Cards: Invasion of Tarkir | Murktide Regent || Art: WotC

Modern Metagame: MTGO Challenge Champions 5/19-5/21

Modern Metagame: MTGO Challenge Champions 5/19-5/21

Every weekend, Modern challenges on MTGO showcase the format’s top decks and attract hundreds of great players looking to battle. What decks topped the tournaments this weekend?

Murktide continues to show why it’s one of the most popular strategies in Modern, but plenty of new cards made appearances in decks like Goryo’s Vengeance and Domain Zoo.

MTGO Friday Challenge Results

  1. UR Murktide – twinlesstwin
  2. Hardened Scales – scipios
  3. Mono-Green Tron – yPrincipe
  4. UR Murktide – Gen_Kie
  5. Burn – MandrillMan
  6. 4C Omnath – jds-walker
  7. Murktide Regent – No_e_that_knows
  8. 4C Omnath – Ovinize

Full list here

Direct links courtesy of Reddit u/FereMiyJeenyus and their MTGO Results Scraper.

MTGO Saturday Challenge Results

  1. Domain Zoo – MisterT1980
  2. Yawgmoth – SleepingSnorunt
  3. Temur Rhinos – Blackops1125
  4. UW Hammer – HappySandwich
  5. Living End – CaboGrosso
  6. Hardened Scales – LordEgg
  7. Mono-Black Cabal Coffers – Toxic1990
  8. UR Murktide – sokos13

Full list here

Direct links courtesy of Reddit u/FereMiyJeenyus and their MTGO Results Scraper.

MTGO Sunday Challenge Results

  1. BR “Scam” Midrange – J0SE
  2. Goryo’s Vengeance – Alesha_
  3. Jeskai Grinding Station Breach – Alakai
  4. UR Murktide – tzio
  5. Mono-Green Tron – Aardos
  6. 5C Creativity – KingHairy
  7. Mono-Black Cabal Coffers – leandru
  8. Mono-Green Tron – narca

Full list here

Direct links courtesy of Reddit u/FereMiyJeenyus and their MTGO Results Scraper.

MTGO Modern Challenge Top Decks

Is That an 18/6?

Maybe the biggest surprise all weekend was Alesha_’s Goryo’s Vengeance list they made the finals with on Sunday – not so much the archetype, but some of the card choices!

The deck still combines the food package with Ovalchase Daredevil, giving more ways with Voldaren Epicure to discard an Emrakul and reanimate it with Goryo’s Vengeance. However, another interesting discard outlet shows up here: Cragganwick Cremator. This four-mana creature seems expensive, but it can deal a huge chunk of damage if you’re lucky, or if you’ve already discarded the rest of the cards in your hand. Along with Emrakul the other big hit from Cremator is Yargle and Multani. This six-mana 18/6 can win the game on its own if discarded with a Cremator. It’s also legendary, so it can be reanimated with Goryo’s Vengeance for a hasty 18 damage.

Cragganwick Cremator gives the strategy another way to win, and a path to victory through graveyard hate. It’s surprisingly easy to sculpt your hand to guarantee almost 20 damage from one Cremator trigger, and it’s not hard to push through that extra damage with Voldaren Epicure or some other early creatures.

Dragon’s Domain

Next up, I want to touch on Saturday’s winner, Domain Zoo piloted by MisterT1980. Domain Zoo has always been a threat, and the deck has added some new cards recently.

The goal of Zoo is to cast tons of cheap, powerful creatures that might get some benefit from playing different basic land types, like Nishoba Brawler, Wild Nacatl, and Territorial Kavu. Tribal Flames can finish off your opponent, usually dealing five damage, and Stubborn Denial helps protect your creatures and survive.

Invasion of Tarkir is the brand new battle that many Zoo players have decided to play a few copies of. It’s two damage for two mana at its worst but checks for Dragons in your hand. It deals an extra point of damage for every Scion of Draco you reveal, the only Dragon you play, but this works out well since Scion is usually one of the last creatures played. Five damage might seem like a lot to win the battle, and it might be correct to not bother attacking it, but the flipped Defiant Thundermaw threatens to take over the game if not answered immediately.

Leyline Binding is a very inexpensive answer for a deck playing every basic land type, and Lightning Bolt makes sense as both removal and a way to burn out your opponent alongside Tribal Flames. Many lists are back to playing Dromoka’s Command, as both more removal and a main deck way to deal with a troublesome enchantment. Migloz, Maze Crusher also can help answer artifacts. One big benefit to playing all five colors is the ability to play some of the most powerful sideboard cards, regardless of color. Common choices include Rest in Peace, Hidetsugu Consumes All, and Teferi, Time Raveler.

New Nissa is Nifty

Lastly, Omnath is still here, and Nissa is their new best friend. Two multicolor Omnath decks found the top eight on Friday, with one playing Keruga as a companion. The Keruga version relied on split cards like Dead // Gone and Fire // Ice for removal, along with Fable of the Mirror Breaker. The other deck got to play Prismatic Ending and Wrenn and Six, but both used Leyline Binding and many of the same creatures.

Omnath, Locus of Creation, Solitude, and Fury continue to make up the backbone of this deck, but more lists are adopting Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines as another powerful, difficult-to-answer threat. Nissa, Resurgent Animist is quickly becoming the go-to three drop, although both of these lists also played Risen Reef. Each one does have pros and cons in different situations, so more Omnath pilots may adopt a split going forward.

Rest of the Best

Murktide and Rakdos “Scam” are still two of the best and most played Modern decks, winning Friday and Sunday, respectively. Rhinos, Creativity, and Hammer, three more very popular strategies, also had a few top finishes.

Hardened Scales continues to see top-level play, showing off its power utilizing the new Ozolith, the Shattered Spire. Mono-Black Cabal Coffers, Tron, and Living End are all having more consistent success as well. Yawgmoth made the finals on Saturday and is seeing more play now in general. Burn also continues to show up, making the top eight this week after winning last week.

Trends and Takeaways

An interesting note on SleepingSnorunt’s top two Yawgmoth list is the inclusion of three copies of Arboreal Grazer. It definitely can help power out a fast start and can be used to convoke early, even if it’s not a great draw late.

The top four Jeskai Underworld Breach deck was playing Grinding Station, but no Thassa’s Oracle. Grapeshot is also a win condition with Breach and Mox Amber or Mishra’s Bauble, but it’s unique to not see any Oracle at all.

The top four Rhinos list is playing Murktide Regent in the flex slots that are sometimes occupied by Become Immense or more copies of Fury. Most lists are now running Murktide Regent, and it looks like the consensus is that it’s the best card to fill out the rest of the deck.

This week’s Burn list, like last week’s winner, is playing Roiling Vortex in the main. It’s a possible concession to the popularity of Rhinos and other Cascade strategies, but it also helps buy an extra turn against Creativity by negating the life gain of the first Archon trigger. Many other decks aren’t playing Leyline of Sanctity now, so Burn lists have cut Wear // Tear from their sideboards in favor of Orvar, the All-Form for Creativity and Chalice of the Void for Cascade archetypes.

Fast combo and aggressive strategies continue to have success, but decks full of answers like Murktide and Omnath are good counters and keep putting up numbers. Nissa has proven its power, and several battles have found play so far. Will we get any more surprises in the coming weeks?

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