Everywhere around the world, players can soon play in a Modern Grand Prix, They will be held this weekend at Kobe, Copenhagen and Las Vegas.
So, I would like to yet again talk about modern. Last month, I wrote about UW Control , and I also made some videos for it. This time I would like to focus on the BGx possibilities. Jund, Abzan or straight BG? What are the differences between these versions?
So, what does the actual metagame look like? Actually Modern has more than 25 viable decks but among them 8 decks do definitely have more representation. If you want to do well in modern you should have knowledge about every modern deck. Especially these 8 decks that you will most likely have to play against.
Historically, Jund was the best choice of the BGx decks for a long time in Modern. It was mainly because of 《Lightning Bolt》. The card was able to deal with an early 《Deathrite Shaman》, 《Goblin Guide》 or 《Steel Overseer》 without giving any advantage to the opponent like 《Path to Exile》 does. But that was before 《Fatal Push》. The card can deal with every 1 or 2 mana creatures, does not matter how big they are. It is very important when the format is about 《Tarmogoyf》 or 《Death's Shadow》. The card can also deal with lands like 《Celestial Colonnade》.
With Fetch lands, it is pretty easy to upgrade your 《Fatal Push》 to a real 《Terminate》. There are a few creatures you can’t kill with 《Fatal Push》 such as 《Tasigur, the Golden Fang》, 《Reality Smasher》, 《Primeval Titan》. The thing is, these creatures are not seeing heavy play in the current metagame. For all these creatures, 《Terminate》 and 《Path to Exile》 are the best options. 《Go for the Throat》 could be too, but the price to pay is high since If you play against affinity, it does nothing. Either way, your 《Liliana of the Veil》 or 《Maelstrom Pulse》 can help you hedge against 5+ mana cost creatures. For me, white and red are not necessary colors for removal.
2 CMC Creatures
If 4 《Tarmogoyf》, and 2 or 3 《Scavenging Ooze》 are in every version, the last 2 mana creature can be different. It is between 《Dark Confidant》 and 《Grim Flayer》. 《Grim Flayer》 is bigger. It adds value as choosing your next draw and put in graveyard a potential 《Lingering Souls》. But, even if 《Grim Flayer》 is a Black Green card, you will only play it in Abzan. A lot of slots in your deck depends on the Flayer and getting delirium online.
《Dark Confidant》 does not need any other card to be great (thanks to Hall of Famer, Bob Maher). It is the best turn two you can have after a Discard spell turn one. The only build condition is to not play expensive spells in your deck to not be punished too harshly for it. This is why it is better to not play delve spells like 《Murderous Cut》 or with 《Tasigur, the Golden Fang》 with 《Dark Confidant》. To me, 《Dark Confidant》 is a better choice than 《Grim Flayer》.
3 CMC Cards
If 《Lingering Souls》 is great against affinity or the BGx mirror match, I think the card is instead pretty bad against other decks like Storm, Eldrazi, Dredge, Burn, 《Collected Company》, Urza Tron, Valakut etc. 《Kolaghan's Command》 is also strong against affinity and grindy match ups. But the 2 damage is not great against 《Tarmogoyf》 or 《Death's Shadow》.
《Tireless Tracker》 creates card advantage with lands, especially with 《Verdant Catacombs》 but it is really slow and only rally works well in a grindy match up. 《Eternal Witness》 is great against everything at any moment of the game. Your opponent play his third 《Tarmogoyf》? Return a 《Fatal Push》. He is playing Storm? Let’s 《Thoughtseize》 him again. 《Eternal Witness》 is also super good with your sideboard cards. Here too, I am not sure if white or red is actually necessary.
4 CMC Cards
《Chandra, Torch of Defiance》, 《Huntmaster of the Fells》, 《Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet》, 《Siege Rhino》 and 《Gideon, Ally of Zendikar》 To be honest, I like all of these cards a lot. Black Green X decks have a lot of discard and removal to help these expensive spells be played into good conditions. 《Gideon, Ally of Zendikar》 and 《Chandra, Torch of Defiance》 are very strong when you are ahead but could be bad when you are behind. I want my 4-mana spells to be good in any case. 《Huntmaster of the Fells》, 《Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet》 and 《Siege Rhino》 all have a lifegain effect. It is quite important when you play 《Dark Confidant》.
《Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet》 is the worst of these 3 choices if your opponent plays a removal spell on it immediately. It’s also the best if he doesn’t have it. You are playing a lot of discard effects so, your opponent has to play removal on the other creatures you play before and some removal can’t kill Kalitas 《Abrupt Decay》, 《Fatal Push》 with no fetch, 《Lightning Bolt》 etc.. For all of these reasons, I think Kalitas is likely safe. Also, Kalitas cancels the Modular ability of 《Arcbound Ravager》. Deals with annoying creatures like 《Kitchen Finks》, 《Voice of Resurgence》, 《Matter Reshaper》, 《Bloodghast》 and 《Prized Amalgam》.
Playing only 2 colors give you access to 《Ghost Quarter》. It helps a lot against decks with important lands like urza tron or valakut, few basic lands or Manlands like 《Blinkmoth Nexus》 or 《Celestial Colonnade》. 《Tectonic Edge》 is also an option but could be bad against Urza Lands if he get the 3 different land in the first three turns he plays.
There is a choice between 《Hissing Quagmire》 and 《Treetop Village》. 《Hissing Quagmire》 is better in the creature match to be able to trade with a 《Tarmogoyf》 or 《Death's Shadow》. But 《Treetop Village》 attack for 3 and become a creature for only 2 mana. However, playing 《Hissing Quagmire》 give you access to more black mana sources and allow for more 《Ghost Quarter》 in your deck.
The downside if you play only Black and Green is that you will miss out on some red and white cards for your sideboard.
|White & Red SB Cards||Green Black SB Cards|
|《Crumble to Dust》|
|《Painful Truths》||《Tireless Tracker》|
|《Slaughter Games》||《Surgical Extraction》|
The only card I will really miss is 《Stony Silence》. The card is just perfect against affinity and Urza Tron and nothing in green or black is as good as stony silence. For all the rest, we can find adequate replacements.
1 《Marsh Flats》
1 《Treetop Village》
2 《Overgrown Tomb》
3 《Hissing Quagmire》
4 《Blooming Marsh》
4 《Tectonic Edge》
4 《Verdant Catacombs》
2 《Tireless Tracker》 1 《Eternal Witness》 2 《Scavenging Ooze》 4 《Dark Confidant》 4 《Tarmogoyf》 2 《Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet》
1 《Liliana, the Last Hope》
4 《Liliana of the Veil》
3 《Abrupt Decay》
1 《Go for the Throat》
4 《Fatal Push》
1 《Collective Brutality》
1 《Maelstrom Pulse》
4 《Inquisition of Kozilek》
2 《Collective Brutality》
1 《Ishkanah, Grafwidow》
1 《Creeping Corrosion》
3 《Surgical Extraction》
2 《Nihil Spellbomb》
1 《Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet》
1 《Engineered Explosives》
1 《Grafdigger's Cage》
1 《Liliana, the Last Hope》
Actual deck composition at a tournament may vary, so while good sideboard cards should always be good cards you need to trust your own judgment on what to side out & whether you really need to put in all copies of a certain sideboard cards.
Postscript: Watch a few clips where Dezani takes the deck through a MTGO League.
Thank you for reading, Jeremy Dezani
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