Hello and welcome back to Metagame Mentor, the weekly column in which I highlight the decks to beat in Constructed on the path to the Pro Tour. Today, I'll take a brief look at Modern before moving on to my main topic: the Alchemy metagame breakdown for Arena Championship 1!
Last Weekend's Biggest Tabletop Events
Last weekend featured several high-profile tabletop events in the Modern format.
Thank you to everyone who came out to our Modern $10k 3v3 Team RCQ at #CardMonsterCon Lexington!— Card Monster Games (@CardMonsterGame) September 21, 2022
And congratulations to Zoe Riederman, Mason Clark, and Jesse Robkin of Team Galoomba for winning 1st place!
Check out the Top 4 Team's decklists from the event!
Team Galoomba: pic.twitter.com/IhzIIlUz5R
The finals of the Team $10K at the Card Monster Con in Lexington featured a familiar name and a familiar deck. Jesse Robkin, after crushing NRG events and writing an in-depth guide on her Jeskai Breach deck, once again took this hot new Modern archetype to the finals of a major tournament. In fact, both teams in the finals had a Jeskai Breach player.
As Robkin aptly wrote, "It's been a good month for
Daniele Frontuto with the deck Grixis Shadow is the winner of the Grand Open Qualifier (Modern) of #LMSParis! 🏆 Congratulations! 🥇 pic.twitter.com/nHfJs8DNYU— Legacy European Tour (@LegacyEUTour) September 18, 2022
Over in Paris, the 497-player Grand Open Qualifier featured a wide variety of archetypes in the Top 8, as is typical for Modern. Ultimately, Daniele Frontuto took the trophy with Grixis Shadow. In the finals, he defeated Alejandro Dupuy de Lome's Living End deck, whose transformation into Rhinos post-board ingeniously dodged graveyard hate, yet left him without an answer to a pair of flying
"I've been playing
Next week, I'll be back with a more in-depth look at the Modern developments since the release of Dominaria United. So far, it appears that the most important additions are
The Arena Championship
This weekend, September 24–25, Arena Championship 1 will be held! It's the first edition of a thrice-yearly, 32-player event where competitors are facing off for $200,000 in cash prizes and Magic World Championship invitations.
Invited are the players who earned seven wins in a Qualifier Weekend Day Two from May, June, July, or August. To bring the number of competitors up to 32, additional invitations were given to players with the most total match wins across all these Qualifier Weekend Day Twos, care of the leaderboard.
Going forward, seven wins in Day Two of a Qualifier Weekend on MTG Arena will yield an invitation to an Arena Championship, a Pro Tour, and a corresponding Regional Championship. The next Qualifier Weekend is held October 15–16 in the Standard format, and there are three ways to earn a spot in a Qualifier Weekend:
- Finish in the Top 250 of the Constructed or Limited ladder at the end of the preceding month.
- Reach a sufficient number of wins in Day 2 of an Arena Open. The next one will held on October 1–2; the format is Dominaria United Sealed.
- Reach the maximum number of wins in a Qualifier Play-In event. This is the most common way to earn a seat in a Qualifier Weekend. To celebrate the first Arena Championship, there's even a Bonus Play-In this weekend!
Arena Championship 1 will be streamed live beginning at 9 a.m. PT each day, September 24 and 25, at twitch.tv/magic. Day 1 leads off with Dominaria United Draft followed by three rounds of Alchemy Constructed. Day 2, which combines three more rounds of Swiss and the Top 8 playoff, is all Alchemy.
Alchemy Metagame Breakdown
The metagame breakdown of the 32 Alchemy decklists submitted to Arena Championship 1 is described in the table below. Hyperlinks take you to a representative decklist on MTG Melee, but these will only become public after Arena Championship 1 gets underway. (If you use them before, you'll see an error message.)
You can see decklists without their sideboards now, and the complete decklists will be published on the Arena Championship 1 event page after the event gets underway.
|Archetype||Number of players||Percentage of field|
The most-played cards overall, other than basic lands, are
Rebalanced cards are not a major factor in the metagame. From Standard-legal sets, the only rebalanced cards registered for this tournament are 17 copies of A-The Meathook Massacre and 1 copy of A-Hullbreaker Horror.
The most-played nonland cards from Dominaria United are
Esper Midrange (8 players): Esper Midrange uses
Domain Control (4 players): Domain Control uses various tri-lands to support
Rakdos Sacrifice (4 players): Rakdos Sacrifice uses
Esper Aggro (3 players): Esper Aggro also uses
Rakdos Midrange (2 players): Rakdos Midrange has the best threats and answers in its colors across the mana curve. With
Jund Revels (2 players): Infinite loops with
Mono-Black Midrange (2 players): Mono-Black Midrange looks similar to Rakdos Midrange, except with the Alchemy-specific
Izzet Control (1 player): Izzet Control uses as many as 14 counterspells to say 'no' to whatever the opponent might attempt. After playing a bunch of these instants to buy time, you can win the game with a one-mana
Orzhov Midrange (1 player): Orzhov Midrange is capable of curving
Abzan Lifegain (1 player): Abzan Lifegain uses
Mono-Red Aggro (1 player): Mono-Red Aggro puts on a lot of pressure with early drops like
Selesnya Enchantments (1 player): Selesnya Enchantments is capable of massive turns fueled by
Esper Control (1 player): Esper Control also has the omnipresent
Domain Midrange (1 player): Domain Midrange is what you get when you start with an Esper Midrange deck and add
On the whole, the Alchemy metagame looks fun and diverse. It's based on Standard and black cards are popular, but all the new-to-digital cards provide additional depth. Don't miss the livestream of Arena Championship 1, which begins 9 a.m. PT each day, September 24 and 25, at twitch.tv/magic! More details can be found in the viewers guide.