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1 Last Week: N/A

Panharmonicon

One of the coolest innovations to come out of this tournament was U/W Panharmonicon value in the hands of Seth Manfield and Pascal Maynard. Going from a fun budget FNM deck to finishing in the Top 8 of a GP is one of the biggest stories in recent memory. It also reflects how quickly things can shift, considering that, going into this GP weekend, the format was considered a two-horse race. Instead, the Panharmonicon deck took advantage of the free turns in this format to set up its value engine and simply ran away with games—2 cards, 2 bounces, and 2 life at a time.
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2 Last Week: 8

Aetherworks Marvel

Aetherworks was a huge success this weekend, putting up half the Top 8 decks at GP Madrid and two more in Denver. While not a card all that many people actually like due to the extremes between turn-4 nothing and turn-4 Emrakul, it remains one of the most powerful effects in the format. As expected, Marvel has effectively put a cap on how well G/B Delirium can do because of how lopsided the matchup is.
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3 Last Week: 5

Emrakul, the Promised End

Hopefully this is the last we see of the Eldrazi for a good long while, because Aetherworks getting popular has given us way too much Emrakul. Unfortunately for us, the Promised End is a long way off, so expect many more turns to be taken from you. As Marvel's popularity grows, expect more Lost Legacy and Pick the Brain to keep these Titans in check.
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4 Last Week: N/A

Scrapheap Scrounger

Scrounger has had limited success before this weekend, but this was its chance to shine again. Showing up in the B/R Aggro decks at Madrid and all the Vehicles decks, this unassuming 3/2 has made its mark as one of the best aggressive creatures in the format. Being nearly impossible to kill really puts a damper on playing slower strategies without your own set of giant blockers at the ready.
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5 Last Week: N/A

Torrential Gearhulk

Ari Lax and a handful of other players were just a win or two off from a GP Top 8 playing various flavors of Jeskai Control. As Marvel picks up steam, this strategy only gets stronger in the current metagame. It already has the tools to stand up to U/W Flash and G/B Delirium, and hopefully more people will put some faith in Torrential Gearhulk and play control instead of assuming the tempo deck auto-wins.
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6 Last Week: 1

Ishkanah, Grafwidow

Ishkanah and G/B Delirium took a beating this weekend from the resurgence of Marvel. If the meta comes full circle and ends up looking like the PT—combo, tempo, aggro and midrange—then we could have a very real decline in Ishkanah. Of course, the G/R Marvel decks still run her as a 3- or 4-of to help provide some defense, so she’ll remain a staple of the format.
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7 Last Week: N/A

Unlicensed Disintegration

The best aggro decks are still B/R-based and are some of the few strategies that have a valid way to win besides turning creatures sideways. Disintegration has only grown more important as a catch-all answer. Meanwhile, B/R Aggro was brought by a number of pros as a potential answer to the metagame. Mardu Vehicles is also always lurking, as Matt Severa demonstrated by winning GP Denver.
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8 Last Week: N/A

Metallurgic Summonings

Looking for something fun to pick up until Aether Revolt? Look no further! Try U/B Control with a win condition that doesn’t involve Torrential Gearhulk. There are no real answers against Summonings in the format. Bobby Fortanely just missed Top 8 glory with his cool iteration on the classic strategy, and it could be an interesting and fun angle to attack the format from moving forward.
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Rankings Updated:  December 4, 2016
1 Last Week: N/A

Become Immense

Delve was about as big a mistake as storm, and we’ve seen the continued fallout of Khans in the format. Infect is the best deck in Modern and decks like Death's Shadow Aggro have taken full advantage of having a green +6/+6. There’s just too much power at such a low cost, and even when players focus on keeping these broken decks in check, they continue to overperform.
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2 Last Week: N/A

Cathartic Reunion

See the above. Dredge is not, and will never be, a fair deck. It sometimes ends up unplayable, which it was for awhile after the DCI unbanned Golgari Grave-Troll, but it all came crashing down after Prized Amalgam and Reunion were printed. Dredge joins Affinity deck as the sideboard check for Modern—you either have the proper hate to win or you hope their deck collapses and you can steal a game. Nobody would miss this deck.
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3 Last Week: 4

Noble Hierarch

Noble Hierarch has been a staple of Modern for such a long time that it’s finally overtaken stalwarts such as Tarmogoyf and Spellskite for the most played creature in the format. Infect and Bant Eldrazi have continued to put up strong showings and will keep the stock of mana dorks high. Formerly the staple of bad fair decks, Hierarch has now joined the ranks of decks that actually win tournaments.
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4 Last Week: N/A

Monastery Swiftspear

Burn has always been solid, but Naya Burn has slowly become the de facto "fair" aggro/combo of the format. It turns out when you play cards like Swiftspear and Wild Nacatl that Wizards is okay with winning on turn 3 now and then. We’ve finally hit the point where every deck outside of grindy midrange tries to win on turn 4 or earlier. Swiftspear is one of the most popular cards in Modern simply because of how many Burn players there are.
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5 Last Week: N/A

Inquisition of Kozilek

This card is still the best disruption spell available in the format and part of the reason for the format's shape. Inquisition is a great way for fair decks to stay in the game and one of the only reasons Jund is viable. But the number of viable black decks continues to decrease and so this powerful card may soon be without a home. At least it can always be sideboarded in Death's Shadow Aggro.
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6 Last Week: N/A

Inkmoth Nexus

This card is a staple of Affinity and Infect, and one of the few cards that could be removed from the format that would damage both decks without killing them outright. It's one of the primary reasons why mass removal isn’t a catch-all and gives the decks even more play. Nexus’s popularity is the reason why Ghost Quarter is the second most played utility land.
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7 Last Week: N/A

Ancient Stirrings

A 1-mana filter spell that lets you see more cards than Preordain or Ponder ever did. If this card were blue it would’ve already been banned, but instead it continues to get a pass despite being a better card in green decks. The dearth of disruption in the current metagame reinforces just how good Stirrings is for the consistency of Tron and Eldrazi.
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8 Last Week: N/A

Thought-Knot Seer

Bant Eldrazi is one of the most played top decks in Modern if you take the Magic Online results alongside the recent big Modern tournaments. One reason for this is being able to play defensive-oriented cards while not disrupting your natural clock. In essence, Eldrazi is one turn slower than all of the unfair aggressive or aggro/combo hybrids, but in exchange you retain some of the best sideboard hate against Infect, Dredge, and Affinity, and game 1 disruption via Thought-Knot Seer and Spellskite.
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Rankings Updated:  November 15, 2016
1 Last Week: N/A

Abrupt Decay

Going into Grand Prix Seattle, Counterbalance was the card to beat. Well—what beats Counterbalance? Abrupt Decay is the natural answer, and buoyed BUG Shardless and BUG Delver to the top tables. On top of that, the very nature of the format that made Counterbalance such a dominant force—an environment filled with 1- and 2-mana spells—made Abrupt Decay the ideal answer to almost anything an opponent could throw at you.
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2 Last Week: N/A

Thespian's Stage

No, this card doesn’t power the Lands deck. But the combo with Dark Depths leveled Lands up from tier 3 to tier 1 singlehandedly. If you want to beat Lands, you play combo. End of story, right? Well, not so fast—literally. Mulligan a hand, miss a spell for a turn, and you might just find yourself on the wrong end of a 20/20 Marit Lage token. Aside from providing a grade-A kill condition, the Stage offers a kind of utility that gives you those small edges against, say, an unsuspecting opponent who might Wasteland you when you have a Forest in play to copy, that add to your win percentage every time you shuffle up against a new opponent.
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3 Last Week: N/A

Delver of Secrets // Insectile Aberration

On Day 2, coverage broke down the metagame by archetype. Then, they showed another graphic that combined all of the Delver variants into a single grouping—that was far and away the most represented Day 2 archetype. Sure, maybe the usefulness of that analysis is limited—RUG Delver plays nothing like BUG Delver—but it illustrates one point very clearly: a 1-mana blue creature is the best threat in the format.
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4 Last Week: N/A

Brainstorm

Oh how far the mighty have fallen! Yes, there were 28 copies of the card in the Top 8 of GP Seattle. But you know what? That’s 4 fewer copies than anyone would have predicted, and 4 fewer copies than anyone would have told you the winning deck would contain at the conclusion of the tournament.
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5 Last Week: N/A

Deathrite Shaman

It was just BUG’s weekend, and a big part of that success was a mana Elf that was too strong for Modern. Legacy’s all about finding small advantages or building toward a single huge play, and Deathrite comes packed full of different ways to develop those advantages or hamstring that big play—Liliana on turn 2, exile a Life from the Loam or Griselbrand, shrink an opposing ‘Goyf. When good card advantage is hard to find, Deathrite Shaman gives you an irreplaceable tool.
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6 Last Week: N/A

Reanimate

After once looming so large that Mystical Tutor had to be banned, Reanimator retreated to the shadows for a few years only to come roaring back this weekend. With a clock that makes even ANT players uneasy, access to hand disruption and counterspells, and, most importantly, a seeming absence of dedicated graveyard hate from most of the field, Reanimator is back in the spotlight with a Top 8 appearance in the hands of Chase Hansen.
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7 Last Week: N/A

Counterbalance

On one hand, Miracles took a beating this weekend. Ask anyone before GP Seattle which deck would put multiple copies into the Top 8 and they’d all give you the same answer. The former top dog could only muster a single slot, and Brian Demars’s version exited the semifinals in one of the fastest matches we’ve ever seen on camera. On the other hand, Counterbalance warped the format so much that Abrupt Decay reached our #1 spot. Despite taking everyone’s best shot, it still put up results, and for that Counterbalance hangs on to a position in the rankings.
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No one saw this coming. Aluren gives you a BUG Shardless deck with a combo kill, and Martin Goldman-Kirst inspired a lot of brewers to keep working on their Legacy concoctions. If Aluren can make the Top 8 of a 2,000 player premier-level event, why not Painter’s Servant/Grindstone? Or Leyline/Helm? Or something we have yet to see? The format still has that wild west flavor, and Aluren showed us just how much fun that can be to watch.
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Rankings Updated:  11/12/2015

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