March Modern Challenge Top 8 Decklists & Review – 8 Different Deck Archetypes! by Andrew Quinn

March Modern Challenge Top 8 Decklists & Review At Manaleak Birmingham Birmingham Modern Challenge Top 8 Decklists & Review, March 2017

We don’t normally post the top 8 decklists for regular challenges these days, but when 54 players show up to battle MTG in Birmingham, we figured that we could make an exception. The long day was capped off by a Top 8 featuring 4 local players and 8 different deck archetypes featuring all 5 colours. Let’s get down into the lists!

Winner – Gareth Thomas, Fish

4 Cursecatcher
3 Harbinger of the Tides
4 Lord of Atlantis
4 Master of the Pearl Trident
4 Master of Waves
3 Merrow Reejerey
1 Phantasmal Image
4 Silvergill Adept
2 Vendilion Clique

4 Aether Vial
3 Dismember
4 Spreading Seas

2 Cavern of Souls
12 Island
1 Minamo, School at Water’s Edge
4 Mutavault
1 Oboro, Palace in the Clouds

3 Dispel
2 Relic of Progenitus
3 Tectonic Edge
3 Tidebinder Mage
4 Unified Will[/d]

Coming in first place was good old Fish! When Lorwyn block graced us with [c]Cursecatcher[/c] and [c]Silvergill Adept[/c] back in 2007, the beloved Magic tribe of Merfolk began to take shape in a competitive capacity. Ever since then, Merfolk has been a mainstay of Eternal formats and every now and again, it pops back up and shows us just why it’s one of Magic’s most powerful tribes. Merfolk focuses on the power of [c]Aether Vial[/c] and its 2 2-mana tribal “Lords” ([c]Lord of Atlantis[/c] and [c]Master of the Pearl Trident[/c]). The combination is a powerful aggro deck with nice disruptive elements and the capacity for some very fast clocks.

Winner - Gareth Thomas Fish Merfolk Modern Winner
Winner – Gareth Thomas running Fish!

2nd Place – Keiran Randazzo, Ad Nauseam

1 Laboratory Maniac
4 Simian Spirit Guide

4 Ad Nauseam
4 Angel’s Grace
1 Lightning Storm
4 Lotus Bloom
3 Pact of Negation
4 Pentad Prism
4 Phyrexian Unlife
4 Serum Visions
4 Sleight of Hand
3 Spoils of the Vault

4 Darkslick Shores
4 Gemstone Mine
1 Plains
4 Seachrome Coast
4 Temple of Deceit
2 Temple of Enlightenment
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
1 Echoing Truth
2 Ethereal Haze
1 Grave Titan
1 Timely Reinforcements
1 Rest in Peace
1 Hurkyl’s Recall
4 Leyline of Sanctity
3 Thoughtseize[/d]

[c]Ad Nauseam[/c] Tendrils has been a powerhouse in Legacy ever since [c]Ad Nauseam[/c] was printed back in 2008. The Modern combo deck looks a fair bit different (for one, it doesn’t win using a storm spell). For those of you unfamiliar with the combo, it uses [c]Angel’s Grace[/c] or [c]Phyrexian Unlife[/c] to stop you losing to your own [c]Ad Nauseam[/c], allowing you to use it to draw your entire deck. Once you’ve picked up your deck, 3 [c]Simian Spirit Guide[/c]s allow you to cast [c]Lightning Storm[/c], discarding a bunch of lands for lethal damage in one shot, with [c]Pact of Negation[/c]s able to back you up and stop opposing counter magic. This tough and resilient combo is one of Modern’s most powerful and most streamlined, making it a force to be reckoned with.

Top 4 – Michael Parker, Jeskai Control

2 Restoration Angel
4 Snapcaster Mage
1 Vendilion Clique

1 Ajani Vengeant
1 Gideon Jura

1 Anger of the Gods
2 Cryptic Command
1 Disallow
1 Izzet Charm
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Lightning Helix
2 Mana Leak
4 Path to Exile
2 Remand
2 Shadow of Doubt
2 Spell Snare
1 Sphinx’s Revelation
1 Think Twice

4 Celetsial Colonnade
3 Flooded Strand
3 Ghost Quarter
1 Glacial Fortress
2 Hallowed Fountain
2 Island
1 Mountain
1 Plains
1 Sacred Foundry
4 Scalding Tarn
2 Steam Vents
1 Sulfur Falls

1 Anger of the Gods
2 Blessed Alliance
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Dispel
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Izzet Staticaster
1 Keranos, God of Storms
2 Stony Silence
2 Thundermaw Hellkite
1 Timely Reinforcements
1 Wear // Tear
1 Wrath of God[/d]

Here’s one of Modern’s premier control decks. The Jeskai colour combination in Modern gives you access to quite simply the best threats, best efficient removal spells and best counter spells that the format has access to. There’s not a lot else to say about this. The age old combination of these 3 main factors is a tried and tested formula for success in many formats throughout Magic’s history.

Top 4 – Ryan Heathen, Golgari Tron

1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
2 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
2 Wurmcoil Engine

4 Karn Liberated
2 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

4 Ancient Stirrings
4 Chromatic Sphere
4 Chromatic Star
4 Expedition Map
4 Fatal Push
4 Oblivion Stone
2 Planar Bridge
4 Sylvan Scrying

3 Blooming Marsh
1 Forest
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Llanowar Wastes
1 Sanctum of Ugin
4 Urza’s Mine
4 Urza’s Power Plant
4 Urza’s Tower

3 Collective Brutality
3 Nature’s Claim
2 Pithing Needle
2 Relic of Progenitus
2 Thragtusk
1 Walking Ballista
2 Warping Wail[/d]

Tron is the combination of the 3 “Urza Lands,” [c]Urza’s Mine[/c], [c]Urza’s Power Plant[/c] and [c]Urza’s Tower[/c]. Together, they provide you with 7 colourless mana, enough to cast a [c]Karn Liberated[/c] as early as turn 3. This makes Tron the premier “ramp” deck in Modern. This version retires the red spells usually seen in similar decks and instead uses black to power out Modern’s newest removal spell: [c]Fatal Push[/c]. It is even quite easy to activate Revolt, thanks to [c]Chromatic Star[/c], [c]Chromatic Sphere[/c] and [c]Expedition Map[/c].

Top 8 – Wei Lew, Skred Red

2 Eternal Scourge
3 Pia and Kiran Nalaar
2 Stormbreath Dragon

2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
4 Koth of the Hammer

3 Anger of the Gods
4 Blood Moon
1 Dismember
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Mind Stone
1 Pyrite Spellbomb
4 Relic of Progenitus
4 Skred

2 Scrying Sheets
20 Snow-Covered Mountain

1 Anger of the Gods
2 Dragon’s Claw
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
3 Molten Rain
1 Pithing Needle
1 Release the Gremlins
1 Ricochet Trap
2 Shattering Spree
3 Simian Spirit Guide[/d]

[c]Skred[/c] can be, once enabled, one of the most powerful removal spells in the whole format. If all you need to do is play mono red and a mana base full of snow lands, then why not give it a shot? “Skred Red” does exactly that. At its core, it is simply a mono red midrange/control deck built to take full advantage of [c]Skred[/c]. It turns out, red has some very powerful cards on offer for a deck like this, such as [c]Anger of the Gods[/c] and [c]Blood Moon[/c], which makes this a very powerful force in the metagame.

Top 8 – Matthew Whewell, Lantern Control

2 Abrupt Decay
4 Ancient Stirrings
4 Codex Shredder
1 Collective Brutality
4 Ensnaring Bridge
2 Ghoulcaller’s Bell
1 Infernal Tutor
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
4 Lantern of Insight
3 Mishra’s Bauble
4 Mox Opal
3 Pithing Needle
2 Pyxis of Pandemonium
3 Surgical Extraction
2 Thoughtseize

2 Academy Ruins
4 Blooming Marsh
3 Ghost Quarter
4 Glimmervoid
2 Inventors’ Fair
1 Llanowar Wastes
1 Swamp

2 Collective Brutality
2 Grafdigger’s Cage
2 Leyline of Sanctity
1 Lost Legacy
1 Nature’s Claim
1 Seal of Primordium
2 Spellskite
1 Surgical Extraction
1 Thoughtseize
2 Welding Jar[/d]

It’s probably fair to say that by this point, Lantern Control is one of the most hated decks in Modern, which I think is completely unfair (I just LOVE this deck!). The deck combines [c]Lantern of Insight[/c] with [c]Codex Shredder[/c], [c]Ghoulcaller’s Bell[/c] and [c]Pyxis of Pandemonium[/c] to control what each player gets to draw, forcing you to give up the game because you will never be able to draw an answer. This is a powerful deck and one that we will likely see for a good long while in the format.

Top 8 – Freddie Barber, Infect

4 Blighted Agent
4 Glistener Elf
4 Noble Hierarch
1 Viridian Corrupter

1 Apostle’s Blessing
4 Become Immense
3 Blossoming Defence
1 Dismember
2 Distortion Strike
4 Might of Old Krosa
4 Mutagenic Growth
1 Serum Visions
2 Spell Pierce
1 Twisted Image
4 Vines of Vastwood

3 Breeding Pool
1 Dryad Arbor
2 Forest
4 Inkmoth Nexus
2 Pendelhaven
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Windswept Heath

2 Apostle’s Blessing
1 Dismember
1 Dispel
2 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Kitchen Finks
3 Nature’s Claim
2 Spell Pierce
1 Spellskite
1 Twisted Image
1 Wild Defiance[/d]

[c]Gitaxian Probe[/c] may be gone, but that hasn’t stopped Infect. The deck may have been slowed down, sure, but it is by no means dead. The plan is as simple as could be. Make an unblockable creature with Infect up to 10 power and attack! Game over! Since you have access to blue mana because of [c]Blighted Agent[/c] then you can even back up your plan with counter spells too. It’s straightforward, but very powerful and still one of the best decks that Modern has to offer!

Top 8 – Pablo Gonzalez, Naya Burn

4 Eidolon of the Great Revel
4 Goblin Guide
2 Grim Lavamancer
4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Wild Nacatl

4 Atarka’s Command
4 Boros Charm
4 Lava Spike
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Rift Bolt
3 Searing Blaze

2 Arid Mesa
4 Bloodstained Mire
2 Copperline Gorge
2 Inspiring Vantage
2 Mountain
2 Sacred Foundry
2 Stomping Ground
4 Wooded Foothills

2 Deflecting Palm
3 Destructive Revelry
2 Kor Firewalker
3 Lightning Helix
2 Path to Exile
2 Skullcrack
1 Stony Silence[/d]

“Red Deck Wins” has been a thing in Magic ever since the early nineties. Naya Burn is the natural evolution of the deck, trying to win by dealing 20 damage as efficiently as possible, in as few turns as possible. The green and white mana give the deck [c]Atarka’s Command[/c] and [c]Boros Charm[/c] respectively and also allow the deck to play [c]Wild Nacatl[/c] for some extra powerful turn 1 plays. This will never go out of Modern, so pay attention!

Now, we have one extra decklist to compliment our Top 8. Tommy Hayward, a mainstay of the UK Magic community by now, entered our event with his updated version of “8-Rack”. Discard decks in general are always popular among newer players to the game, but are usually demoted to the realms of casual play, instead of the top tables of competitive tournaments. However, [c]The Rack[/c] and [c]Shrieking Affliction[/c] give “8-Rack” its name and the perfect way to battle with the big boys of Modern. It’s very hard for most decks to beat a good start from this deck, given that its good starts will eliminate any chance that you have of having a good one yourself. If you’ve ever wanted to play a discard-themed deck in a tournament, this is exactly where you should look!

Tommy Hayward, 8-Rack

4 Liliana of the Veil

4 Dismember
2 Funeral Charm
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
4 Raven’s Crime
4 Shrieking Affliction
4 Smallpox
4 The Rack
3 Thoughtseize
3 Wrench Mind

4 Mutavault
16 Swamp
4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

2 Asylum Visitor
2 Collective Brutality
2 Deathmark
2 Fatal Push
2 Leyline of the Void
1 Night of Souls’ Betrayal
2 Relic of Progenitus
2 Waste Not[/d]

That’s it from us! Our next major event will be next week as we play host to the UK’s community of Vintage and Old School 93/94 players! We will absolutely be sharing decklists from the events too! Be sure to check them out!

Vintage and Old School Manaleak BirminghamWhat and When?

SATURDAY 18th March 2017:

12PM – Standard (2pm) & Commander (12pm) Club

12PM – Modern Masters 2017 Draft Day

1PM – Oldschool

SUNDAY 19th March 2017:

11AM – Final Fantasy TCG Opus 2 Prerelease at Birmingham (In case anyone also fancies a few games of FF TCG?)

11:30AM – Vintage

1PM – Legacy Challenge

The centre will be open from 10am onwards if you would like to arrive early, do some trades and play some games!

Our address is:
Unit 109
130 Pershore Street
The Jubilee Centre
B5 6ND

Tel. 0121 666 7164

You can find more information on our upcoming events and directions here:

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Andrew Quinn

March Modern Challenge Top 8 Decklists & Review - 8 Different Deck Archetypes! by Andrew Quinn
We don't normally post the top 8 decklists for regular challenges these days, but when 54 players show up, we figured that we could make an exception. The long day was capped off by a Top 8 featuring 4 local players and 8 different deck archetypes featuring all 5 colours. Let's get down into the lists!

Please let us know what you think below...

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