News Brief: Hogaak, Mythic Championship IV and Brawl’s New Lease on Life

Brawl gets a new lease on life while Modern’s past rises from the dead at a Mythic Championship and a Grand Prix. This is your week in Magic news.

This Week in Magic

Brawl Decks

Starting with Throne of Eldraine, Standard-legal sets will have four associated Brawl decks. These decks will feature some cards that can only be acquired in the decks (as well as in the new Collector Boosters). The first few cards from the first iteration of the Brawl Decks were revealed this week in an article by Gavin Verhey.

The article provides some backstory about Brawl as a format. Verhey noted the format’s growing pains, describing Brawl to this point as more of a test run. Verhey went on to say that Wizards was working on many of the points that people would submit as feedback about Brawl.

One final note: although planeswalkers are legal as Commanders in Brawl, none of the Commanders in the Brawl decks are planeswalkers.

Magic at GenCon

Magic is going to have a presence at GenCon this year and the full schedule of events has been released. In addition to the live Legacy Cube Drafts (for keeps), there are going to be panels on cosplay and creating Magic art. There will also be sessions featuring the Commander Rules Committee and Cube experts, as well as the first previews for Commander 2019. You can find the scheduled Magic events here.

The Wildered Quest

Throne of Eldraine will have an associated ebook. The Wildered Quest, penned by Kate Eilliot is available for presale. The ebook, published by Penguin Random House, will retail for $3.99 and will be released on September 4th. Kate Elliot has worked on Magic in the past, writing the storyline for the Nicol Bolas focused Core 2019.

A Thoroughly Modern Weekend

Modern was the format of focus at both Grand Prix Barcelona and Mythic Championship IV, both taking place at MagicFest Barcelona. The release of Modern Horizons had a dramatic impact on the format, namely in the shape of Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis. The card was so format-warping that it helped to get Bridge from Below banned on July 8th. How would Modern look in the wake of the ban?

Grand Prix Barcelona

The second major Modern event of the weekend, over 1,500 players battled it out in Grand Prix Barcelona. The Top 8 only featured one Hogaak deck, in the hands of Ben Seck. This continued a theme on the weekend as only one Hogaak deck ended up in the Top 8 of the Mythic Championship.

What else made Top 8? Humans, two copies of Jund, Esper Control, Izzet Control, Eldrazi Tron, and Urza ThopterSword. Theme for the weekend? Deck’s from Modern’s past met in the finals. At the Grand Prix it was a Jund Mirror with Troels Munk defeating Alberto Galicia Albert in three games.

Troels Munk’s Jund

1 Barren Moor
2 Blackcleave Cliffs
1 Blood Crypt
3 Bloodstained Mire
1 Blooming Marsh
2 Forest (347)
1 Mountain (343)
2 Nurturing Peatland
2 Overgrown Tomb
1 Raging Ravine
1 Stomping Ground
2 Swamp (339)
3 Verdant Catacombs
2 Wooded Foothills
4 Bloodbraid Elf
3 Scavenging Ooze
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Liliana of the Veil
4 Wrenn and Six
1 Abrupt Decay
1 Assassin's Trophy
2 Fatal Push
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Kolaghan's Command
4 Lightning Bolt
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Nihil Spellbomb
2 Thoughtseize

1 Collective Brutality
3 Collector Ouphe
3 Fulminator Mage
3 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Nissa, Vital Force
2 Plague Engineer
2 Surgical Extraction

Mythic Championship IV

Hogaak was everywhere at the Mythic Championship. The archetype made up over 20% of the Day 1 field, with over 74% of Hogaak pilots making it to the second day of competition. The field came prepared: Leyline of the Void was the most-played card at Mythic Championship Barcelona. Regardless of the outcome of the tournament, these numbers should spark some examination approaching the next Banned and Restricted List update on August 26th.

As Day 2 ended, only one Hogaak deck made it to the Top 8, piloted by Martin Mueller in his third Top Finish. Also making it to the Top 8:

  • Sean Gifford on Eldrazi Tron
  • Maunel Lenz on Urza ThopterSword
  • David Mines on Jund
  • Juan Jose Rodriguez Lopez on Mono-Red Phoenix
  • Zhiyang Zhang on Jund
  • Alvaro Fernandez Torres on Hardened Scales
  • Thoralf Severin on Tron

At the end of the day, it was Alvara Fernandez Torres, trying to win the tournament on his home turf, up against Thoralf Severin. Severin and his team figured out that plain old over-the-top Tron was well-positioned in a field trying to beat Hogaak, and it seemed to pay off. Torres was playing the Hardened Scales deck–one that has flown under the radar in the wake of Hogaak.

It only took four games. Severin went up 2-0 early with Torres taking the third game. Severin, who had been unflappable and amiable all weekend, simply went back to business and managed to assemble Tron, and with it became the latest Mythic Champion!

Thoralf Severin’s Tron

1 Blast Zone
5 Forest (347)
1 Sanctum of Ugin
4 Urza's Mine
4 Urza's Power Plant
4 Urza's Tower
2 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
3 Walking Ballista
4 Wurmcoil Engine
4 Karn Liberated
2 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
4 Ancient Stirrings
4 Sylvan Scrying
1 All Is Dust
3 Chromatic Sphere
4 Chromatic Star
4 Expedition Map
3 Oblivion Stone
3 Relic of Progenitus

2 Dismember
1 Emrakul, the Promised End
4 Leyline of the Void
2 Nature's Claim
1 Spatial Contortion
3 Thragtusk
1 Veil of Summer
1 Warping Wail

Mythic Championship IV also determined the finalists of the Pro Tour Team Series. Team Hareyuya Sword (Lee Shi Tian, Kelvin Chew, Jeremy Dezani, Grzegorz Kowalski, and Andrea Mengucci) will be taking on defending champions Team Ultimate Guard (Jon Finkel, Reid Duke, William Jensen, Paul Rietzl, Andrew Cuneo, and Matthew Sperling). The teams will do battle for the title later this year.

Looking Forward

The next Mythic Championship will be October 18th-20th in Long Beach, California and will be another Arena Mythic Championship. Before that, next weekend sees MagicFest Chiba, with a Core Set 2020 Limited Grand Prix.

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