Tarmogoyfs, Tasigurs and Titans.
That describes what I saw as I browsed the top tables at the end of Day One at Grand Prix Charlotte. There were plenty of unexpected decks still floating around the top (Ad Nauseam! Griselbrand! Emeria, the Sky Ruin control!), but by and large there were some constants to be found floating around the top tables.
A week after Red-Green Tron was crowned the king of Modern (with Amulet Bloom not far behind), it seems that the other side of the field has risen up to try and usurp the thrown. Several prognosticators predicted that the blue decks would return with a vengeance to take advantage of the non-interactive big-mana decks, and that certainly seems to be the case.
While there are plenty of Tron decks still winning, the predominant winners seem to be Grixis-flavored decks — which range from Splinter Twin to Delver of Secrets to a full-on Control variant — and are making full use of Tasigur, the Golden Fang. Silumgar’s favorite necklace is the common link between several of the top decks at the tournament. Grixis, Abzan and Jund decks are all topping out on the banana king, even if that means occasionally taking 6 damage from revealing it to Dark Confidant.
Speaking of Jund, it’s back in the spotlight after spending a while on the sidelines. Tasigur and Kolaghan’s Command have brought it back into the mainstream, and it is back to its role of preying on the other midrange decks.
Fifth-ranked player Owen Turtenwald prepares to ultimate his Chandra, Pyromaster in Round 9. Turtenwald is one of many Jund players prowling the top tables today.
Jund isn’t the only Tarmogoyf deck making its mark on Charlotte. You didn’t really think Siege Rhino would stay away for long, did you? That said, not every Abzan deck is running the Rhino this weekend, with some opting to play Collected Company as its four-mana threat instead and keeping the rest of its creatures at three mana or less. Collected Company also comes in aggressive flavors, with Wild Nacatl making an appearances as well as a horde of Elves.
20th-ranked player Craig Wescoe safely stares down Siege Rhino behind his army of Ouphes.
Finally, Amulet Bloom hasn’t been deterred by the increased prevalence of Blood Moon. The format’s most mana-hungry deck is getting a full heaping of resistance and fighting through it all the same. Primeval Titan is here to stay.
But it wouldn’t be Modern if there weren’t plenty more decks to go around. Affinity, Merfolk, Ad Nauseam/Phyrexian Unlife combo, Infect, Scapeshift, Burn and more are all competing for a shot at Day Two, and at least some of them will be back on Sunday to chase their shot at the Top 8.