MTG Vegas is in the books! It was a great event, which threw 1400 players of different backgrounds and experience levels together into a tabletop Modern event. Let’s see how it impacted the Modern Power Rankings.
Mill lost some ground, as it wasn’t well represented at either MTG Vegas or in last weekend’s Magic Online events.
That said, 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.
There’s no denying that the cycle of mythic rare “Pitch Elementals” are among the most powerful cards from Modern Horizons 2. Combining them with Risen Reef and Ephemerate makes Elementals one of the best value decks in Modern.
I still really like the tribal Elementals deck, but it’s no longer the most popular way to use Omnath, Locus of Creation.
13. Hardened Scales & Affinity
I was thrilled to see Hardened Scales put up a top 8 finish at MTG Vegas. I find this to be one of the most interesting and fun decks in all of Modern. It has explosive combat steps, and makes great use of Walking Ballista. Plus, it clearly gained a massive boost from the printing of Urza’s Saga. Many of us thought Hardened Scales was taking a back seat to Colossus Hammer, but the results of MTG Vegas throw that theory into question.
It’s usually a bad idea to show up to a Modern event without some combination of Ragavan, Urza’s Saga, Shardless Agent or the “Pitch Elementals.” However, Yawgmoth is one of the excellent exceptions to this rule. I’ve generally had a great experience with it.
11. Indomitable Creativity
Indomitable Creativity is a powerful card which has more or less spawned its own archetype. Using Treasures, Hard Evidence and other creature tokens as fuel, you can build a deck where the only actual creature card is a game-winning threat, which Creativity will put onto the battlefield for you each and every time. Once the shell is in place, you can take this deck in whatever direction you please, with players opting for a variety of simple, deadly threats like Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Serra’s Emissary or Archon of Cruelty. It finished as the runner-up at MTG Vegas.
I thought Classic Burn would be a major player in Vegas, as an effective deck which hasn’t changed much since the pre-pandemic times. It seems I overestimated it at least a little bit, as it didn’t wind up putting any players into the top 8.
Still, among the many, many ways to play with cheap red creatures, the single-minded strategy of lighting the opponent on fire is still a great one. A huge appeal of Burn is the ability to play with Eidolon of the Great Revel, which is an absolute beating for all of the Mishra’s Baubles and Expressive Iterations players out there right now.
Rakdos Lurrus took the trophy at MTG Vegas on the back of efficient removal and discard spells. Two creatures which are overperforming lately are Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger and Tourach, Dread Cantor.
Meanwhile, there was also a sweet non-Lurrus Rakdos deck that made the top 8 of a Magic Online Modern Challenge. This one was fueled by Seasoned Pyromancer, which remains a great card, and one of the most compelling reasons to give up on the companion.
8. Amulet Titan
Amulet Titan was arguably the most successful deck of MTG Vegas, since it was the only archetype to put two players into the top 8. Primeval Titan has historically been one of the defining cards (and decks) of Modern, and it never stays down for long.
7. Living End
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 Shardless Agent, Violent Outburst, Ardent Plea or Demonic Dread will always find it and leave you with a dominant board position.
6. 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!
5. Temur/Four-Color Cascade
Temur and four-color cascade decks were notable losers last weekend, as I really didn’t see them near the top of the standings at all. Still, as a historically dominant strategy, we need to wait and see whether this will prove to be a sign of things to come, or simply a momentary setback.
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.
4. U/W/x Control
3. Omnath/Bring to Light
Omnath decks have been all the rage for the past month or so. One popular version is an 80-card monstrosity featuring Omnath, Locus of Creation, “Pitch” Elementals, Eternal Witness and Ephemerate. 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.
For those wondering, I use the presence or absence of dedicated tribal cards like Risen Reef and Flamekin Harbinger to distinguish between “Elementals” and this more general category of four or five-color Omnath deck.
There’s also a lot more you can do with multicolor strategies in Modern, including casting Bring to Light for Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor or a lethal Scapeshift. You can also just grind people out with Niv-Mizzet Reborn.
2. Izzet/Jeskai Murktide
Izzet Murktide is both popular and successful, and if it didn’t have the disadvantage of dividing its metagame share with all of the other versions of cheap-spells-and-Ragavan strategies (think Grixis, Rakdos, Jund, Mardu, Red Prowess and Burn), it might be even more dominant. Like Azorius, this archetype failed to reach the top 8 in Vegas, but had a stellar weekend on Magic Online.
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. Compared to U/R Prowess, this deck is shifted more heavily towards blue and plays counterspells.
1. Colossus Hammer
Colossus Hammer had a mediocre weekend, but not quite bad enough to dislodge its #1 position.
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.
I asked my teammates what they’d play in a Modern event this weekend.
Andrea – Glimpse of Tomorrow Combo.
Evart – R/B Rock.
Gab – Wafo-Tapa’s U/W Control.
Luis – U/W Wafo-Tapa Control.
Martin – U/R Ragavan.
And As for Me (Reid) – Yawgmoth. I had a great experience with it in Vegas, and want to continue honing my skills.