Not much has changed in the world of Modern, but some of the more fringe and underrated decks of the format have performed well recently, getting them a few spots on this week’s Modern Power Rankings.
15. Glimpse of Tomorrow
Glimpse of Tomorrow is yet another deck in the proud tradition of cascading into a suspend spell to cast it ahead of schedule. It uses token generation like Chancellor of the Forge to create extra permanents. When Glimpse of Tomorrow resolves, the odds of winding up with a dominating board position go up and up.
It uses Omnath, Locus of Creation, which generates powerful triggers when it hits the battlefield via Glimpse of Tomorrow. It also provides a very reasonable backup plan for any time plan A doesn’t seem to be working.
This is one of those strategies that I thought was “just for fun.” It could do some cool things, win some games and maybe even have a favorable matchup here and there. But I never thought it could succeed at high levels of competition. I was proven wrong by Glimpse of Tomorrow outright winning a recent Magic Online Challenge!
Mill still packs a punch, and circumvents most of Modern’s common defensive measures. Tasha’s Hideous Laughter is extremely powerful against decks using Lurrus of the Dream-Den as a companion. I don’t love playing Mill against all of the Ragavan decks, but it does have a number of highly favorable matchups among decks on this list.
13. Esper Reanimator
Esper Reanimator hits that sweet spot between operating as an effective midrange deck, while also having the “I win” potential of reanimating Archon of Cruelty on turn 3. It uses Faithful Mending and Persist to achieve this goal quickly and efficiently.
Goblin Charbelcher is a brutal combo deck that takes advantage of Zendikar Rising’s double-faced land-spells. All you have to do is cast Goblin Charbelcher and activate, and since the double-faced cards won’t register as lands while in your library, you deal an amount of damage equal to your library size, which is typically about three times your opponent’s life total.
11. Dimir/Grixis Lurrus
These are blue-based midrange decks that use the powerful Lurrus of the Dream-Den as a companion. I’ve seen everything from Dimir to Grixis to four-color versions. You’ll find several more Lurrus decks higher in the rankings, but there’s something to be said for this bare bones approach to the format.
Mono-Green Urzatron has made a resurgence lately, and has even been championed by my teammate Andrea Mengucci. When 1+1+1 suddenly equals seven, you can do some very unfair things ranging from Karn Liberated to Wurmcoil Engine to Walking Ballista.
8. Jund Sagavan
Jund Sagavan uses Urza’s Saga, Mishra’s Bauble, Ragavan, Wrenn and Six and Lurrus as a companion. Saga is particularly good when paired with Wrenn and Six, and as an extra card type for Tarmogoyf. As the quintessential “good cards” archetype, Jund has finally found a way to cram all of the most important, format defining Modern cards into one deck!
7. Hardened Scales/Affinity
Temur Cascade has been a highly effective strategy throughout 2021, and you can’t go wrong choosing it in the new year.
This deck 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.
Azorius Control 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.
Murktide Regent is an extremely powerful creature, and is one of the most compelling reasons to give up on Lurrus of the Dream-Den as a companion for this type of strategy. Two mana for an 8/8 flying is a real card that exists in Modern. You can do a lot worse than to play with it.
At the number three slot, we have the four-color decks that use Omnath, Locus of Creation to win grindy games. One popular version is a monstrosity featuring Omnath, Locus of Creation, “Pitch” Elementals and Ephemerate, with either Kaheera, the Orphanguard or Yorion, Sky Nomad as a companion. I’ve taken to calling this deck Omnath Pile, since it has that “trade-binder” look of simply jamming a bunch of powerful cards together.
Colossus Hammer remains a big deck to beat in the new year. This is a mono-white or Orzhov 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 is the best home for Urza’s Saga, which is one of the most powerful cards from Modern Horizons 2.
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 the very best removal spells and disruption, plus a Lurrus companion, and you have a very, very scary deck.