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Rekindling Phoenix

Well, well, well, a Phoenix that actually lived up to the hype. Creatures with the type Phoenix have a long and storied tournament history going all the way back to Shard Phoenix. In recent memory though, most of these majestic creatures have been hyped with no real payoff. Now we’re seeing that Rekindling Phoenix is arguably a better 4-drop than Chandra in many decks. Expect R/G Aggro with Phoenix and Glorybringer to only get more popular after a victory in Memphis.
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Vraska's Contempt

Remember last time, when I said it’d be difficult for Contempt to see the same amount of play as Fatal Push or Abrade? It turns out that it was the most played card (not including lands) in the Top 32 of Memphis. Nearly every single deck that wants Contempt is now running the playset. As decks with powerful 4- and 5-drops take center stage, expect Contempt from all of your opponents running black.
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3 Last Week: 6

Bomat Courier

Despite the lack of Top 8 representation, you’d be doing yourself a disservice to ignore the 9 Bomat Courier decks (all red) in the Top 32. Red decks were systematically targeted by everyone, and that the number of Magma Sprays was nearly on par with Abrades is a testament to this. While some prefer a splash color, everyone can agree that red is still a major player in Standard.
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4 Last Week: 4
Speaking of Abrade, Lightning Strike is quickly fading into the background yet again as Abrade becomes more relevant thanks to Torrential Gearhulk. While 3 damage is nice, being able to snipe Gearhulk for only 2 mana is just that much better. Along with the uptick of Grixis Energy at Memphis, we’ll see if this trend continues.
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5 Last Week: 7

The Scarab God

Another big winner from the weekend is The Scarab God. Notably, it saw nearly identical play to Torrential Gearhulk, which is a huge shift from the first few weeks of the format. Essentially, every control deck has shifted back toward Gearhulk as a primary and Scarab God as a secondary win condition. Meanwhile, midrange has gone all-in with quad Scarab God now and Gearhulks as backup plans in grind matches.
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Torrential Gearhulk

Blue made a huge comeback in Standard and U/B Control is riding high right now. Had the pairings played out differently, we could’ve easily seen a U/B Control winning GP Memphis. More attention will have to be paid to dealing with midrange decks that aren’t heavy black, as you only have so many ways to stop the endless stream of monsters from G/R. Abrade is already high in popularity, but Gearhulk into Contempt is so strong that I doubt we’ll see any immediate drops in Torrential stock.
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Hadana's Climb

You knew this one was coming. Aaron Barich nearly won the whole thing with what would be considered a meme deck on Magic Online. The real key inclusion here was the reintroduction of Bristling Hydra to a field full of powerful spot removal. If Hydra resolved, it was incredibly difficult for Grixis or U/B to kill, and if Climb flipped into Winged Temple of Orazca, then the game ended. This also gives a backup plan in midrange matches that bog down as few decks can stop a 10+ power flyer.
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Merfolk Branchwalker

While Glint-Sleeve Siphoner really should stay on the list, Merfolk Branchwalker has been mocked relentlessly by a handful of esteemed players. After this weekend, hopefully that has come to an end. In any deck looking to abuse eternalize, this card is solid and the fact that it isn't a dead draw in th midgame is a huge boon for a 2-drop. Between G/R and Naya Monsters, both Branchwalker and Jadelight Ranger should see play for the foreseeable future.
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Rankings Updated:  February 27, 2018
1 Last Week: 5

Eldrazi Temple

Eldrazi had an excellent weekend with G/R Eldrazi and Eldrazi Tron both putting up excellent results, winning the last SCG Open and Classic. It once again reminded everyone that Sol lands are busted and Eldrazi are much larger than the average aggro creature. Plus, if people want to jam Bloodbraid Elf and smaller Humans, Walking Ballista also becomes a far more potent threat.
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Arcbound Ravager

When people forget about Affinity, Affinity becomes strong again. A lot of decks are relying entirely on their sideboard to bail them out in the Affinity matchup and it’s starting to creep back into the meta as a result. Affinity is arguably the most well-rounded game 1 deck in the current metagame against the top tier of Modern decks.
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3 Last Week: 4

Lightning Bolt

Another week, another fistful of Lightning Bolts in the Top 32. Lightning Bolt is about as ubiquitous in Modern as Brainstorm is in Legacy.
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Snapcaster Mage

Control decks saw a bit of an uptick last weekend while Jund took a massive tumble. Without an endless supply of Bloodbraid Elves and discard being thrown out, the blue decks have had a real chance to shine. The more the format moves back toward linears along with Humans, the better Supreme Verdict decks start looking.
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5 Last Week: 2

Noble Hierarch

While Humans didn’t look nearly as dominant, the primary Hierarch deck remains one of the best choices in Modern. The number of free wins it gets from just playing a mana accelerant into Thalia (or Mantis Rider beatdown) should probably be adopted elsewhere. Meanwhile, Jund's return to a reasonable percentage of the metagame makes it even easier for Humans to thrive.
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Thought-Knot Seer

A reminder that there are currently three viable builds of Eldrazi and all of them are a threat to win a Modern tournament on any given day. Eldrazi Tron's resurgence shouldn’t surprise anyone if smaller disruptive aggro decks are popping up and pushing out the bad matchups for the deck. Although, we may see a reckoning with the introduction of Damping Sphere into the format.
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Living End

A deck that has largely been overshadowed by B/R Hollow One, Living End actually made an appearance in the Top 8. Having such a high number of main-deck board sweepers means that it’s one of the few decks with a potentially strong Humans matchup and can punish decks trying to grab free wins with Blood Moon.
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Bedlam Reveler

Mardu Tokens may be the sleeper deck of the format. It sees very little representation by comparison to how many favorable matches it has in the current metagame. Mardu also has a fair bit of play to it and a lot of options against grindy and linear decks. Online it gets a bit more spotlight, but if you have the cards then you’re doing yourself a disservice by not giving the deck a spin.
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Rankings Updated:  April 13, 2018
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Rankings Updated:  11/12/2015

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