Insider: Reemerging Modern Archetypes

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Hi, guys!

After few weeks of Standard and recent picks analysis, this week we will switch our focus to Modern. I saw this week that there are some old archetypes in Modern reappearing in the top performing decklists online. Before we look at the decks, lets look at what the current metagame looks like based on the MTGGoldfish website:

Top Tier

  • Affinity
  • Jeskai Control/Tempo
  • Blue Red Gifts Storm
  • 5C Humans

Tier 2

  • Grixis Death's Shadow
  • Eldrazi Tron
  • Burn
  • Tron

As you can see, Death's Shadow and Eldrazi Tron have been doing relatively poorly compared to two months back when they dominated the format. Jeskai Control and 5C Humans have the tools like Spell Queller and Reflector Mage to control their opponents' boards. This means that decks that play too few threats, or that play big-but-slow threats, are not as good against the Jeskai and Humans decks. This situation also encourages players online to test out more brews or old archetypes in the fresh metagame after Ixalan's release. Also, there will be two Modern Grand Prix going on next week, which is offers a great opportunity to anticipate some big things coming up in the format.


A little bit of history regarding this deck: Infect was the best deck last year as well as at the World Magic Cup 2016. Almost every team had a copy of Infect deck among its three decks. However, ever since Gitaxian Probe was banned in Modern, Infect has slowly disappeared from the top tier of Modern decks. All the latest Infect builds play more creatures than usual, often including two to four copies of either Viridian Corrupter, Plague Stinger or Ichorclaw Myr. The decklist above is a Sultai build with a mix of removal in the sideboard. If the players online found the correct build that can adapt to the current Modern metagame, the lands in this deck, namely Blinkmoth Nexus and Pendelhaven will likely increase in price should the deck be picked up among a greater number of players.

Mardu Pyromancer

This deck focuses on casting spells to trigger prowess on Monastery Swiftspear and Bedlam Reveler while generating tokens with Young Pyromancer. There are certain cards in this deck that have rarely been played in the past three months.

Blood moon was reprinted twice in 2017, once in MM3 and once as a Masterpiece. Besides this Mardu deck, there's another deck below that plays Blood Moon in the mainboard, so there's a possibility that these two decks will push the price of the card to a higher level. Given that the format seems poised for it and the card has been slowly increasing in price since October, I think this is a fine investment at this price.

This card has fluctuated a bit between 0.1 and 1 ticket. The reason for this spike is due to Modern Grixis Control, Legacy Blue-Red Delver and this deck, Mardu Pyromancer. At the current price, despite it being close to an all-time high, I think we can still buy into this card as a speculation target. The Mardu Pyromancer deck made top eight of an online RPTQ, won an SCG Modern event, and 5-0'd some MTGO Modern Competitive leagues. With a little bit help from Legacy Blue-Red Delver, this card has the potential to rise to somewhere near 3 tickets in my opinion.

Blue Moon

Blue Moon is the other deck that utilizes Blood Moon very well. The current Blue Moon deck is no longer the slow, grindly Blue-Red Control deck that dominated the metagame years ago. The new Blue Moon is a combination of Blue-Red Control and a few combos in Modern – Through the Breach, Emrakul, and Madcap Experiment with an option of Platinum Emperion in the sideboard. This deck plays similarly to the the old Splinter Twin decks, except the combo is not as fast.

As I said earlier, I suggest picking up playsets of Blood Moon for investment. Meanwhile, you guys should also take a look at the following card:

The price of Breach is at its low point compared to last year, mainly because of the drop in popularity as well as its reprint in the Masterpiece series. Do bear in mind that there are decks in Modern that play Through the Breach, like Green-Red Titan and Grishoalbrand, but those are not popular among players online right now. With the new Blue Moon deck, however, Through the Breach is seeing light again. Based on the graph, the average price is somewhere around 20 tickets – and the current price is much lower than that. With the emergence of Blue Moon and the data we have from its price history, I think Through the Breach is a fine card to target for investment.

Amulet Titan

Amulet Titan was a victim of WotC's Banhammer, although the deck is not completely killed off. The latest decklist has not much difference from previous iterations, except it replaces some spells or lands for more creatures. Among the 75 cards, Grove of the Burnwillows and Azusa, Lost but Seeking are the cards that pique my interest the most.

Grove has dropped by about 20 tickets since Iconic Masters  was spoiled. A price of 7 tickets is very cheap compared to where it's been, and it's the only untapped red-green land in Modern that doesn't deal damage to its pilot. Its hard to tell whether this card will rise back to at least 10 to 15 tickets, but it's currently a very good opportunity to get playsets if you want to play with the card. If you ask me whether it's fine to get more than just a playset, I would say yes. This is because the Iconic Masters draft events are ending soon, and if you look at the graph above, the price is pretty stable around 7 tickets, so we can safely assume that the price of this card will not get any lower than 6 tickets.

Azusa, Lost but Seeking's price always moves along in tandem with the popularity of Amulet Titan deck. The last time Azusa's price spiked was in July this year, and it stayed at around 6 tickets for two and a half months before it dropped back below 3 tickets. Now that Amulet Titan is reappearing in the Modern meta, I speculate that the same type of spike is possible in the near future. Thus, I suggest buying playsets of Azusa just in case.

Alright, guys, that’s all for this week. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you all next week!

–Adrian, signing out.

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