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Modern Metagame: MTGO Challenge Champions (2/10-2/12)

The winners of this weekend's Modern MTGO challenges included Rakdos Scam and five color Creativity.
Cards: Indomitable Creativity | Undying Malice | 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 Friday Night Challenge Results

  1. BR “Scam” Midrange - adebevoise

  2. UB Mill - Unknowless

  3. UW Hammer - HappySandwich

  4. UB Mill - vini_torres

  5. 4C Elementals - Sandile

  6. UR Murktide - Lavaridge

  7. UR Murktide - qbturtle15

  8. Mardu Burn - Cachorrowo

Full list here.

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

MTGO Saturday Showcase Challenge Results

  1. 5C Creativity - manohito

  2. Mono-White Death and Taxes - Boin

  3. Bant Hammer - Muril0Ambra

  4. Temur Rhinos - BurnMann

  5. Amulet Titan - VictorCarvalho01

  6. Jeskai Control - WaToO

  7. Mono-Blue Affinity - T-Wilder

  8. 4C Rhinos - TokaraStrait

Full list here.

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

MTGO Saturday Night Challenge Results

  1. BR “Scam” Midrange - Ma7x

  2. Mono-Blue Merfolk - bcs8995

  3. Mono-Blue Merfolk - GlowinHammerfist

  4. Temur Rhinos - Bullwinkkle6705

  5. BR “Scam” Midrange - AttillA

  6. UB Mill - musasabi

  7. Jeskai Breach - JUJUBEAN__2004

  8. UR Murktide - fanahova

Full list here

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

MTGO Sunday Challenge Results

  1. Yawgmoth - Xerk

  2. UR Murktide - audio336

  3. Jeskai Breach - ActualGarbage

  4. Domain Zoo - 416FrowningTable

  5. Mono-Green Tron - Jositoshekel

  6. Mono-Red Midrange - hugo.viani

  7. Amulet Titan - Bob49

  8. Jeskai Control - viktor_von_muerte

Full list here.

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

New Cards

Phyrexia: All Will Be One introduced several new toys for Modern players to try out. The Mycosynth Gardens, Jace, the Perfected Mind, and Minor Misstep all showed up in the top eight of tournaments this weekend, and quite a few other cards made their presence known throughout the top 32. Let’s go over the cards and the decks they helped to take to the top!

The Mycosynth Gardens

The hot topic of Modern lately has been this new land and its applications with the existing Amulet Titan strategy. Both copies of the deck that made the top eight ran the full playset, and for good reason. It allows you to copy Amulet of Vigor, leading to a huge surge of mana with every bounce land played, and more consistent turn-two kills.

The deck didn’t have to give much up to slot these lands in either, since they come into play untapped and can cast Amulet on turn one just to copy it on turn two. Will this push Titan over the top? Talks of a ban might be overblown at the moment, but there’s no doubt this strategy is seeing more play.

Jace, the Perfected Mind

What would a new Jace card be if it didn’t see immediate constructed play? This new version seems to perfectly slot into the existing UB Mill strategy, and the top eight deck from Saturday night did just that, playing the maximum four copies. But how good is the new planeswalker? The two mill decks that made the top four on Friday didn’t play any. Jace is a powerful threat that threatens to stick around and continue milling your opponent while providing card advantage, and its ultimate can mill nine cards for three mana or 15 cards for four mana, adding flexibility.

Perhaps Mill is just a great choice now, with so many decks having tons of low mana cost cards allowing Tasha’s Hideous Laughter to rip huge chunks out of your opponent’s library. And it’s also worth noting that Mill is traditionally one of Amulet Titan’s worst matchups, which is gaining popularity as well.

Minor Misstep

An incredible new counterspell that’ll take over the format, or unplayable bulk? Somewhere in the middle, probably. This weekend, Minor Misstep was only seen in a few UR Murktide lists, usually as a one-of in the main deck. Going forward it’ll probably occupy a similar space as Spell Snare, seeing more or less play depending on how the meta shifts.

The Best of the Rest

Tyvar, Jubilant Brawler only showed up in two lists across all events, an Enchantress build and Devoted Druid combo deck that both made the top 16. There’s been much talk of the Devoted Druid deck seeing play again thanks to Tyvar and Tyvar’s Stand, which was also played in the Druid list, but time will tell if it becomes a pillar of the format again.

Skrelv, Defector Mite popped up in a few decks, as a one-of in both Devoted Druid and a combo-focused Jeskai Breach build. It was also a four-of in xfile’s unique Jeskai Affinity build. Skrelv does its best Giver of Runes impression but has some upside in certain lists since it’s an artifact. Malcator, Purity Overseer showed up in xfile’s list as well, and is essentially a Blade Splicer that makes a new 3/3 Golem every turn three artifacts come into play. Who knows if it will see much play going forward, but it was a perfect fit alongside Ornithopter, Memnite, and other cheap artifacts.

Nahiri, the Unforgiving is a versatile planeswalker that was a four-of in a top 16 Scam deck. Sheoldred's Edict was also played in another Scam list, giving options for a sacrifice. Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines found its way into two toolbox decks where she could be tutored, including Bring to Light and Elementals, where she doubles beneficial triggers from your creatures entering while stopping your opponent's.

Top Decks

Besides UR Murktide, Amulet Titan, and the resurgence of Mill, what other decks won?

BR “Scam” is back on top after a few lackluster weekends, winning both the Saturday Showcase and evening challenges. Creativity and Yawgmoth only had one showing each, but they won the Saturday Showcase and Sunday Challenge respectively.

Several Hammer lists showed why it’s still a top deck, both with and without the green splash. Rhinos also did well, both straight Temur and four-color, adding white. Jeskai Breach continues to earn its place near the top of the meta, using Underworld Breach to its full potential. Jeskai Control, Elementals, Zoo, and Tron are less popular choices that all made the top eight over the weekend's four events.

Some more surprising winners include a Mardu Burn deck that’s essentially the stock RW list, with Bump in the Night asking for black mana. Two Merfolk lists made the top four and the finals of the same tournament, showing off the power of Aether Vial. Classic Affinity also popped up, using Urza’s Saga alongside Cranial Plating and cheap artifacts.

Mono-White Death and Taxes made the finals of the Showcase challenge, doing its best impression of its Legacy namesake. Leonin Arbiter, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, and Archon of Emeria all disrupt your opponent with Giver of Runes and Ephemerate to help protect them. Solitude and Skyclave Apparition can take out almost any threatening creature, and Stoneforge Mystic is always around to fetch and cheat out a Kaldra Compleat. If the deck runs into some troublesome red cards like Fury, just bring in all four copies of Burrenton Forge-Tender.

Finally, Mono-Red Midrange is full of potent removal and tons of cards that create card advantage and two-for-one trades. The four Blood Moons are perfect against Amulet Titan, Tron, and other decks that care about nonbasic lands. Relic of Progenitus attacks UR Murktide and Jeskai Breach’s reliance on the graveyard, and Fury is a great answer against any army of smaller creatures. The Stone Brain comes in from the sideboard to win against combo strategies, and lands like Ramunap Ruins and Den of the Bugbear provide reach and help to close out games. This deck has answers for everything!

Trends and Takeaways

Watch out for an uptick in Amulet Titan thanks to The Mycosynth Gardens, and know how to beat a turn-one Amulet. Blood Moon effects are a great way to shut off most of the deck.

Mill is getting popular again. Endurance is probably the best way to answer it, shuffling your graveyard back into your library to erase turns of work done by your opponent. Leyline of Sanctity isn’t as powerful as it used to be, thanks to many cards using the “each opponent” templating. Emrakul is always a way to ensure you don’t mill out, forcing a shuffle with its trigger even if it gets exiled in response.

UR Murktide is still the most popular and most successful deck in the format. Some pilots might adopt some copies of Minor Misstep, which are better or worse depending on the matchup, much like other flex slots in the deck.

Some popular decks’ numbers are down this week but should continue to be played. The Devoted Druid combo is picking up in popularity, thanks to Tyvar and Tyvar’s Stand. Some of its cards are tough to interact with, but can still be attacked with timely removal or counterspells.

The Mycosynth Gardens has a home in Amulet Titan, but what other new Phyrexia: All Will Be One cards will see more play going forward?


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