The post-ban Modern Metagame

Written by derflippi on January 25, 2016




Players always want to figure out how to win. They want to maximize their chances of winning. One important choice along the way to improving those chances is what deck you chose. However, you cannot choose a deck in a vacuum. The optimal deck depends on the metagame. To reiterate: it's a bad idea to bring a knife to a gunfight.

Recently, the Modern format received an update for its banned list. Of course, magic-league always strives to be ahead of the metagame, so the changes were applied immediatly.

Starting January 17th, Summer Bloom is banned, Splinter Twin is banned.
Since then, 403 players joined the magic-league tournaments, 4-8 player "Minis" and 10-50 player "Trials" (in timeframe Jan 17th to Jan 24th) with the banned list changes in mind.

I delved a bit into the information that can be gained by looking at the data of those tournaments. With the data, I created a comprehensive metagame breakdown for you:
I've split the tables into Tiers judging by their share of the metagame, not by how good they are. It's still early in the changed metagame, so there's only hints, no conclusions to be drawn yet.

1. Tier 1 Decks and example decklist of Eldrazis
2. Tier 2 Decks and most played Sideboard cards
3. Tier 3 Decks and a special deck with a spike in win percentages
4. Top played cards in Modern, highlight BFZ/OGW

1. Tier 1 Decks
(4% or higher metagame share) :


Deck Played Won
Lost Meta% Win%
Eldrazi 37 35 30 9,18 54
Infect 35 33 27 8,68 55
Burn 32 31 27 7,94 53
Tron 27 27 24 6,70 53
Scapeshift 22 15 18 5,46 45
TitanShift 7 8 5 1,74 62
BtL Scapeshift 8 4 7 1,99 36
RUG Scapeshift 7 3 6 1,74 33
Lantern Control 19 10 18 4,71 36
Delver 19 22 12 4,71 65
RUG Tempo 9 12 4 2,23 75
UR Delver 8 8 6 1,99 57
Grixis Delver 2 2 2 0,50 50
Jund 17 12 13 4,22 48

The Eldrazi deck is not new. For the past weeks it's been around, but the Thought-Knot Seer really pushed it to be THE top midrange deck. It does everything Jund or Junk can do, but does it better. Some minority(less than 3) of blue Eldrazi decks or blue Tron decks were merged into the bigger archetype.

If you haven't heard of the Eldrazi decks in Modern, possibly because you didn't pay attention to Modern at all in the past weeks, you have to know the Eldrazi deck. It's everywhere:

Eldrazi by Pikachu
Main Deck Sideboard
2 Wasteland Strangler
3 Blight Herder
4 Oblivion Sower
4 Reality Smasher
4 Thought-Knot Seer
1 Kozilek, the Great Distortion
2 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
2 Warping Wail
1 Dismember
3 Thoughtseize
3 Inquisition of Kozilek
4 Relic of Progenitus
2 Expedition Map
4 Eldrazi Temple
4 Eye of Ugin
3 Ghost Quarter
1 Mirrorpool
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Sea Gate Wreckage
4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Bojuka Bog
6 Swamp
2 All is Dust
2 Disfigure
2 Flaying Tendrils
2 Ruin Processor
1 Ghost Quarter
2 Surgical Extraction
4 Eldrazi Mimic




2. Tier 2 Decks (1.5% to 4% metagame share):

Deck Played Won Lost Meta% Win%
GW Hatebears 12 12 9 2,98 57
Junk Rock 11 6 10 2,73 38
Kiki Chord 11 10 9 2,73 53
Melira Company 10 7 7 2,48 50
Pyromancer Ascension 10 11 7 2,48 61
Robots 9 8 8 2,23 50
Elves 7 7 6 1,74 54


Robots/Affinity used to be played much more in the past. There is a reason for the decline of popularity however. The sideboards!




Most played Sideboard Cards,
Modern Jan 17th – Jan 24th
Stony Silence 262 Pithing Needle 101
Nature's Claim 243 Surgical Extraction 101
Spellskite 209 Engineered Explosives 100
Fulminator Mage 184 Blood Moon 93
Relic of Progenitus 154 Shatterstorm 85
Leyline of Sanctity 142 Twisted Image 80
Dispel 141 Feed the Clan 78
Destructive Revelry 137 Kitchen Finks 78
Ancient Grudge 129 Crumble to Dust 77
Kor Firewalker 113 Anger of the Gods 76
Path to Exile 112 Obstinate Baloth 74
Dismember 109 Kataki, War's Wage 72
Molten Rain 108  


Tier 3 Decks (less than 1.5% metagame share):

Deck P W L Meta% Win%
Control 37 22 28 9,18 44
RW Moon 5 6 3 1,24 67
UWR Control 5 1 5 1,24 17
Blue Moon 4 1 3 0,99 25
Grixis Control 3 3 2 0,74 60
Skred Red 3 1 2 0,74 33
UW Control 3 5 2 0,74 71
Other Control 14 5 11 3,47 31
Aggro 38 48 28 9,43 63
Esper Suicide 7 15 4 1,74 79
Bogles 6 8 5 1,49 62
Naya Zoo 6 2 5 1,49 29
BR Burn Moon 5 6 3 1,24 67
Junk Hatebears 5 6 4 1,24 60
Other Aggro 9 11 7 2,23 61
Combo 29 29 24 7,20 55
Living End 7 7 5 1,74 58
Grishoalbrand 4 4 4 0,99 50
Tooth and Nail 4 2 3 0,99 40
Ad Nauseam 3 4 3 0,74 57
UWR Kiki 3 2 2 0,74 50
Other Combo 8 10 7 1,99 59
Midrange/Tempo 21 17 19 5,21 47
BW Midrange 7 5 6 1,74 45
BW Token 6 7 6 1,49 54
Other Midrange 8 5 7 1,99 42


Even if a deck has a winpercentage of 40% or less, the sample size is yet too low to claim it'd be a bad deck. One deck still catched my eye:

Esper Suicide by Padekoi
Main Deck Sideboard
4 Gurmag Angler
4 Death's Shadow
4 Serum Visions
4 Thought Scour
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Mishra's Bauble
4 Stubborn Denial
3 Spell Snare
1 Deprive
4 Path to Exile
3 Lingering Souls
4 Thoughtseize
4 Polluted Delta
4 Marsh Flats
2 Flooded Strand
4 Watery Grave
2 Hallowed Fountain
1 Godless Shrine
2 Deathmark
1 Dispel
1 Disfigure
3 Phyrexian Unlife
1 Deprive
1 Murderous Cut
3 Stony Silence
1 Sunlance
2 Vendilion Clique


I can imagine this deck almost reached 80% win percentage because right now, a very big body that isnt dependant on the graveyard like Tarmogoyf is key at winning against the prevailing Eldrazi decks. Against Infect, a low lifetotal doesn't matter, so Padekoi's take on Suicide turns out to be a good answer to the metagame.


4. Top played cards in Modern, highlight BFZ/OGW

Top Played Maindeck cards,
Top BFZ/OGW
Lightning Bolt 553
Forest 429
.. ..
Path to Exile 376
Inquisition of Kozilek 375
.. ..
Oblivion Sower 151
Thought-Knot Seer 138
Wasteland Strangler 134
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger 121
Blight Herder 86
Stormchase Mage 84
Reality Smasher 73



Thank you for following! How will the metagame change in the next weeks? I don't know by now, but if you have an idea, feel free to comment below!

(no copyrighted card images because of legal reasons, so I just drew them myself..)

Back to Magic: the Gathering Articles

Comments:
by Goldenas on 2016-01-25 08:25 CET

GJ! Infect become second popular deck in magic-league :0


by BlueFerret on 2016-02-02 07:06 CET

If you like that esper deck, take a look at this one:
http://deckstats.net/decks/51874/361674-prog-shark


by Wrinkle22 on 2016-05-16 18:41 CET

wonder what the meta looks like since the eye ban and the unbanning of ancestral and sword


by Wrinkle22 on 2016-05-16 18:41 CET

wonder what the meta looks like since the eye ban and the unbanning of ancestral and sword


by derflippi on 2016-05-23 12:26 CET

Will do another article this week.


by Wrinkle22 on 2016-05-25 18:56 CET

looking forward to that for sure


All content on this page may not be reproduced without written consent of Magic-League Directors.
Magic the Gathering is TM and copyright Wizards of the Coast, Inc, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All rights reserved.


Contact Us | Privacy Policy
Join Swagbucks!