Power Rankings February week 1 2016

This week we took a look at the last 2 weeks of modern standings to get you the cutting edge of the metagame to the new  modern format. We have some old faces as well as some unexpected guests. Decks are being given 1-6 points depending on finish. 6 for a win, 5 for 2nd place, 4 for top 4, 3 for top 8, 2 for top 16, and 1 for top 32. I then compile all of the points and figure out which decks are on top. 

5- Zoo 8 points

Zoo was one of the most popular decks of the first modern tournaments, leading to the eventual banning of Wild Nacatl. The cat-warrior was eventually let out of it’s cage to much fanfare and little results. However since the banning of Splinter Twin the deck has seen a large surge in popularity. Whether this signals a return to prominence or a temporary escape remains to be seen.

Zoo by Zan Syed
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Experiment One
2 Ghor-Clan Rampager
4 Goblin Guide
2 Grim Lavamancer
4 Kird Ape
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Wild Nacatl
2 Dryad Arbor
1 Forest
1 Mountain
3 Misty Rainforest
1 Sacred Foundry
3 Stomping Ground
1 Temple Garden
4 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Atarka’s Command
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Path to Exile
SB: 2 Kitchen Finks
SB: 2 Scavenging Ooze
SB: 1 Blood Moon
SB: 1 Worship
SB: 2 Ancient Grudge
SB: 2 Destructive Revelry
SB: 3 Molten Rain
SB: 2 Pyroclasm

5- Infect 8 points
Do you like money, power, fame, and occasional turn 2 kills? Because 1 out of 4 ain’t bad, and that is what infect can bring you. One of the most blistering fast decks in modern capable of killing in a single attack usually before turn 4. This is a deck that wins with a combination of cheap infect creatures with massive pump spells, a bit of a combination deck if you will. By playing a lot of redundancy in your spells and giving your opponent little time to answer this deck can be very hard to interact with in a meaningful way. However there are certain removal heavy decks that can combine with cheap blockers like lingering souls to give you a test. Also this deck does not have the advantage of other players dealing a great deal of damage to themselves in modern. so you are leaving a few points on the field by playing this over other fast decks.

U/G Infect by Dan Jessup
1 Spellskite
4 Blighted Agent
4 Glistener Elf
4 Noble Hierarch
1 Viridian Corrupter
2 Forest
3 Breeding Pool
4 Inkmoth Nexus
1 Verdant Catacombs
4 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills
2 Pendelhaven
1 Wild Defiance
2 Apostle’s Blessing
3 Become Immense
1 Groundswell
4 Might of Old Krosa
4 Mutagenic Growth
1 Twisted Image
4 Vines of Vastwood|
4 Gitaxian Probe
2 Slip Through Space
SB: 1 Spellskite
SB: 1 Wild Defiance
SB: 2 Dismember
SB: 2 Dispel
SB: 4 Nature’s Claim
SB: 2 Spell Pierce
SB: 2 Twisted Image
SB: 1 Dryad Arbor

5- Temur Delver 8 points
A relative newcomer to the format, this deck has been seen occasionally on magic online and at the SCG circuit but has never been a popular archetype. This deck relies on a variety of undercosted threats and powerful disruption to nullify your opponent’s deck. Those familiar with this archetype from legacy should feel comfortable behind the wheel of this classic. All though you are losing some power level, the deck does have plenty of cheap disruption to keep your opponent reeling while you beat down with an all star cast of creatures. This is a great deck for attacking an open metagame.  


Temur Delver by Todd Anderson
4 Delver of Secrets
2 Hooting Mandrills
4 Snapcaster Mage
4 Tarmogoyf
1 Young Pyromancer
1 Forest
2 Island
1 Mountain
2 Breeding Pool
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Scalding Tarn
2 Steam Vents
1 Stomping Ground
3 Wooded Foothills
1 Dismember
1 Izzet Charm
4 Lightning Bolt
1 Mutagenic Growth
4 Remand
3 Spell Pierce
1 Thought Scour
3 Vapor Snag
3 Gitaxian Probe
4 Serum Visions
SB: 2 Grim Lavamancer
SB: 3 Spreading Seas
SB: 2 Threads of Disloyalty
SB: 3 Ancient Grudge
SB: 1 Dispel
SB: 2 Gut Shot
SB: 2 Surgical Extraction


4- G/R Tron 9 points
My editor says I can’t openly criticize people for playing this deck. So I will need to thinly veil my criticisms. This deck is a long standing powerhouse in Modern, and picked up the ball dropped by the banning of cloudpost as a big mana deck. That will nearly always win when it is allowed to play one of it’s haymakers on an empty board. The deck assembles its power by bringing together the 3 Urza lands to generate 7 mana with only 3 lands. Allowing this deck to play Karn Liberated by turn 3 and Ugin the Spirit Dragon or Ulamog, the skipped breakfast and is basically starving by turn 4. The downside to the deck is it is not capable of doing much without its land combo in play and can be light on interactive spells mostly relying on Pyroclasm and Oblivion Stone for interaction. This deck can be truly punishing to a midrange and control meta while being very poor against a fast meta. This deck is a good one to have in the chamber for when the metagame is ready for it but if you pick the wrong time you can be in for a very long day.


G/R Tron by Louie Falcigno
2 Spellskite
3 Wurmcoil Engine
2 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
4 Karn Liberated
1 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
2 Forest
2 Ghost Quarter
3 Karplusan Forest
4 Urza’s Mine
4 Urza’s Power Plant
4 Urza’s Tower
1 Eye of Ugin
4 Chromatic Sphere
4 Chromatic Star
4 Expedition Map
4 Oblivion Stone
1 Warping Wail
4 Ancient Stirrings
3 Pyroclasm
4 Sylvan Scrying
SB: 2 Pithing Needle
SB: 3 Relic of Progenitus
SB: 1 Spellskite
SB: 2 Thragtusk
SB: 3 Nature’s Claim
SB: 1 Rending Volley
SB: 1 Warping Wail
SB: 1 Crumble to Dust
SB: 1 Firespout

3- Affinity 11 points
Have you ever seen the movie the Terminator? It’s about a dystopian future where robots have nearly annihilated mankind, and travel through time to finish the job. This is a lot what playing against Affinity feels like. A deck that is capable of blazing fast kills with arcbound ravager and cranial plating or wiping out all hope with the slow burn of Etched Champion. The exact composition of each Affinity deck can be different depending on wanting to be as fast as possible or to be resilient. Choosing to play Galvanic Blasts or Thoughtcasts depending on the deck builder’s intentions and it can be an extremely difficult deck to play with and against due to the subtle intricacies. This is a deck that can be hated out with powerful sideboard cards like Stony Silence or Shatterstorm but is almost impossible to get rid of completely.

Affinity by Lance Bullock
4 Arcbound Ravager
1 Etched Champion
2 Hangarback Walker
2 Master of Etherium
2 Memnite
4 Ornithopter
4 Signal Pest
1 Spellskite
3 Steel Overseer
4 Vault Skirge
4 Darksteel Citadel
1 Mountain
4 Blinkmoth Nexus
4 Glimmervoid
4 Inkmoth Nexus
4 Cranial Plating
4 Springleaf Drum
4 Galvanic Blast
4 Mox Opal
SB: 2 Etched Champion
SB: 1 Ethersworn Canonist
SB: 1 Spellskite
SB: 2 Blood Moon
SB: 1 Ghirapur Aether Grid
SB: 2 Ancient Grudge
SB: 1 Ray of Revelation
SB: 1 Spell Pierce
SB: 2 Thoughtseize
SB: 2 Whipflare


2- Merfolk 13 points  
This is the deck I was most surprised to see on this list and not for the reasons you would expect. The deck has always been powerful providing a very unique variety of disruption in the form of Spreading Seas and Cursecatcher. It can easily lock your opponent into not being able to cast meaningful spells until it is too late, and they are already about to sleep with the fishes. The semi recent addition of Harbinger of the Tides also adds a unique element in that it makes the deck very hard to race. The real power of the deck comes from it’s 8+ lord effects giving your merfolk creatures +1/+1 and usually island walk which combines powerfully with Spreading Seas to make blocking no longer an option against the deck.  I was not expecting it because it didn’t have a particularly bad Splinter Twin match up to begin with. And is at it’s best preying on the decks that beat Splinter Twin. However enough chose to take the plunge with this classic archetype, and have found some success to show for it.

Merfolk by Kevin Rogers
4 Cursecatcher
4 Harbinger of the Tides
4 Lord of Atlantis
4 Master of the Pearl Trident
4 Master of Waves
3 Merrow Reejerey
2 Phantasmal Image
4 Silvergill Adept
2 Tidebinder Mage
10 Island
1 Cavern of Souls
4 Mutavault
2 Wanderwine Hub
1 Minamo, School at Water’s Edge
1 Oboro, Palace in the Clouds
4 AEther Vial
4 Spreading Seas
2 Spell Pierce
SB: 2 Relic of Progenitus
SB: 2 Dismember
SB: 2 Dispel
SB: 2 Echoing Truth
SB: 3 Negate
SB: 4 Tectonic Edge

1- Burn 16 points

A deck that has gone through many permutations with the evolving metagame of modern, Burn is a deck that shows up to do two things. Cast red spells and kill you, the creatures in the deck are very small but they add up fast and due to the fact that most Modern players deal themselves 3-5 damage per game at least you don’t need to do much to finish the job. Typically in a burn deck you want each card to represent about 3 damage, this means 7 spells should kill your opponent. In Modern with life totals usually starting at 18 or less it is like drawing extra spells just by your opponent playing their lands. Eidolon of the Great Revel also adds some extra punch by punishing your opponents for even playing magic. It is no surprise to me seeing this deck ranked highly as it’s worst matchups have just been laid to rest by the recent bannings. Luckily there are powerful hate cards against burn like Kor Firewalker and Dragon Claw.  Whether that will be enough to save us from the red menace remains to be seen.


Burn by Michael Arrowsmith
4 Goblin Guide
1 Grim Lavamancer
4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Wild Nacatl
4 Eidolon of the Great Revel
2 Mountain
3 Arid Mesa
2 Copperline Gorge
3 Sacred Foundry
2 Scalding Tarn
4 Stomping Ground
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Atarka’s Command
2 Become Immense
4 Boros Charm
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Searing Blaze
3 Lava Spike
3 Rift Bolt
SB: 2 Rest in Peace
SB: 2 Ancient Grudge
SB: 1 Deflecting Palm
SB: 2 Destructive Revelry
SB: 3 Lightning Helix
SB: 3 Path to Exile
SB: 2 Sudden Shock

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