Adventures in the Forgotten Realms has already hit MTGO, but it’s barely a drop in a bucket compared to the cannonball splash of Modern Horizons 2. However, the format’s still fluidic, with a new deck taking the top spot of the Modern Power Rankings for the first time!
This creature-based combo deck uses Yawgmoth, Thran Physician and undying creatures to generate massive value and eventually go infinite. It’s a perfect home for Ignoble Hierarch and Grist, the Hunger Tide.
14. Jeskai Turns
At this point, Jeskai Turns has appeared in multiple formats, but the idea is always the same. Generate tokens from noncreature sources like Dwarven Mine or Prismari Command. Cast Indomitable Creativity to turn that token into Velomachus Lorehold (you’ll always hit it because there are no other creatures or artifacts in the deck). From there, every attack with the Elder Dragon will hit some kind of Time Warp effect, which means another turn and another attack with Velomachus….
There’s a lot you can do with four and five-color strategies in Modern. You can use Bring to Light, you can combo Scapeshift with Dryad of the Ilysian Grove or you can simply out value people with Omnath, Locus of Creation or Niv-Mizzet Reborn.
An old favorite is back, with Humans fairly consistently putting up strong finishes. New additions include Esper Sentinel, General Ferrous Rokiric, Sanctifier en-Vec, Sanctum Prelate and even Shardless Agent.
11. Hardened Scales/Affinity
Hardened Scales and Affinity were once powerful strategies, but never fully recovered from the banning of Mox Opal. With the release of Modern Horizons 2, Hardened Scales took first place in a recent Magic Online Modern Challenge. New additions include Urza’s Saga, Zabaz, the Glimmerwasp and Power Depot.
10. Death and Taxes
Death and Taxes is back on the Modern Power Rankings this week. This is a disruptive white creature deck (sometimes splashing a color) that takes advantage of mana denial and “blinking” of creatures with enters-the-battlefield abilities like Solitude.
9. Jeskai Ragavan
A major player from last month, Jeskai Ragavan can still perform well based on its overall card quality. However, I think most players are starting to cash in their white cards and choose the more streamline Izzet versions of the Ragavan tempo strategy.
Mill remains chronically underrated because it went from a purely casual deck in the old days to something that’s actually highly competitive today. This deck packs a punch and circumvents most of Modern’s common defensive measures. I took this for a spin recently, and was impressed with its favorable matchup against a lot of the decks on this list.
7. Red Prowess
A previous #1 ranked deck on the Modern Power Rankings remains strong. Powerful Modern Horizons 2 additions include Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and Dragon’s Rage Channeler. Red Prowess can come in the form of Mono-Red, W/R or U/R. Compared to Izzet Delver and Murktide Regent decks, this archetype is much more about unloading quick damage.
6. Living End
I had a great experience when I played Living End, and can attest to its power.
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 Violent Outburst, Ardent Plea or Demonic Dread will always find it and leave you with a dominant board position.
Temur Cascade was the most successful deck of the Magic Online Championship Series Showcase, winning the $20,000 first prize in the hands of Yuuki Ichikawa. 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, Bonecrusher Giant, Subtlety and Foundation Breaker.
Food is my pick for the most exciting new deck of Modern Horizons 2. It centers around The Underworld Cookbook, which you can find via Urza’s Saga or Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar, and then use to fuel a variety of powerful engines.
3. Amulet Titan
Primeval Titan doesn’t like to stay down for long. And when supercharged by Urza’s Saga finding Amulet of Vigor, it’s back on top of the format. This has historically been one of the defining cards (and decks) of Modern. In the past I’ve listed this as “Primeval Titan (All Forms)” in order to encompass Classic Valakut and other Titan strategies. But these days, it’s all Amulets.
After playing a variety of Modern decks, teammate Andrea Mengucci boiled down his Tier 1 to Amulet Titan and Izzet.
The lines begin to blur between U/R Prowess, Murktide Regent decks and more streamlined versions of Izzet Ragavan. But one thing is for sure: playing lots of cheap spells in these colors is a great place to be.
Murktide Regent is an extremely powerful creature, and it was only a matter of time until intrepid deckbuilders found a strong way to use it. Compared to U/R Prowess, this deck is shifted more heavily towards blue, and plays counterspells. I’ve seen players cutting Delver of Secrets recently, but the core of Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and Dragon’s Rage Channeler backed up by a ton of cheap instants and sorceries is always highly effective.
There’s a new #1 in town and on the Modern Power Rankings. Colossus Hammer had an insane week, punctuated by a Magic Online Modern Challenge where there were four copies in the Top 8, including the winning deck!
This is an existing archetype that got some big upgrades from Modern Horizons 2. The biggest of these is Urza’s Saga, which can find Colossus Hammer directly. Saga is also simply a supercharged card that’s extremely powerful in an artifact-based creature deck.
I asked my teammates what they’d play in a Modern event this weekend.
Evart – Rakdos Midrange.
Huey – Storm.
Martin – Grixis Delver.
And As for Me (Reid) – Death and Taxes.