Welcome to the Modern Power Rankings. Here are the resources I use to inform all Power Rankings, leaning more heavily on what applies best to the given format:
- Magic Online results. This includes Preliminaries, Weekend Challenges, Super Qualifiers, and MOCS Events.
- MTGMelee results. I typically look at all of the events with at least twenty players.
- Large tabletop events. When applicable.
- Untapped.gg stats. These show win rates of various archetypes on the Magic Arena ladder.
- Previous rankings. Just because a deck didn’t make a top 8 over the weekend, doesn’t mean it’s suddenly a bad deck.
- Public opinion. I discuss things with my teammates, and take a look at what’s getting a lot of attention on Twitch, Twitter, Youtube, podcasts, and written content.
- My own instincts and experiences.
The key card of the Elemental tribal deck is Risen Reef, which generates enormous value alongside the “pitch” Elementals and Ephemerate. This deck had largely been replaced by more midrangey versions of Omnath, but with a few good finishes, it’s roaring back onto the competitive scene.
Reanimator scores its easiest wins by dumping Archon of Cruelty into the graveyard, and then Persisting it back onto the battlefield. Common versions include Esper – with Faithful Mending as a key card – and Mardu – which uses the new Fable of the Mirror-Breaker.
Dredge is always lurking on the fringes of Modern, but with a few key upgrades over the past year or two, it might be scarier than ever. Otherworldly Gaze and Thrilling Discovery increase both the consistency and the explosiveness of its openings.
While decks like Omnath Midrange, Izzet Murktide, Azorius Control and Jund are caught up in the midrange “arms race” of generating value and accumulating small advantages, Urzatron is in a position to go way over the top and crush them all with fast planeswalkers and Eldrazi titans.
Jund Sagavan relied heavily on the Lurrus companion. However, the archetype is evolving, with a number of versions both with and without Urza’s Saga looking good lately. Riveteers Charm and Ziatora’s Proving Ground both appear to be positive additions to the archetype.
Whatever form Jund comes in, you can count on seeing some combination of Mishra’s Bauble, Ragavan, Tarmogoyf, Liliana of the Veil and Wrenn and Six. Saga is particularly good when paired with Wrenn and Six or Elvish Reclaimer, and as an extra card type for Tarmogoyf and delirium. As the quintessential “good cards” archetype, Jund seeks to cram together as many of the best cards in the format as it possibly can.
10. Azorius Control
Azorius Control was once a top 5 deck on these rankings, but has drifted a bit over the last couple of months. It isn’t the flashiest strategy in Modern, but it’s still highly effective, with very strong card quality. For those who enjoy a good old fashioned long game with counterspells, this can still be the deck for you.
March of Otherworldly Light was a nice pickup, as it can exile Urza’s Saga for the low price of one mana. Plus, I still think this was a winner from the Lurrus ban, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it climb back up the rankings in the coming weeks.
Love it or hate it, it’s remarkable to see Burn still in Modern’s top 10 even after all these years. The great thing about Burn is that you hardly need to care about all of these new printings and metagame shifts, so long as your opponents aren’t gaining life. Burn usually did play with Lurrus. However, as with most metagame changes, Burn players don’t really need to think too much about it. Among many ways to use Modern’s efficient red spells, Burn is still a great one.
8. Amulet Titan
Amulet Titan was one of the best non-Lurrus decks in Modern prior to the companion being banned. It may need to contend with a few more Blood Moons and Ashiok, Dream Renders than it did before, but I still think this is a world where Primeval Titan can thrive.
7. Living End
Living End is another good deck to pick up if you’re a former Lurrus player in search of something new. The game plan is to fill your graveyard by cycling big monsters. Then cast Violent Outburst or Shardless Agent, which will always cascade into Living End, resulting in an insurmountable advantage. Living End has been on a heater lately, putting itself right in the conversation with the best decks in the format.
Yawgmoth continues its meteoric climb to the top of the rankings, and I’m certain that #6 is the highest rank I’ve ever given it. It uses Yawgmoth, Thran Physician and undying creatures to generate tons of value, and eventually assemble an infinite combo to one-shot the opponent. This has been my deck of choice lately, as I find it to be fun, well-rounded and have a positive matchup against the various Urza’s Saga strategies. It remains a very solid choice for all of us Golgari mages out there.
Grixis Shadow can adapt to losing Lurrus by incorporating Street Wraith, planeswalkers, delve creatures or even Seasoned Pyromancer. However, it seems to have taken a significant hit from the banning and is definitely on the downswing.
Massive creatures still give Death’s Shadow a fast clock and a good matchup against decks like Temur Cascade. Dress Down is a stone cold killer of opposing Tarmogoyfs, Dragon’s Rage Channelers and Construct tokens. Throw it all in the mixer with Expressive Iteration and the very best removal spells and disruption, and you still have a scary deck.
Temur Cascade has been a highly effective strategy ever since the release of Modern Horizons 2. It 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.
Losing Lurrus hurts a little, but Hammer players have successfully adapted to the banning. Colossus Hammer is a mono-white, Orzhov or Azorius 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 remains the best home for Urza’s Saga, which is one of the most powerful cards from Modern Horizons 2.
These are the four-color decks that use Omnath, Locus of Creation to win grindy games. One popular version is an 80-card monstrosity featuring Omnath, Locus of Creation, “Pitch” Elementals and Ephemerate, with Yorion, Sky Nomad as a companion. These four-color soup decks are here to stay, especially with the multicolor set Streets of New Capenna recently released.
The Murktide Regent decks have been a huge winner from the Lurrus banning and now stand at the top of the format. Izzet remains the cleanest way to make use of the outrageously powerful Dragon, but a variety of versions and color combinations are possible.