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Spicy Modern Decks from Mythic Championship London

Typically the final day of a Mythic Championship is when we do a bunch of math to break down the tournament by the numbers, but thanks to some expanded coverage from Wizards, this isn't really needed anymore. Not only did Wizards publish an article featuring the most played cards from the tournament (normally a staple of By the Numbers articles), but they are planning to publish an article with the win rates of specific decks as well (it already showed up on stream, but so far the article isn't live). As such, pretty much all of the topics we normally coverage in a Budget the Numbers article have already been officially covered by Wizards. So instead of getting mathy, today we're going to have some fun!

Normally, we only get to see the best performing lists when we have a Mythic Championship event, but Mythic Championship London broke the mold, with Wizards publishing every single list from the event. I spent a few hours digging through all 550 to find the spiciest of the bunch. If you're looking for something different to play in Modern that's at least good enough for a pro-level player to bring to a Mythic Championship, here's your starting point! Without further ado, here are the 10 spiciest deck lists from Mythic Championship London!

People have been messing around with Restore Balance along with Electrodominance and As Foretold ever since Electrodominance was released in Ravnica Allegiance, and now we have our first peek at the archetype on the Mythic Championship stage. In general, the build looks mostly as expected, except with more main-deck graveyard hate, with Relic of Progenitus joining a singleton Tormod's Crypt, which might look weird but has additional upside since it can be tutored up by Tolaria West. If you've never seen the deck in action, we played a similar build a couple of months ago on Much Abrew. The main idea is to suspend a Greater Gargadon, use an As Foretold or Electrodominance to cheat a Restore Balance into play, and then sacrifice all of our lands with Greater Gargadon with Restore Balance on the stack. The end result is typically an opponent who has no creatures or lands, while we have a 9/7 Greater Gargadon that will soon come off suspend to kill the opponent in just a couple of attacks!

Bridgevine is one of the most unique decks in Modern. The main goal of the deck is to get a Bridge from Below (and also Vengevine) in the graveyard with the help of Insolent Neonate, Stitcher's Supplier, or Faithless Looting and then cast a bunch of free creatures for 0 that die when they enter the battlefield, like Walking Ballista and Hangarback Walker. While sending a hand full of creatures to certain demise might sound counterintuitive, each one makes a 2/2 Zombie token for every Bridge from Below in the graveyard. If we can cast two in the same turn, we get back all of our Vengevines. In theory, it's possible for the deck to win the game as early as Turn 2, and it's not uncommon for the deck to have a fairly massive board on the first turn of the game if it has a good start. However, this power comes with a drawback: the deck isn't good at beating graveyard hate, which makes it a risky choice, with all of the main-deck graveyard removal we've seen at Mythic Championship London.

Mill is a casual favorite, but perhaps it actually has some competitive potential in Modern at the moment. One of the biggest upsides to the deck is that you get to play some unique main-deck hate cards, like a full playset of Surgical Extraction (since Mill needs a plan to exile Emrakul, the Aeons Torn anyway, to keep it from repeatedly shuffling the graveyard back into the library) along with Crypt Incursion for additional lifegain and graveyard hate. Otherwise, the deck looks to hide behind Ensnaring Bridge and hopefully mill the opponent out, with the combo of Archive Trap into Mission Briefing for Archive Trap being an especially powerful new addition to the deck, potentially allowing the Mill deck to mill 26 cards for just two mana if the opponent cracked a fetch land (or if the Mill deck forced the opponent to shuffle their deck with Field of Ruin). We played a similar build on stream a while ago, if you want to see the deck in practice. It sounds like a weird casual deck, but it's actually more competitive than it looks.

Colorless Eldrazi has been floating around on the fringes of the Modern format for a while, but it has been given new life thanks to the London mulligan rule. The deck mulligans a lot, primarily to find fast mana like Eldrazi Temple. This makes it a natural home for Serum Powder, a card that greatly benefits from the London mulligan rule. More importantly, Colorless Eldrazi can actually take advantage of exiling cards from its deck since exiling Eternal Scourge is similar to drawing a card, as it can be cast from the exile zone. The other interesting addition to the deck is the one-of Sword of Fire and Ice, which gives the deck a backup card-advantage engine while also protecting against some removal spells (like Lightning Bolt).

Hollow One is a known deck in Modern. Izzet Phoenix is a known deck in Modern. But smashing both decks together in an ultra-red shell is fairly unique. The end result is a deck that has the potential to drop a bunch of big (and potentially hasty) creatures on the first couple of turns of the game to pick up some fast wins. 

Splinter Twin is back! Actually, despite constant (half-joking) calls for the enchantment to return, it remains on the banned list. A deck that looked very similar to the Splinter Twin decks of old at Mythic Championship London was Izzet Kiki. The deck looks almost exactly like Splinter Twin, except it has to use Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker to go infinite with Deceiver Exarch or Pestermite, rather than Splinter Twin itself. While this does make the combo a bit slower and more fragile (since Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker dies to additional removal like Lightning Bolt), apparently, worse Splinter Twin is still good enough for Modern, at least in the estimation of some Mythic Championship London players.

There were a lot of cards I expected to see at Mythic Championship London, but Blistercoil Weird and Crash Through weren't on the list. Seth Cole's deck is basically Mono-Red Prowess, with a massive 11 one-drops that have prowess (or pseudo-prowess), and then a pile of cheap cantrip spells and burn to pump the prowess creatures and force through damage. In some ways, the deck is similar to Mono-Red Burn, although with a greater ability to force through creature damage. Oh yeah, and it's only $225 in paper. So if you're looking for a Mythic Championship almost-budget option and you like attacking early (and throwing burn spells at your opponent's face), Mono-Red Prowess is probably the way to go.

The combo of Scapeshift, Primeval Titan, and Scapeshift is well known in Modern, but the combo generally shows up in a ramp spell. Chard Warden's deck is odd: it still has the combo, but rather than focusing on ramp, it's looking to beat down with aggressive, hasty creatures like Gruul Spellbreaker, Bloodbraid Elf, and Glorybringer, with Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle being more of a backup plan that can catch people by surprise. But this plan is sort of ruined by the open deck-list policy at Mythic Championship London, unlike at your local FNM or on Magic Online. It seems unlikely your opponent is going to expect your Gruul Spellbreaker / Glorybringer deck to randomly Scapeshift them to death. It's possible that the plan is simply too cute for its own good, but Scapeshift Aggro is certainly one of the more unique and innovative decks we've seen this weekend.


We mentioned in the metagame breakdown that both Sram O's players managed to make Day 2, which is perhaps not as surprising as it sounds since some pros mentioned on stream that it is among the decks that benefits most from the London mulligan rule. The list itself is very similar to the one we played on Much Abrew last week, with Serum Visions replacing Repeal in the cheap cantrip slot. If you've never seen the deck in action, the plan is to mulligan into a Puresteel Paladin or Sram, Senior Edificer, cast it on Turn 2, and proceed to draw through the entire deck with the help of 19 free equipment to trigger the card-draw ability on Puresteel Paladin or Sram, Senior Edificer. The plan eventually ends with a huge Grapeshot (with mana from Mox Opal) to close out the game. If you want free wins on Turn 2 (that also dodges all the main-deck graveyard hate in the format), Sram O's is one of the best decks in Modern. Just be warned that a Turn 1 Thoughtseize or a cheap removal spell like Lightning Bolt or Fatal Push can ruin the plan (and leave you with a hand full of horrible Accorder's Shields and Sigil of Distinctions).

Everyone assumed that Leylines would get better with the London mulligan rule, but are they so good that your Hardened Scales deck should be playing four main-deck copies of Leyline of Vitality? At least one Mythic Championship London player thought so. At first, I was really puzzled by why this deck would want Leyline of Vitality. The lifegain is nice against aggro, and the toughness boost helps creatures survive Gut Shot, but in general, it seems like an odd choice as a four-of. However, after thinking about it a bit more, it seems the idea is to increase the deck's explosiveness by allowing you to cast Hangarback Walker or Walking Ballista for free, thanks to the toughness boost. This, in turn, gives you some free sacrifice fodder for Throne of Geth and [[Arcbound Ravager]. Plus, Steel Overseer and Arcbound Ravager can grow the no-counter versions of Hangarback Walker and Walking Ballista into real threats. Sadly, it seems like the plan might not have worked. While Hardened Scales was one of the better Day 1 decks in general, Kazuya Yokota finished 1-4 in the Modern rounds.

In a world with a lot of very unfair decks, Ben Stark choose the fairest of plans for Mythic Championship London, looking to pick apart his opponent's hands with discard and their boards with removal before closing out the game with a pile of planeswalkers, including Kaya, Orzhov Usurper. The other big upside of playing Orzhov in Modern is that you get many of the best sideboard cards in the format, with ample hate for most of the top decks in the format, including Stony Silence for Affinity and Hardened Scales, Fulminator Mage for Tron, Leyline of the Void for graveyard decks like Dredge and Izzet Phoenix, and Surgical Extraction as catch-all combo hate (which is especially effective in a deck with 14 main-deck cards that can force opponents to discard a card.  

Normally, Esper is a control deck in Modern, but Valentin Mackl had different ideas, with a deck that is essentially Esper Wizards. Rather than looking to play a full-on control game, this build of Esper looks to disrupt the opponent with cheap discard and counters while generating card advantage with Dark Confidant before eventually winning by beating down with Geist of Saint Traft or Vendilion Clique. It seems like a fun option if you'd rather play a more tempo-based game plan but still want powerful Esper planeswalkers like Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Liliana of the Veil.


Anyway, that's all for today. Which Mythic Championship deck was your favorite? Was there any spice that I missed? Which deck are you planning to pick up for your next Modern tournament? Let me know in the comments! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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