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MTG Modern Power Rankings – August 2022 Update

Welcome to August 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 myself, Reid Duke, AspiringSpike and Gabriel Nassif. 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.

Last month, it was my first time writing it and today, I’ll go through the new top 15, highlighting the differences from 30 days ago.

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 list rather than an established deck.

This week we have a new entry, Glimpse Elementals, that took the top 15 spot from Mono-Green Tron.

 

 

15. UW Control

UW Control is a good deck in Modern, with a good matchup against UR Murktide and a bad matchup against Four-Color Yorion Omnath. Some versions use Snapcaster Mage and Opt, and others go for locking the opponent down with Chalice of the Void and splashing for a tiny bit of red for Fire // Ice and Crumble to Dust.

Playing a reactive strategy in Modern is always a tough challenge because of the multitude of decks you might encounter, but UW Control is definitely a strategy that suits some players better than others, and those who do thrive with it in any format from Pioneer to Legacy!

An innovation brought by Gabriel Nassif is UW Control featuring Day’s Undoing, that in combination with Narset, Parter of Veils, will let you draw seven while your opponent will only get one card. This is your way to get a chance to beat Four-Color Yorion Omnath decks.

14. Affinity/Hardened Scales

Urza’s Saga is a scary card, and Affinity decks use it best. There’s a plethora of ways you can play your artifacts: Mono-Blue Affinity with Cranial Plating, UW Affinity with Urza, Lord High Artificer or Hardened Scales with Arcbound Ravager. Some of them require more knowledge than others, but they are all extremely effective. 

Urza’s Saga decks tend to have a good matchup against UR Murktide, but they lack of interaction, having only a few ways to disrupt the opponent’s plan. They are also very weak to artifact hate, such as Kataki, War’s Wage or Shatterstorm, but those cards don’t see nearly enough play to worry about.

Affinity is the most budget option in Modern (together with Burn) and it’s an excellent choice.

13. RG Titanshift

I think Titanshift is an excellent choice in Modern. It’s the best deck against Four Yorion Omnath, which is an amazing place to be, and it has a really good goldfish plan that can win as early as turn four thanks to Scapeshift.

Thanks to Wish, you’re really consistent while not drawing dead cards in the early game. Wish lets you find answer to pesky hate cards like Magus of the Moon or Blood Moon without needing the even sideboard them in.

It might not be the most fun deck ever to pilot, but it certainly gets the job done when the most feared deck in the format can’t really deal with your consistent plan of getting them dead with Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle.

12. Burn

Similarly to Tron, Burn has been around in Modern since its beginning, and it stood the test of time perfectly. As the cards get more powerful, the mana bases get greedier, and Burn capitalizes on the fetch-shock mana bases of nearly every deck in Modern to help dealing 20 damage.

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

Burn has an extremely good matchup against Four-Color Yorion Omnath and it’s very capable of beating UR Murktide as long as they don’t draw too many copies of Spirebluff Canal. It suffers combo decks, but those are more rare as of late in Modern.

As mentioned earlier, it’s an excellent choice and budget friendly too!

11. Glimpse Elementals

The first new entry of our top 15 comes all the way to 11th place!

Glimpse of Tomorrow is the third most popular cascade deck after Living End and Temur Rhinos. Like the other decks, it plays Violent Outburst and Shardless Agent to cascade into your zero-mana card, Glimpse of Tomorrow, but this deck is more capable of having a fair game. Thanks to four Cavern of Souls, four Endurance and four Omnath, Locus of Creation, you can easily apply a normal game plan and beat the counterspells/Teferi, Time Raveler decks this way.

One nice thing about Glimpse Elementals is its ability to morph into a midrange deck post-sideboard, dropping the cascade plan and adopting more interactive spells like Mystical Dispute and Subtlety to make opposing Flusterstorms and Chalice of the Voids dead while applying pressure with a 60-card Omnath deck.

10. Temur Rhinos

Temur Rhinos is the most consistent deck in Modern, able to interact on turn one and two and put two 4/4s into play on turn three.

Temur Rhinos is harder to hate than Living End, as it doesn’t touch the graveyard, but it’s also less explosive, meaning that it won’t go off as hard as Living End, which kills the opponent on the spot if it succeeds.

Temur Rhinos is a midrange deck with spot removal such as  Dead // Gone, Fire // Ice and Bonecrusher Giant, as well as interactions like Brazen Borrower, Force of Negation and Otawara, Soaring City. It’s an easy deck to play, as its plan A is really hard to disrupt and super straightforward to resolve. Just play your Crashing Footfalls, kill your opponent’s stuff and attack.

9. Rakdos Scam

Last month, I put both Rakdos Midrange and Jund Midrange in my top 15. However, this month the enormous success of Rakdos Scam makes me drop them both in favor of this other Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and  Thoughtseize deck.

YungDingo has popularized and won multiple challenges this month with this archetype, and he’s responsible for its rebirth, as this deck used to be around in past months but slowly disappeared.

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 and will discard two of their best cards. This combination is also able to play around a 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.

On top of that, this is a midrange deck with Thoughtseize, Terminate and Seasoned Pyromancer, which are able to play a normal game if no scam happens in the earlier turns of the game.

I have been very impressed by this deck and I suspect it will stick around for much longer this time.

8. Grixis Shadow

Grixis Shadow used to be the best deck in Modern before Lurrus of the Dream-Den got banned. Even post-ban though, it’s still among the best decks with very similar matchups to UR Murktide, except it uses Thoughtseize instead of Spell Pierce and Death’s Shadow instead of Murktide Regent.

Despite these similar matchups, Shadow is slightly better against Hammer Time thanks to Fatal Push and slightly worse against Amulet Titan for his lack of Blood Moon and Counterspell.

I personally prefer UR Murktide, but many Modern players love Death’s Shadow, especially whenever it’s paired together with Dress Down!

7. Indomitable Creativity

Indomitable Creativity is an extremely powerful card that is now seeing a ton of play thanks to Archon of Cruelty being an amazing creature to put into play at ease.

I think Creativity is a much more successful plan than Persist to bring your Archon into play because it suffers very little hate and dodges highly played cards like Unlicensed Hearse and Endurance.

Temur is the most common combination of colors for this archetype but you can get creative by splashing white for Teferi, Time Raveler or black for Tainted Indulgence and Persist.

Temur Creativity has a solid matchup against Four-Color Yorion Omnath, while playing extreme powerful cards like Wrenn and Six that can turn a matchup like UR Murktide. Overall, it’s an excellent choice in Modern right now.

6. BG Yawgmoth

While I’m not the biggest fan of BG Yawgmoth, I recognize its results and consistency through this year of Modern Horizons 2. On ChannelFireball, you have Reid Duke, who loves the deck and wrote a ton about it as well as showing 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 while then resolving a Yawgmoth, Thran Physician and getting an insurmountable amount of card advantage with it. Thanks to four Eldritch Evolution and four Chord of Calling, it can easily put it 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, its good matchup against UR Murktide makes it a solid choice in Modern right now.

5. 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 to this deck. 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 learnt and can’t just be brought over from other decks or other formats like it could be for UR Murktide or Four-Color Yorion Omnath.

4. Living End

Living End has been the most successful deck at high profile events in Modern, winning the two last Showcase Challenges on MTGO. 

It’s an extremely powerful and consistent deck that will disrupt you with Grief and protect its combo with Force of Negation, all of this while cantripping its way to a lethal Living End that will Wrath your 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 and have Force of Vigor and Foundation Breaker ready to protect their plan and consistently put their Living End on the stack on turn three thanks to their eight cascade spells in Shardless Agent and Violent Outburst.

Similarly to Temur Rhinos, this deck is very easy to pilot and one of the best in the format.

3. 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 remained at the top of Modern’s metagame.

If you’re a combo player and don’t feel ready to learn all the 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 the Blacksmith’s Skill or for your opponent to leave their guard down.

Hammer Time doesn’t suffer 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. It creates a huge tempo advantage that will make your opponent eventually perish, unable to deploy their spells on time.

2. Four Yorion Omnath (Viven, Elementals, Control)

I decided to group the three Four-Color Yorion Omnath decks together in second 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 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, but 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 solitary matchups like against Amulet Titan, if you can combo faster than them.

Elementals is divided now between the Eladamri’s Call version or 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.

I personally would go for the Vivien Combo one, but I wouldn’t fault anyone for choosing any of the two other options, as I think they’re all great choices for a paper Modern tournament, where the most played deck is always going to be UR Murktide.

1. UR Murktide

UR Murktide is on top of the list, but only because you can’t share medals in Power Rankings. If it was for me, I’d give a two-way tie between the top two decks, which are all very strong with few weaknesses.

UR Murktide weakness is mostly Four-Color Yorion Omnath, and it’s a deck that can adjust well post-sideboard against anyone, taking the control approach with Blood Moon and Jace, the Mind Sculptor while having Engineered Explosives and Dress Down against the Urza’s Saga decks and Unlicensed Hearse and Flusterstorm against Living End.

It’s overall an extremely good deck that’s very similar to UR Delver in Legacy. It’ll let you carry over your skill to other formats and bring you the highest win rate possible in Modern.

 

2 thoughts on “MTG Modern Power Rankings – August 2022 Update”

  1. Most of these decks are self playing decks. How could you not include storm. It is the most difficult one to pilot but has the best gameplay.

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