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How the metagame reacts to Ramunap Ruins's ascension will be interesting to see, but the course of Standard is now set with the terms of engagement well known. Now is the time we move down the chain of formats to Standard's older, scatterbrained cousin, Modern. After all, that's the format seeing play this weekend at #SCGNY as well as next weekend at #SCGRICH and a pair of Modern Grand Prix.
When last we looked at Modern, it was a format with a clear best deck in Grixis Death's Shadow. The brutal efficiency of the deck's namesake card, supported by the format's best disruption package and one of its best cards in Snapcaster Mage, gives you a good chance in any matchup, which is a great quality in and of itself, but it also attracts the best players who want to play decision-intensive games where they are always in control of the outcome.
So, in the absence of a significant influx of cards from Hour of Devastation, we would expect the Modern metagame to remain with Grixis Death's Shadow at the top by a significant margin, but instead it looks as though its standing in the format has waned. It's still one of the best-performing decks, but recently it looks to simply be one great deck among many rather than a clear first.
Has Death's Shadow's reign on the format ended?
Short answer: No.
Long answer: The format has adapted to the presence of Death's Shadow. But as we've seen with dominant decks in the past, that adaptation has had to be so extreme so as to warp the entire metagame around Grixis Death's Shadow, which, while bad for the deck, demonstrates it to be an entity too powerful to hate out, as it's continuing to thrive in even the harshest conditions.
Here are the primary signs I see that Modern is suffering under the influence of an overpowered deck:
1. There Are No Other Midrange Decks
Of course, I don't mean this in a literal sense.
We still see the occasional Abzan or Jund deck pop up, but both of those decks and the others like them, long mainstays of Modern, have largely fallen out of favor because they are worse versions of Grixis Death's Shadow. They have similar removal suites, less velocity, a slower clock, and a necessarily higher land count, leaving them more prone to flooding in long games.
On paper they should have a good heads-up match-up against Grixis Death's Shadow, but that either hasn't been borne out in tournaments or their edge there isn't large enough to compensate for how much worse they are against the rest of the format, particularly Tron variants.
For me, a key aspect of format diversity is not just the presence of many different archetypes, but the diversity of options within those archetypes, and right now, Modern presents only one option for players who want to play heavy disruption Midrange decks.