Eldrazi Winter – Thawed

It has been a while since my last article and I will open with an apology for taking so long. So one of my previous articles targeted the metagame of the Modern format. Bradley Reeves’ Deep Analysis articles have provided a comprehensive stream of information regarding the major formats tournament wise, mostly in Standard. The Modern articles Bradley has down covering the metagame and a few of my own that briefly went over it was during the time Eldrazi was rampant in the format.

During the Eldrazi Winter, as I will call it for now on, out of the twelve most popular decks of the Modern format eight were Eldrazi variants. The other four decks that were still winning happened to be Living End, Merfolk, Affinity, & Infect. Now that I have set the stage for this article I want to take a look at the top twelve decks now and where are the four winning decks. According to statistics the current top twelve decks of the format where you find most of your Tier 1 & Tier 2 decks make up 49.32% of the entire format. So in other words for those of you going to GP Charlotte keep an eye out for these top twelve decks and the decks that counter these the most.

Top 4 Modern Meta
1. Jund 8.92%
2. Affinity 6.62%
3. Abzan Company 5.54%
4. Burn 4.46%

For those of you terrified of Sword of the Meek & Thopter Foundry or Ancestral Visions being legal in the format. Congratulations not a single copy of either is found within the top four decks in Modern. Another point you can take from this is that aggro is still placed well in the format. Three of the four top decks are considered aggro, Jund technically is midrange, the other deck Abzan Company is considered combo; rightfully so too with Birthing Pod being remade by the printing of Collected Company. Right now Jund is the highest performing deck in the format currently by representing 8.92% of the winning metagame, so I wish to take a look at what the deck has to offer.

Jund by Shelton Powell
1st Place
States Baton Rouge

Creatures (13)
4x Dark Confidant
2x Scavenging Ooze
4x Tarmogoyf
1x Kitchen Finks
2x Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet

Spells (23)
4x Inquisition of Kozilek
4x Lightning Bolt
2x Thoughtseize
2x Abrupt Decay
4x Terminate
2x Kolaghan’s Command
3x Liliana of the Veil
2x Maelstrom Pulse

Lands (24)
4x Blackcleave Cliffs
1x Blood Crypt
2x Bloodstained Mire
1x Forest
2x Overgrown Tomb
2x Raging Ravine
2x Stomping Ground
2x Swamp
2x Treetop Village
1x Twilight Mire
4x Verdant Catacombs
1x Wooded Foothills

Sideboard (15)
1x Seal of Fire
2x Ancient Grudge
1x Anger of the Gods
3x Fulminator Mage
1x Jund Charm
2x Kitchen Finks
2x Damnation
1x Night of Souls’ Betrayel
2x Obstinate Baloth

I absolutely love Jund it is a solid midrange deck in the format, and has been putting up solid numbers since the thaw of the Eldrazi Winter, told you I would refer to it. The surprises I found in this deck is that this version is not running Olivia Voldaren or Huntmaster of the Fells, both are solid cards for the deck and would prefer to see one or the other featured in the deck. I like Maelstrom Pulse, but I have never saw a Jund or a Junk deck running more than one. With the amount of removal I rarely find a use for one let alone two in the deck. In all congratulations to Shelton Powell for his win in Baton Rouge.

Top 12 Modern Meta
5. Infect 4.32%
6. Junk 3.11%
7. Kiki Chord 2.70%
8. Merfolk 2.70%
9. Zoo 2.70%
10. Scapeshift 2.03%
11. Eldrazi & Taxes 2.03%
12. RG Tron 1.89%

These decks can all be considered Tier 1 or Tier 2 decks for the Modern format. All are solid choices for a deck I want to bring your attention to two decks on the list that are rather newcomers from being a fringe deck to now being considered in the top meta. Zoo most people are familiar with the deck and remember the different variance including Naya, Bant, and even Suicide Zoo. The deck is powerful but hasn’t put up great numbers since the banning of Wild Nacatl and even though the  feline is back most prefer the similar deck Naya Burn, only main difference between the two is Kird Ape an the occasional Tarmogoyf over burn spells. The other deck has been skirting the edges of tier 2 for the last year or so under the name of Death & Taxes, and was inspired by the Legacy deck by the same name, looks like Eldrazi had to find a new home to be hated in just as equally. Eldrazi & Taxes looks fun enough to play with that I am actually considering building the deck just to be “that guy”. Here are the deck lists for both decks, which I have not playtested with nor against and probably should before Charlotte.

Zoo by Charles Porges
1st Place
SCG Modern Classic Columbus

Creatures (29)
1x Dryad Arbor
4x Expirement One
4x Goblin Guide
4x Kird Ape
4x Wild Nacatl
4x Burning-Tree Emissary
4x Tarmogoyf
4x Reckless Bushwhacker

Spells (12)
1x Devastating Summons
4x Lightning Bolt
4x Path to Exile
3x Atarka’s Command

Lands (19)
4x Arid Mesa
1x Forest
1x Mountain
2x Sacred Foundry
2x Stomping Ground
1x Temple Garden
4x Windswept Heath
4x Wooded Foothills

Sideboard (15)
1x Grafdigger’s Cage
1x Relic of Progenitus
2x Ancient Grudge
1x Dromoka’s Command
2x Pyroclasm
1x Scavenging Ooze
2x Stony Silence
2x  Kitchen Finks
2x Molten Rain
1x Phyrexian Unlife

Out of the Naya Zoo variants I have watched floating around for the last few months Devastating Summons is a new card within the deck, but so is Reckless Bushwhacker and Expirement One. The Naya Zoo decks I have been watching the last few months has had Monastery Swiftspear and Boros Charm in the deck. I haven’t played this deck enough or at all really to decide what I would change if I would change anything.

Eldrazi & Taxes
1st Place
SCG Modern Super IQ Garden City

Creatures (28)
4x Leonin Arbiter
4x Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
4x Tidehollow Scullar
3x Eldrazi Displacer
4x Flickerwisp
4x Wasteland Strangler
4x Thought-Knot Seer
1x Reality Smasher

Spells (10)
4x Aether Vial
4x Path to Exile
2x Thoughtseize

Lands (22)
4x Caves of Koilos
4x Eldrazi Temple
4x Ghost Quarter
4x  Plains
3x Shambling Vent
3x Swamp

Sideboard (11)
1x Sunlance
1x Ethersworn Canonist
2x Kataki, War’s Wage
2x Rest in Peace
2x Stony Silence
1x Crucible of Worlds
1x Eidolon of Rhetoric
1x Linvala, Keeper of Silence

I don’t have much to say about this deck other than it looks very painful to play against. If someone were to play this against me right now I have faith that I would struggle against this deck simply cause Death & Taxes is not a deck you commonly play against in Modern and this new variant has only shown up in the last month in the format. I understand why it was able to swoop in and win the tournament in Garden City.

In conclusion for my article the Eldrazi decks have been reduced to just a blip on the radar, and has taken the form of another Modern deck that was struggling to gain a foothold into the format. Three of the four winning decks during the Eldrazi Winter have maintained their standings in the top twelve decks; however, Living End which is a deck I have not touched on in this article has fallen quite low in the format. The reason I can think of for this is that the graveyard hate is overwhelming Living End during this metagame due to its high performance against Eldrazi. Two decks have come out of the shadows in the last months in the form of Naya Zoo, not to be confused with Suicide Zoo, and Eldrazi & Taxes, not to be confused with Death & Taxes of Modern or Legacy. Jund and Affinity are currently the two decks trying to become the dominant force in Modern. That is all for this article hope you had fun reading my content and I welcome you give Feedback in any form either in person or via my e-mail.

mirouku@mtgdecktechs.com

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