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Best Decks in Modern – Modern Power Rankings – 12/23/21

The world of Modern hasn’t changed too much during this holiday season, although the rising popularity of one of the best decks in Modern has skyrocketed it into the middle of this week’s Power Rankings.

 

15. Rakdos (Usually Lurrus)

Lurrus of the Dream-DenTourach, Dread CantorDragon's Rage Channeler

Rakdos is a simple and effective deck that combines discard with excellent threats and removal. Lurrus of the Dream-Den pays you off for playing the most efficient cards in the format, which is what you want to do anyway! Keep an eye on Tourach, Dread Cantor, which is highly effective in a format with so much white removal. You really can’t go wrong with Rakdos. 

14. Indomitable Creativity

Indomitable CreativityHard EvidenceSerra's Emissary

Indomitable Creativity is a powerful card which has more or less spawned its own archetype. Using Treasures, Hard Evidence and other creature tokens as fuel, you can build a deck where the only actual creature card is a game-winning threat, which Creativity will put onto the battlefield for you each and every time. Once the shell is in place, you can take this deck in whatever direction you please, with players opting for a variety of simple, deadly threats like Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Serra’s Emissary or Archon of Cruelty.

13. Mill

Hedron CrabDrown in the LochTasha's Hideous Laughter

Mill still packs a punch, and circumvents most of Modern’s common defensive measures. Tasha’s Hideous Laughter is extremely powerful against decks using Lurrus of the Dream-Den as a companion. I don’t love playing Mill against all of the Ragavan decks, but it does have a number of highly favorable matchups among decks on this list.

12. Yawgmoth

I’ve been playing a lot of Yawgmoth lately, and I find it to be both fun and highly competitive. The matchup against removal-heavy decks like Omnath, Izzet Murktide and the various Lurrus strategies feels close to 50/50. But I honestly believe that Yawgmoth is one of the few decks in Modern that has a reliably positive matchup against Colossus Hammer.

This deck uses undying creatures with Yawgmoth’s sacrifice ability to generate massive value, and eventually go infinite. I particularly like that it’s a good home for Ignoble Hierarch and Grist, the Hunger Tide, which are great cards that don’t get quite enough love. 

It’s usually a bad idea to show up to a Modern event without some combination of Ragavan, Urza’s Saga, Shardless Agent or the “Pitch Elementals.” But Yawgmoth is one of the excellent exceptions to this rule. 

11. Elementals

Omnath, Locus of CreationFlamekin HarbingerRisen Reef

There’s no denying that the cycle of mythic rare “Pitch Elementals” are among the most powerful cards from Modern Horizons 2. Combining them with Risen Reef and Ephemerate makes Elemental Tribal one of the best value decks in Modern.

I still really like the tribal Elementals deck, but it’s no longer the most popular way to use Omnath, Locus of Creation

10. Burn

Goblin GuideEidolon of the Great RevelLava Spike (Timeshifted)

Among the many, many ways to play with cheap red creatures, the single-minded strategy of lighting the opponent on fire is still a great one. A huge appeal of Burn is the ability to play with Eidolon of the Great Revel, which is an absolute beating for all of the Mishra’s Bauble and Expressive Iteration players out there right now. 

9. Amulet Titan

Primeval Titan (Timeshifted)Dryad of the Ilysian GroveCultivator Colossus

Amulet Titan was arguably the most successful deck of MTG Vegas, since it was the only archetype to put two players into the top 8. Primeval Titan has historically been one of the defining cards (and decks) of Modern, and it never stays down for long. 

8. Death’s Shadow (Usually Grixis)

I think everyone has known for a while that Death’s Shadow has potential. It won the Starcitygames.com Invitational in the hands of Corey Baumeister, but even after that, it took a while for it to reach its full potential. Now, Grixis Shadow is continuously climbing the rankings. It seems like you can’t click on a Modern event these days without seeing one or more copies of Grixis Death’s Shadow in the top 8.

7. Living End

Living EndShardless AgentStreet Wraith

Living End has dropped a few spots, but this is more due to the popularity of the top six archetypes, and is not indicative of any fatal flaw with Living End itself. It’s proven that it can stand the test of time; and I had a great experience when I played with it myself.

Living End is beautiful in its simplicity. Cycling creatures comprise most of the deck, allowing you to fill your graveyard while finding your key cards with impressive consistency. Because the namesake card is the only nonland with mana value less than three, cascade spells like Shardless Agent, Violent Outburst, Ardent Plea or Demonic Dread will always find it and leave you with a dominant board position.

6. Jund Sagavan

Ragavan, Nimble PilfererUrza's SagaWrenn and Six

Jund Sagavan uses Urza’s Saga, Mishra’s Bauble, Ragavan, Wrenn and Six and Lurrus as a companion. Saga is particularly good when paired with Wrenn and Six, and as an extra card type for Tarmogoyf. As the quintessential “good cards” archetype, Jund has finally found a way to cram all of the most important, format defining Modern cards into one deck!

5. U/W/x Control

Teferi, Hero of DominariaSolitudeArchmage's Charm

Azorius Control (along with Esper, Jeskai and Bant), isn’t the flashiest strategy in Modern, but it’s still highly effective, with very strong card quality. It wasn’t huge in Vegas, but continues to put up incredible results on Magic Online. For those who enjoy a good old fashioned long game with counterspells, this can still be the deck for you. 

4. Temur/Four-Color Cascade

Shardless AgentCrashing FootfallsBrazen Borrower // Petty Theft

At this stage in the format, it’s rare to see a lot of churn near the very top of the rankings. However, Temur Cascade has jumped Azorius Control for this installment, after putting up a handful of strong finishes. This has been a highly effective strategy throughout 2021, and you can’t go wrong choosing it.

This deck uses Shardless Agent and other cascade spells to hit Crashing Footfalls for a massive, underpriced board presence. It circumvents the “no cheap cards” restriction by playing cards like Brazen Borrower, Fire // Ice, and Force of Negation.

3. Omnath/Bring to Light

Omnath, Locus of CreationBring to LightNiv-Mizzet Reborn

I think Modern’s top three strategies are fairly solidified at this point, and multicolor Omnath decks are certainly one of them. 

One popular version is a monstrosity featuring Omnath, Locus of Creation, “Pitch” Elementals and Ephemerate, with either Kaheera, the Orphanguard or Yorion, Sky Nomad as a companion. I’ve taken to calling this deck Omnath Pile, since it has that “trade-binder” look of simply jamming a bunch of powerful cards together.

For those wondering, I use the presence or absence of dedicated tribal cards like Risen Reef and Flamekin Harbinger to distinguish between “Elementals” and this more general category of four or five-color Omnath deck. 

There’s also a lot more you can do with multicolor strategies in Modern, including casting Bring to Light for Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor or a lethal Scapeshift. You can also just grind people out with Niv-Mizzet Reborn.

2. Izzet/Jeskai Murktide

Murktide RegentRagavan, Nimble PilfererExpressive Iteration

Izzet Murktide is both popular and successful, and if it didn’t have the disadvantage of dividing its metagame share with all of the other versions of cheap-spells-and-Ragavan strategies (think Grixis, Rakdos, Jund, Mardu, Red Prowess and Burn), it might be even more dominant.

Murktide Regent is an extremely powerful creature, and is one of the most compelling reasons to give up on Lurrus of the Dream-Den as a companion for this type of strategy. Compared to U/R Prowess, this deck is shifted more heavily towards blue and plays counterspells.

1. Colossus Hammer

Colossus HammerPuresteel PaladinSigarda's Aid

Colossus Hammer remains the deck to beat in Modern. This is a mono-white or Orzhov Equipment deck which has, in addition to brutal explosive potential, awesome sideboard cards like Sanctifier en-Vec. It’s multidimensional and difficult to attack. Colossus Hammer is the best home for Urza’s Saga, which is one of the most powerful cards from Modern Horizons 2

 

I asked my teammates what they’d play in a Modern event this weekend.

Andrea Izzet Murktide.

Evart – Grixis Shadow. 

Luis – Grixis Shadow

Martin – Grixis Shadow

And As for Me (Reid) – Yawgmoth.

 

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