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Mythic Championship IV: Day One Wrap Up


The Magic coverage world has changed a lot in the past couple of years. Back when we started doing daily Pro Tour Wrap Up articles we spent most of our time guessing at decklists (since they wouldn't get published until Sunday) and trying to find whatever spice happened to show up at the tournament. Now we have all of the decklists as soon as the constructed rounds start, and Wizards has put a lot more effort into breaking down things like the most played cards earlier in the event. Basically, a lot of the stuff that used to form the foundation of the daily wrap up articles is now done officially by Wizards. 

As such, our wrap up article today is going to be a shorter offering, focusing mostly on the day one metagame and the most played cards at the tournament. Then, on Sunday, we'll have a fuller breakdown featuring the winning decks along with spicy under-the-radar lists. Anyway, let's kick things off today with the day one metagame from Mythic Championship IV. Remember, you can check out all of the decklists on our Mythic Championship IV page.

Day One Meta

It was only a couple of weeks ago that Bridge from Below was banned because Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis was dominating the format with turn two combo kills. Fast forward to Mythic Championship IV and Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis is dominating the day one metagame. While the turn two infinite mill combo is gone, it's still pretty easy for the current build of Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis to put 20-ish power on the battlefield on turn two (with some of it potentially being hasty thanks to Vengevines) and simply beat down the opponent on turn three. 

To put Hogaak's 21.4% metagame percentage into perspective, at our last Modern Mythic Championship, Tron was the most-played deck at 14.6% of the field, while at Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan, the most played deck (Humans) didn't even make up 10% of the field. While the top deck being 20% or more of the metagame is fairly common in Standard, it's not something that normally happens in Modern. While we'll have to see how well the deck performs this weekend, there's a very realistic chance that more bannings will be imminent. It's almost like a free 8/8 trample is just too good for Magic, regardless of what support cards you have to play to make it work.

When the Bridge for Below banning happened (and before everyone realized that the real problem was Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis all along), Izzet Phoenix was a popular choice for best deck in the format. After all, Izzet Phoenix was the best deck pre-Modern Horizons. While not nearly as heavily played as the Hogaak menace, Izzet Phoenix still has a solid following at Mythic Championship IV, coming it at over 10% of the metagame (which in a more typical Modern Pro Tour would make it the most-played deck in the field). It seemed to be the deck of choice for players looking to beat Hogaak, in part because you can get away with playing a bunch of main deck copies of Surgical Extraction with a straight face, since in the worst case you can always discard them to Faithless Looting or use them to up your spell count for Arclight Phoenix and Thing in the Ice.

In third place just slightly behind Izzet Phoenix, we have Eldrazi Tron. While trying to go over the top of Hogaak might seem foolish, Chalice of the Void is a really strong card against both Hogaak and Izzet Phoenix if you can get it on the battlefield quickly enough. Plus, Karn, the Great Creator can tutor up a bunch of different hate cards, or simply get Mycosynth Lattice to lock an opponent out of the game altogether. While traditional Tron is a part of the meta, it seems like Eldrazi Tron is the Tron deck of choice for Mythic Championship IV.

Rounding out the "big five" (decks that make up more than 8% of the metagame) at Mythic Championship IV are two somewhat fair decks in Humans and UW Control. In theory, both decks take advantage of some of the new-ish rules for Mythic Championship play. The combination of London Mulligans and open decklists massively benefit UW Control, which occasionally struggles with drawing the wrong answers for the wrong matchup. With open decklists, you know what you need to answer heading into the match, and then London Mulligans helps find the right answers for the right matchup. This said, there is a real question as to whether UW Control will be fast enough to keep up with all of the unfair deck in the field.

Meanwhile, Humans also take advantage of the open decklist policy, with Meddling Mage in specific becoming much more powerful when you know exactly what cards are in your opponent's deck. While Humans have a solid combination of disruption and a fairly fast clock, there's a risk that decks like Hogaak and Eldrazi Tron will just go over the top of the smaller Humans. 

The other big takeaway from the day one metagame is that the field at Mythic Championship IV might be the least diverse of any Modern Pro Tour. Typically at a Modern Pro Tour there's a huge group of "other" decks behind the most-played decks in the field. At Mythic Championship IV, the top five decks in the field make up a massive 57.7% of the field (up from 38% at Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan), and if you expand the sample out to the top ten decks, they make up 81.6% of the field, leaving little room for fun, spicy brews. 

Most-Played Cards

No, this isn't a Hogaak deck tech, it's a list of the most-played cards at Mythic Championship IV. Leyline of the Void is the biggest winner as the primary way for decks to fight against Hogaak (and Hogaak decks to fight each other). Apparently at least some players have actually opted to play Leyline of the Void in the main deck, which typically isn't the sign of a healthy format (although it does make sense, considering Leyline of the Void is great against Hogaak and also very good against Izzet Phoenix, the two most-played decks in the field).

Apart from Leyline of the Void, there isn't really much to learn from the most-played cards: it's literally a list of Hogaak staples and Faithless Looting, which is a Hogaak staple that also shows up in some other top tier decks.

Conclusion

Anyway, that's day one of Mythic Championship IV. We'll be back tomorrow to break down the day two metagame and see just how broken Hogaak really is, and then on Sunday we'll have a full breakdown of the sweetest (and best) decks at the tournament. Until then, what do you think about the Mythic Championship meta? Is Hogaak beatable? What underplayed decks are you rooting for? Let us know in the comments! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive, or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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