The Top 16 Modern Decks from Cardmarket Series Paris
The Modern main event of Cardmarket Series Paris this past weekend was the perfect opportunity to witness a fresh metagame in action and in its first steps of evolution. We did see many decks we somewhat didn't expect, not just within the second half of the Top 16, but also among the first half.
The departure of one of Modern's most iconic cards, Mox Opal, had some people believe in the beginning of a completely new and, naturally, more diverse era. At the same time, others feared that big mana and burn decks would take control of the whole format just like Urza used to.
While red decks indeed proved the most popular in the field overall, the Modern Top 8 at Cardmarket Series Paris painted a different picture, and one definitely more diverse than before the ban. Instead of half of the Top 8 being comprised of different Urza variations, we got three Stoneblade decks — one Bant and two Azorius, one of which won the tournament — as well as Jund, Humans, Death and Taxes, Amulet Titan, and a take on Abzan Company that doesn't rely on Devoted Druid/Vizier of Remedies or other combos.
The next eight decks in line serve as further evidence that the metagame has become more welcoming to a variety of strategies. Seven different archetypes ended up occupying the places from ninth to sixteenth.
Counters Company, a classic Modern archetype that has existed for quite a while now, is just getting stronger. Thanks to all the new cards such as Finale of Devastation, Ranger-Captain of Eos, Once Upon a Time, and Heliod, Sun-Crowned, the deck now has more game-winning combinations than ever before, and also more ways to fetch them. The support it has received is so big, there isn't any need for Duskwatch Recruiter / Krallenhorde Howler anymore. According to this specific list, there might not even be a need for Once Upon a Time either. Instead, Antoine Dambron managed to find room for full playsets of both the green Finale and Collected Company, for four copies of both Heliod and Spike Feeder.
|Antoine Dambron, 9th Place|
The most popular deck of the tournament, Monored Prowess might not have made it to the Top 8, but a very interesting list emerged in the Top 16. It goes to show that this deck has more flex slots than it looks like at first glance. Other than a single Firebolt, it adds Flame Jab and even Reckless Charge to an already wide array of instant and sorcery spells. Also, Blistercoil Weird and Surgical Extraction make a return to further increase the deck's explosive potential.
|Julien Hammann, 10th Place|
Just as many Modern players suspected, Eldrazi Tron remained a force to be reckoned with even after the banning of Mycosynth Lattice. Since there are still many decks that get shut down by Chalice of the Void, it's no surprise that a variant of this deck got this far. What is surprising, though, is the fact that this one runs a playset of Karn Liberated and a single Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. This looks like a very well thought-out move, as most popular Eldrazi Tron lists run Once Upon a Time anyway. Since getting Tron online might now be easier to do, slamming a turn three Karn isn't exclusive to Monogreen Tron anymore.
|Gabriele Benassai, 11th Place|
Another old Modern archetype that keeps getting stronger is Dredge. After Creeping Chill, Merchant of the Vale // Haggle, and the introduction of Forgotten Cave to Modern, it now got Ox of Agonas. A single Blast Zone in the sideboard goes a very long way, as it's able to deal with Grafdigger's Cage with ease. Other than Surgical Extraction, a very interesting sideboard inclusion is Blood Moon. It does usually hurt Dredge, but it's likely meant to combat the new Titan Field and other similar decks, as it hurts them a lot more.
|Anthony Lopez, 12th Place|
Since graveyard-centric decks aren't dominating Modern, this seems like a good time to play them. Leyline of the Void doesn't see that much play right now, which leaves a lot of breathing room for Dredge. The following list further shows that the deck design can be rather flexible if necessary. Even without full playsets of Bloodghast and Narcomoeba, the archetype can do well. A second Conflagrate can hardly be a bad idea, a single Darkblast helps deal with smaller creatures and provides additional dredges, while a turn one Once Upon a Time has great synergy with cards such as Merchant of the Vale.
|Julian Hecker, 13th Place|
Although Plague Engineer was supposed to pose problematic, Humans weren't dead for a single moment. In fact, they are the only deck to appear in both halves of the Modern Top 16 of this Cardmarket Series. The mana base here is stock for the most part, but the rest of the list packs quite a few surprises. Anafenza, the Foremost has managed to make a return straight to the main deck, and Charming Prince found a spot here too. Xathrid Necromancer is also worth a mention as it helps against Jund, one of the deck's worst matchups.
|Victor Hatte, 14th Place|
Gifts Storm has to be among the archetypes that have received the smallest amount of support recently, but that doesn't stop it from being played extensively. It's just that good. This list offers an interesting take on the archetype, one that does not feature a single copy of Empty the Warrens anywhere. Instead, the sideboard holds a playset of Aria of Flames as an alternate win condition. The Aria is also important against Death's Shadow, as that's one of the worst matchups for Storm. Plus, Veil of Summer is so powerful here that this list includes fetch lands just so it can cast it reliably.
|Rodrigo Togores, 15th Place|
Ever since Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis left Modern, players looked for a way to make do with the rest of the cards that deck used to play. The result is Crabvine — also known as NoGaak — a self-mill deck that aims to run the opponent down with multiple copies of Vengevine. If graveyard decks get even more popular, Leyline of the Void is bound to make a grand return, but until then, these are pretty well positioned. Unlike Dredge, this archetype runs blue, giving it access to Force of Negation and even Fatestitcher, which can turn games around in a pinch.
|Nils Schlatter, 16th Place|
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