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Modern Metagame: MTGO Challenge Champions 4/28-4/30

The best Modern decks from this weekend's MTGO Challenges.
Cards: Indomitable Creativity | Vodalian Hexcatcher || Art: 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?

MTGO Friday Night Challenge Results

  1. Merfolk - ht991122

  2. Bant Heliod Combo - Alan07

  3. Jund Midrange - akasher

  4. Living End - J0SE

  5. Amulet Titan - Moniz0801

  6. 5C Creativity - Jumba

  7. BR “Scam” Midrange - christiano7

  8. Temur Rhinos - malekz

Full list here

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

MTGO Showcase Challenge Results

  1. 4C Creativity - Gerschi

  2. Jund Creativity - KeepAny7vsYou

  3. Mono-Green Golos Tron - narca

  4. Jeskai Obosh - Karstico

  5. 5C Creativity - TGB12

  6. BR “Scam” Midrange - RagingTiltMonster

  7. UR Murktide - Eissar

  8. 5C Creativity - sebastianpozzo

Full list here

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

MTGO Saturday Challenge Results

  1. Mono-Blue Tron - shoktroopa

  2. Temur Rhinos - zer0h

  3. Hardened Scales - ls149950

  4. Living End - fingers1991

  5. Amulet Titan - Mistakenn

  6. Mono-Green Golos Tron - AlexzanderFlores

  7. Slivers - SouthernSliver

  8. 5C Creativity - Jrrose

Full list here

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

MTGO Sunday Challenge Results

  1. UR Murktide - tzio

  2. UW Control - Fiyoni

  3. Amulet Ramp - gurig

  4. BR “Scam” Midrange - DiamondAtog

  5. UR Murktide - O_danielakos

  6. 4C Omnath - zarbo

  7. 5C Creativity - ferranr

  8. 4C Creativity - Notoriouss

Full list here

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

MTGO Modern Challenge Top Decks

Sliver of a Chance?

Tons of unique card choices and decks this week, but we have to start with one of Magic’s most popular creature types - Slivers!

SouthernSliver didn’t think they were a joke and took the deck all the way to the top eight in Saturday’s challenge. The core of the deck is the same as it’s always been, picking up a few upgrades over the years. Each Sliver you play buffs and gets buffed by every other one, snowballing into a huge army.

Predatory Sliver and Sinew Sliver pump the team, Diffusion Sliver and Unsettled Mariner (an honorary Sliver) give everyone some extra protection, and Galerider Sliver and Cloudshredder Sliver provide evasion. Dregscape Sliver and Leeching Sliver even give the deck some reach, allowing you to unearth everything in your graveyard and drain your opponent when you attack.

Frenetic Sliver might seem like a novelty with its coin flips, but half the time it completely blanks any removal spell, and can even help evade board wipes. Surge of Salvation and Force of Negation help protect your mass of creatures, and access to Cavern of Souls and Aether Vial means counterspells won’t always work.

Was this result just a fluke, or is the deck more than just a meme? Maybe we’ll see it in the top eight again soon!

A Colossal Ramp Deck

Next up, making the top four on Sunday is gurig, playing Amulet Titan - without Titan! Instead of playing Primeval Titan, Valakut, and Dryad of the Ilysian Grove, this list goes all in on Cultivator Colossus, tons of ramp, and even more ways to find a Colossus. By not playing Titan, every creature in the deck fits the requirements for Kaheera, so you also get a free companion!

This list wants to find an Amulet as fast as possible, then get a Cultivator Colossus in play to essentially win on the spot. Ancient Stirrings helps find an Amulet or Urza’s Saga, and Journey of Discovery is extra ramp that can get you to seven mana as fast as possible. Finale of Devastation allows you to win the turn you find a Colossus but is also another way to find Colossus in the first place.

This version of Amulet seems much more resilient against certain decks. It doesn’t rely on specific lands like Valakut and Slayers’ Stronghold, and it has a much easier time winning through a single removal spell. Will more players start to try Titan-free Amulet builds?

Blazing Bushwhackers

The last list I want to highlight was piloted by medvedev, placing just outside of the top eight in the Showcase Challenge. It’s essentially Mono-Red 8-Whack, with blue for some sideboard silver bullets.

The recent Gleeful Demolition gives the deck access to eight Kuldotha Rebirth effects, playing enough cheap artifacts (and Voldaren Epicure) to reliably cast by turn two. Goblin Bushwhacker or Reckless Bushwhacker can come down the next turn, pushing through for eight damage on the second or third turn. Goblin Grenades add up, and this deck can win out of nowhere, and as early as turn three!

Even when you don’t have the perfect sequence involving a Bushwhacker and a Goblin Grenade, the deck still plays an aggressive fair game thanks to Dragon’s Rage Channeler and Experimental Synthesizer creating card advantage. The blue mana gives access to counters and bounce spells in the sideboard since often all you need is one more turn to win.

Rest of the Best

Merfolk won the Friday challenge in the hands of ht991122, and the fish have been rising in popularity. Tron saw more play, with various green versions as well as shoktroopa winning on Saturday with their signature Mono-Blue variant that they’ve had a ton of success with lately!

Alan07’s Bant Heliod made the finals on Friday, a deck we haven’t seen much of recently.

Rhinos also made the finals in Saturday’s challenge thanks to zer0h, and while its numbers were slightly down, it’s still a very popular strategy. Murktide hasn’t gone anywhere, with tzio beating UW Control in the finals on Sunday.

Some interesting card choices: DiamondAtog played Invasion of Azgol in Scam as an edict that can provide some extra value later. Mistakenn played Dramatic Entrance in Amulet Titan as not only another way to cheat a Titan into play, but also an Atraxa! Hardened Scales found ls149950 trying the new Ozolith as an additional way to spread extra counters around.

Creativity is still incredibly popular, with Gerschi winning the Showcase Challenge and KeepAny7vsYou coming in second, with four-color and Jund respectively. Of note is that second place Jund list, running Wrenn and Realmbreaker and Invasion of Ergamon as ways to create additional Creativity targets and help dig through the deck. Almost every Creativity list with access to blue mana is now playing three to four copies of Change the Equation in the sideboard - it’s a great answer for much of what the deck struggles with.

Trends and Takeaways

Creativity, Murktide, and Rhinos are still the decks to beat in Modern, and while the lists have a little flexibility you should know exactly how they work and how to beat them. Many decks have learned to combat their counterspells with cards like Cavern of Souls (Merfolk, Amulet Titan), go faster (BR Scam, Living End), or bigger (Tron). Even Burn is playing Exquisite Firecraft as an uncounterable four-damage burn spell. The success of Merfolk and Slivers, of all decks, was probably due in part to their speed and resilience to removal.

Players are still experimenting with new cards. It looks like Change the Equation will be a staple in sideboards going forward, and Surge of Salvation has made its impact in Hammer and other aggressive white lists. Wrenn and Realmbreaker, Invasion of Ergamon, Invasion of Azgol and Ozolith, the Shattered Spire were all played in the main decks of various strategies this week, but time will tell if any find a permanent home. Will more cards from March of the Machine find their way into winning decks next week?


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