Grand Prix Madrid is in only two weeks, and it will feature Team Unified Modern—a format I played last year at the World Magic Cup (which is this weekend—don’t forget to root for Italy!).
Modern is a format of pet decks, where you usually stick to your weapon for a long time and master it. For Madrid, though, this won’t hold true, since you and your teammates cannot share any copies of any card in your deck. So you can’t play, say, Grixis Death Shadow and U/R Storm, or Lantern and Affinity.
There are a whole bunch of decks that don’t share any cards with the tier 1 decks, and that is what I will explore today, from the latest online RPTQ and Modern Challenge.
Filippidis, Top 8 at RPTQ Online
Bogles, as well as being an old archetype—Reid Duke played it at Worlds 2013—has never been a staple of the format, and has been out of the spotlight for a long time.
Recently, it put up great results in the Top 8 at the RPTQ, and with two copies in the latest Modern Challenge Top 8 (one in the finals), meaning that the format is shifting more towardsthe control side of the spectrum. Whenever the spot removal count rises, Bogles is reborn!
For Team Unified Modern, this deck is perfect. The only cards that might see play in other tier 1 decks are Windswept Heath, some green fetchlands, and Path to Exile, so just avoid Jeskai Control and Abzan and you’ll be fine.
todesglupsch2501, Top 8 at RPTQ Online
Good old Merfolk—what’s new here? Nothing! That’s the point. The latest winning Merfolk list doesn’t play the trendy innovations Kumena’s Speaker and Merfolk Branchwalker. These two Ixalan uncommons made an appearance in some decks and lots of players started brewing with them. I tried it too, even paired with Collected Company.
I didn’t like the deck overall, and neither did todesglupsch2501, who opted for a more linear mono-blue strategy.
What does this deck share with other possible deck choices? Just some sideboard cards like Dispel and Ceremonious Rejection, so as long as you don’t play blue or you tune your permission slots, you should be fine.
Joao_Andrade, 1st place at Modern Challenge 11/26/17
Another old archetype, another great finish. Tron has been a tier 1 deck for a long time now, and it’s the perfect deck for GP Madrid since it doesn’t share cards with any other tier 1 deck other than Eldrazi Tron.
The only problem comes from the mana base, where you see Horizon Canopy and Ghost Quarter. This means that you can’t play Bant Knightfall or Bogles, but other than this you should be fine as Ghost Quarter has been replaced by Field of Ruin in many control decks already.
If you are not particularly familiar with the format, or if you want easy wins, this is the perfect deck for you. It’s easy to pilot and delivers victories.
Milky_Holmes, Top 8 at RPTQ Online
Burn is another old tier 1 deck and despite being a mono-colored deck, it will pick up fetchlands from everyone, which isn’t ideal in a format like this.
I saw lists without Grim Lavamancer, and I don’t find that unreasonable. I could easily see cutting 4 fetchlands for 2 Inspiring Vantage, 1 Sacred Foundry, and 1 Mountain; and the 2 Grim Lavamancer for the 4th Skullcrack and a Shard Volley.
Burn is a good deck if Tron is popular (which I think will be the case). Hence, I like its chances even if it soaks up some of the resources from the other two decks.
AKMiD, 9th place at RPTQ Online
Despite not putting up any Top 8 results last weekend, Affinity did have four copies in the Top 16 of the RPTQ Online.
As Andrej Prost showed us (with his win in San Antonio at the latest Team Unified Modern GP), Affinity is the perfect deck for this format.
It shares cards only with Lantern Control, and it’s one of the best decks of the format. It has a high skill threshold, however, so it’s not a deck you can pick up and play the day before the event. Therefore, if you or one of your teammates isn’t an Affinity player, choose some other combination.
I’m excited to play in this event, as I’ll team with Christian Calcano and Eduardo Sajgalik. Despite Eduardo being locked on his deck for almost three months, Calcano and I haven’t picked up Modern cards in over a year, so it’s time to do some research and play some Magic Online to see how it feels to cast a Karn Liberated on turn 3!