top of page

Modern Metagame: MTGO Challenge Champions 5/12-5/14

Cards: Nissa, Resurgent Animist | Ozolith, the Shattered Spire || 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?

Hardened Scales took Saturday by storm, but a few unique card choices in Omnath and Death’s Shadow highlight the top decks this week!

MTGO Friday Night Challenge Results

  1. BR “Scam” Midrange - John123321

  2. Amulet Titan - Capriccioso

  3. 4C Omnath - YungDingo

  4. Colorless Tron - susurrus_mtg

  5. Living End - ohN

  6. BR “Scam” Midrange - akwafresh

  7. Glimpse Combo - ScreenwriterNY

  8. Temur Rhinos - runn3runn3r

Full list here

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

MTGO Saturday Challenge Results

  1. Sultai Death’s Shadow - xfile

  2. Hardened Scales - kePs

  3. 5C Creativity - Tw33Ty

  4. 4C Creativity - OtherWhiteStuff

  5. Hardened Scales - aspiringspike

  6. Hardened Scales - LordEgg

  7. BR “Scam” Midrange - Edel

  8. BR “Scam” Midrange - ejcos531

Full list here

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

MTGO Sunday Challenge Results

  1. Burn - wangcai

  2. 5C Creativity - yriel

  3. Temur Rhinos - Racerman

  4. Belcher - Bob49

  5. Temur Rhinos - Olivetti

  6. Mono-White Hammer - ChristianMei

  7. UR Murktide - madd2

  8. Temur Rhinos - roter_Erzengel

Full list here

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

MTGO Modern Challenge Top Decks

Omnath Gets a New Toy

Let’s start with YungDingo’s list showing off a new card - a brand new card! Nissa, Resurgent Animist from March of the Machine: The Aftermath is a powerful addition to the four-color Omnath strategy. Its landfall ability ramps your mana much like Omnath does. By activating it twice, usually with a fetch land, you reveal cards until you hit an Elf or Elemental to go into your hand, either another Nissa or a powerful threat like Omnath, Fury, Solitude, or Endurance.

In addition to those powerful Elementals, the deck still gets to play some of the best planeswalkers and removal in the format. Wrenn and Six will make sure you hit your land drop every turn, and Teferi, Time Raveler is still a huge nuisance that can completely shut off certain strategies. Leyline Binding usually costs one or two mana with all the different land types, and Prismatic Ending can exile almost anything you want.

Eladamri’s Call can find the perfect creature for whatever situation you find yourself in, including Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines, which can push your advantage thanks to all the creatures with landfall and enters-the-battlefield abilities.

Is this new Nissa the real deal? Time will tell, but for now, it seems like a much better choice than the fragile Risen Reef. It’s also only one color of mana, so will other decks try her out in the future?

Delirious Death's Shadow

Next, we have to take a look at xfile’s Sultai Death’s Shadow list, winning the challenge on Saturday with a ton of unique choices!

The deck revolves around Invasion of Ikoria, the new battle that tutors for any creature with mana value less than or equal to whatever extra you pay after the double green. The obvious choice in a Death’s Shadow deck is Death’s Shadow, but Dryad Arbor is a free creature (and land) if you only have two mana. Grist, the Hunger Tide is a powerful threat that can be chosen as well, for a total of five mana. If you don’t think your opponent has removal, Vampire Hexmage can be your choice to immediately flip the battle, giving you a huge 8/8 with a relevant ability for only four mana.

There’s also a delirium theme here, with four copies of Traverse the Ulvenwald as another way to tutor creatures. Invasion of Ikoria adds another card type, so it’s even easier now to have four or more in your graveyard. Mishra’s Bauble and Dress Down give you an artifact and enchantment, and both replace themselves.

Tarmogoyf is another unique inclusion, but makes a lot of sense with the different card types, including battle, enabling delirium. Invasion of Ikoria and these powerful creatures pair with some of the best one-mana spells available in Modern, including Fatal Push, Thoughtseize, and Stubborn Denial.

No Colored Mana Needed

Up next is an interesting take on Tron. This deck by susurrus_mtg is essentially completely colorless, not playing any green for Ancient Stirrings or blue for disruption!

This version is all in on assembling the three Urza’s lands as soon as possible, playing Serum Powder for “free” mulligans and the full four copies of both Expedition Map and Inscribed Tablet.

This list is also very anti-creature, featuring three main deck Ensnaring Bridge (with a fourth in the sideboard to fetch with Karn) and four Walking Ballista, plus Basilisk Collar to give Ballista deathtouch.

It still has some game against decks without many creatures, playing four Spellskite and plenty of disrupting artifacts in the sideboard for Karn, like Chalice of the Void, The Stone Brain, and Relic of Progenitus. It also plays Possessed Portal, an extremely powerful artifact that can lock your opponent out of the game!

Rest of the Best

Some usual suspects found their way into the top eight this weekend, including lots of Rhinos, Creativity, and Rakdos Scam, including the winner on Friday. Hardened Scales saw a big uptick in success, with three different pilots finding the top eight. Burn, always a threat, won the challenge on Sunday, with a couple of main deck Roiling Vortex.

A somewhat unique Creativity list made the top four on Saturday, playing a full four copies of former format all-star, Lingering Souls! The deck was essentially the Jund version outside of Souls and sideboard cards, but it’s worth noting how tons of Spirit tokens can buy time or enable another way to win.

Belcher, Glimpse Combo, and Amulet Titan are somewhat less popular decks that also placed this weekend. Hammer and Murktide are usually dominant but only had one pilot each make the top eight.

Trends and Takeaways

Scam, Creativity, and Rhinos are the decks to beat, with Murktide and Hammer falling slightly in terms of popularity. Will any of these top strategies adopt new - or old - cards to try to attack the meta? Murktide lists have been playing more Blood Moon, while Hammer lists are more consistently choosing to stay mono-white.

Nissa, Resurgent Animist and Invasion of Ikoria were big winners among new cards this week. It’s unlikely that any more Aftermath cards will make an impact, but some March of the Machine cards definitely is! Aside from impactful sideboard cards like Change the Equation, many battles and creatures seem powerful enough for Modern. We’ll have to see which ones make a lasting impact, but keep an eye open for now!


❤️If you want to support Bolt the Bird, consider checking out our Patreon page and sharing this article! ❤️

🃏Need some cards for your next Modern league? Check out Cardhoarder's awesome rental program! You'll save money and support Bolt the Bird in the process. 🃏

1,313 views0 comments
bottom of page