Blood Moon used to be a powerhouse card in Modern that locked your opponent out of their key spells. However, the format was warped drastically in 2021 with the arrival of Modern Horizons 2.
This has left the fate of Blood Moon up in the air as players adapt to a much faster, much redder metagame.
Still, the prevalence of game-winning cards in all five colors has tempted many Modern players to build greedy manabases to try and take advantage of all of them. This puts Blood Moon in an interesting spot as we kick-off 2022.
Is its brutal effect enough to warrant its cost? Can Blue Moon still be a dominant force in today’s Modern metagame? Let’s dive in and find out.
Greedy Manabases Abound
Fetching for the best lands in your deck is a key part of any game of Modern. Today, many of the top meta decks are defined by their use of fetches.
Four-color piles using Omnath are forcing Wrenn and Six and Teferi, Time Raveler into their turn three curve. Control decks need multiple blue sources to fire off answers like Counterspell and Archmage’s Charm.
Meanwhile, Blood Moon also hits important utility lands like Cavern of Souls, Inkmoth Nexus, and Urza’s Saga.
With all this in mind, Blood Moon can absolutely hose several Tier 1 decks in the 2022 Modern meta.
Of course, the opposite can be said of the other half of the Tier 1 metagame.
Ragavan and One Drops
As a whole, the mana curve in Modern has dropped significantly. According to data from MTG Goldfish, the top 10 decks in Modern have a combined average mana cost of just over 2.1.
That’s incredibly low and means the pace of the game is faster than ever. Cards like Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and Dragon’s Rage Channeler apply tremendous pressure in the early game for decks running red. Hammer Time decks power up one- and two-drop creatures for massive swings on turn three.
Meanwhile, Amulet Titan builds and Izzet Murktide are capable of dropping game-winning bombs on turn three or four. Although these aren’t one-drop cards, they come down fast enough that Blood Moon may not have an impact.
Red is a Modern Powerhouse
Right now, red is arguably the most powerful color in all of Modern. With that being said, turning all of your opponent’s lands into mountains isn’t as backbreaking as it seems.
Although a well-timed Blood Moon can lock your opponent out of the game if their manabase is greedy, many decks can still play through it.
A single red mana is enough to cast a Ragavan. Of course, the monkey then makes a treasure each time it hits, letting you play through the Blood Moon or find an answer to it.
Ragavan aside, the fact that more than half of the Tier 1 decks in the meta are running red makes Blood Moon less attractive. Spending three mana to lock your opponent out of some—but not all—of their spells isn’t game-winning. Hence why it isn’t the powerhouse it was a few years ago.
All things considered, Blood Moon still offers a powerful effect in the right situation. Out of the sideboard, it is an all-star and can be a nasty surprise for your opponent. Dropping a turn three Blood Moon onto a board full of non-basic lands can spell disaster for a deck that isn’t ready for it.
That’s why the card is a sideboard staple in several Tier 1 Modern decks, including the likes of Izzet Murktide and Crashing Footfalls.
One Ban Away From Glory
For now, it looks like the sideboard is where Blood Moon is best positioned to succeed. However, it feels like things could change quickly if the meta gets shaken up by a banning.
For instance, if Lurrus ate a ban (which isn’t unrealistic) it would give players more flexibility to run three drops in their red decks. It could also bring back a grindier, tempo-style play pattern that is less reliant on one and two-drop creatures.
While the Modern meta is fairly stable right now, a surprise ban could happen at any time. If or when it does, Blood Moon is a perfect candidate to take advantage of it.
What are your thoughts on Blood Moon in our current Modern meta? Is this sideboard all-star ready to make moves in 2022 or will it be overshadowed by cheap creatures and low curves? Let us know in the comments below!
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