Modern Musings: The Top 5 Winners of the Un-Bans Michael Shapiro April 2, 2018 Modern Musings Hey Everyone! This week on Modern Musings we are going to look at the state of Modern after the unbannings and see what impact it has had on the format. Enough time has passed that I think we can draw some conclusions about how the format has shaken out before the release of Dominaria. Specifically, I am going to be talking about the top 5 winners of the post-ban format. #5 – KCI Matt Nass’s KCI Combo / GP Pheonix 4th Place1 x Mishra’s Bauble4 x Mind Stone4 x Krark-Clan Ironworks4 x Ichor Wellspring2 x Engineered Explosives4 x Ancient Stirrings2 x Chromatic Sphere4 x Chromatic Star4 x Scrap Trawler – Buy-a-Box Promo2 x Myr Retriever1 x Hangarback Walker1 x Emrakul, the Aeons Torn3 x Inventors’ Fair4 x Grove of the Burnwillows 2 x Forest (347)2 x Buried Ruin3 x Aether Hub4 x Darksteel Citadel4 x Terrarion1 x Pyrite Spellbomb4 x Mox OpalSB: 2 Wurmcoil EngineSB: 2 Nihil SpellbombSB: 4 Nature’s ClaimSB: 2 Guttural ResponseSB: 2 Ghirapur Aether GridSB: 2 Defense GridSB: 1 Collective Brutality Buy This List KCI combo, or Krark-Clan Ironworks combo is a bit of a newer take on a very old combo. Though not effected by the unbans, the deck has reached a point where enough people seem to be able to pilot the deck well enough that it can start posting tournament results. Of course, while Matt Nass is one of the originators of this version of the deck, I cannot emphasize enough how technically difficult that this deck is to play in a tournament setting, and even for a seasoned pro, the deck is very easy to make a mistake with. This deck honestly reminds me a lot of the early days of Amulet Bloom, a very good deck with no pilots that were practiced enough with the deck to post results. Now that the deck has finally posted something, I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more of it. #4 – Ponza (R/G Land Destruction) Andrew Wolbers’s Ponza / SCG Modern Open – Dallas 1st Place 1 x Nissa, Voice of Zendikar1 x Chandra, Torch of Defiance2 x Lightning Bolt3 x Molten Rain4 x Utopia Sprawl4 x Blood Moon4 x Stone Rain1 x Courser of Kruphix2 x Birds of Paradise2 x Pia and Kiran Nalaar3 x Inferno Titan4 x Arbor Elf4 x Bloodbraid Elf4 x Tireless Tracker1 x Kessig Wolf Run 1 x Mountain (343)2 x Misty Rainforest3 x Stomping Ground3 x Windswept Heath4 x Wooded Foothills7 x Forest (347)SB: 1 ShatterstormSB: 3 Anger of the GodsSB: 2 Scavenging OozeSB: 1 Thrun, the Last TrollSB: 1 Obstinate BalothSB: 2 Kitchen FinksSB: 2 Ancient GrudgeSB: 2 TrinisphereSB: 1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance Buy This List Ponza aka R/G land destruction, is a deck that has been sitting at the edges of modern for a long time now. The deck utilizes the power of Blood Moon to attack it’s opponents mana base, making some decks unable to cast spells at all. This deck further attacks its opponent’s mana by blowing up any basics they play after a resolved blood moon. Even if you take away the blood moon from this deck though, there is a powerful ramp shell underneath utilizing the powerful combo of Arbor Elf and Utopia Sprawl. Bloodbraid Elf has made this deck a little better, allowing the deck to deploy either multiple threats or a threat plus disruption in the same turn. Also thanks to the aforementioned ramp combo, you can potentially cast bloodbraid on turn 2, which is pretty scary. #3 – Taking Turns Takahiro Uemoto’s Time Walks / Grand Prix Kyoto 2018 – Team Trios – Semifinalist1 x Search for Azcanta // Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin1 x Howling Mine1 x Boomerang2 x Cryptic Command2 x Fatal Push2 x Gigadrowse2 x Remand2 x Exhaustion3 x Temporal Mastery3 x Jace, the Mind Sculptor4 x Part the Waterveil4 x Time Warp4 x Dictate of Kruphix4 x Serum Visions2 x Snapcaster Mage1 x Blinkmoth Nexus 1 x Drowned Catacomb1 x Mikokoro, Center of the Sea1 x River of Tears1 x Gemstone Caverns1 x Watery Grave2 x Sunken Hollow3 x Flooded Strand3 x Scalding Tarn9 x Island (335)SB: 3 Thing in the IceSB: 2 Ceremonious RejectionSB: 3 Collective BrutalitySB: 1 CommandeerSB: 1 DispelSB: 1 Engineered ExplosivesSB: 2 Hurkyl’s Recall Buy This List The first real fringe deck that has been brought close to tier 1 with the unbanning of Jace, the Mind Sculptor, and the only deck on our list to feature the card at all. It’s safe to say that Jace did not make the impact that many (myself included) thought he would. However, for Taking Turns, it was a fairly significant upgrade as it allowed the deck to set up miracles with Temporal Mastery to potentially set up consecutive “take an extra turn” effects. The best part is that the deck was already playing temporal mastery, making the upgrade even more significant. On top of the ability to set up miracle turns, Jace can act as a finisher if the situation calls for it as well. #2 – Bogles Jared Parrish’s Bogles1 x Wooded Foothills4 x Windswept Heath4 x Temple Garden4 x Razorverge Thicket1 x Plains (331)4 x Horizon Canopy1 x Forest (347)2 x Spirit Mantle4 x Spider Umbra4 x Rancor4 x Leyline of Sanctity2 x Hyena Umbra1 x Gryff’s Boon4 x Ethereal Armor 4 x Daybreak Coronet1 x Cartouche of Solidarity2 x Path to Exile4 x Slippery Bogle4 x Kor Spiritdancer4 x Gladecover Scout1 x Dryad ArborSB: 3 Stony SilenceSB: 1 Spirit LinkSB: 1 SpellskiteSB: 3 Seal of PrimordiumSB: 2 Rest in PeaceSB: 3 Gaddock TeegSB: 2 Path to Exile Buy This List Boggles has seen a huge uptick in play recently, mostly because of the rise of Jund. Boggles players have taken full advantage of this and started to run the deck again, as it is an awful matchup for Jund. Their hexproof creatures make it so that almost all of Jund’s removal sits dead in their hand, and there are too many must-remove enchantments like Spirit Mantle that it taxes their Abrupt Decays and Maelstrom Pulses. The deck also runs a whopping play set of maindeck Leyline of Sanctitys to invalidate all of Jund’s discard and Lilianas as well. All in all, this deck is a beating. #1 – Jund Pierson Laughlin’s Jund / GP Pheonix – 2nd Place1 x Wooded Foothills4 x Verdant Catacombs2 x Treetop Village2 x Swamp (339)1 x Stomping Ground3 x Raging Ravine2 x Overgrown Tomb1 x Forest (347)4 x Bloodstained Mire1 x Blood Crypt4 x Blackcleave Cliffs3 x Lightning Bolt4 x Dark Confidant3 x Scavenging Ooze4 x Tarmogoyf4 x Inquisition of Kozilek 1 x Maelstrom Pulse2 x Thoughtseize1 x Abrupt Decay3 x Fatal Push1 x Kolaghan’s Command4 x Bloodbraid Elf1 x Liliana, the Last Hope4 x Liliana of the VeilSB: 2 Kitchen FinksSB: 1 Thrun, the Last TrollSB: 2 Tireless TrackerSB: 1 Grim LavamancerSB: 2 Collective BrutalitySB: 2 Anger of the GodsSB: 2 Ancient GrudgeSB: 1 Maelstrom Pulse Buy This List The deck that needs no introduction, it has been a staple of modern and arguably the deck that has benefited most from the unbanning of Bloodbraid Elf. The deck’s plan is simple, disrupt your opponent with discard and removal, then win with the ol’ Tarmogoyf beatdown. The reason that Bloodbraid is so good in this deck is that it allows Jund to have the potential to cast disruption while still putting a threat on the table. Even if you hit a Goyf or a Dark Confidant with your cascade, it’s still great. There are very few if any bad hits, if any with cascade with little to no deckbuilding effort on the part of Jund. Anyway, that’s all for this week. Do you agree with my picks for the winners of the new modern format? Let me know in the comments! Until next time everybody! Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName Email Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.