Arguably Magic: The Gathering’s most beloved format, Modern has seen many changes to its metagame in recent years. The format has become considerably faster with one-mana creatures like Dragon’s Rage Channeler and Esper Sentinel crawling over many bridges. As a result, many long-time modern favorites like Affinity, Humans, and Infect have fallen by the wayside.
In their place are a number of decks that feature incredibly cheap removes and threats, as well as a handful of decks that feature near-impossible-to-beat combos. As the Modern format ages, decks playing so-called “fair” strategies become less and less effective as seen in older Eternal Magic formats. That being said, let’s take a closer look at the format’s current metagame champions.
Despite so-called “fair” decks that struggle more and more as the format ages, Jund continues to prove its playability through its flexibility. The ability to respond to cards in your opponent’s hand by Thought taking, Kozilek’s Inquisitionand Liliana of the Veil still stands to this day, and Tarmogoyf remains an impressive threat.
However, Jund’s continued success in the format is largely thanks to the new planeswalker Wrenn and Six. This card allows you to continue building your mana base despite Liliana forcing you to eventually discard your hand. More importantly, her negative ability is a surprisingly perfect answer to the format’s ever-increasing number of one-mana threats. Long live Jund.
9 The shadow of death
Death’s Shadow completely dominated the Modern metagame in 2016 with the impression of Temur’s Battle Rage in Fate Reforged. When used in combination with become huge and Death’s Shadow, these three cards provided a reliable turn three kill that shook the format to its roots. Since then, Death’s Shadow decks have completely changed due to the welcome ban on Gitaxian Probe in 2017.
Without this life loss sorcery, losing as much life as needed just became too much for the deck to accomplish. Also, the ability to know when your opponent was knocked out was huge when your entire deck strategy is to kill in a single combat step by going all-in. Today, Death’s Shadow decks play a much more traditional strategy of playing cards that reduce your life total. , sticking a big shadow of death, then going through all the blockers in your way thanks to the removal spells and the incredible size of your shadow of death. More recently, Dimir Death’s Shadow decks using important blue cards like Blacktide Regent and Archmage Charm were the next evolution in the history of this deck.
8 titan amulet
Speaking of legendary stories, Amulet Titan is another deck that once ruled the modern world. summer flowering was banned. After this devastating blow, Amulet Titan remained largely unseen for many years until early 2020. Since then, the deck has slowly taken more and more space in the modern metagame, and now impressively displays a about 4% metagame share.
One of the reasons this deck has been so slow to regain prominence is the great difficulty in piloting it effectively. However, those who take the time to understand the intricate landlines of Amulet Titan are sure to have an advantage in the format both with and against the titan.
As is the case with many modern decks, Crashing Footfalls is named after its namesake card. This is a sorcery with suspension that players can cast immediately thanks to the well-used cascade mechanic. As a result, players can play two 4/4 green rhinos with trample on turn three. As you might expect, these rhinos are then quickly able to end the game.
The bridge also relies on strength of negation and the Archmage Charm in order to protect his rhinos once they descend. As far as abused cards with waterfall go, it’s nice to say that Crashing Footfalls isn’t too bad.
6 4c End of life
There are other cards abused with the waterfall that are so bad, and that is Living End. This deck uses the same strategy as Crashing Footfalls, but seeks to take the more controlling route of cascading into a Living End after filling its graveyard.
While it usually takes a while to build this combo, the deck is also capable of triggering as early as turn three. All things considered, resolving a Living End with this deck is often an endgame line, making it one of the least interactive matches in the format.
As the newest tribal deck to hit the modern scene, Elementals has most tribal lovers jumping for joy. Modern Horizons 2 saw the printing of many powerful new elemental creature cards, including Endurance, Furyand Solitude.
These cards were used alongside the already incredibly powerful cards Omnath, place of creation to create a powerful shell capable of interacting with all sorts of strategies thanks to the evoke keyword.
4 hammer time
When Stoneforge Mystic was not banned, many players were confident that the card would immediately make its presence known in the modern format. However, it wasn’t until fairly recently that the well-remembered mystic appeared on the motherboard of the funnily named game Hammer Time.
This deck makes incredible use of gear by combining gear-relevant creature cards like Ingenious blacksmith and Pure Steel Paladinthe ridiculously underrated colossus hammerand abuse of enchantment Sigarda Help.
Whether you’re familiar with Modern or not, chances are you’re familiar with the infamous Burn game. This is a deck that seeks to play Magic for as little time as possible by reducing your opponent’s life to zero on the third turn.
The deck features a handful of cheap and aggressive creatures, including Swiftlance Monastery, Goblin Guideand Eidolon of the Grand Revel, and exploits their aggressiveness to the fullest by filling the rest of the deck with nearly 30 cheap burn cards that deal face damage. Burn has been a part of the modern metagame since the format’s inception, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. If you’re wondering if a deck has a chance of succeeding in the Modern format, a good litmus test is to see if it can consistently beat Burn.
Yaugzebub is the newest combo deck to enter the modern scene. Combo decks have a long history in Modern, and Yaugzebub is simply the latest iteration of this beloved yet despised strategy. The idea here is to use the eternal keyword on cards like Young wolf, Geist Stranglerootand Geralf’s Messenger in combination with Yaugzebub, Thran Physician activated ability, as well as sometimes blood artistin order to kill your opponent with an infinite loop.
The combo works if you have Yawgmoth, Blood Artist, and two Young Wolves on the field, or a Yawgmoth, Geralf’s Messenger, and a Young Wolf on the field. Alternatively, the deck also plays perfectly without winning via the combo. Finally, cards like Occult Evolution and call agreement provide the draw consistency that combo decks like this need.
1 Blacktide Regent
Last but not least, Murktide Regent is the current king of modern with an overwhelming metashare of almost 15%. This is a classic blue-red tempo deck with aggressive threats like Ragavan, Agile ThiefDragon’s Rage Channeler, the new ledger shredderand the namesake Blacktide Regent provide inexpensive and evasive means of reducing your opponent’s life total to zero.
Combine these powerful threats with classic interaction such as Flash, Counterspelland the amazing draw Expressive iteration, and you end up with a deck that can successfully handle anything thrown at it. Like Jund but better, it’s Murktide Regent’s versatile and flexible roster that makes it the current best deck in the format.
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