The dust has settled after the Lurrus ban. This installment sees significant shake ups among both the lower and the higher ranked decks. A few old favorites make their way back onto the rankings as well. 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 20 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 This deck had largely been replaced by more midrangey versions of Omnath, but with a few good finishes, it’s roaring back onto the competitive scene.
Classic Urzatron has also made a resurgence. While decks like Omnath Midrange, Jund/Golgari Saga and Azorius Control 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.
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. Dredge took first place in a recent Magic Online Challenge.
11. Azorius Control
Azorius Control was once a top five 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.
10. Jund/Golgari Saga
Jund Sagavan relied heavily on the Lurrus companion. However, the archetype is evolving, with two-color Golgari Saga decks putting up results lately. I’m also excited to see what the upcoming set Streets of New Capenna will have to offer for Jund.
Though they come in many forms, you can count on these decks to use some combination of Urza’s Saga, 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, these decks cram together all of the most important, format defining Modern has to offer.
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.
Yawgmoth has been my deck of choice lately, and I believe that #8 is the highest it’s ever placed on the Power Rankings. It uses Yawgmoth, Thran Physician and undying creatures to generate tons of value, and eventually assemble an infinite combo to one-shot the opponent. It remains a very solid choice for all of us Golgari mages out there.
7. Amulet Titan
This deck uses Amulet of Vigor (which can be found via Urza’s Saga) and “bounce lands” like Simic Growth Chamber to power out Primeval Titan and bury the opponent in value.
Amulet Titan was one of the best non-Lurrus decks in Modern. 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.
6. 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.
5. Temur Cascade
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.
Temur may be one of the biggest winners from the Lurrus ban, since Rhino tokens don’t love playing against Death’s Shadows and Tarmogoyfs that reliably outsize them.
4. Grixis Shadow
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 down-swing.
Massive creatures 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.
3. Colossus Hammer
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.
2. Omnath Midrange
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 on the horizon.
1. Izzet Murktide
There’s a new #1 deck for this installment. And I have to say that it didn’t just squeak past Omnath, it blew past it in impressive fashion. The Murktide Regent decks have been a huge winner from the banning. Izzet remains the cleanest way to make use of the outrageously powerful Dragon, but a variety of versions and color combinations are possible.