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grixis death’s shadow

Nothing lasts forever; the mighty will eventually fall; time erases all wounds; change is the only constant. All such platitudes mean for Modern is that one deck can only remain on top of the format for so long. Eventually, the format either adapts to the deck, there’s a structural change to the metagame, or the banhammer […]

Determining a deck’s tiering is a fairly simple process: take the decks that place in tournaments, compile them in a spreadsheet, rank them by population, done. This is a fine system, and is the only remotely objective way to determine the tier list. However, it doesn’t tell the full story because it can’t explain what […]

The Modern format is so diverse, both quantitatively and competitively, that it can prove tough to quantify; certain players subsequently claim there is no metagame, while others focus only on tournament-winning decks. Each approach lacks some degree of nuance. Today, I’m trying to bring some of it back. I was thrilled when I heard that […]

Finally, it’s time for everyone’s favorite part of the banlist test: the experimental data. After playing 500 matches with GB Elves over several months, I can finally put some data to the speculation about the impact of unbanning Green Sun’s Zenith. I will be revealing the hard numbers and their statistical significance. As always, these […]

It’s finally time for another banlist testing report. Back in May, readers chose Green Sun’s Zenith as the next banned card to test, which I’ll just call GSZ from here on out. I’ve spent the intervening months grinding games and recording results to test its effect on Modern. This week, I’ll explain my test procedure, […]

Throughout Modern’s history, decks have risen and fallen in popularity. One of the most critical factors driving these shifts on the metagame ladder are changes to the card pool; a new set or a timely edit to the banned and restricted list can send a deck’s stock soaring or tumbling. However, not all of the […]

Alright, time for the big reveal. With comment section chatter over possible unbannings increasing, it’s time for the hard data to make its own argument. I had less fun with this test than with previous efforts, mostly because I have a long and difficult history with Bloodbraid Elf. That said, the testing was comparatively easy […]

Once again, it’s time to update my paper metagame table! Magic’s had a busy weekend—between the SCG Invitational and the World Magic Cup, it was easy to miss the Roanoke Open. Which feels very odd to say, considering how popular and pervasive Opens are, but it’s the truth. Not that it matters; the data it […]

Modern’s detractors have long cast the format as a writhing mess of linear decks, all ignoring each other or skillfully opening sideboard hosers all the way to each hyper-aggressive Top 8. But until recently, Modern’s pound-for-pound fairest deck—Jund—has commanded more metagame shares than almost anything else. That deck’s resignation as king gave way to a variety […]

So, here it is, the big update. After today, we will definitely have enough data to make actual conclusions about the metagame. I won’t go as far to say that it is the definitive metagame—it’s not that big. However, this will show what you can expect going into Grand Prix Oklahoma City. The online metagame has […]

The Star City Games Charlotte Open results are in, and there are numerous other Modern events on the horizon. In a few short months, we’ll have a Modern Pro Tour on our doorstep as well. Summer is over, fall is here, and Modern is back in the spotlight. It is time. This week, I’ll be […]

This past week I found myself looking back at some of the first articles I wrote here at Nexus, for some reason or another, and discovered something interesting about my writing. No, it’s not that I love control, or have a tendency to play tempo-oriented decks, or really really like to talk about context in Magic, […]

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