The Modern community had a big shake-up with the release of the Banned and Restricted list on Monday, though I can’t pretend it isn’t a welcome one. The Eldrazi Menace is finally dead! Or at least disabled now that [casthaven]Eye of Ugin[/casthaven] is banned. Sadly this will affect some Tron decks (unless you’re playing my much loved Mono-Green version).  

In addition to finally slowing down the Eldrazi deck Wizards acknowledged something that is long overdue: Modern is in desperate need of a true control deck. They unbanned [casthaven]Ancestral Vision[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Sword of the Meek[/casthaven] to help facilitate that. 

Currently Modern doesn’t have a true control deck, and certainly not one that’s popular with players.  Control does exist, in decks like Lantern Control, UW Control, and Mono-Blue Tron, but they only make up a very small part of the metagame.  According to mtgtop8 aggro decks currently make up about 60% of the meta and Combo makes up about 25%.  

Think of all the decks that Wizards has had to deal with over the past couple of years:[casthaven]Birthing Pod[/casthaven], [casthaven]Splinter Twin[/casthaven], [casthaven]Summer Bloom[/casthaven], Storm, Hive Mind and Eldrazi.  A good control deck might have been able to keep these decks in check, but Wizards hasn’t given Modern access to cards good enough to have a powerful control deck in the format.  Even Jund, which tries so hard to be control with [casthaven]Liliana of the Veil[/casthaven], [casthaven]Abrupt Decay[/casthaven], [casthaven]Terminate[/casthaven], and [casthaven]Kolaghan’s Command[/casthaven] is still a beatdown deck at the end of the day.

The cards for control just aren’t there.  Wizards has tried to solve the problem of all these runaway decks by trying to neuter the decks going out of control, but they aren’t addressing the real root of the problem which is the lack of a powerful control deck in the format.  

I have mixed feelings about control decks.  As many of you know I have a lot of hate for Miracles in Legacy and most blue control decks, but all of this leaves me wondering if maybe [casthaven]Stoneforge Mystic[/casthaven] or [casthaven]Jace, the Mind  Sculptor[/casthaven] need to be unbanned.  [casthaven]Kolaghan’s Command[/casthaven] and other cards interact favorably with [casthaven]Stoneforge Mystic[/casthaven].  Jace, the Mind Sculptor costs four mana. If you’re tapping out on turn four, combo decks are killing you.  Force of Will can’t protect you in Modern, unlike Legacy where you can tap out with your shields up.  

These might not be the answers. Unbanning Jace or Stoneforge is playing with fire. Most likely Wizards will need to print a card with Modern in mind that can help control compete in the metagame. But they really need to do something.  

Modern is a format that they’ve been pushing hard for awhile.  They’ve made it very obvious that this format is extremely important to them. Yet they still don’t test it when they print sets and they don’t seem to print sets (outside of Modern Masters) with Modern in mind. This is ludicrous to me.  You can’t make a big deal out a format and pour that much money into it without actually investing time and effort into it.  

It won’t work as we’ve all seen the past years with Modern seeming to slowly fall apart at the seams.  I love that they’ve unbanned [casthaven]Ancestral Vision[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Sword of the Meek[/casthaven]. I really hope that a strong control deck comes from it and helps balance out this format.  In the meantime I look forward to this new face of Modern. Hopefully the changes that result from these bannings and unbannings are much healthier than previous changes have been.  It seems Wizards is starting to really understand how to manage a healthy metagame (finally) and now I just hope they can start doing the same for Legacy.  

Kate hails from Worcester MA and also does a bit of Card Altering. Check her Stuff out on Facebook! She mainly plays legacy and modern though will occasionally find herself playing EDH or Standard if she’s desperate!

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