Hello and welcome back to Metagame Mentor, your weekly guide to the top decks and latest Constructed developments on the path to the Pro Tour. This month, I'm taking you on a grand tour of Constructed formats. I covered Pioneer last week, I'll analyze Modern today, and I'll cover Vintage and Legacy next week and Standard in the final week of August.
The main topic for today is the impact of
Modern Metagame Update
Modern is a nonrotating format based on expansion sets, core sets, and straight-to-Modern sets from Eight Edition forward, save for cards on the ban list. With its deep card pool, Modern boasts intricate card interactions and exciting competitive diversity, and it will be the Constructed format for the upcoming cycle of Regional Championship Qualifiers. If you're new to the format, then I recommend starting with my introduction to the format and its top archetypes right before Pro Tour The Lord of the Rings.
To understand the impact of
Congratulations to Mega Modern Winner.— AxionNow (@AxionNow) August 12, 2023
Craig Tanner (Living End) beat Phil Mead (Jund Saga), preventing our first-ever double Mega Winner.
Magical day in Birmingham - to be repeated tomorrow - 2 Slot RCQ Modern & Pioneer
There's still time to join in pic.twitter.com/b2DBOA8GID
To obtain a metric that combines popularity and performance, I awarded a number of points to each deck equal to its net wins (i.e., its number of match wins minus losses). Each archetype's share of total net wins can be interpreted as its share of the winner's metagame.
|Archetype||Winner's Metagame Share|
|1. Rakdos Evoke||18.6%|
|3. Four-Color Omnath||7.2% ↓↓|
|4. Hammer Time||5.8% ↑↑|
|5. Jund Sagavan||5.5% ↑↑|
|7. Living End||4.3%|
|8. Izzet Murktide||4.3%|
|9. Dimir Control||4.3%|
|10. Amulet Titan||4.1% ↑↑|
|11. Mono-Green Tron||4.0% ↓↓|
|12. Indomitable Creativity||2.7%|
|13. Yawgmoth||2.3% ↓↓|
|14. Grixis Shadow||1.8%|
|15. Samwise Gamgee Combo||1.5%|
|16. Five-Color Reanimator||1.1%|
|17. Dimir Shadow||1.1%|
|18. Domain Zoo||1.1%|
|21. Mono-Black Coffers||0.9%|
|22. Jeskai Breach||0.9%|
|23. Hardened Scales||0.7%|
In this table, each archetype name hyperlinks to a well-performing, representative decklist. The "Other" category included Izzet Prowess, Mono-Black Grief, Dice Factory, Goblins, Rakdos Midrange, Mill, Eldrazi Tron, Urza ThopterSword, Twiddle Storm, Four-Color Control, Dimir Murktide, Naya Blitz, Five-Color Omnath, Cragganwick Cremator, Mono-Black Discard, Heliod Company, Brought Back, Bogles, Orzhov Evoke, Calibrated Blast, Dredge, and more.
With Rakdos Evoke as the most prominent deck at the top tables, the most-played card overall was
As indicated by the arrows in the table, the metagame has evolved compared to what we saw at the Pro Tour. Four-Color Omnath and Yawgmoth dwindled after disappointing Pro Tour results, while Hammer Time and Amulet Titan soared after their excellent Pro Tour performance.
More surprisingly, Mono-Green Tron has fallen hard, despite putting multiple players in the Top 8 of the Pro Tour. This drop-off could be ascribed to the unfavorable matchup against Rakdos Evoke and to the large quantities of
be forewarned: an immutable law of the universe pic.twitter.com/uNDBdgSUvo— Matt Hatter, Gracious Host (@BomattCourier) July 31, 2023
Meanwhile, we also have a relatively new contender. At 5.5% of the winner's metagame over the past week, Jund Sagavan—a portmanteau of
From The Lord of The Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™, the deck gained an excellent new toy in
The Wide Adoption of Preordain
Out of the 570 Modern decklists I analyzed, 103 players (18.1% of the field) included at least one copy of
The most popular and arguably best home for
The addition of
You don't even need delirium or graveyard synergies to make use of
To make room for
However, Nidael09 went 4-0 in a Magic Online Preliminary with a list that added 3
Jeskai Breach lists have traditionally used
Twiddle Storm has been a fringe Modern archetype for a while and
Alternatively, if you control
All in all,
As the Modern RCQ season is coming up soon, the format is brimming with potential. If your dream is to qualify for the Pro Tour in the 2023–24 season via the Regional Championship qualification path, then the following infographic provides a visual overview to Pro Tour fame.
Cycle 1 (Pioneer): There's one weekend to go for the current cycle of Regional Championship Qualifiers, which runs through August 20 in the Pioneer format. Due to format matching, these qualifiers award invitations to a Regional Championship in the Pioneer format. Details are not available for all these Regional Championships yet, but they include the Legacy European Championship in France starting on September 30, the Champions Cup Final in Japan on November 25–26, and the Dreamhack Magic Showdown in the United States on December 16–17. Top players from these Regional Championships qualify for the Pro Tour that will be held at MagicCon: Chicago in February. More details regarding this event, including the Pro Tour formats, will be announced at a later time. Pro Tour formats are not necessarily the same as the formats of their corresponding Regional Championships.
Cycle 2 (Modern): The next cycle of Regional Championship Qualifiers runs from September 9 through December 17 in the Modern format. Due to format matching, they award invitations to a Regional Championship in the Modern format. These Regional Championships will take place between January 19 and March 24 in 2024 and will qualify players for a Pro Tour in the second quarter of 2024. More details concerning its location and formats will be announced at a later time.
Cycle 3 (Standard): The third cycle of Regional Championship Qualifiers runs from January 2024 through March 2024 in the Standard format. Due to format matching, they award invitations to a Regional Championship later that year in the Standard format. Pro Tour details will be announced at a later time.
Join me again next week for a look at Vintage and Legacy, in which I'll analyze the impact of the recently unbanned