This weekend we saw the huge impact that the Eldrazi had in Modern at the triple Grand Prix weekend. Let us start with a small recap before we get into the rest of the article.

  • Out of the Top 100 deck archetypes going into Day 2 from all three Grands Prix, Eldrazi was 43% of the field.
  • Five of the six decks in the finals were UW Eldrazi variants.
  • Two of the three winners of the GPs this weekend were UW Eldrazi.
  • Aaron Forsythe said the Eldrazi threat level was “Def Con One” and there would be a banning in April.
  • Wizards wants to nerf the deck, not ban it out of existence.

If you want to see more about what Aaron said, below is the full video of Brian David-Marshall interviewing him at Grand Prix Detroit.

So, today, we are going to start by talking about what cards WotC can ban, and what kind of effect they would have on the Eldrazi deck.

Potential Bans:

Eldrazi Temple is the card that most people want to ban out of existence when it comes to the Eldrazi deck. Let’s talk about why people feel like this is what makes the Eldrazi deck so good.

  • Fast mana has always been something looked down upon by Wizards—Sol lands and other fast mana tend to be banned from a format.
  • This card allows turn one Eldrazi Mimic into turn two Thought-Knot Seer.
  • A card similar to this in Legacy, Mishra’s Workshop is banned for a similar reason to why they would get rid of Eldrazi Temple.

Effectively, when my opponent plays an Eldrazi Temple, they get a full turn ahead of me. When my opponent is on turn four, I am still on turn two. It is this speed of the Eldrazi deck that has made it so potent.

Eye of Ugin is the other monster land of the format. This land allows the abusive double or triple Eldrazi Mimic draws or allows you to use anywhere between two and six mana on turn one. Banning this land would stop the deck from having a super explosive draw, but would not stop the turn one Mimic, turn two Thought-Knot Seer, turn three Reality Smasher draws. I don’t think banning Eye of Ugin is correct—it doesn’t stop the deck from being too powerful for the current Modern format.

Thought-Knot Seer would be an interesting choice to ban in my opinion. This card is like Tarmogoyf and Transgress the Mind had a baby. The problem with this card is that it provides a THREAT and DISRUPTION. Having that on turn two is very, very powerful. If Wizards were to ban TKS, it would make the Eldrazi deck perform kind of like an Infect deck—killing the opponent as fast as possible while providing some protection to their creatures.

People have talked about banning Eldrazi Mimic because this card enables the busted, explosive draws that the Eldrazi deck can have. When the deck goes Eye of Ugin into double Eldrazi Mimic, things start to get a little crazy. But, I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with this card. Instead, I think it is better to ban an enabler—like Eye of Ugin or Eldrazi Temple.

Potential Unbans:

Yes, Ancestral Recall effects are strong, as we saw with the banning of Treasure Cruise, but this card takes four turns to get the value off of it—that’s the same time that Scapeshift, Infect, Burn, Affinity, etc. could win the game. Shouldn’t we give control a card to help out that archetype in the metagame? Control, currently, is dead in Modern. I think we need to unban something to give it the little extra thing that it needs.

Sword of the Meek is a known card that combos with Thopter Foundry. The combo effectively lets you slowly gain incremental life as well as slowly gain blockers and/or attackers, depending on the spot of the game you are in. This combo is something that would be prominent in an Esper Control deck—it isn’t very oppressive, but it does tend to stonewall some aggro strategies in the format. The thing is, it would help strengthen control once again. I think that opening up the control archetype would be very helpful in a format like Modern—it would help expand the metagame to more than just super linear decks.

Yes, Jace, the Mind Sculptor has made it onto my list—but hear me out. Modern is considered a turn four format. By the time Jace sticks, Scapeshift could have comboed you, Affinity, Burn, and Infect all would have you dead by then. So, why is Jace so scary? We don’t even know how he would effect the modern metagame—and with control not really being an archetype in the current format, I don’t think unbanning Jace would hurt. I would like to see it in the metagame. I think it would be healthy for the format.

Yes, Twin. I think unbanning Twin would be good for the format once more—the deck helped keep interaction in the format and allowed for all sorts of archetypes to exist. Without a deck like Twin, all we get are this linear aggro decks like Burn and Affinity versus the big decks like Tron. Without something to help blue in the format, it won’t exist. Right now, Modern has an issue with control—it doesn’t exist. Twin, while considered a tempo-combo deck, was the closest thing that Modern had to a successful control deck.


Hopefully, Wizards of the Coast will see that Modern needs a change more than just banning something to end the Eldrazi Winter. Modern needs to have less restrictions, more unbannings, even in the wake of this Eldrazi menace. I hope that Wizards does take some initiative and bring a card or two off of the current Modern ban list. I think it will do good for the format and will bring in new players that want to play with some of these cards in this format.

I think of all of the options, it will be either Thought-Knot Seer or Eldrazi Temple that will be meeting the ban hammer in April. TKS provides a threat and disruption in one card—everything Jund has ever wanted. The Temple allows for cards like TKS to come down on turn two and Reality Smasher come down on turn three.

With the unbannings, its hard to say. I think all of these cards I listed are possible unbans. It would help an archetype that is no longer seen in Modern, control.

I am excited to see what Wizards of the Coast does in the next month to help Modern. I love this format, it is my favorite format, but right now it needs some help.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, comment here or tweet at me, @kintreespirit.

Thanks for reading!

Lexie Mettler is a Level 2 judge from Fort Wayne, Indiana. By day she is a student, by night she streams MTGO and practices for tournaments all over the Midwest.

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