State of the Meta—This Modern Life and Rotation

It’s that time again… ROTATION. Uh… for me at least. I know just what you’re thinking. The Durdle Magus has lost what little mind he had left. No. No. I know it’s not September, I assure you I’m still sane(ish). An email went out last week from my local shop. Tuesday night’s Standard: The Gathering events are now being replaced with Modern: The Gathering events. Drafts are to continue as normal but that means I’m out of the loop for Standard now. I work on Friday nights and Saturday and Sunday… and Thursday. Looks like for the time being, all the constructed Magic I’ll be playing is Modern.

Well here’s the bad news: my Standard cards aren’t gonna see much use over the next couple of months.

Good news on the other hand: I can make just about any deck (or could last week) in Standard. Standard prices are at a premium right now. I have a lot of collateral in a stock that is now high and will soon be low.

Conclusion: SELL! SELL! SELL! Well, not sell per say. I’m trading my not too stable Standard stock for much more stable Legacy and Modern stock.

I made some power moves in trading this week. Reckoners have become fetches, and Cliques. I should have most of the cards I need in the coming weeks for constructed. It feels good to be able to do this and still get value while I can. In the mean time I’ll be looking to build up my collections of Shocklands and try to build Esper Control for the odd Standard event I’m in. (BIG SURPRISE THERE, right?)


I literally just went through my entire collection today in search of one card to complete my Modern deck this week. Like, ALL THE CARDS. But I found it. Isochron Scepter. This week I’m rocking American Midrange in Modern. Here’s the List I have right now:

2 Path to Exile
4 Electrolyze
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Lightning Helix
4 Spell Snare
2 Mana Leak
2 Cryptic Command
1 Isochron Scepter
2 Restoration Angel
4 Geist of Saint Traft
4 Snapcaster Mage
3 Vendilion Clique
4 Celestial Colonade
4 Hallowed Fountain
2 Sulfur Falls
2 Arid Mesa
3 Scalding Tarn
2 Sacred Foundry
2 Steam Vents
1 Plains
2 Island
1 Mountain

After looking online at the many different versions of this deck, this is the one I dig the most. Some ran Grim Lavamancers and/or Steppe Lynx, but I like the Geist plan.

Saint Traft must have been a heck of a guy. I suppose it’s easy to be all tough, when you know theres a 4/4 Angel coming down at your enemies too. Old Hank Traft (Saint Henry Traft could be his full name) is basically just another burn spell. In a deck like this, you have to ekk out value everywhere you can find it. If a bolt can kill a blocker and Hank gets to come in again for at least another four damage the next turn then that’s a good thing.

All the classic Modern counterspells are present, though Delay (an idea by Luis) seems like you could be a thing. Tempo is way for fun in Modern. There’s a lot of areas to attack and stalling the combos is important, as is stopping my opponent from killing my guys. The sideboard is gonna be a surprise but I think you’ll see a Boros Charm in the main. I could use more fetches but I own five so that’s what I have to work with.

After going 3-5 in the 20ss PTQ with Azorius Control I’m kind of finished playing the second banana deck for a bit. If i’m gonna take off work on a Saturday (which is great fun, but highly irresponsible if I don’t place well) then I better invest the money and time into a great deck. I LOST TO A GUY PLAYING GRAND ARBITER AUGUSTINE THE IV for god sakes. Talk about demoralizing.

I’m pretty excited about Modern this week and really happy that the tournament schedule has changed, I haven’t found anything in Standard that I really loved. For a couple weeks at least I should have the advantage of having a solid deck, and a pretty good knowledge of the decks people are playing. Change is good. Winning is better.

Zac Clark, Durdle Magus

State of the Meta is a Hipsters of the Coast column about the Constructed Metagame. Focused on Modern with occasional asides to Legacy, Standard, and finance, it is a commentary of the current trends in Constructed magic and a place that Zac Clark vents about the weekly TNM.

7 Responses to “State of the Meta—This Modern Life and Rotation”
  1. Li Xu says:

    Colonnades with only 23 lands is no bueno.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] by the Twenty Sided Store’s decision to switch Tuesday Night Magic from Standard to Modern. Zac Clark dealt with the switch by digging through his collection to complete an American Midrange deck and […]

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