The Blue End

There is nothing better than the blue End of the spectrum!

There was a traditional Modern Grand Prix in Oklahoma City, and a Team Unified Modern GP in Madrid on the last weekend. That is a lot of Modern content to wade through! Contrary to what I said about the Unified Standard deck lists from the recent World Magic Cup, the lists from Madrid are actually relevant because Modern is such a large and wide-open format that there are lots of viable combinations without significant overlap between three respective decks any team can bring to the table.

The Chicken Man

Rodrigo Togores managed to win the Team event together with Cristian Ortiz Ros and Adrian Ramiro Cano. I have been following Rodrigo Togores' success story quite closely, as I got to meet him very regularly at nearly all of the MKM Series stops since its inception in 2015. With seven Top 8s and three wins, he is the leader of the MKMS lifetime leaderboard – splitting his success pretty evenly between Vintage, Legacy, and Modern! In 2016 he hit somewhat of a dry spell on the Series, missing various Top 8s on tiebreakers. 2017 wasn't his best season either, but it was still good enough to secure 5th place on the 2017 leaderboard – which will grant him Power 8 status next year. Adding a GP title to his performance this close to the end of the year is really sweet – congratulations!

Special Lands for the Win

Modern seems to have reached its big mana phase once again with Scapeshift and Tron amassing top results across the board. This may have something to do with Lantern control transforming into the Whir of Invention version, which had to cut the Ghost Quarters for more colored mana sources. Without Ghost Quarters into Surgical Extraction both of those matchups become quite problematic for Lantern. The rise of other control decks like Jeskai probably helps those land based strategies as well because they have enough time to deploy their huge and hard to answer threats.

Blue Living End

The most interesting new development (from a financial perspective) didn't make waves at the GPs yet though. It is a new mono blue combo deck, which showed some promising results on Magic Online. It combines As Foretold with both Ancestral Vision for card advantage and Living End as a reset button / winning option. The early game is used to counter opposing threats and/or cycling big blue creatures into the graveyard to find all the pieces and make the Living End more relevant. Tolaria West can find the Suspend spell you need just in case.

As Foretold

Living End

Ancestral Vision

Tolaria West

If you are a regular reader of my articles, you won't be surprised at all that I love the deck concept. To me there is only one deck concept more convincing than a blue control deck or a combo deck, and that is a combo deck with lots of counter spells. The current list still seems to be pretty unrefined. Therefore, I would only invest in the key elements. I can see the deck evolve quite a bit from where it is right now. While the mono blue build has some advantages as well, I would prefer some black mana to at least have a theoretical chance to hard-cast my Architects of Will and maybe even suspend my Living Ends in a drawn-out control battle. Even a single Swamp would already be great due to the 4 Field of Ruin the deck uses anyway. Other cards I would at least test in the archetype include Spell Pierce and Search for Azcanta. The sideboard will probably change a lot as well, based on testing, the expected metagame, and depending on the final mana base.

One way or the other, the deck looks sweet, and it is quite cheap at the moment due to the recent reprint of Ancestral Visions and Cryptic Command.

As Foretold started as a 15 € card because everybody was expecting it to get broken in Modern. That didn't happen until now though. Therefore, you can get regular copies below 4 € and Foils for 10 € at this point. That won't be the case for long once improved versions of this deck start showing up at GP top tables though.

I suggest you pick up your copies now!