The article you are attempting to view is only available to StarCityGames.com Premium Members.
(If you are having trouble viewing this content, please consult this FAQ.)
"You can't play control in Modern."
This is one of the longest-standing opinions about the format: that Modern is too diverse, with too many linear decks attacking from too many angles, and it's impossible to play a control deck that can have every angle covered. We've heard players say this time and time again, some complaining more than others, but control in Modern died long ago.
Welcome to Modern in 2017
While this may have been true in Modern's past, it no longer is today. Modern in 2017 is new and different, and it welcomes control mages from far and wide to counter spells and sweep battlefields. Control is not only playable, there are multiple Tier 1 control archetypes out of the handful of archetypes in all Magic that I would consider Tier 1. Playing a blue control deck is secretly one of the best things to be doing in Modern, and most people haven't realized it yet.
I've been playing plenty of Modern over the last week to prepare for #SCGBALT this weekend, and I've been keeping a spreadsheet of the decks I've played against. Now, I know this isn't the largest sample size, but this week I've played a total of 30 competitive Leagues on Magic Online, or 150 matches of Modern. A StarCityGames.com® Open is fifteen rounds, so that is the equivalent to playing ten weekend tournaments. Again, somewhat small sample size, but 150 is a lot of decks.
Out of those matches, I've played against a blue control deck 23 times, or just over 15% of the time. I'm not including combo decks like U/R Through the Breach or U/R Kiki-Jiki, or even Lantern Control; I'm talking about Cryptic Command control decks.
I'm talking Shaheen Soorani control.
This is double what I would normally expect from looking at the
There are plenty of small creatures in Modern that can end the game on the spot if they are able to untap, which has led to a "kill or be killed" mentality in the format. Removal's stock has never been higher because killing creatures has never been so important. At the base of the format, you have these creature combo decks that win on Turn 3 a high percentage of the time if left unchecked, which forces you to play early removal for these creatures.
In addition, the newest kid on the block, Humans, is filled with creatures that are made to counteract spells. The first removal spell you have will most likely not be enough against the 37-creatures deck, making a plethora of removal more desirable. Midrange decks now need as much interaction as they can afford to run to go along with their own cheap threats to ensure they are able to stabilize the battlefield. This leads us to players playing the fast creature combo decks such as Abzan Company and U/R Gifts Storm, disruptive creature decks like Humans, or an abundance of removal to combat them.