D.C./ Maryland/ Virginia Modern Metagame 5/20/16-5/20/17
By Zac Pinales
Method of Data Collection
Here’s the data I’ve compiled for the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia events from Star City Games events, TCGPlayer States, and any other event on MTGTop8.com from the past year: It includes decks in the top 8 with less than 50 people, top 16 with 51-199 people, and top 32 of events with 200 or more people attending, dating back to May of 2016. While the data has an expansive range of results, it’s safe to assume roughly the same group of people are traveling to events in the area. This is even more apparent when larger events such as SCG Baltimore or Richmond come around, since they’re pretty close in physical distance to one another.
So without further ado, here's my compilation:
Current Meta Outline
The first things to stand out after looking at the list is the number of Burn and Infect results. Burn is understandable, as it's linear, consistent, and will always be present in a modern meta. Infect, on the other hand, is a surprise. I wouldn't think it would still have results in the parameters I’ve set even up to April of this year (months after the Gitaxian Probe ban and Fatal Push introduction). Going into a large event, I'd still expect to see a few people still playing Infect.
Looking right below the two decks, we have Jund. At this point, we can safely assume most of the meta will have shifted to the Death's Shadow variation of Jund. While I don’t expect Traditional Jund to disappear completely, the majority of the grindy midrange decks present will likely be Death’s Shadow decks. Transformations like this one can also be seen with the evolution from Gx Tron to Eldrazi Tron and Jeskai or Esper Control to straight UW control.
Affinity, GWx Company, and Merfolk are also decks to watch for, as they are pretty common in this area. With the new Vizier-Druid combo Company decks are rocking of late, seeing a surge of more players on these decks is a real possibility. In order to combat them, I recommend sweeper effects such as Anger of the Gods and Supreme Verdict. Adding Grafdigger's Cage to your 15 also helps against the Company matchup, while also meddling with Snapcaster Mage decks and Dredge.
Of note, as illustrated in our tier list, Gifts Storm has risen near to the top of the Modern metagame. This deck is vulnerable to graveyard hate and removal, so plan accordingly.
To account for the last bit of the meta I wanted to touch on, the grindy control decks are of many flavors. Grixis Control, Blue Moon, UW Control, and Sun & Moon are decks to be respected. Each archetype has tools to deal with the decks I’ve outlined above, with hate cards such as Blood Moon, Chalice of the Void, and Spreading Seas. If you’re looking to beat control, you’re either going to want to go fast or pilot a deck with a good amount of resilience.
With SCG Baltimore coming this weekend, Here’s my prediction for what the top 8 will look like: As I mentioned, with the predicted rise in GWx Company decks, we’ll likely see two copies of the deck in the top 8. Burn and UWx Control will likely find a slot in here as well because of the number of results they’ve had in the past. Chances are that an Affinity pilot will manage to fight through the common hate its opponents should pack to prepare for them. I expect Eldrazi Tron to be in the top 8, because it is a well-rounded deck with few glaring weaknesses. And for the last slot? Whatever pile of cards Jeff Hoogland puts together. Why? For whatever reason, he always finds a spot in the Top 8 at SCG Baltimore.
That's all I have. Expect another update in a few months after the next couple of larger events in the area. Drop a comment and I hope to see some of you out at SCG Baltimore this weekend.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Zac Pinales is the Content Coordinator for MainPhaseMTG. Having played Modern since he started Magic in late 2013, Zac has played Skred, UW Gifts Tron, and is now piloting Titanshift and Merfolk. He has recently got into Commander last year, where he has finally found a place for his favourite colour pairing: Mardu.