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Modern Metagame: MTGO Challenge Champions (12/10 & 12/11)

Card Art: Murktide Regent - Obosh, the Preypiercer | Property WotC

Every weekend, Modern challenges on MTGO showcase the format’s top decks and attract hundreds of great players looking to battle. What decks topped the tournaments this weekend?

Here’s a quick rundown of each day’s top eight archetypes:

MTGO Saturday Challenge Results

  1. BR Midrange (Obosh) - NicolasGEM

  2. 5C Creativity - TGB12

  3. BR “Scam” Midrange - Delve3

  4. Glimpse Combo - selesneal

  5. UW Hammer - rileydk

  6. Jund Creativity - Daking3603

  7. Bant Hammer - Iplantz

  8. Mono-Green Tron - oosunq

Full list here

Direct links courtesy of Reddit u/FereMiyJeenyus and their MTGO Results Scraper.

MTGO Sunday Challenge Results

  1. UR Murktide - Mogged

  2. UR Murktide - TokaraStrait

  3. BR “Scam” Midrange - Butakov

  4. Domain Zoo - kachau

  5. Burn - xDarthPanda

  6. Domain Zoo - MisterT1980

  7. Jund - AttillA

  8. Jeskai Control - WaToO

Full list here

Direct links courtesy of Reddit u/FereMiyJeenyus and their MTGO Results Scraper.

MTGO Challenge Top Decks

More new Brothers’ War cards are showing their strength in Modern. Plus some old favorites, unique lists, and Jund? What year is it?

We’ll get to the lists that might make you do a double take in a minute, but first, the usual suspects.

Continued Success

In addition to Hammer, UR Murktide also put up results as expected, with both copies Sunday making the finals. BR “Scam” decks are still popular and will undoubtedly continue to be. The Domain Zoo strategy is also gaining popularity, and the archetype is one of the best aggro decks in Modern now.

Cascade also placed this weekend—except it was Glimpse and not Rhinos. Regardless of choice, cascading into a powerful suspend spell is still an effective way to win. Hall of Famer Guillaume Wafo-Tapa (WaToO) only ever plays his distinct version of control in Modern, so it’s no surprise he made the top eight this weekend with the near-identical list he’s consistently shown success with.

It’s (Still) Hammer Time

The Hammer decks have remained largely unchanged over the past few months, either staying mono-white or utilizing a blue splash for counterspells and sideboard choices. As it turns out, equipping a creature with a Hammer and attacking for ten or more as early as the second turn is still a powerful strategy.

But a third color? Don’t let the “Bant” moniker fool you, this is just the UW list, with one very powerful way to use green mana, Haywire Mite. This one-mana insect can exile everything from Leyline Bindings to opposing Urza’s Sagas, all at instant speed.

UW Hammer with no green splash won Saturday’s tournament, so it remains to be seen if Haywire Mite is worth a slot going forward. It might just be another sideboard card in the toolbox of artifacts Hammer decks have access to, but it’s worth keeping on your radar.

A Creative New Choice

Creativity decks have latched on to Bitter Reunion, a new Brothers’ War card. Early in the game, it does its best Tormenting Voice impression, combining with Fable of the Mirror-Breaker to smooth out draws and search for exactly what’s needed.

Late game, it can be sacrificed to give a newly summoned Archon of Cruelty haste, closing out the game that much faster. Because of the access to additional looting effects, the deck has also adopted more copies of Persist, which makes a lot of sense. Not only does this allow Archon to come out even earlier, but it diversifies the ways to cheat a big creature into play. If an opponent has removal for the Creativity targets, Persist can still bring Archon back from the graveyard, and graveyard hate doesn’t work against Creativity.

This Jund version eschews the classic Leyline Binding and five-color combination, instead using Thoughtseize and removal spells like Fatal Push and Mishra’s Command to force through an Archon. Mishra’s Command has the added benefit of being another way to loot.

Are these synergies and this simpler mana base worth choosing over access to Leyline Binding and counterspells?

No Fun for You

Now here’s a deck that knows what hate cards are. Opponent trying to use their graveyard for anything? Four Relic of Progenitus. Opponent trying to play with creatures? Four Fury and four Lightning Bolt. Opponent dare play a nonbasic land? Four Blood Moon and a Magus of the Moon.

And that’s just in the main!

The sideboard adds more hate, including four Chalice of the Void and two Shattering Spree. Plus, Obosh, Seasoned Pyromancer, and Den of the Bugbear make sure you’ll always have something to spend your mana on. This plan worked out for NicolasGEM as they beat Hammer and Creativity on their way to winning on Saturday.

Back to Basics

Tron and Burn will always be players in Modern, regardless of what the metagame looks like. They’re two decks that do well when least expected and not prepared for. Even though they’re both popular, they haven’t put up many top results in bigger tournaments lately, which could be one reason they did well this weekend.

Blood Moon effects have been on the downswing lately, with decks like UR Murktide choosing to play fewer copies. Lifegain effects are also few and far between, with cards like Omnath being played much less now. These are decks that know what they want to do and do it well.

A Blast from the Past

Finally, Jund?! It turns out Tarmogoyf is still a playable card. This Jund list looks a little different than the dominant deck of yesteryear, and the biggest change is not playing Liliana of the Veil. Many players in Modern are utilizing their graveyard more than ever, and three mana is a lot for an edict effect when it’s not guaranteed she’ll survive.

In her place is another three-mana card, multi-format all-star Fable of the Mirror-Breaker. It can quickly power up your Tarmogoyf and gives more card advantage together with Wrenn and Six.

Jund plays the best red and black removal spells to clear the way for Ragavan, and Urza’s Saga helps add lots of card types to the graveyard.

Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek can help fight the unfair strategies, and the deck even gets to play a few singleton artifacts that can get tutored with Saga, including the new Haywire Mite. I hope this version of Jund can stick around since I miss Tarmogoyf as the face of Modern.


As diverse as Modern is, it’s great when “fair” decks like Burn and Jund have success. It’s clear that everyone is still experimenting with cards from the latest set, and almost any strategy can do well week to week when its pilot is prepared.

There were once again very few graveyard-focused decks this weekend. Will players cut more of their copies of Unlicensed Hearse and Endurance in favor of fighting more popular winners like Creativity and Hammer? And if so, does that give Living End or Dredge a chance to sneak back into the spotlight?

I expect to continue seeing more cards with Blood Moon effects as well. Not only are these very good against Domain and Creativity strategies, but they also hinder anyone playing Tron after its success this week.

Are there any more cards from Brothers’ War that you want to see show up in Modern?


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