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Surprising New #1! Modern Power Rankings – 1/7/22

A new year is a great time to reset the Modern Power Rankings. You’ll see some breakout decks in this installment, as well as some shifts in the way I’m choosing to categorize the familiar archetypes.

 

15. Underworld Breach

 

Modern Underworld Breach by Jiggywiggy

 

In the #14 and #15 slots, we have two exciting decks that broke out in last weekend’s Modern Challenge.

The Underworld Breach deck combines Grinding Station, Underworld Breach and a zero mana artifact to mill its whole library and win the game with Thassa’s Oracle. Mox Amber does a ton of work alongside Emry, Lurker of the Loch and Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, and can net mana every turn it’s sacrificed to Grinding Station and recast via Underworld Breach.

Dragon’s Rage Channeler continues to prove its incredible power in a variety of different environments. It fills the graveyard, and can even provide fuel for Underworld Breach while comboing off. 

I faced this deck in the Magic Online Leagues, and I struggled against both its combo, and it’s very strong backup plan of throwing out a few red creatures and removal spells – which is sometimes good enough!

14. Urza

 

Modern Urza by Arrias

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Urza, Lord High Artificer remains one of the most powerful creatures in Modern, despite not seeing a ton of play. This particular take on Urza resembles Azorius Control, but with a definitive artifact theme alongside Urza, Stoneforge Mystic and the Thopter Foundry combo. 

Foundry sacrifices Sword of the Meek, which generates a token that returns Sword to the battlefield, allowing you to repeat the process. In this way, you can convert every mana you spend into a flying token and a point of life. If you add Urza and his mana ability, you go infinite.

13. Charbelcher

Goblin CharbelcherRecross the PathsTurntimber Symbiosis // Turntimber, Serpentine Wood

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.

12. Heliod/Ballista

Heliod, Sun-CrownedWalking BallistaSpike Feeder

One of the best Modern decks of 2021 remains strong in the new year. This is a resilient creature deck with the built-in combo of Heliod, Sun-Crowned with Walking Ballista (or Spike Feeder) to go infinite. It tends to have a great matchup against other creature-based strategies. 

11. Mill

Ruin CrabHedron CrabTasha's Hideous Laughter

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.

10. Bring to Light

Bring to LightSupreme VerdictScapeshift

With Omnath, Locus of Creation being such a defining card in Modern, I’ve decided to subdivide these four-color strategies a little bit. The Bring to Light version can use its namesake spell for value, or to find a key, situational card like Supreme Verdict. Alternatively, it can pair Dryad of the Ilysian Grove with Bring to Light and a singleton Scapeshift in order to combo the opponent out with Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle

9. Amulet Titan

Primeval Titan (Timeshifted)Amulet of VigorUrza's Saga

Primeval Titan has historically been one of the defining cards (and decks) of Modern, and it never stays down for long. 

8. Jund Sagavan

Ragavan, Nimble PilfererUrza's SagaLurrus of the Dream-Den

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. Living End

Living EndStreet WraithShardless Agent

Living End has proven that it can stand the test of time and I had a great experience when I played with it myself.

This deck 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 Living End 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. Azorius Control

Teferi, Time RavelerTeferi, Hero of DominariaArchmage's Charm

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 vounterspells, this can still be the deck for you. 

5. Temur Cascade

Crashing FootfallsShardless AgentFury

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.

4. Izzet 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.

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. 

3. Omnath Midrange

Omnath, Locus of CreationEphemerateYorion, Sky Nomad

At the #3 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.

2. Colossus Hammer

Colossus HammerSigarda's AidMemnite

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

1. Grixis Shadow

 

We have a new number one deck going into 2022. It seems like you can’t click on a Modern event these days without seeing one or more copies of Grixis Death’s Shadow in the top 8. 

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.

 

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