Kolaghan’s Command. It’s a pet deck for many, multiple variants exist—you must be prepared to face this deck.
Jund – Junk is back on the bench. The red cards are the flavor of the month, Olivia is phenomenal against the Collected Company strategies and so is Lightning Bolt. Lingering Souls lost a lot of its power since Affinity and Infect became less represented.
We can’t hide from Burn, naturally, but I feel like it won’t be as played as it was 3 months ago.
The lack of Affinity and Infect these days means you can start cutting on your artifact sideboard cards and Spellskites. It also means if you are an avid robot or poison lover, you might dodge hate this weekend!