Hello and welcome back to Metagame Mentor, the weekly column in which I highlight the decks to beat and the latest Constructed developments on the path to the Pro Tour. Today, I'll provide the top Modern decklists from the Magic 30 Championship, where the Top 8 got to participate in an incredible Limited Edition Beta Rochester Draft.
The Magic 30 Championship was the biggest Modern event since the
The World Championship
But first, allow me to say congratulations to Magic's new World Champion, Nathan Steuer!
This is so cool 🤓 https://t.co/CzQ3k4yYPB— Nathan Steuer (@Nathansteuer1) November 1, 2022
🏆 Congratulations to Magic's new World Champion, Nathan Steuer! 🏆— PlayMTG (@PlayMTG) October 31, 2022
From a 7-1 start to nearly missing the Top 4, it was a rollercoaster weekend of close calls and amazing Magic for Steuer.
Congratulations again on a spectacular finish, Nathan! pic.twitter.com/i4GTWqg1Al
Nathan Steuer, one of the youngest members of the Magic World Championship XXVIII field, had risen through the ranks of competitive play online over the past few years. But his main previous successes were on Magic Online, where he had won the prestigious Champions Showcase twice. Last weekend, he was able to prove that he's also the best of the best at the highest possible competitive Magic stage. You can find all the details on the Magic World Championship XXVIII event coverage page, but he impressed everyone by navigating complicated matchups with a level of skill befitting a World Champion.
To clinch the trophy and to have the honor of having his likeness feature on a future Magic card, he had to display mastery in both Standard and Explorer. In Standard, the most popular deck by far was Esper Midrange. It went 19-19 in non-mirror matches throughout all the World Championship Standard rounds. Many of those losses were at the hands of Nathan Steuer and his Grixis Midrange deck;
In Explorer, Mono-Blue Spirits was the best deck choice for the field by far. With a 17-5 non-mirror record, it put multiple players into the Top 4 playoffs. Most other archetypes hovered around the 50% winrate mark, with small sample sizes making it difficult to point out significant results. Rakdos Midrange, however, had the worst performance of all: 0-6 against the field. While Explorer differs from Pioneer—for example, Nythkos, Shrine to Nyx is not legal, which means fewer Devotion decks with
The Modern Qualifiers for the Magic 30 Beta Draft
While Nathan Steuer was winning the World Championship, there was another major event on the other side of the Magic 30 event hall: the Magic 30 Championship. Friday and Saturday featured four 224-player Modern qualifiers, making for nearly 1000 entrants in total, and the Top 8 from each qualifier advanced to the Top 32 on Sunday.
After two brutal single-elimination rounds, again with their Modern decks, the last eight standing on Sunday then get to the Limited Edition Beta Rochester Draft. In Rochester Draft, players take turns drafting from all cards opened in a booster pack, and all picks are known by each player. It's a high skill way to draft as there's no hidden information of what cards were opened and who may be playing them.
It was quite a spectacle, as iconic cards like
I received the paper Modern decklists of almost all 32 players who advanced to Sunday, and I'm excited to share them in this article today. First, here is the overall metagame breakdown.
|Archetype||Decks in the Top 32||Decks in the Top 8|
Based on these results,
One of the biggest surprises was Merfolk, which put two players in the Top 8. The archetype has been growing in popularity ever since Dominaria United added
Another surprise was a relatively poor showing of Izzet Murktide, Yawgmoth, and
In the remainder of this article, I'll provide all available decklists, grouped by archetype. I included the names of only the players who made the Top 8 because many others were not properly legible. The decklists that I received contained one duplicate, which I removed, and missed one Jeskai Breach player that other sources indicated had made the Top 8. So, I operate under the assumption that these two paper decklists were unfortunately swapped while collecting them for this article. Additional errors may not be impossible, but I was able to independently verify most lists as belonging to Sunday competitors. In any case, the remaining 31 decklists give an excellent snapshot of the current Modern metagame.
The card choices of the two Top 8 players patch specific strategic holes. For context,
- Justin Rouse's sideboard contains
Abundant Growth, which helps beat Blood Moon.
- Wan Tingfeng's decklist contains
Serra's Emissary, which is not affected by Orvar, the All-Form. (Orvar can be discarded to Archon of Crueltyto copy it and take over the game, so it's awesome sideboard tech, but it's useless against Serra's Emissary.)
Jeskai Breach is also a top-tier Modern deck, and it can win in various ways. One option is to combo off by repeatedly milling yourself. This involves sacrificing
I unfortunately did not receive the decklist of Michael Lee, one of the two Jeskai Breach players in the Top 8. The other, Chas Hinkle, made the most of his Beta draft experience.
Won the #Magic30 Championship Beta Draft opening a pretty Time Walk in the process. Thanks for everyone that reached out. Philadelphia buff came through strong.— Chas Hinkle (@Ummmyeh13) October 31, 2022
The dream with Rakdos Undying is to evoke
One list has a fascinating combo:
Hammer Time put three players in the Top 32, but all fell in the single-elimination rounds. The main goal of the deck is to attach
Two Merfolk players made it to the Top 8, marking a breakout performance for the tribe. It has been slowly growing in popularity ever since Dominaria United added
The two decklists have small differences in their creature bases, such as whether to use
Got eliminated in the Semi-finals of the Beta Booster Draft! Here’s my loot after #Magic30 Thank you, Merfolk, for carrying me through this legendary tournament! https://t.co/eAHjE814fy pic.twitter.com/GeftBa2GuZ— Nikachu (@NikachuMTG) October 31, 2022
Rhinos doesn't use
What a crazy weekend went 9-1 in the modern qualifier with 🦏 rhinos 🦏 . Got to do a once in a lifetime beta Rochester draft, didn’t win but left with some goodies. Couldn’t be happier. @Mengu09 can we bump up the ranking for rhinos 😂. @fireshoes pic.twitter.com/s4S8hihWEs— Miles Wilson (@mileswilson178) October 31, 2022
The one surprise to point out here is two copies of
This 60-card list is how Four-Color Omnath can look like with
The remaining archetypes are singletons that did not survive the single-elimination rounds yet showcase the diversity of the Modern format.
And later in the month, starting on November 19-20 in Europe, U.S.A., and Brazil, we have the first Regional Championships! An excellent team of casters has already been announced for the livestream of the European event. These Regional Championships are all Pioneer, and my column every Thursday will have you covered with all the Pioneer metagame developments and event summaries throughout the Regional Championship season.