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Modern Is Tougher Than Ever. Let’s Make It Simpler.

Some parts of the developing Modern metagame seem to make no sense. Ari Lax highlights three key paradoxes of the format and how to solve them.

Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer illustrated by Simon Dominic

Modern has finally started settling after the asteroid impact that was Modern Horizons 2, and the resulting format is tougher than ever for new decks to break into.

Some of it is that the cards seeing play right now are crazy powerful, but Modern has always found a way to outmaneuver the raw best cards. This time though the cards and strategies seeing play aren't just crazy powerful; they are powerful in convoluted ways.

The problem right now is a paradox, or rather three paradoxes, that are weirdly warping the format.

Paradox #1: You need removal immediately and removal is bad.

In previous Modern formats things were a bit simpler. Sure, removal could be bad, but when removal was bad it was because your opponent didn't have things you wanted to kill. And if they had things to kill, removal was generally good.

By this point, we all know the headline additions to Modern from Modern Horizons 2 were red one-drops: Dragon's Rage Channeler and Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer. It's wild to think red one-drops were already among the best cards in Modern before this set, and now those old Monastery Swiftspears are completely outclassed. There's only a short window to answer either of these cards without them generating a significant amount of value and not answering them really isn't an option.

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