Modern Win Rates and Interesting Decklists

Posted in Event Coverage on April 28, 2019

By Frank Karsten

The Mythic Championship rewards performance in both Limited and Modern, but it's always interesting to see what had the best performance during the Modern rounds specifically.

Archetype Players Win Rate
Tron 75 47.7%
Izzet Phoenix 62 52.7%
Humans 53 54.3%
W/U Control 38 50.4%
Dredge 32 53.6%
Grixis Shadow 30 45.0%
Hardened Scales 25 56.0%
Eldrazi variants 25 48.5%
Amulet Titan 21 44.8%
The Rock 17 52.6%
Esper Control 16 46.4%
Burn 14 52.8%
Whir Prison 14 53.7%
R/G Valakut 10 46.6%
Affinity 8 47.4%
Infect 8 47.4%
Ad Nauseam 8 61.7%
Bogles 5 38.5%
Jund 5 54.8%
Other 49 45.0%

Despite being the most-played deck, despite putting two players into the Top 8, and despite benefiting largely from the London mulligan rule, Tron had a subpar performance overall. Players trying to assemble Urza's Mine, Urza's Power Plant, and Urza's Mine won only 47.7% of their matches in the Modern rounds.

A deck that did perform well was Humans. With a 54.3% win rate overall, it seemed to have been well-positioned, and it was not surprising to see three Humans players in the Top 8. One reason was that Deputy of Detention gave the deck a big boost. Even though it's not a Human, it acts as versatile removal that can be played via Æther Vial. All Human players in the Top 8 had 3 Deputy of Detention in their 75, and it was the most-played Ravnica Allegiance card overall.

Two other decks that did particularly well were Hardened Scales and Ad Nauseam, at a 56.0% and 61.7% win rate, respectively. If their real match win rate would be 50% and every match would be independent, then seeing a result at least as good as this would be unlikely to happen (<5%) just by chance. You can find top-performing decklists of these archetypes among the 24-27 Modern match point decklists.

In the "Eldrazi variants" and "Other" categories, there are several decks worth highlighting.

Jacobson, Mark - Red Eldrazi (8-2 in Modern)

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There were several players trying to power out Thought-Knot Seer and Reality Smasher via Eldrazi Temple, but none did better in Modern than Mark Jacobsen. His Red Eldrazi variant featured Eldrazi Obligator, Chandra, Torch of Defiance, and Ramunap Ruins in the maindeck, and an assortment of powerful red cards in the sideboard. They gave him more reach and a more powerful sideboard than the colorless Eldrazi versions, and they brought Jacobsen to a 10th-place finish.

Mulcahy, Luke – Cheerios (7-3 in Modern)

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Cheerios, named after a breakfast cereal that resembles the casting cost of all the equipment in the deck, tries to mulligan towards Puresteel Paladin or Sram, Senior Edificer. You then pray the opponent doesn't have Lightning Bolt or Fatal Push, draw your deck, and combine Mox Opal, Retract, and Grapeshot into a kill. Luke Mulcahy went 7-3 in Modern, and the other Cheerios player, Ken Yukuhio, went 6-4. This suggests that the archetype can thrive in the current Modern format, at least under the London mulligan rule.

Amand Dosimont - Vannifar Pod (6-4 in Modern)

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This archetype was made possible by the Ravnica Allegiance card Prime Speaker Vannifar. A throwback to Birthing Pod, Prime Speaker Vannifar can turn a single Noble Hierarch into an immediate kill by chaining Scry Ranger into Renegade Rallier into Village Bell-Ringer into Restoration Angel into Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker. And with Eldritch Evoluton, you also have an entire toolbox of creatures at your disposal.

All in all, the Mythic Championship showed that Modern is diverse as always. There's a large variety of archetypes that can all achieve success, and things will get even more exciting with Modern Horizons on the, well, horizon.

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