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Modern Metagame: MTGO Challenge Champions 3/10-3/12

MTGO Challenge results for Modern saw Murktide and Jund win big this weekend.
Cards: Tarmogoyf | Murktide Regent

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?

Even though Murktide was still the top choice, lots of less-popular decks won this weekend.

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

MTGO Friday Night Challenge Results

  1. UR Murktide - Boland

  2. 4C Omnath - Kurusu

  3. UG Hardened Scales - therf

  4. Burn - quinniac

  5. 5C Creativity - Jumba

  6. 4C Rhinos - SoIMBAGallade

  7. 5C Elementals - MAFS

  8. UR Murktide - twinlesstwin

Full list here

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

MTGO Saturday Showcase Challenge Results

  1. Jund - McWinSauce

  2. UR Murktide - Graciasportanto

  3. 5C Creativity - sebastianpozzo

  4. UW Hammer - _dr4gun0v_

  5. UR Murktide - rileydk

  6. Merfolk - mashmalovsky

  7. UR Prowess - A-I

  8. 5C Creativity - Moudou

Full list here

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

MTGO Saturday Night Challenge Results

  1. Jeskai Breach - jessy_samek

  2. Temur Rhinos - Bullwinkkle6705

  3. Mono-Red Prowess - JulianJohn

  4. UR Murktide - TerminalJustice

  5. UR Murktide - YungDingo

  6. Jund Goryo’s Vengeance - Actual Garbage

  7. Dredge - Jeremy_hines

  8. UR Murktide - mogis67

Full list here

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

MTGO Sunday Challenge Results

  1. Temur Rhinos - FerMTG

  2. Jund - Cantergiani

  3. 4C Omnath - Kurusu

  4. UR Breach - DemonicTutors

  5. Mono-Green Tron - Aardos

  6. UW Hammer - Radziolot

  7. UR Murktide - RyanWu

  8. 5C Creativity - yriel

Full list here

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

MTGO Modern Challenge Top Decks

What Doesn't Grow, Dies. Except Jund

Jund is back, again! It’s popped up here and there over the years since Liliana of the Veil was the face of Modern, but it won the Showcase Challenge in the hands of McWinSauce and came second on Sunday thanks to Cantergiani.

Both lists are similar, with playsets of Wrenn and Six, Tarmogoyf, and Ragavan. One key strength of Jund is its ability to grind out value as the game goes long thanks to cards like Urza’s Saga, Tireless Tracker, and the companion Jegantha. All the early removal helps make sure you don’t get run over by an opponent’s fast start, and an unanswered Tarmogoyf of planeswalker can take over the game.

Jund has tons of options to fight every deck in the format, from Shadowspear gaining life against Burn to the Nihil Spellbombs providing graveyard hate. Haywire Mite, Kolaghan’s Command, and Boseiju are answers to artifacts, and Maelstrom Pulse is a catch-all that can be backbreaking against a pair of Rhinos.

Will Tarmogoyf and friends stick around and stay a top contender?

Aggressive Elementals

Now to something a little wilder. Elementals, but without Omnath? This deck wants to attack - four mana is too expensive!

Voice of Resurgence and Thunderkin Awakener help with a quick start and are still great later in the game. An evoked Fury or Solitude triggers up to three times with an Ephemerate, and the elemental gets to stick around for good, making combat and casting creatures a nightmare for your opponent. Risen Reef helps make sure your hand is never empty, and Recomission can bring back almost all of your creatures.

The deck plays Aether Vial for an even quicker start, and together with Cavern of Souls prevents important creatures from getting countered. You even get to play all four copies of Endurance and Fulminator Mage to hate on graveyards and important lands since they’re Elementals and fit right in at three mana.

A few classic four-color Omanth decks also did well, but I want to try out this aggro version!

Mono-Red Matters

jessy_samek won the challenge Sunday with Jeskai Breach, and several other Underworld Breach strategies did well, including more aggressive Prowess decks. One stands out, though: JulianJohn’s Mono-Red version!

At first glance, this list appears similar to the blue-red prowess decks, playing Ragavan over a blue creature and Reckless Impulse instead of Expressive Iteration. But one card stands out: Blood Moon, and four copies!

By not relying on blue mana, Blood Moon fits right in to fight against all sorts of decks, triggering Prowess and Dragon’s Rage Channeler. When it’s not needed, you can ignore it (or pitch it to fuel delirium) thanks to all the card advantage Underworld Breach and Light Up the Stage give you.

This Mono-Red build still loads up on Mutagenic Growth to steal wins out of nowhere, and playing Ragavan means you almost always have a turn-one creature. If you’re playing a deck full of nonbasic lands, watch out!

Rest of the Best

Blue-Red Murktide continues to be the defining deck of the format, with twice as many copies in the top eights this weekend than the next most popular choice. Boland won on Friday with a fairly stock version, although there is still a little wiggle room for players to customize some slots based on their preferences and the meta.

FerMTG won Sunday with the Temur flavor of Rhinos, which still appears to be the most dominant. Leyline Binding is powerful, but it must feel nice to play Blood Moon as the three-color deck.

The next most popular three-plus color deck, Creativity, actually did the best after Murktide this weekend. Three of the four lists were playing five colors for Leyline Binding. None played Persist, instead opting for more removal and counterspells.

Both Hammer lists this week were blue-white, utilizing Spell Pierce and sideboard cards like Lavinia. Radziolot played a Haywire Mite and Kemba, Kha Enduring, which is just a better Kor Outfitter, a card some lists have tried. Kemba and The Reality Chip can help if the game goes long, but both lists are similar enough and Hammer can still win very quickly against unprepared opponents.

Jeremy_hines had an interesting take on Dredge, playing Life from the Loam and Conflagrate like the deck used to before Ox of Agonas. They still play the Ox, and it served them well in this field full of Murktide Regent.

Burn is in the top eight on back-to-back weekends, thanks to quinniac’s clean list, with one Ragavan giving a slightly higher chance for a turn-one creature. Still no Eidolon of the Great Revel, which feels very slow in this fast format and doesn’t even trigger from Fury or Solitude.

therf opted to splash blue in Hardened Scales for Thoughtcast and a few sideboard options. It’s also the first challenge sighting of Mirrex, a new land from the latest set that fits right at home in a mostly-colorless deck, making 1/1 artifacts in a pinch.

Merfolk made the top eight of yet another tournament, proving that the fish will never truly die out. marshmalovsky’s four main-deck Subtlety probably helped against a field full of Fury and Murktide Regent and might be adopted more going forward.

I’m happy to see Goryo’s Vengeance is still being played and doing well in the hands of ActualGarbage. They played a nearly Mono-Black version with no Griselbrand and the Food package to synergize with discarding cards. Atraxa is too powerful!

Finally, someone will always play Tron, and this week it was Aardos making the top eight on Sunday. A fairly stock list, but it’s interesting to see how powerful Cityscape Leveler is, essentially replacing Ugin here. Just another reason Blood Moon effects look so good right now.

Trends and Takeaways

Know how to beat Murktide, since it’s still the most popular deck and shows no signs of slowing down.

Creativity, Rhinos, and Hammer are some of the next most popular decks. Blood Moon effects will continue to be a good choice, as evidenced by the Mono-Red deck with four copies making the top eight.

Graveyard strategies are seemingly making a resurgence, as evidenced by Dredge, Goryo’s Vengeance, Elementals, and various Breach decks doing well. Most green decks will have access to Endurance, but many graveyard-focused decks can fight through it. Notably, there were no black-red decks in the top eights this week, which usually have Dauthi Voidwalker as a permanent answer.

Burn and Prowess look to be good choices going forward, with very little life gain outside of Omnath and Shadowspear. The four and five-color decks have to pay a significant amount of life and have lands come in tapped to have access to that mana, and playing untapped red sources with cheap creatures is a good way to punish them.

Will Jund continue winning? Will another Goryo’s Vengeance deck do well next week? Modern has been somewhat unpredictable lately, so who knows!


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