Event Spotlight: SCG Regionals (3/19)

This weekend will be massive for the Modern format. There will be Grands Prix Tampa and Bilbao as well as SCG Philadelphia. This means many of you are finalizing your preparations for the huge weekend. To aid you in this endeavor we have assembled the results of all eleven SCG Regionals. We would have liked to get this to you sooner but the results for New Jersey Regionals were not posted until late last night. This article will summarize the results and categorize the archetypes but all decklists are available here.

Soaring Over the Competition
You may have noticed that we used this heading last time. Oh, and we used it the time before that. You probably noticed that Phoenix is continually dominating the format. It tied with KCI as the best deck at KCI’s final Grand Prix. Post-ban it has been the most successful deck by a wide margin at each Grand Prix and now at SCG Regionals it was more successful than the three closest decks behind it combined. These results are very troubling. The reigns of Humans and Shadow may have lasted longer but at no point were they as consistently dominant. I am hoping that we finally see the format adjust this weekend.

Affinity, Tron, and UWx Control each had respectable showings by putting six players into Top 8 spots at their respective Regionals. These decks have historically been pillars of the format, so it is not surprising that they continue to be in the upper echelon of decks. Amulet Titan and GBx were the next most successful archetypes at five Top 8 spots each. Amulet Titan continues to put up results for the pilots that deeply invest their time into understanding it. GBx continues to be accused of being a bad deck by many players despite putting up results. Dredge and Ad Nauseam round out our upper tier of decks; each putting four players into Top 8 finishes. Dredge continually hovers between Tier 1 and Tier 2 based on sideboard hate, while Ad Nauseam is a sleeper deck that always has the potential to do well at bigger tournaments. Right now the top tier of the format appears to be Phoenix and the old guard of Modern.

Tier 2 Decks
Burn
Colorless Eldrazi
Death’s Shadow
Humans
Whir Prison

Each of our Tier 2 decks put three copies into the Top 8 across all of the SCG Regionals. Burn is never a bad deck choice, but it’s also never the best deck in the room. We noted last month that Colorless Eldrazi could be well positioned again due to how good Chalice of the Void is currently and it preformed quite well at Regionals. Death’s Shadow is a deck that can always do well with the right configuration and it tends to have a group of loyal pilots. As of late it has been doing extremely well so this is lower than expected. The tribal decks have largely fallen out of favor compared to 2018, but Humans managed to perform quite well. Ensnaring Bridge seemed to be well positioned last weekend which was a huge bump for Whir Prison. Do not let the Tier 2 designation fool you, every one of these decks is a great choice for this weekend.

Tier 3 Decks
Bogles
Martyr Proc
Merfolk
Spirits
Valakut

Each of these archetypes managed to put two copies into the Top 8s. Bogles never really goes away but it may be a sleeper pick right now due in large part to its Phoenix matchup. While it always is something that floats around, this may be the best showing that Martyr Proc has ever had. The tribal decks have fallen hard from their previous dominant position in the metagame. Spirits in particular went from the most played and arguably best deck in the format to Tier 3 at SCG Regionals. Merfolk may be a bit of a Relic, but it has many talented and very dedicated players who put up admirable performances with it at lower level events.. I would not call these decks bad but I would not recommend any of them for this weekend.

Rogue Decks
Grixis Delver
Devoted Company

Eldrazi & Taxes
Goryo’s Vengeance
Grixis Control
Infect
Storm
UR Living End

Finally, we have our rogue deck section. Each of these decks put one pilot into a Top 8. Modern is an incredibly diverse format so it is no surprise to see a myriad of different decks here. When Krak-Clan Ironworks was banned, there was a lot of discussion about which deck would take over as the top combo deck. Ad Nauseam reigned over all of the combo decks in this category that were vying for that spot. Grixis Delver seems on a fairly similar power level to Grixis Death’s Shadow and it might be something to explore depending on your meta. Pilots in this category should be excited they were able to put up such good results in such a Phoenix dominated meta. It will be interesting to see if any of these fringe archetypes have a breakout performance on the big stages this weekend.

Wrap-Up
We hope that this will help you to metagame for one of the large tournaments this weekend. Before I dug into these results I had hoped that the dominance of Phoenix at the Grand Prix level was due to our smaller sample size of thirty-two lists. Unfortunately, with eighty-eight decklists in the sample, Phoenix decks had an almost identical performance. If you take one thing away from this it should be that a good Phoenix matchup is critical to your success in Modern right now. We would like to hear what you would play this weekend in our discussion group. Or if you would like to take a swing at writing content for the site you can contact us directly here. We will be back on Monday to present the results from this weekend; almost one-hundred decklists. Until then my friends.

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