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Modern Metagame: MTGO Challenge Champions 3/3-3/5

These decks won the latest MTGO Modern challenges. Come see why they are the best!
Cards: Murktide Regent | Seasoned Pyromancer

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. UR Murktide - Azja

  2. Mono-Blue Tron - shoktroopa

  3. Temur Rhinos - Oderus Urungus

  4. Eldrazi Tron - leandru

  5. Domain Zoo - internetsurfer09

  6. Temur Rhinos - Bullwinkkle6705

  7. RG Midrange - kaching

  8. UR Murktide - fingers1991

Full list here

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

MTGO Saturday Showcase Challenge Results

  1. BR “Fair” Midrange - Bowman2

  2. 4C Omnath - Karstico

  3. UR Murktide - Urthstrype

  4. Jeskai Prowess - hcook725

  5. 5C Creativity - Faiiith

  6. Amulet Titan - NathanOfTheGiltLeaf

  7. 4C Omnath - joaobelo92

  8. UR Murktide - Notoriouss

Full list here

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

MTGO Saturday Night Challenge Results

  1. BR “Scam” Midrange - christiano7

  2. Burn - Stanshine

  3. Jeskai Breach - jessy_samek

  4. Grixis Death’s Shadow - Restokiki

  5. Mono-Red Artifact Burn - Dcal215

  6. BR “Scam” Midrange - The-Magic-Mana

  7. UR Murktide - zhinonono

  8. 5C Creativity - Trakeoto

Full list here

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

MTGO Sunday Challenge Results

  1. Esper Goryo’s Vengeance - Willioufouf

  2. UR Murktide - GabbaGandalf

  3. 5C Creativity - Lord_Beerus

  4. UR Murktide - _StN_

  5. 4C Rhinos - AlvaroTJ

  6. Mono-White Hammer - Selami

  7. BR “Scam” Midrange - kanister

  8. Domain Zoo - xfile

Full list here

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

MTGO Sunday Super Qualifier Results (top 4 qualify for RC)

  1. UR Breach - Bmadman

  2. BR “Scam” Midrange - FunkiMunki

  3. Mono-Green Tron - Drockafeller

  4. 4C Creativity - Starsheriffx

  5. 5C Creativity - DarthStone

  6. 5C Creativity - yriel

  7. Esper Control - Highmoon

  8. BR “Scam” Midrange - Patxi

Full list here

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

A Super Qualifier added another top-tier tournament to the four challenges this weekend. Some old favorites did well, along with a unique take on Tron and a surprise from the past.

MTGO Modern Challenge Top Decks

Cascade...But Fair?

Let’s start with maybe the biggest surprise in the Top 8s this weekend, kaching’s RG Midrange.

That’s right, a list with four copies of Bloodbraid Elf made the Top 8 of a Modern challenge in 2023! The deck’s plan is simple: creatures full of value combined with powerful red removal, and four Blood Moons to punish greedy manabases.

Utopia Sprawl and Arbor Elf help ramp into a turn two three-mana play like Seasoned Pyromancer or Endurance. Two more three drops that see far less play are Klothys, God of Destiny and the brand new Migloz, Maze Crusher. Klothys is a great way to stay alive against aggressive decks that can also ramp you and act as graveyard hate, and is usually tough to interact with. Migloz is a main deck answer for artifacts and enchantments and can get bigger and evasive when there’s no good target to destroy.

It’s great to see Bloodbraid Elf make a comeback, and the flexibility of the cards in this list helps answer many different strategies.

Tron Time

Three different versions of Tron excelled this weekend. Mono-Green and Eldrazi Tron are full of cards you might expect, but shoktroopa’s Mono-Blue Tron, which came in second on Friday, is quite a bit different from traditional lists.

This deck plays more like control, with nine counterspells in the main. Nimble Obstructionist is an interesting inclusion, able to counter everything from an Urza’s Saga search to a lethal Primeval Titan trigger. It’s also just a 3/1 body that can close out the game, along with classic Tron finishers like Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, Wurmcoil Engine, and Sundering Titan.

Mindslaver is not a usual finisher but has the chance to create a game-losing turn for your opponent. With so many free spells like the pitch Elementals, it’s not hard to ruin any chances they have of winning.

Having so much interaction helps against decks like Rhinos and Creativity, and you even get to play one Snapcaster Mage! Could this flavor of Tron pick up and get popular now?

A Legendary Reanimator Deck

Goryo’s Vengeance is back, winning another challenge this week! Willioufouf’s Esper list from Sunday goes all-in on the reanimation plan.

The goal here is straightforward: find Goryo’s Vengeance and reanimate Atraxa or Griselbrand, draw too many cards, then cast Ephemerate to keep the creature for good or just reanimate another one next turn.

The deck is full of ways to draw and discard, like Tainted Indulgence and Faithful Mending. Collective Brutality and Grief help protect your combo and give vital information. Meanwhile, Leyline Binding and Solitude can take care of anything in your way.

There’s no real plan B here, but it’s easy to see why with a win condition this strong. The sideboard is full of more ways to ensure a huge creature comes into play as early as turn three and isn’t disrupted by your opponent.

Damn, That's Black Mana

The final list I’ll take an in-depth look at is Highmoon’s Esper Control, ending with an impressive top eight in the Super Qualifier.

This isn’t just UW Control with a few black cards. Four Thoughtseize and three Inquisition of Kozilek allow you to be proactive in answering your opponent, and provide crucial information control decks need to succeed.

Damn is maybe the most interesting inclusion, essentially replacing Supreme Verdict but also able to kill a single creature for only two mana. Drown in Sorrow is another flexible card, which lets you adapt to what your opponent is trying to do.

The rest of the deck is full of the usual blue and white control cards like Shark Typhoon, Teferi, The Wandering Emperor, and Counterspell, but the sideboard has more options, like three copies of the versatile Kaya’s Guile. Usually used as graveyard hate or life gain with upside, it can also act as removal in a pinch.

The biggest draw to this third color has to be the discard spells. With many opponents packing answers to Leyline Binding, it makes sense to not worry about playing off-color triomes and use your mana more efficiently.

Rest of the Best

Murktide won the challenge Friday in the hands of Azja and was the most popular deck in Top 8s again this weekend. There’s not much more to say about Murktide. Some lists might play Minor Misstep, and there are a few flexible slots, but the list has been fine-tuned for months and shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

Bowman2 and christiano7 used Rakdos Midrange to win both challenges Saturday, and it was all over tournaments this weekend. Interestingly, Bowman2’s was the only Top 8 list to not utilize the “scam” package and avoided the elementals entirely except for one Fury in the sideboard. More removal and powerful creatures like Lightning Skelemental fill that void, which might not be the worst idea if more players are ready to get scammed, but bringing back a Grief or Fury on turn one is still incredibly powerful.

The winner of Sunday’s Super Qualifier, Bmadman, played Izzet Underworld Breach, losing Prismatic Ending and Teferi in exchange for better mana and a fourth copy of Breach. The list is fairly similar to the Jeskai and blue/red lists that have done well in the past and proves that even though the strategy is less popular now, Underworld Breach is still extremely powerful.

Several four and five-color decks did well, with Domain Zoo and 4C Omnath representing but Creativity leading the pack. The vast majority of Creativity lists are five-color, utilizing white mana for Leyline Binding, but various Jund and four-color versions still have success. Two 4C Omnath lists made the top eight Saturday, with one almost winning and both playing Risen Reef and plenty of elementals. 4C Rhinos is still played for Leyline Binding as well, although the Temur version is by far more popular.

Trends and Takeaways

Hammer looks to be falling in popularity, with only one mono-white version finding the top eight this weekend. The metagame might be somewhat hostile toward Hammer decks right now, though, especially with the rise of green decks that have access to Force of Vigor.

One Burn list almost won the challenge Saturday night without Eidolon of the Great Revel. There seems to be a split among Burn pilots on whether to run Eidolon, but the extra copies of Skullcrack and Lightning Helix help against life gain and other aggressive decks.

Mill is almost nonexistent after showing up strong a few weeks ago, with only one player making the Top 32 all weekend. Many decks are still devoting one sideboard card to Emrakul as a cheap and easy way to fight it, and Endurance appearing in virtually every green deck doesn't help Mill's chances lately.

There was only one Amulet Titan deck to be seen in the Top 8 of all five tournaments. Was the hype around The Mycosynth Gardens overblown? There were plenty of Blood Moon effects and counterspells to fight against this weekend, but we’ll see if Titan can make a comeback next week.

Speaking of Blood Moon, I expect to see even more in the future, not only to fight Amulet Titan but as a good way to attack Creativity and the reemergence of Tron. A deck with access to Blood Moon in game one has a huge advantage against those strategies and greedy mana bases - like the RG Bloodbraid Elf deck I can’t wait to try!

What interesting new (or old) cards will shine next week?


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