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Theory

Everyone is fixated on Grixis Shadow. And rightly so—the deck is very powerful and has been sitting at the top of every metagame chart since April. And I think this is incorrect. I have some reason to believe that Shadow is a symptom of the metagame, not the cause. The Modern PPTQ season starts at […]

Immediately following its mainstream introduction to Modern by Josh Utter-Leyton and his crew at GP Vancouver, Death’s Shadow gained significant footing in the metagame. The explosion of Jund Shadow onto the paper scene at roughly 10% has since cooled, with the deck taking a more reasonable 8% share when lumped in with Abzan Shadow builds. Part of the reason for […]

The line between genius and madness is indistinct. The line between epiphany and world-class tilting-off is blurry. I’m in something of a fugue, and uncertain of where I stand anymore. While I am personally certain of the veracity of my forthcoming statement describing the Modern metagame, my ability to perceive normal reality is compromised. I’ll […]

Sideboarding is without a doubt one of the most essential and difficult-to-master skills in Magic: The Gathering. In tournament Magic, you play more sideboard games than pre-sideboard games by a wide margin, and the difference between sideboarding well and sideboarding poorly will frequently be a deciding factor in your eventual match result. In a format as wide […]

At last, the time has come to reveal the data about my Jace testing. As a reminder, these data come from 500 matches, well over 1000 individual games played over five months. I publish my methods so that you can replicate my experiment if you disagree with the results, but I have to warn you […]

And so it begins. I want to start with a general thank-you to everyone who helped out. This was an enormous undertaking logistically and took much longer than expected. Even considering the deck I was using for testing purposes. Thank you for putting up with this insanely ambitious project. And please, please, pleeeease be willing to […]

This is going to be a controversial month for my column. My banlist testing article series will return shortly, which will incite a firestorm even if readers like my results. Rather than run from this, I’m going to embrace it. Bring on Argument Month! I’m going to defy consensus and defend something many believe is indefensible. First, some background. […]

As of this writing, a playset of Ancestral Vision will set you back 140 tickets on MTGO. Sure, some of that is finance garbage due to Snapcaster Mage and fetches being in MM3, but even before that the card was 25+ tickets. Corey Burkhart (and now Shaheen Soorani) have been in the spotlight in recent […]

The verdict’s all but in: new kid on the block Death’s Shadow Jund is Modern’s new deck to beat. Death’s Shadow’s ascent to boogeyman status carries metagame-wide implications and emphasizes some of Modern’s quirks. Today, we’ll explore why Death’s Shadow Jund is so good, what the deck means for the format, and whether other decks should recruit the massive Avatar for their own purposes. […]

Here we are, the final category of decks! Well, I say category but it is actually categories. You see, there are a number of archetypes that are either rare or derivative of the other ones and so don’t really require separate articles. This is not to deride their value to Modern or their power. It is simply […]

After finishing 4th in an SCG Regionals tournament with Eldrazi Stompy, I’ve been excited to take the deck to more competitive events. I had that opportunity last weekend, and cracked Top 8 at a monthly TJ Collectibles Modern tournament. My only loss of the day was to the dreaded Bant Spirits, which landed turn-three Geist of Saint Traft into […]

Nearly there! Welcome to the penultimate entry in the deck guides. Next week I’ll finish up with the remaining deck types and we’ll finally be done with all the archetypes of Modern! Then I’ll finally be free to write about other, more topical things again. Ramp decks occupy a weird place in Magic. Arguably the […]

It’s been an exciting week for Modern. Fatal Push was sanctioned last Friday, and the SCG Columbus Classic gave players a highly anticipated datapoint for the new metagame. A linear combo deck won that event, and a purely reactive control deck just missed the Top 8. Combo and control are famously underpowered archetypes in Modern, giving us […]

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