News : Dracoti’s All the Boxes FNM: Metagame Breakdown

Dracoti’s All the Boxes FNM: Metagame Breakdown

By Neil T Stacey


With prize support of over two boxes of Modern Masters 2015 and a box of Modern Masters boosters on offer, an astonishing 95 players turned up at Dracoti’s FNM yesterday. This sets a new high water mark for FNMs in South Africa and not by a small margin. Such a massive turnout is a big positive sign for Magic in Gauteng, but that’s enough boasting on behalf of Dracoti.

Most of you are here to find out what it was that people were playing, and I’ve got a hefty stack of decklists here on my desk for just that reason. Without further ado, here is the breakdown of the 95 decks registered for the tournament:


Dracoti’s Modern Masters many boxes FNM Metagame breakdown:

Burn: 14

Affinity: 6

Abzan Midrange: 6

RWU Control (or similar): 5

Twin variants: 5

Goblins: 4

Abzan Company: 3

BW Tokens (one with Polymorph package): 3

Soul Sisters: 3

Ad Nauseam combo: 3

Tron: 3

Elves: 3

Merfolk: 2

Zoo: 2

Infect: 2

Delver: 2

Amulet Bloom: 2

Esper Mentor: 1

Bogles: 1

Collected Company Elves: 1

Weird Stuff: 24



The single biggest component of the metagame is the class of decks that I will refer to as Weird Stuff. These are the decks that don’t belong to any well-known established archetypes or are doing things that are well off of the beaten path for the Modern format. There were twenty four of these decks, making up a full quarter of the metagame. This serves as a reminder to make sure that any deck you bring to a Modern tournament needs to be robust and pro-active enough to deal with the unexpected.

Another reminder of that is the fact that the single most played archetype was Burn, with fourteen players counting to twenty as fast as they could. Among them was Enrico Guarneri, who played his way to a perfect 7-0 record and all the boosters he could carry home.

The next most popular archetypes were Affinity and Abzan Midrange, with six copies each. Red/Blue based decks made up a decent contingent, with five players sleeving up RWU control variants and another five playing Splinter Twin variants.

Four goblins decks added to the aggressive mix of the tournament and surprisingly, none of them opted for the green splash for Collected Company. The four-mana instant was overall quite under-represented, with only three players running Abzan Collected Company and only one of the two Zoo players opting for the exciting new addition from Dragons of Tarkir. There were four Elf decks in the field, but most of those omitted Collected Company to keep their curve low to the ground.

CoCo, as it is affectionately called, is making its presence felt in overseas tournaments, so it’s surprising to see that it hasn’t yet been widely adopted in our local metagame. Perhaps Gauteng Modern players are waiting to see Collected Company decks really prove themselves at Grand Prix or Pro Tour level before investing in the card.

On the surface, we have an incredibly diverse metagame, stretching those sideboard slots to their limit. However, aggressive red decks make up a big chunk, so cards like Kor Firewalker are a clear priority. Cheap, efficient spot removal also remains a good bet with its utility against those same aggressive decks as well as against Affinity and the various tribal builds and even against combo decks such as Twin and Abzan Company. Graveyard-based decks are a small presence; only two or three decks in the Weird Stuff pile rely on the graveyard for their main game-plan. Disrupting mana bases seems to be a better use of sideboard slots right now, with Tron and Amulet Bloom a consistent minority presence and three-colour decks present in decent numbers.

Once I’ve got confirmation of the final standings I’ll be uploading the top 8 decklists, so keep a look out for that in the next few days.