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Best Decks in Modern MTG – September Modern Power Rankings Update

Welcome to September 2022 Modern Power Rankings! In this Power Rankings, you’ll find a direct link to a Deck Guide and a veedeo for every archetype. Our content is brought to you by Reid Duke, Aspiringspike, Gabriel Nassif and the rest of the Team ChannelFireball, including myself. To read the articles with Sideboard Guides, you have to subscribe to CFB Pro, whereas the veedeos have a direct link to our ChannelFireball YouTube channel and my YouTube channel.

Leyline Binding

Dominaria United brought Leyline Binding to Modern as an amazing addition to four and five-color decks, which shook up the Top 15. It now looks much different than the previous one.

This is my personal Top 15 Modern decks. I want to remind you that I’m trying to be as objective as I can, but I recognize that player experience means a lot in Modern, and a player that knows their deck extremely well can be much better off playing their rogue deck rather than an established archetype.

This month, we have a a couple of new entries: 

  1. Four-Color Yorhinos, which was previously a Temur 60-card deck.
  2. Five-Color Creativity which was previously Temur or Grixis;
  3. Temur Scapeshift, which is a similar Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle deck, preying on the slow Yorion decks by going over the top thanks to Scapeshift and Dryad of the Ilysian Grove.
  4. Jeskai Breach which is an old combo deck revamped lately on the USA tournament scenes. The deck has performed extremely well in the hands of some experts players and it’s now starting to show up in MTGO Challenge Top 8s as well.
  5. Finally, Goblin Combo which, to quote Aspiringspike, is a criminally underplayed Modern deck that got a big boost with Rundvelt Hordemaster

 

 

15. Goblin Combo

Goblin Combo is a deck that can win the game as early as turn two with a Conspicuous Snoop followed by Boggart Harbinger, putting on top Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, creating infinite copies of tapped Conspicuous Snoop and then shooting the opponent to death by copying Boggart Harbinger and putting Sling-Gang Lieutenant on top.

The deck is also able to grind well thanks to Goblin Matron and Goblin Ringleader, but it struggles against the Yorion Solitude decks, which are able to keep the combo in check with plenty of removal spells while also having a better late game.

14. UW Control

UW Control is a good deck in Modern with a good matchup against UR Murktide and cascade decks and a bad matchup against Four-Color Yorion Omnath.

Leyline Binding is seeing play even in this archetype, with Guillame Wafo-Tapa getting Top 4 in the most recent Modern Challenge with a splash for Fire // Ice as well as two Triomes that can help you cast the Leyline Binding for just one mana!

It’s unclear if Leyline Binding is worth cutting down to two Prismatic Ending and zero March of Otherworldly Light, but the deck builders are definitely out there trying.

13. Jeskai Breach

Jeskai Breach is an old love of mine. I used to play it with Arcum’s Astrolabe and certainly love its revamped version with Ledger Shredder, which is great for both consistency as well as making the play B of attacking with Urza’s Saga Constructs and Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer stronger.

This deck is very explosive and can go off as early as turn three thanks to Underworld Breach, Grinding Station and Mox Amber creating a loop that lets you mill your whole deck. Then, with the help of Emry, Lurker of the Loch, you can get the blue mana you need to cast Thassa’s Oracle for the win. Emry is outstanding in this deck, and not only acts as a Dark Confidant but also as a combo piece or mana ramp with Mox Amber.

This deck can grind very well thanks to Urza’s Saga and Underworld Breach creating a lot of raw card advantage to help you facilitate your game plan and combo smoothly.

12. Grixis Shadow

Grixis Shadow has very similar matchups to UR Murktide and Rakdos Scam but misses an important thing: it doesn’t have access to Blood Moon, a much needed card to keep up with the four and five-color decks that are dominating the format at the moment.

It’s still a strong choice as it won LMS Paris and is a deck that is less impacted by the printing of Leyline Binding, but definitely suffers from the rise of Blood Moon, since it can knock you out of casting important blue spells for the rest of the game.

11. Burn

Burn has been around in Modern since the beginning, and it stood the test of time perfectly. As the cards get more powerful, the mana bases get more greedy, and Burn capitalize on the fetch-shockland mana bases of nearly every deck in Modern to help deal 20 damage.

Turn one Goblin Guide, turn two Eidolon of the Great Revel is one of the most dreaded starts in Modern. Burn slots into the Top 8 of my Power Rankings after countless good results in Modern despite cards like Omnath, Locus of Creation and Solitude having lifelink all over them.

Burn has an extremely good matchup against Four-Color Yorion Omnath and the many other Leyline Binding decks and it’s very capable of beating UR Murktide as long as they don’t draw too many copies of Spirebluff Canal. It’s overall an excellent choice that’s very budget friendly as well.

10. Temur/Gruul Scapeshift

Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle strategies might be the best ones against Four-Color Yorion Omnath, which is an amazing place to be.

There’s two different routes you can take if you want to cast Scapeshift and Dryad of the Ilysian Grove. One is a more straightforward version that’s just Gruul that plays mana ramp spells like Search for Tomorrow and Sakura-Tribe Elder. The other is a Temur version with Remand and Fire // Ice as interaction, as well as Growth Spiral as a ramp spell. It’s also playing format all-stars like Expressive Iteration and Wrenn and Six to keep the power level high enough to compete in Modern.

Remand is particularly great against the cascade decks around, and it’s perfect to drag out the game until you cast a deadly Scapeshift for the win.

9. Amulet Titan

In the hands of a specialist, Amulet Titan is among the scariest decks you can face in Modern. There’s a lot of players that picked up Amulet Titan years ago and never left, as it’s always been an excellent choice in Modern throughout Modern Horizons ages.

Despite Amulet Titan not gaining as much as other decks in this past year, Urza’s Saga and Cultivator Colossus added a lot of consistency and power level. It now doesn’t just have to rely on Primeval Titan to win the game, but can simply cast an uncounterable Cultivator Colossus, draw a huge amount of cards and bury any counterspell gamers in the dust.

Amulet Titan is a great deck, but takes a lot of expertise to fully master, since most sequences need to be learned and can’t just be brought over from other decks or other formats like UR Murktide or Four-Color Yorion Omnath.

8. Golgari Yawgmoth

While I’m not the biggest fan of Golgari Yawgmoth, I recognize its results and consistency through this year of Modern Horizons 2. On ChannelFireball, Reid Duke has been a huge proponent on the deck and has written a ton about it. He was also able to show his expertise in a Magic Online league too, so make sure to check it out!

Yawgmoth is a creature-based deck that makes you worry about the midrange plan, then resolves a Yawgmoth, Thran Physician and gains an insurmountable card advantage with it. Thanks to four Eldritch Evolution and four Chord of Calling, it can easily put him into play and rock any battlefield with it.

It has a tough time against Four-Color Yorion Omnath, dreading Solitude and any type of exile removal spells from Prismatic Ending to March of Otherworldly Light. However, it has a good matchup against UR Murktide, which makes it a solid choice in Modern right now.

7. Rakdos Scam

The Scam advertised in the deck’s name comes from Grief and Undying Malice, a combination that will present your opponent a 4/3 menace on turn one that discards two of their best cards. This combination is also able to play around one single Lightning Bolt or Spell Pierce, since you can discard the interaction with the evoke trigger on the stack and then cast Feign Death on Grief.

Another great start for this deck, and the reason why it has a good matchup against UR Murktide, is its ability to play a 4/4 Fury on turn one, which is very hard to deal with for many decks in the format.

Rakdos Scam is an excellent Blood Moon deck, that can win any matchups on the back of its busted turn one play. It’s also the best Thoughtseize deck we have in Modern right now!

6. Living End

Living End is an extremely powerful and consistent deck that can disrupt with Grief and protect its combo with Force of Negation, all while cantripping its way to a lethal Living End to Wrath the board and bring back untouchable creatures like Striped Riverwinder and Colossal Skyturtle.

There are several ways you can disrupt Living End plan, starting from graveyard hate like Unlicensed Hearse or Endurance, counterspells like Flusterstorm and finally permanents that stop the deck from functioning like Teferi, Time Raveler, Drannith Magistrate and Chalice of the Void.

Living End players will be ready for those hate cards though with Force of Vigor and Foundation Breaker ready to protect their plan. With this, they can consistently put Living End on the stack on turn three thanks to eight cascade spells in Shardless Agent and Violent Outburst.

Living End used to be the best cascade deck in the format, but now thanks to Leyline Binding, it’s been overtaken by Crashing Footfalls.

5. Hammer Time

The most explosive deck in Modern, Hammer Time is capable of turn two wins as well as grinding the opponent down with Urza’s Saga or The Reality Chip. Despite losing Lurrus of the Dream-Den, this deck remains at the top of Modern’s metagame.

If you’re a combo player and don’t feel ready to learn all Amulet Titan’s patterns, then Hammer Time will be an excellent choice for you. You need to know when it’s time to jam a Colossus Hammer or when it’s time to wait for a Blacksmith’s Skill or for your opponent to leave their guard down.

Hammer Time doesn’t suffer in many matchups in particular and it’s the only deck that plays Esper Sentinel, a card capable of winning games by itself on turn one by creating a huge tempo advantage that will make your opponent eventually perish unable to deploy their spell on time.

4. UR Murktide

UR Murktide has been severely dethroned and what was once the best deck in the format sits now in fourth place of my September Power Rankings!

Leyline Binding hit this deck heavily as a card that’s able to flawlessly kill a Murktide Regent or Ledger Shredder for just one mana. Previously they were hard to kill threats, which let UR Murktide take over the game very quickly.

Matchups like Indomitable Creativity and Crashing Footfalls, which were once favorable for UR Murktide, now become unfavorable. This creates a big problem for this deck, as it was already struggling against Four-Color Yorion Omnath.

UR Murktide can adapt and it will, changing Archmage’s Charm for main-deck Blood Moon as the best cure for those Leyline Binding decks.

3. Five-Color Creativity

Indomitable Creativity is a four-mana one-card combo, able to get an Archon of Cruelty into play just by fetching your Dwarven Mine on turn four.

The deck struggled against the pressure from Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and Dragon’s Rage Channeler pairing up with the effectiveness of Spell Pierce and Counterspell. However, thanks to Teferi, Time Raveler and Leyline Binding, this Creativity deck it’s able to turn the matchup around, finding extremely cheap and effective ways to safely deploy its combo.

Thanks to Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, this deck is able to play a midrange game and very often reaches the eight-mana threshold to hardcast Archon of Cruelty.

Five-Color Creativity is an amazing combo deck, and it still hasn’t found its perfect configuration.

2. Four-Color Yorhinos

Temur Rhinos has always been the second cascade deck choice, but now thanks to Leyline Binding, it’s finally able to dethrone Living End and place second in my Modern Power Rankings.

What Leyline Binding offer is a turn two hard removal spell that can remove hate pieces like Chalice of the Void, Engineered Explosives and Teferi, Time Raveler, as well as provide an answer for Murktide Regent and Omnath, Locus of Creation.

While we’re adding a fourth color for it, the Yorion, Sky Nomad jump is suggested because it will give you access to Solitude and Omnath. You don’t lose in consistency because of Ardent Plea and you’re still able to get your couple of 4/4s Rhinos into play consistently.

I think Yorhinos is a great choice if you want to play a four-color Yorion deck without rushing when you go to time every round.

1. Four-Color Yorion Omnath (Vivien, Elementals, Control)

I decided to group the three Four-Color Yorion Omnath decks together in first place as I don’t think the Vivien Combo version, the Elementals version or the control version are particularly different in matchups, yet they present a lot of differences in deck building.

In the Vivien Combo (my favorite one), you’re giving up a bit against UR Murktide and Grixis Shadow, since you’re adding a bunch of expensive and easy to deal with cards. However, you’re much better in the mirror because of the inevitability of going off with Vivien on the Hunt once the game gets stalled under a Teferi, Time Raveler. Vivien Combo is also better in the solitaire matchups like against Amulet Titan if you can combo faster than them.

Elementals is dividing now between the Eladamri’s Call version and the Traverse the Ulvenwald version that’s using Mishra’s Bauble to enable delirium and get there one mana faster. I like Elementals and it’s the best deck you can choose if you want to beat UR Murktide, especially if you’re playing with Cavern of Souls.

The control version with Counterspell, Expressive Iteration and Supreme Verdict is also excellent against UR Murktide, but that has a very slow game plan, which is a tough choice especially in paper events where draws might be a big deal.

Four-Color Yorion Omnath has all the best cards in the format, so it was natural for me to put it in first place. On the other hand, it wouldn’t be my deck of choice for a paper tournament, as the risk of going to time with such “hard to close the game” decks are too much for me and I’ve never liked decks that put that kind of pressure on myself.

That’s is it for my September Modern Power Rankings. See you next month!

 

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