Running Away From the Zoo and Back Into the Shadows

By Matt Simpson

I’ve written a few articles about Traverse Shadow at this point, but I don’t want you to think that I’m a one deck pony. I think I have something useful to say about lots of other decks in modern. So partially to prove this to you readers, and partially to satiate my curiosity, I planned to revisit a deck i’ve played before – Bushwhacker Zoo – to talk about how strong it is in the current metagame and what new cards it has picked up. So I dusted off an old list and jammed in some new toys and… it was bad. Really bad. It did some busted things some of the time, but it was far too inconsistent.

 

But in the interest of trying to counter the file-drawer effect, I’m going to tell you about the deck anyway, and why it’s bad. If you’re not familiar you should google it, but, the file-drawer effect is a problem in scientific publishing where scientists only attempt to publish papers with new and exciting results because that’s what advances their career. But if they try something and it doesn’t pan out, they just forget about it, leaving it in the proverbial file drawer. “We tried using X to cure cancer and it didn’t work” or “it doesn’t look like X causes cancer” aren’t very exciting headlines, and it don’t do much to help a scientist’s career as a scientist, so there’s a tendency to throw those results away and move on to the next thing. This is a huge problem for science because you can’t simply read the published papers on some topic to know what works or what doesn’t. If there’s one study that says doing yoga in the morning cures diabetes, there might be 100 unpublished studies that found the opposite. Or zero. You just don’t know.*

 

* Luckily the profession has caught on to this problem and are doing some things to counteract the effect, like committing to publishing a paper before the results of the study come in. But it has by no means been completely solved. A good rule of thumb is that a study that has been independently replicated by a wide variety of authors in a wide variety of conditions stands on firmer ground, but this still is no guarantee. Sorry, science is hard.

 

When it comes to deckbuilding I think there’s a similar effect. Hardly anyone writes an article saying that a deck is garbage and you shouldn’t try it, or if you do try it here are the problems it has that you can try to solve. But maybe more people should. That way the next time you see someone talking about their amazing new brew that breaks the format, you can dredge up a more sober take. I can see why few people do this though – for the same reasons the scientists don’t do it. It’s kind of boring to hear about what sucks. And magic articles are much more about entertaining the reader than science is. Or at least we like to think so. So I won’t spend my whole article on this. Instead, this article is a bit of a grab bag. First, I’ll teach you about the file-drawer effect and how it might apply to articles about magic decks. (Check.) Then I’ll show you a couple of zoo lists and explain why I thought they might be good now, and why they’re bad. Finally, I’ll return to talking about the best creature in modern, mostly to talk about mana, but also to show you my most recent decklist. Plus at the end of the article I’ll make some bonus pro tour predictions.

 

The zoo story starts with the printing of Narnam Renegade and Hidden Herbalists. Bushwhacker Zoo was already a fringe deck that saw some success at the hands of Drew Iafrate at SCG Dallas in June, 2016, and I manage to snag a PPTQ win with a similar list right about that time. But then the format collectively learned about Death’s Shadow and everyone (including me) moved on. After the Probe ban, Aether Revolt brought us two new cards: Narnam Renegade and Hidden Herbalists. Narnam Renegade is just a nuts and bolts one drop for zoo. Essentially Kird Ape with deathtouch, which is strong but not paradigm shifting. Hidden Herbalists is a different story. Now between Herbalists and Burning-tree Emissary it was possible to put 4 or 5 creatures into play in the first two turns of the game with a high degree of regularity. I started calling the deck Frogs because Herbalists Emissary are both essentially Frogmite. Back this up with Atarka’s Command and Reckless Bushwhacker and you get a lot of turn 3 and 4 kills. This was the theory at least, but in practice the deck was not consistent enough. For all the busted hands you had, you had plenty that just made two guys and hoped for the best. Or you got Bushwhacker flooded. Or you mulliganed, and let me tell you, this deck did not mulligan well.  Some people tried increasing the consistency of the busted hands by adding stuff like Manamorphose to the deck, but it added inconsistency in other ways. Ultimately, it felt like a worse version of Affinity without any cards that essentially win the game on their own, like Cranial Plating. So I shelved it and moved on to trying the “fair” Death’s Shadow decks that were suddenly poised to dominate the format.

 

Two things have changed since then that made me reconsider trying zoo. First, the premier fair decks of the format are now centered on a strategy that requires them to reduce their own life total. Before, midrange decks were extremely hard to beat unless you had a nut draw and they didn’t have the sweeper. But if they started at 10-15 life, well that’s a different story. Second, Shapers Sanctuary was printed. Before I tried clunky 3 drops like Domri Rade and Kitchen Finks to fight the midrange decks, without much success. But Shapers Sanctuary is a completely different ball game. We’re still going to get crushed by control, but maybe we can steal a game here or there, and get some more much needed percentage points against the midrange decks. Sure, the format also added Fatal Push, but if people play that instead of Lightning Bolt it doesn’t really matter to us.

 

That was the theory. I tried a couple of slightly different lists, but here’s a representative one:

 

4 Windswept Heath

4 Wooded Foothills

4 Arid Mesa

1 Misty Rainforest

2 Stomping Ground

1 Temple Garden

1 Sacred Foundry

1 Forest

1 Mountain

 

4 Goblin Guide

4 Experiment One

3 Kid Ape

4 Narnam Renegade

4 Wild Nacatl

 

4 Burning-tree Emissary

4 Hidden Herbalists

3 Reckless Bushwhacker

 

4 Atarka’s Command

4 Lightning Bolt

3 Path to Exile

 

Sideboard:

 

1 Path to Exile

3 Shapers Sanctuary

3 Destructive Revelry

3 Grafdigger’s Cage

2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

2 Declaration in Stone

 

One or more of the Revelries could very easily be Tin-street Hooligan. I really like Declaration in Stone over Chained to the Rocks as the additional hard removal spell since it can’t get blown out by a well timed Abrupt Decay, and it has plenty of additional value. I’ve nabbed 8 spirit tokens with Declaration in Stone before. And of course sometimes you get 2 Death’s Shadows or Tarmogoyfs, or a pile of Prized Amalgams. This list has 19 lands because Bushwhacker is usually a 3 drop even when you trigger revolt, and the extra fetch is there to trigger revolt. It should be a green one since you want Forest for Blood Moon. No Dryad Arbor because this deck wants 19 lands that it can tap immediately.

 

So what were the problems? Fundamentally, the deck is still very inconsistent. The nut draws don’t happen enough, it still mulligans like garbage, and you still get stuck with Bushwhacker in hand too often. Running only 3 is a nod to that, but it still happens. You also aren’t really much better against Death’s Shadow midrange decks than you were against Grandpa Jund and Alternate Reality Abzan.* They have a lot of tools to fight you, Snapcaster trades in combat with half the deck out of Grixis Shadow, and Traverse Shadow (and sometimes even Grixis Shadow) has Temur Battle Rage to kill you before you can kill them. Shaper’s Sanctuary does help and is probably the best card in that slot, but not enough.

 

* Grandpa Jund should be self explanatory – it’s just Jund midrange. Similarly Alternate Reality Abzan is just Abzan midrange. Unless it’s a Willy Edel list, then it’s Reality-based Abzan.

 

Plus, Fatal Push is everywhere. It didn’t just replace Lightning Bolt, it got slotted into things like Tron and Ad Nauseum. So that’s that. I tried something, it wasn’t good, but I racked up a couple turn 3 kills so it was fun at least. It’s a hard life out there for a small creature deck. If you’re dedicated to the zoo life and want to add consistency you can drop the gimmicky frogs and play a pure one drop list. It might look something like this:

 

19 land

 

4 Goblin Guide

4 Wild Nacatl

3 Experiment One

4 Loam Lion

4 Kird Ape

4 Narnam Renegade

2 Zurgo Bellstriker

2 Kytheon, Hero of Akros

 

4 Lightning Bolt

4 Atarka’s Command

4 Path to Exile

2 Lightning Helix

 

This deck does one thing and it does it well: make 3 one drop creatures in the first two turns of the game. Then follow up with removal and burn. And if you draw Atarka’s Command, oh boy. If not, well, how about some more one drops? This deck is probably not good, but just think of the look on your opponent’s face when you dash in Zurgo to flip Kytheon, then use his +1 to protect the other creature in play, then let Zurgo return safely to your hand end of turn. Supreme Verdict THIS. If you really want to turn heads, cut the Helices for the 4th Experiment One and the first Isamaru, Hound of Konda. Who can say no to a puppy? Or if you want a more rational build*, cut a few of those one drops for some solid twos. Tarmogoyf, Flinthoof Boar, and Eidolon of the Great Revel are all reasonable options.

 

* Ok, if you really want a more rational build, just play burn.

 

The fundamental problem with all of these zoo lists is that they can’t be consistent and explosive at the same time. The one drop list is super consistent, and great at beating through Snapcaster Mage – not getting two-for-oned by Snapcaster is a big game. But if it doesn’t draw Atarka’s Command, it’s not really fast enough for modern. The Bushwhacker builds have the raw speed, but they’re constantly awkward. You need to play 19 lands to more reliably trigger Bushwhacker, or mediocre free spells like Manamorphose or Mutagenic Growth.* Or maybe Mishra’s Bauble. And now Snapcaster Mage gets to trade with something like half your deck. Burn is just able to hit combinations of explosiveness and consistency that these zoo builds can’t attain.

 

* Though when Bolt was the premier one mana removal spell in the format, Mutagenic Growth was a lot better.

 

So if you just want to play zoo, what should you do about all of this? Wait for another payoff card like Atarka’s Command, but not like Reckless Bushwhacker, to be printed – i.e. one with a higher floor. Or if you’re just hard headed and like playing with small creatures, explore angles that haven’t been explored. Maybe if you put the Death’s Shadow package into this shell, Bauble + Muta trigger your Reckless Bushwhackers enough, and you also get 1 mana 8/8s as a payoff. Or maybe try cutting the Herbalists and try to increase the consistency of Bushwhacker specifically. Or cut the Bushwhackers and try to increase the consistency of the Herbalists. Maybe Goblin Bushwhacker is better in a Herbalist build since you don’t want to have to have another spell to trigger it. I don’t think any of these ideas are particularly good, but since I haven’t tried them at least I’m not certain that they’re not good.


Ok, back to decks that don’t suck. Let’s talk some more about Traverse Shadow.* I think the key question for this deck is how many and which colors to play. In his series on Thoughtseize decks, Reid Duke wrote an article and recorded a video with Traverse Shadow. Reid spends a lot of time talking about the mana, and for good reason.

 

* I’m now firmly in the “Traverse Shadow is a better name than Jund/4 color/5 color Shadow” camp. Whether or not the deck splashes the 4th or 5th colors is irrelevant to it’s core shell and strategy: pairing Death’s Shadow with Tarmogoyf and Traverse the Ulvenwald. Plus, Reid Duke is in this camp. You wouldn’t disagree with Reid Duke, would you?**

 

** I’m about to disagree with Reid Duke.

 

Ultimately, Reid concludes that the deck should only be 4 colors because of the attendant increase in mana consistency, and chooses to blue as the color to cut. I think he’s basically right, but also wrong. Bear with me while I explain how I think about the mana in Traverse Shadow. It’s pretty similar to the way Reid thinks about it, but the small differences are important. Adding colors comes with costs and benefits. The benefits are the sweet cards you get to play, while the costs usually come in the form of mana inconsistency. Let’s go over the benefits first, since that’s what everyone likes to think about.

 

Red: Temur Battle Rage and sideboard cards, most notably Ancient Grudge and sweepers like Kozilek’s Return and Radiant Flames. I think I value Temur Battle Rage more highly than Reid, who says that Ancient Grudge is the biggest reason he wants red, but otherwise we are in agreement. Grudge is very well positioned right now because of Lantern Control, and I can’t imagine leaving home without TBR. It gives the deck a Temur Twin feel that simply can’t be replicated by other cards. There are some other interesting options here such as Terminate as a hard piece of removal, or Abrade and Rakdos Charm as flexible SB cards, and Hazoret as a pretty good haymaker Traverse target and also randomly very good vs. Lantern, but the case for playing red is mostly just TBR and Grudge.

 

White: Lingering Souls. That card breaks open midrange and control matchups like no other card can. Just drawing the card against some Grixis Shadow builds often means you win the game. Trust me, I spent a lot of time trying to replace Lingering Souls in order to get white out of the deck (see my last article). Nothing works. That said, white doesn’t add much else. Ranger of Eos is one of the two best haymaker Traverse targets along with Hazoret, but the traditionally powerful white hate cards aren’t great here. Most of them hurt us as much as they hurt the opponent (Rest in Peace, Ethersworn Canonist, Rule of Law, Eidolon of Rhetoric, Timely Reinforcements, Thalia, Aven Mindcensor), just aren’t good in fair decks (Leyline of Sanctity), or don’t really do what we want (Stony Silence and Kataki, which don’t kill Ensnaring Bridge). But Lingering Souls makes white worth it.

 

Blue: Countermagic. Primarily this gives access to Stubborn Denial, which covers a lot of bases and is rarely completely dead, but Disdainful Stroke is also really important for beating the big mana decks. The countermagic is somewhat redundant with the discard spells and TBR, but the axis they interact on is often different enough to be pretty valuable. Short of actual hate cards, like graveyard hate or something like Ethersworn Canonist, countermagic provides one of the last nails in the coffin against storm. There’s also no better way to fight the big mana decks than pairing countermagic with TBR to close. Mana denial like Fulminator Mage helps, but is typically not fast enough to really shut them down.

 

I agree with Reid that blue is the most cuttable color since it’s somewhat redundant with red + the core black cards in the deck, but I think red is the 3rd color I want the most, while Reid wants white. I think this is primarily because I value TBR higher than him, and is not really a consequential disagreement.

 

Now let’s talk about costs, i.e. mana inconsistency. This inconsistency can in occur in a number of ways, but for this deck in particular I think it’s useful to break it down into a couple of key questions:

 

1) Suppose you only draw two lands, how many of your spells can you cast? Are you able to cast multiple one mana spells per turn?

 

2) Suppose you draw one land + Traverse. How many of your spells can you cast?

 

3) How well can you operate under Blood Moon?

 

4) How resilient are you to other forms of mana denial? Can you get cut off of a key color with only one mana denial spell? (Ghost Quarter, Field of Ruin, Spreading Seas, Stone Rain, etc)

 

With a pure BG list, everything is easy. Overgrown Tomb + Swamp casts basically everything you could hope to with 2 mana, and adding a green source unlocks everything else. And this configuration is very attainable. Blood Moon is not much of a problem since it’s easy to have both basics in the deck, and to pre-emptively fetch for them, though at the cost of slowing down Death’s Shadow.

 

Adding a color (call it X) is not too bad either. Overgrown Tomb + B/X shockland should cast basically everything you could hope for at 2 mana. Blood Moon is a bit more awkward to deal with, but you can still afford a basic forest in the deck so that it often only cuts you off X, and if X = red, it doesn’t cut you off anything. It’s also not hard to have 2 or even 3 X sources so that one or even two mana denial spells can’t cut you off from X. If you have a G/X shockland in your deck, one land + Traverse will often unlock every color in the deck. So the third color is mostly free.

 

Suppose we add a 4th color (call it Y) now. This is where the real costs come in. All of the one land + Traverse scenarios force you to choose between having access to X and Y. Often you will end up without access to either, if Overgrown Tomb is the only fetchable green shockland (e.g. Bloodstained Mire can’t get Breeding Pool, and Polluted Delta can’t get Stomping Ground.) On just 2 lands, you can often get B/X and G/Y shocklands, but that keeps you from casting multiple black spells in one turn, which can also be very costly. Blood Moon and mana denial spells can also be far more devastating now, though if X or Y is red it helps a lot. You typically can still have two sources of both X and Y in the deck if you want though, making a single targeted mana denial spell not so bad in the long term.

 

With the 5th color, everything goes to hell. You just need 3 lands to operate, and 1 land + Traverse is often just not going to be functional. Blood Moon will cut off a lot more, and a single targeted mana denial spell is likely to cut you off of a color for the duration of the game. You can solve a lot of these problems by just playing more land, but then you get to draw more lands and less spells in your games.

 

I agree with Reid that 5 colors isn’t really workable. The manabase just becomes atrocious and you lose a lot of games to fetching the wrong 3rd or 4th color before you know which one you’ll need. I also agree with Reid that 4 colors is workable, with enough care put into the manabase. You’ll still run into some awkwardness where you have to decide between the ability to cast two black spells a turn and having access to every color of mana, but the payoff of having access to the best cards in the two splash colors is worth it. Where I disagree is that this means we can’t play all 5 colors. No, I didn’t just contradict myself.

 

What I mean is that you have all 5 colors in the 75, but in any given game you always present a 4 color 60. This requires putting a land in your SB, which is a cost, and it also requires building your 4 color manabase even more carefully, which comes with some additional costs, but I think they’re small enough to be worth it. The key is to think about primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. Black and green are primary colors – they’ll always be in every 60 you present, and you’ll always have at least 4 sources of them. Black is “more primary” in some sense, but that’s not important here. Next, pick a secondary color. This is a color that you rarely side out, and that you’ll have two fetchable sources. So ideally you want it in every matchup, and it’s a color that opponents will often try to cut you off of with the few mana denial spells the have. The last two colors are tertiary: you only want them in roughly 50% of matchups, and rarely at the same time. If opponents will try to cut you off this color, waiting until you need it to fetch it must be a reasonable plan.

 

With this setup you can build a 4 color manabase, then support the 5th color with the a single shockland in the SB. To get a feel for what this manabase looks like, let S be the secondary color, and let T1 and T2 be the tertiary colors. Then we might have:

 

4 B/G fetch

4 B/S fetch

4 B/anything fetch

2 B/G shock

1 B/S shock

1 G/S shock

1 B/T1 shock

1 B basic

 

Then 1 B/T2 shock in the SB. So if we want T2 instead of T1, we simply swap their dual lands. If S = red, T1 = blue, and T2 = white, you should be staring at a pretty familiar Traverse Shadow manabase.

 

It looks like the only real cost to this configuration the SB slot you give up to a shockland, but that’s not quite true. For one, it’s hard to play the basic forest since you have a higher proportion of cards that aren’t in the primary colors. A “true” 4 color manabase can more easily accommodate the forest. Second, you’re forced to make all of your fetches black. In a true 4 color manabase, you could have a 1-2 S/T fetches which would increase the consistency of getting those colors without hurting your ability to get black. But here, an S/T1 fetch would only be able to fetch S/X shocks in many post SB games. Another problem is that sometimes you don’t want S and want both T1 and T2 in a given matchup. You can certainly do that, but your mana will be a bit more strained than normal. The alternative is to SB as if you don’t have access to T2 (or T1) and be the 4 color deck you were supposed to be all along.

 

So there are costs beyond the land in the SB, but I think these costs are relatively small and worth having access to each color. But with that in mind, which color should be the secondary color? Paradoxically, since I agree with Reid that it’s the most cuttable color, I think the answer is blue. Three sorts of decks attack your mana: control and midrange decks with free land slots, big mana decks, and Merfolk. Against Merfolk, red is the most important non-primary color because of the sweepers, but you can often protect your red source until the turn you want to cast the sweeper or TBR by just not fetching for it, and Abrupt Decay can also bail you out. Against the control and midrange decks it’s white, but again you can often protect your white source until the turn you want to cast Lingering Souls. But against the big mana decks, you don’t have that luxury as often with blue mana. You can wait to fetch red until you want to TBR them, but sometimes you have to counter 2 or 3 things before the game ends, and a well timed Ghost Quarter, Worldbreaker, Acidic Slime, or even Stone Rain can break that up.

 

While I like 5 color more – as long as the deck is built correctly – I don’t think it’s super wrong to only play a 4 color 75. Most of the recent successful Traverse Shadow lists have cut a color altogether, typically blue. But the data is still sparse, and at least until we see some PT results, I’m firmly in the 5 color camp.

 

Outside of the manabase, there are a couple other points worth discussing. First, Grim Flayer has been testing extremely well. I mean very very well. I should have tested this card a long time ago.* He helps you turn on Traverse without having to play bad cards like Tarfire. This is particularly impactful when finding a second threat will help you close fast in a race, e.g. vs. aggro, combo, or big mana, and also to help fight through stuff like Nihil Spellbomb and Relic of Progenitus disrupting Traverse and even Tarmogoyf. Additionally, he’s just another beefy threat in a deck that could use the extra threat density. One of my favorite plays is casting TBR on Flayer against a midrange deck on a turn when I know it’s safe just to get something useful out of the card (game 1 obviously). Scry 3 twice is extremely powerful, and putting the bad cards into the graveyard is just nuts. Occasionally Flayer grows from a 2/2 to a 4/4 between first strike and regular damage! Plus, trample is a big game vs. opponents with lots of chump blockers. I occasionally find myself Traversing up Flayer instead of either Goyf or Shadow for this reason. He’s certainly not better than either of those two, but he’s been very good.

 

* Why didn’t I? Because I didn’t think he solved any of the major problems the deck has. He doesn’t. But that doesn’t matter. Winning tournaments does not require you to make your worst matchup as strong as possible or to make your deck as resilient to hate as possible. Sometimes it’s correct to just hope to dodge, and play the strongest version of your deck possible in the matchups where it’s allowed to function. Flayer doesn’t help when your graveyard and/or mana are under heavy pressure. But when they aren’t, oh buddy.

 

With Flayer, I’ve taken a more aggressive turn, also partially motivated by manabase concerns. If Blue is the secondary color, then there is no Stomping Ground in the deck and Blood Crypt + Breeding Pool does not cast Terminate. So the Terminates become Dismembers, which makes being more aggressive even better. This makes Liliana of the Veil, in particular, less exciting. This leads to my current default list:

 

4 Verdant Catacombs

4 Bloodstained Mire

4 Polluted Delta

2 Overgrown Tomb

1 Watery Grave

1 Breeding Pool

1 Blood Crypt

1 Swamp

 

4 Mishra’s Bauble

4 Street Wraith

4 Traverse the Ulvenwald

 

4 Tarmogoyf

4 Death’s Shadow

2 Grim Flayer

 

4 Thoughtseize

4 Inquisition of Kozilek

2 Stubborn Denial

2 Temur Battle Rage

 

3 Fatal Push

2 Dismember

2 Abrupt Decay

1 Liliana of the Veil

 

Sideboard:

 

1 Godless Shrine

3 Lingering Souls

1 Ranger of Eos

2 Ancient Grudge

2 Radiant Flames

1 Stubborn Denial

2 Disdainful Stroke

2 Collective Brutality

1 Liliana, the Last Hope

 

With Red as a tertiary color, that means the Traversable haymaker in the SB has to be Ranger of Eos, though I think I’d rather have Hazoret if the mana weren’t a concern. Radiant Flames is the sweeper of choice because of Humans, but also because it gives you outs to kill Dredge through even Prized Amalgams as long as you have enough power in play. Otherwise, the SB is pretty straightforward. The MD, on the other hand, is more like a tempo/combo deck than a traditional Thoughtseize deck. Arguably the Liliana of the Veil should be the 3rd Temur Battle Rage. I’ve given up trying to fight grindy matchups outside of a few high impact sideboard cards (the white ones) because I think there are more percentage points to be gained by maximizing the strongest aspects of the deck. As usual, if you want to beat the super grindy decks, play a different deck. That might be good advice right now with the rise of UWR control on the Starcity circuit, but the last time it looked like that might happened we saw GP OKC where the T8 was filled with Tron and Valakut decks. I expect a similar correction at the PT or just after it.

 

Grixis Shadow lists also have me excited again, but that may just be because they’re starting to look more like Traverse lists. Dylan Donnegan’s T8 list from SCG Columbus includes 3 Angler + 1 Tasigur, 2 Dismember, and 2 TBR in the maindeck, and 3 Lingering Souls + a Godless Shrine in the SB. He’s trying to go faster game 1, and splashing Lingering Souls to win midrange wars post-board. I still have some reservations about getting threats into play quickly enough with this list, but otherwise it looks pretty good. In fact, I think that if I wanted to play a Traverse Shadow list that was just a little more grindy, I’d rather play something close to Donnegan’s Grixis list. The flexible nature of the card selection and Snapcaster Mage means that given a Grixis Shadow list and a Traverse Shadow list that are equally strong at playing the aggressive, tempo game, the Grixis list will always be better at the grindy game. The main reason I still like Traverse Shadow better is that I want to position the deck in a spot that is more aggressive that Grixis can realistically be because of those cantrips and Snapcasters, but also because of having delve creatures instead of Tarmogoyf.

 

On the other hand, you could just start adding cantrips and Snapcasters to the Traverse Shadow shell… but I’ll leave that to everyone else to try. At least for now.

 

Alright, the modern PT is a mere weeks away, so it’s time for some PT predictions:

 

Lantern Control is the most played deck on day 2 (30%).*

 

* I badly want this to happen.

 

UWR Control has less than a 50% win percentage on day 2 (65%).

 

Grixis Shadow variants are played more on day 2 than Traverse Shadow variants (70%).

 

Sam Black plays Lantern Control (80%).

 

Reid Duke plays a Thoughtseize deck (60%).

 

Seth Manfield plays a deck with a > 50% expected win rate against the day 2 metagame (80%).

 

The top 8 contains at least 6 distinct archetypes (70%).

 

At least one card is unbanned in modern in the next update after the PT (70%).

 

No card is banned in modern in the next update after the PT (80%).

 

Ensnaring Bridge should be banned (100%).

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