New Modern Brews from the RPTQs

Modern season is approaching, and I have to start taking a look at the format I set aside for a year. The last two weekends featured the Regional PTQs, and Italy is famous for their enormous RPTQ events. This time we had two: one in Rome with 72 players and one in Bologna with 93 players.

In today’s article, I’ll highlight the deck lists I find the most interesting and the “newest” decks that are worth knowing going into Grand Prix Madrid or Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan.


Marco Cammilluzzi, Top 4 at RPTQ Bologna

My good friend, Pro Tour Top 8 finisher, and WMC 2015 winner Marco Cammilluzzi did it again and Top 4’d back-to-back RPTQs to ensure that he will never fall off the train despite being Silver. He sleeved the coolest deck of the moment—a deck many players chose but that only he played to the Top 8.

Despite being packed solely with creatures, Humans has a lot of disruption (Kitesail Freebooter, Meddling Mage, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Reflector Mage).

Marco told me that he loved Horizon Canopy and would easily play 4, since it helps mitigate flood, and the point of damage you take is relevant only against a small percentage of the metagame.

He also loves Dark Confidant in a deck like this, where your opponent has to kill the bigger creatures (Champion of the Parish, Mantis Rider) just to stay alive. Dark Confident can quietly survive and provide you with more and more card advantage, as this deck often loses because your opponent manages to answer your threats and you run out of gas (like Merfolk).

Another good way to have a midgame plan would be to add Collected Company, but then you would need to cut Ancient Ziggurat and change the mana base.

Rakdos Control

Andrea Rizzi, Top 8 at RPTQ Bologna

Blood Moon can definitely rip apart many decks in the format and I bet that was how Andrea won most of his games. This is basically a prison deck that tries to control the game with discard and removal spells, and then lock it up with Blood Moon.

Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet has fallen off of the radar after Fatal Push got printed. Before, you used to see Kalitas in Grixis Control and even in Jund—now it’s nowhere to be seen. Good thing that Andrea brought it back in 3 copies!

This deck reminds me a lot of Blood Jund, a deck that Jeremy Dezani designed roughly two years ago. Not much has changed since then, and a Rock deck’s disruption paired with Blood Moon can still pick up victories!

Temur Delver

Manzini Alessandro, Top 16 at RPTQ Roma

For those of you who love Canadian Thresh in Legacy, this is the deck for you. It tries to tempo your opponent out with cheap spells alongside cheap and effective creatures.

Disrupting Shoal is the first card you notice since it isn’t a particularly popular Modern card—despite winning the first Modern Pro Tour in the hands of Samuele Estratti—but it can play the role of Force of Will by protecting your threats from an opponent’s Fatal Push.

Curiosity might look kind of clunky here, but it will be good against the uninteractive decks that don’t have removal spells, where you’d love to draw two cards per turn to find more disruption.


PlaneswalkerZen, Top 8 at RPTQ Online

My teammate Zen Takahashi won his back-to-back RPTQ online, on the wings of a deck that gave him a 2nd-place finish at GP Brisbane after the Golgari Grave-Troll ban.

Dedication is the name of the game in Modern, and sticking to your pet deck definitely pays off. There isn’t much to say about the list since it looks like a stock Dredge deck, but it works as a reminder that whenever you cut your artifact hate, Affinity wins, and whenever you cut your graveyard hate, Dredge and Living End win. That’s why having your own game plan is superior in a wide open format like Modern, and why decks like Jund and Jeskai struggle the most these days.

U/R Twin

10189011, 9th place at RPTQ Online

Did they unban Splinter Twin? No, but this guy must have thought so since he sleeved Deceiver Exarch and Pestermite regardless!

Jokes aside, this is a Blue Moon deck that, instead of winning the game with random threats like Pia and Kiran Nalaar or Goblin Dark-Dwellers, has the Kiki-Jiki Combo.

They also chose to run Opt over Serum Visions because of Snapcaster Mage. Passing the turn with 3 mana up, representing counter and going to SnapOpt end of turn is much better than tapping out in your turn.

I’m not sure I love this approach, since Kiki-Jiki is pretty weak to Lightning Bolt, but I can see it. I saw some other U/R decks trying to close out the game with 4 Through the Breach and 4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. In theory that makes sense, but in practice you have a bunch of clunky cards that don’t do anything on their own and that make you weak to discard effects.

That’s all for today. I hope you found some new and interesting decks to run at your next local Modern event. I’ll try to find the best configuration of three decks for GP Madrid, and figure out what’s the best deck in Modern!


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