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The Decks I Expect to See at Mythic Championship IV

Hi everyone! Today I wanted to give you a little bit of an overview of what to expect at Mythic Championship IV in Barcelona, what decks I expect to be the most popular and some other decks that caught my eye in testing.

Modern At the Mythic Championship

Izzet Phoenix by Javier Dominguez

Javier Dominguez won the Redbull Untapped tournament in Florence with this version of Izzet Phoenix. He also Top 8ed the last MC in London with it, so you can safely say he knows what he’s doing. Aria of Flame gives the deck another win condition, narrowly edging out Pyromancer’s Ascension because it doesn’t care about your graveyard.

My only changes would be to cut Lava Dart because it seems like too low-impact for another Magmatic Sinkhole, which can be used to kill planeswalkers and opposing Thing in the Ice. I also like the basic land split as 4 Island and 1 Mountain, because this deck plays 18 lands and you keep a lot of 1-land hands if that land produces blue, but not if it’s the Mountain.

In the sideboard, I would prefer a third Force of Negation over one of the Spell Pierces. Free counterspells have historically been incredibly powerful and this format is no different, whether you are countering Faithless Looting or Neoform. Leyline of the Void is more powerful in your opening hand and dead after the opening 7, but this deck sees a lot of cards very quickly, so maybe a full playset of Ravenous Trap is actually better.

U/W Control by Do0mSwitch

3 Celestial Colonnade
4 Field of Ruin
4 Flooded Strand
2 Glacial Fortress
2 Hallowed Fountain
6 Island (335)
2 Plains (331)
1 Polluted Delta
4 Snapcaster Mage
1 Vendilion Clique
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
3 Narset, Parter of Veils
1 Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
2 Teferi, Time Raveler
4 Opt
1 Oust
2 Supreme Verdict
1 Timely Reinforcements
3 Cryptic Command
2 Force of Negation
1 Logic Knot
1 Mana Leak
4 Path to Exile
1 Spell Snare
1 Surgical Extraction
1 Detention Sphere
1 Search for Azcanta/Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin

Sideboard
1 Force of Negation
1 Surgical Extraction
1 Timely Reinforcements
1 Baneslayer Angel
2 Celestial Purge
1 Disdainful Stroke
1 Dovin's Veto
2 Monastery Mentor
3 Rest in Peace
1 Stony Silence
1 Wrath of God

Do0mSwitch is the current Modern league trophy leader on Magic Online and has been playing this deck for quite a while. He also wrote an excellent sideboard guide for the deck here so if you are looking to play U/W Control, you should definitely give it a read. The only thing I don’t currently like about the main deck is the 1 Vendilion Clique, which seems more like a sideboard card to me. It is very good in the mirror though and I do expect U/W Control to be very popular this weekend.

I’ve seen 1 Supreme Verdict + 1 Wrath of God split in some versions because of Meddling Mage, but keep in mind that you can pitch Supreme Verdict to Force of Negation, which seems like a pretty big deal.

One of the reasons to play U/W Control is access to all the good white sideboard cards. Rest in Peace is the second-best graveyard hate card, right after Leyline of the Void. Stony Silence completely turns off artifact decks. Celestial Purge seems in a great spot now too, getting rid of Arclight Phoenix, Hogaak or Wrenn and Six.

Hogaak Vine by Kanister

Bridge from Below got banned, so Hogaak is dead, right? Not so fast. This past weekend, Piotr “Kanister” Glogowski won the Modern challenge on Magic Online by going 12-0 with a new version of the deck. It is definitely a bit slower than the previous version, but a 2-mana 8/8 trample creature that you can easily play on turn 2 is still one of the most broken things you can do.

I’m not sure about Golgari Thug, but Satyr Wayfinder helps you mill and cast Hogaak out of your graveyard, and it also makes it easier to beat Leyline of the Void or Rest in Peace after sideboard by just hardcasting your Vengevines and beating down. I also like that Lightning Axe improves your bad matchups: Infect, Devoted Druid Combo and, in particular, Thing in the Ice.

If this deck does well in Barcelona even after the banning of Bridge from Bellow, I think we can reasonably expect a Hogaak ban in the upcoming weeks.

Devoted Vizier by Marco Fabrizi, 2nd Redbull Untapped Florence

Devoted Karn by Luca Simonato, 4th Redbull Untapped Florence

2 Temple Garden
2 Overgrown Tomb
1 Godless Shrine
2 Horizon Canopy
4 Verdant Catacombs
3 Forest (347)
1 Plains (331)
2 Gavony Township
4 Windswept Heath
3 Kitchen Finks
1 Shalai, Voice of Plenty
1 Walking Ballista
1 Scavenging Ooze
2 Duskwatch Recruiter/Krallenhorde Howler
1 Tireless Tracker
4 Birds of Paradise
2 Viscera Seer
4 Vizier of Remedies
2 Voice of Resurgence
2 Eternal Witness
4 Devoted Druid
2 Noble Hierarch
2 Finale of Devastation
2 Chord of Calling
2 Eladamri's Call
4 Collected Company

Sideboard
2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
2 Vivien, Champion of the Wilds
1 Sin Collector
1 Remorseful Cleric
1 Collector Ouphe
1 Plague Engineer
1 Knight of Autumn
1 Eidolon of Rhetoric
2 Path to Exile
1 Kataki, War's Wage
2 Assassin's Trophy

Hogaak being the most popular deck brought back the Devoted Druid combo. Not having to worry about any kind of interaction means you almost always goldfish on turn 3. The problem with this deck is when cards like Lightning Bolt, Path to Exile and Fatal Push are popular, which I believe is the case right now when U/W Control, Phoenix and Jund are amongst the most popular decks.

Both versions are using a lot of small combos, including Arbor Elf + Utopia Sprawl powering out a turn 2 Karn, which can also get you Walking Ballista when you have infinite mana with Devoted Druid and Vizier of Remedies. Finale of Devastation is another way to either get a second combo piece or use infinite mana by getting a hasty 100/101 Birds of Paradise.

Teferi, Time Raveler and Oath of Nissa are also an interesting combination that work well together, but I think I prefer Incubation // Incongruity, which lets you look at 5 cards instead. Teferi is great at making sure they can’t break your combo during your turn, but that still seems a little bit too slow for Modern.

Overall, the deck got some nice new tools and it has a good Hogaak matchup, but you don’t want to sit down against an opponent that interacts with you with cheap removal spells.

Jund by Anton De Smet

The second Redbull Untapped tournament in Brussels was won by Jund, which has seen a big surge in popularity after Wrenn and Six appeared in Modern Horizons. If you want to use it to full potential, I think you should play 1-2 Baren Moor. Hexdrinker, Seasoned Pyromancer and Plague Engineer are three more big additions to the deck.

Without Field of Ruin, you are probably going to have trouble with the big mana strategies like Tron, but if you are a fan of Jund, you wouldn’t be making a big mistake by bringing it to a Modern tournament these days.

Eldrazi Tron by zachattack23

Another deck that has seen a bit of a resurgence lately has been Eldrazi Tron. Karn the Great Creator added another angle of attack to the deck, especially in combination with Mycosynth Lattice. Liquimetal Coating is another way to keep your opponent off of mana by destroying one every turn with Karn’s +1 ability.

With the top decks being Phoenix, U/W Control and Hogaak, Chalice of the Void also seems really well-positioned. Just don’t forget to board it out against Humans, because Cavern of Souls makes their creatures uncounterable.

You can “splash” for another color, the best choice probably being white, which gives you Leonin Arbiter + Ghost Quarters and Rest in Peace in the sideboard. Traditional Mono-Green Tron seems a bit too slow right now (how crazy is that?), although it did just get second in the Modern Challenge, losing to Kanister in the finals.

Humans by shopna813

Another deck I expect to be amongst the top 5 most popular decks at the MC is Humans. U/W Control decks have moved away from playing 4 Terminus to just having 2 sweepers these days and with Meddling Mage and Reflector Mages, you actually have a decent matchup against Hogaak. Ravenous Traps out of the sideboard and Plague Engineer for Zombies also helps.

One new interesting addition that I’ve seen in a few lists is Unsettled Mariner. Waterlogged Grove or Silent Clearing replaced Seachrome Coast in most versions, giving you more flood protection.

Grixis Urza by triosk

One completely new deck that appeared after Modern Horizons is Grixis Urza, going infinite with Thopter Foundry, Sword of the Meek and Urza Lord High Artificer. I’ll be honest, this isn’t exactly my style, so I have no idea what to expect from it at the MC, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it puts someone into the Top 8. Like Whir Prison or Lantern, it requires a lot of experience and precision, but people usually don’t play optimally against you and the best masters always have a very high win rate with it.

Burn by MickeyHumphries

Another deck that has started seeing a bit more play is Boros Burn. Not much has changed in terms of actual burn spells or creatures, but Sunbaked Canyon and Fiery Islet gives the deck a good amount of flood protection, which was usually the source of most of your losses.

Tocatli Honor Guard is an interesting sideboard card against Humans. I would like to see a few more graveyard hate cards, but otherwise this list looks good.

Mono-Red Phoenix by dd_fan

A different kind of aggressive red deck is this Mono-Red Phoenix deck. I personally prefer Izzet and Thing in the Ice, mostly because this deck only has 4 ways of actually putting Phoenix in the graveyard early and no card selection.

Four-Color Bring to Light Scapeshift by yttymanthe2

Remember R/G Scapeshift? Looks like Ice-Fang Coatl and Bring to Light replaced Primeval Titan and Summoner’s Pact. I’m a bit skeptical because the mana seems a little shaky, but I’ve seen people mention crazy long win streaks with this deck on Magic Online.

Neobrand by WotC_Judge_NateH

If you thought Hogaak was doing crazy things, this deck is even more degenerate. With Chancellor of the Tangle, land, Neoform, any two green cards and Allosaurus Rider or Summoner’s Pact, you sometimes even win the game on turn 1. It seems like 6 cards is a lot, but the London mulligan rule helps this deck a lot. There is a lot of 5-card hands that kill on turn 2 without any interaction from your opponent.

I like the addition of Veil of Summer in the sideboard, giving you some protection from discard spells and countermagic.

Overall, I expect U/W Control, Hogaak, Phoenix, Humans and Eldrazi Tron to be the 5 most popular decks at the MC, followed by Jund, Burn, Devoted Druid in the top 10. If I had to guess, Hogaak will be the most-played deck, but it is going to be a fairly diverse field after that. Outside of Hogaak, no deck seems too powerful at the moment, so modern actually seems fairly healthy.

Wish us luck in the tournament and hopefully this time we will manage to stay in the top 2 of the team series!

Martin

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