Last week we got to see the Modern format, not as it was intended to be, but instead as some might say as it was intended "not" to be. WOTC has instated the ban list to keep Modern balanced, and avoid certain decks from completely dominating the format.
However, we got lucky enough to witness the this ban list thrown out the window just long enough to play a full tournament. Hosted by Star City Games in Roanoke, VA... there are some interesting results!
The Most Significant Card on the Ban List
Out of the top 25 decks at the tournament, over half of them were related to Eldrazi in some way or another.
You might remember around the time when the second wave of Eldrazi was being printed (Eldrich Moon, mid-2016)... Modern had what some refer to as the "Eldrazi Winter" Modern was dominated by Eldrazi decks with their new-found tools to be used, like Thought-Knot Seer and Reality Smasher.
It was not soon that WOTC quickly realized that they'd awoken a beast too powerful to be tamed by other decks in Modern like Jund or Affinity. Something needed to change, so therefore Eye of Ugin was banned. I would contend that this is the card that is currently "most justified" in being banned.
Now, I'm sure most of you are glaring at Chrome Mox, among other cards on the banned list, and thinking of just how broken your decks could be. But that's the thing, having a broken deck is fine, just don't let WOTC know about it. They only ban cards when they can see (through statistics) that the meta of a format is becoming unbalanced. This in itself might be a topic for a separate article entirely. Anyway, what sort of decks did we see at the non-restricted tournament in VA?
The Finals Decks
Screenshots via MTGGoldFish, no copyright intended.
Eldrazi and Miracles. What else did we expect in finals? Perhaps I guess Affinity with all of those artifact lands... or maybe some sort of Bloom Titan variant. There were many great contenders, but ultimately Eldrazi rose to the top. You might say that it was the Rise of the Eldrazi. (jokes, anyone?)
Other Notable Decks
STORM - It's always interesting to remember were existing Modern decks have come from. In this case, Modern Storm has list numerous pieces to multiple bannings by Wizards. Somehow, storm still exists today.
POST - While Glimmerpost is legal in Modern, it doesn't count for much without Couldpost. Out of the decks that we saw at this tournament, I think this is my favorite. When I first started MTG, I actually made one of these decks. I thought it was really good, until I found out it was banned. Oh well.
DEPTHS - Marit Lage is lurking in the shadows, only held back by a single ban... until now. I also find this deck interesting, primarily because it is one of the few Modern decks that shares it's identity with it's counterpart in Legacy. Hexmage and Dark Depths, good stuff.
What Does This Mean?
Considering the outcome of this unique environment, are there any individual cards that should be un-banned from Modern? It's not unheard of, Bloodbraid Elf was recently unbanned. But no, I don't think any individual cards should be unbanned. If anything, I think it would end up being a group of cards in an effort to keep Modern's meta diverse. That's really the goal when it comes to the ban list, magic just isn't as fun when everyone is playing the same deck.
If you enjoyed this article, check out a video I made about Value Cards in Modern!
Thanks for reading!