Modern Mayhem

This Week in Popculture’s Cube: Modern Mayhem

ImageCan you feel it? A change in the earth… and the air. A rumbling beneath our feet… a tremor in the water.

Yes, that’s the sound of Modern decks being shuffled all across this great land of ours.

Modern as a Magic format has absolutely exploded in recent years, fueled by Modern Masters and other factors. And with rampant speculation searing across the Information Superhighway like lightning that a Modern Master’s 2 is likely in the offing (with some positing that Damnation, Lilliana of the Veil, and even Zendikar fetches could be reprinted in this set), it’s not likely that Modern is going to go away anytime soon.

My dalliance with Modern is well-chronicled. I’ve been working diligently on a Naya Zoo deck, and have basically all of the pieces except for a decent sideboard (an upcoming article will discuss my creation of that deck in nauseating detail), and I also run a simple, elegant, and maddeningly spotty mono-black control in Modern.

A lot of folks love Modern – if you’re a regular for the MTGYou Fight Club casts, you know that Blades, Rich and Daemon love the format and the richness of the different metas and deck archetypes.

And, indeed, it’s not hard to figure our why Modern is so popular. First, it’s an eternal format. Unlike, say, Standard, in which cards rotate in and out constantly, cards in Modern stay in Modern, so the format is generally stable. Similarly, since the same cards remain usable in Modern (with slight variations over time), prices stay pretty solid (now, I say “pretty solid” – despite reprints, Naya and Jund deck darling Tarmogoyf has doubled in price in the last 6 months, from about $100 a pop to more than $200. Eep.) So, while the entry price for Modern can be steep (competitive decks will likely run you a couple hundred dollars, to start), you’re likely to get your money back, and then some, if you decide to sell your deck for parts.

Also, there’s a certain prestigious cache that comes with playing Modern. Who wouldn’t want to play interesting deck archetypes against elite players using expensive cards? It’s basically the caviar of Magic. (Legacy, on the other hand, is the Gilded Faberge Egg of Magic).

I personally have found Modern both easy and difficult to get into. Easy because deck lists and card choices are easy to find, if sometimes cost prohibitive (I’ve been trying to get Ensnaring Bridges for my mono black for months, but still can’t quite see my way clad to pull the trigger on them). Hard because, well, not a whole lot of folks I know play Modern. When I get together with my friends, only one of them plays Modern. And he’s good. His red burn (splashing black and white) is a killer.

So spread the word, folks. Start looking into Modern. Check out budget decks that you can get into and start playing with your friends.

Who know – you may find that Modern becomes your new Standard.

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