Just like we expected after Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan, Grand Prix Toronto, which also featured the Modern format, was completely dominated by Lantern Control decks. Hot off of Luis Salvatto’s win in BIlbao last week, Lantern Control was everywhere. Over 50% of the players in Toronto sleeved up Lanterns. Every round ended up running an extra 20 minutes because of draws. Fire and brimstone rained down over the capital city of the province of Ontario. A pit to the depths of hell tore open Yonge Street.

…wait hold on, I’m getting a report in right now…

Oh, none of that happened. You can all put your pitchforks away and let Lantern Control live. In fact, Lantern didn’t even place in the top 32 of the event, let alone the top 8. But what are you going to do with all those pitchforks and torches you bought at Pitchfork and Torch World on Route 66? Well thankfully there’s a new effigy on the block: Slippery Bogle.

That’s right, not only did Bogles, a fairly fringe deck in Modern, win the Grand Prix, but a second copy of the deck appeared in the top 32! If that isn’t grounds for calling for the immediate banning of Slippery Bogle, Daybreak Coronet, and maybe even Horizon Canopy I don’t know what is.

Congratulations to Luis Salvatto and Dan Ward for breaking Modern yet again, ruining the format for everyone else by playing these oppressive combo decks that result in Wizards having to ban every tournament-winning deck from the format. Give yourselves a round of applause. Why couldn’t you just play a fair deck?

End Rant.

What We Learned About Modern

Back to serious discussion then. All told, 18 different archetypes made their way into the top 32 decks of Grand Prix Toronto and none of them were Lantern Control. So that’s 19 archetypes that are competitive in the format. That’s fairly remarkable for a format that only a few years ago was “dominated” by a half-dozen decks or so.

By the time you read this you likely know the decision, if any, made by Wizards to ban or unban any cards in Modern. Given the results from the Pro Tour in Bilbao and the Grand Prix in Toronto it would seem that the best decision may in fact be to do nothing, remarkable given the way Modern was treated the last time it was in the spotlight and Eldrazi ruined everything for everyone.

The fact that there are roughly two dozen competitive decks in the Modern format is amazing. In fact, it makes me terribly sad that the next time we get to see Modern in the spotlight won’t be for… one week?! Sweet Christmas we only have to wait another week for Grand Prix Lyon and see more Modern action on-camera?

In case you’re wondering when you can get in on watching this amazing format, mark your calendar:

  • Grand Prix Lyon – Feb 17/18
  • Grand Prix Madrid – Mar 10/11 (Team Trios)
  • Grand Prix Phoenix – Mar 17/18
  • Grand Prix Kyoto – Mar 24/25 (Team Trios)
  • Grand Prix Hartford – Apr 14/15
  • Grand Prix Sydney – Apr 14/15 (Team Unified)
  • Grand Prix Toronto – May 19/20 (Team Trios) (Really, Toronto Again?)
  • Grand Prix Las Vegas – Jun 15/16
  • Grand Prix Barcelona – Jun 30/Jul 1
  • Grand Prix Sao Paulo – Jul 7/8
  • Pro Tour 25th Anniversary – Aug 3/4/5 (Team Trios)
  • Grand Prix Prague – Aug 24/25
  • Grand Prix Detroit – Sep 8/9 (Team Unified)
  • Grand Prix Stockholm – Sep 15/16
  • Grand Prix Hong Kong – Sep 15/16
  • Grand Prix Atlanta – Nov 3/4
  • Grand Prix Portland – Dec 8/9
  • Grand Prix Liverpool – Dec 8/9

That’s phenomenal, there’s at least one Modern event every single month in the calendar except for October, and many months have two events! Unfortunately we already know that a few of these won’t have coverage on Twitch, but for fans of Modern, it should be a very, very good year (unless Jace the Mind Sculptor was unbanned today, in which case, womp womp).

What We Learned About Grand Prix Coverage

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Riley Knight should be the play-by-play broadcaster for as many Magic tournament matches as humanly possible. No offense to the rest of the broadcasters, but Riley’s ability to continue narrating even when there’s no action on-screen is unparalleled, and his commentary during play is always spot-on.

Every sport has its “voice.” It’s the commentator that fans most quickly associate with high-level competition. If you watched the Superbowl last week, for example, then you heard the memorable voice of Al Michaels calling plays. If you watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs then you’ve been listening to Mike Emrick call plays for decades now. For me, Riley Knight should be the “voice” of the Pro Tour.

Last, but certainly not least, there still isn’t much discernible difference between this year’s GP coverage and last year’s. Rich Hagon announced some good changes and we’re still looking forward to seeing them take flight. This could be why the team is taking some time off before the Spring (Dominaria) season of coverage, so we’ll continue to give them the benefit of the doubt so long as the quality of coverage doesn’t turn south.

Rich Stein is a retired Magic player, an amateur content creator, and a Level 2 Social Justice Sorcerer. He hopes to eventually become a professional content creator and a Level 20 dual class Social Justice Sorcerer/Bard but he’s more than content to remain a retired Magic player. You can follow his musings on Twitter @RichStein13.

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