A new year means… same ol’ Power Rankings! Kaldheim’s still getting spoiled so there hasn’t been much in the way of major shake-ups to the format, but it’s still changing and evolving!
Highlights of the Temur deck include Wrenn and Six, Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath and the Cryptic Command plus Mystic Sanctuary engine. Temur maintains most of the power of the four color Omnath, Locus of Creation decks while sporting a tamer mana base that’s more resilient to Boil.
Charbelcher is a one-card combo that seeks to activate Goblin Charbelcher in a deck that uses only Zendikar Rising double-faced cards as lands. Fast mana like Simian Spirit Guide and Desperate Ritual accelerate the combo but can also be used to power out devastating permanents like Blood Moon and Chalice of the Void.
Simple, effective and classic, there’s a lot to like about a strategy that ignores what the opponent is doing. Burn instead dedicates all of its resources to a single game plan – lighting people on fire.
Amidst many different decks powered by Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath, Sultai is proving itself as one of the best. Compared to other color combinations, Sultai lends itself to more of a well-rounded, midrange game. The black answer cards like Thoughtseize, Abrupt Decay and Assassin’s Trophy are highly flexible, meaning that Sultai has solid game against just about everything.
I’ve always considered U/B Mill to be a gimmick deck, something that people played mostly because it’s fun. With Zendikar Rising providing Ruin Crab and Maddening Cacophony, the results are forcing me to reconsider my position. Mill is also one of the few strategies that can boast a solidly favorable matchup against Omnath. It might be time to consider a one-of Gaea’s Blessing in your sideboard!
Dredge has been one of the best decks at a number of times in Modern’s history. Most recently, it was a menace in the first half of 2020 after the printing of Ox of Agonas. Well, Dredge is making a comeback, which it has a way of doing when players start forgetting to bring four to six graveyard hate cards in their sideboards. An alternative to the traditional Dredge deck is Crab-Vine, which uses self-mill like Hedron Crab to fill the graveyard instead of the dredge mechanic itself.
Rakdos is cementing itself as the black midrange deck of choice. It has many cards in common with the classic Jund strategy, but cuts green in order to play with Blood Moon and focus on an even heavier suite of disruption.
Death and Taxes has started falling in the rankings after being one of the huge decks immediately after the release of Zendikar Rising. In my opinion, the main story here is players finding other (sometimes more powerful) ways to use Skyclave Apparition. In particular, a lot of players who might have enjoyed Death and Taxes two months ago are now choosing Heliod/Ballista or Colossus Hammer instead.
Along with Charbelcher, this is the other combo deck featuring the double-faced land/spells. It uses Balustrade Spy and Undercity Informer to target itself and dump its library into its graveyard. From there, Creeping Chills drain the opponent while Narcomoebas and Swords of the Meek hit the battlefield, which facilitates the casting of Salvage Titan and the returning of Vengevines to deal the finishing blow.
Compared to Charbelcher, you get eight “I win” cards instead of four and only need to assemble four mana instead of seven.
The Colossus Hammer deck uses its namesake card paired with Sigarda’s Aid and Puresteel Paladin to make a massive attacker as early as the second turn of the game. The gameplay resembles that of Infect – you play mostly cheap cards, suit up a lethal creature and sometimes even protect it with Giver of Runes. Puresteel Paladin and Stoneforge Mystic are excellent cards which contribute the combo but can also allow you to win a “fair” game. Lurrus of the Dream-Den provides additional staying power as well.
Colossus Hammer has skyrocketed to the top of the format in the last month. Astoundingly, a recent Magic Online Modern Challenge saw this deck take first, second, third and fifth place! If you’re playing Modern this week, expect to run into this one.
4. Red Prowess
While traditional Burn gets a headache from even the first three points of life gain from Uro, the Red Prowess decks unload massive, massive damage when their creatures go unchecked and can sometimes even ignore the Titan. You get out ahead and punish people while they sculpt their hands and play tapped lands. Sprinkle in some well-placed graveyard hate or a Boil off the sideboard and you have a rock-solid deck that happens to be a good choice against the other strategies on this list.
Red Prowess can come in the form of an aggressive mono red, a midrange Rakdos or an Izzet version that’s somewhere in the middle. All three options are very strong, but my personal favorite is Mono Red (as you could tell from the deck guide above).
While Primeval Titan still shows up in classic Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle and Amulet of Vigor decks, lately it’s had yet another home on top of that. This comes in techy creature-based decks that feature some combination of Aether Vial, Eladamri’s Call and Elvish Reclaimer. I suppose having all of those other creatures makes for an effective backup plan if ramping straight to a Titan doesn’t work.
I think we can all agree that Uro is one of the strongest cards in the format right now. Modern players can’t agree on where is the best home for it but right now, Omnath is the most popular and seemingly the most successful.
This deck features four or five colors of mana, powers out Field of the Dead, and uses the legendary elemental for some unbelievably powerful turns.
That’s it for this week’s Power Rankings. I hope you’re all as excited for Kaldheim as I am!