Welcome to another Modern Musings, this week we are going to do something a bit different and talk about the current modern meta-game with respect to the field of decks most likely to pop up at the modern portion of GP Vegas.  In addition I’m also going to talk about my own deck decision and the value of experience with a deck.

So with that said, what does the modern meta-game look like?  Right now it looks like there are about 5 big decks to beat with a smattering of little decks in between, Death’s ShadowEldrazi Tron, Dredge, Abzan, and Storm.  To me if you aren’t playing one of these decks, then you need to have a plan to beat them.


Death’s Shadow has evolved a bit since Josh Utter Layton’s 1st place finish with the deck, and now has a Sultai Version as well.  The adding of blue gives the deck access to Delver of Secrets and Stubborn Denial, though at the cost of the burst potential of Temur Battle Rage.  My personal preference is the Jund version of the deck, as it is a little less susceptible to Chalice of the Void as well as decks that like to creature spam like elves.

The advantage to playing this deck is that it’s great against decks that are slow to set up like Tron, Ad Nauseam, and Valakut.  It also plays pretty well against midrange decks like Abzan and Jund in game 1.  Even when the deck is not favoured, it can steal games with Temur Battle Rage out of nowhere.

One of the big weaknesses to playing this deck in a tournament like GP Vegas however, is that it is a little weak to Burn, a deck that will probably be out in force. This is partly because it is good against Death’s Shadow decks, but also because it is the standard budget choice for a tournament deck.


Eldrazi Tron is personally my favorite modern deck right now as well as my pick for the deck to bring to GP Vegas.  There are a couple of reasons for this, first, Chalice of the Void is an insane card in modern as many decks either simply cannot beat a Chalice of the Void on 1 or are severely handicapped by it if it stays on board. All is Dust is also brutal against decks that try to maintain some kind of board presence.  There’s not much to say about the rest of the deck, the eldrazi package does a good job of disrupting your opponent’s game plane while simultaneously putting pressure on them.

The disadvantage of Eldrazi Tron is that it can be a little weak to more traditional types of Tron decks like R/G Tron as well as combo decks that don’t rely on 1 drops like the new UR Storm decks.  Finally, though not all that prevalent anymore, the bushwhacker zoo decks often times go under Chalice of the Void and aggro the deck down before it can set up it’s defences.


Not too much to say here, Dredge is a powerful deck that tends to win game 1 a very high percentage of the time.  It takes advantage of the fact that not many decks run mainboard graveyard hate to run over it’s opponent with recurring creatures and big Conflagrates.

The disadvantage of this deck is that there are powerful sideboard cards that neuter it like Leyline of the Void, Relic of Progenitus, and Rest in Peace.


Abzan is a deck that has gotten considerably better over the past couple set releases, especially when the deck gained Grim Flayer.  Abzan feels like the solid choice for people who think that there will be too much hate for the Death’s Shadow decks, but don’t want to get blown out by sideboard cards like Dredge or Storm.  Abzan does rely on solid decision-making skills and experience with the deck, so if you haven’t played with it too much then it might not be the greatest of choices.

The main disadvantages of playing this deck are that it has trouble against the more value-oriented G/W decks as well as a miserable matchup against Tron.


Like Dredge, there’s not too much to say about this deck, except that its become far more consistent and far easier to play than it’s previous iterations.  You no longer need to be Jon Finkel to post results with the deck.  The main reason for this was the printing of Baral, Chief of Compliance, which allowed the deck to have 7-8 copies of the spell cost reduction effect, making it much more consistent.  This is the deck to play if you enjoy not interacting with your opponent or don’t have much time or the ability to play-test with other people.  The deck is very good and I think has the benefit of not having much sideboard hate dedicated to it yet.


There are of course many more decks in modern that I haven’t mentioned, like Affinity and Merfolk  but I feel that those decks are currently not favoured in the current meta-game.  A final note about modern is that much like legacy, you should probably play the deck that is most familiar to you and if you don’t have time to play-test any of the decks I’ve mentioned today, don’t be afraid to stick with the deck that you’ve been playing.  It’s better to be able to play confidently and competently than try to meander your way through the tournament with a deck you aren’t very familiar with or enjoy very much.  Anyway, that’s all for this week, and as always let me know what you think in the comments.

4 Responses

  1. Kyle McKay

    Guessing the Adarkar Wastes in the Eldrazi Tron lists should be justbbasic Wastes?

    • Michael Shapiro

      Lol, those card links are sometimes wonky, should be fixed now


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.