The 3-0 Draft Metagame at Mythic Championship IV

Posted in Event Coverage on July 26, 2019

By Corbin Hosler

Modern Horizons has been one of the breakout sets of 2019. Created as the first direct-to-Modern set, it introduced powerful cards – looking at you, Hogaak – as well as role players to help reinvigorate archetypes.

It turns out it's a pretty fun Limited format, too, as players have welcomed the return of Snow and enjoyed the variety of decks possible in Draft, from snow decks of all colors (and sometimes all of them at once) to aggressive Goblin builds. It was the draft format of Mythic Championship IV in Barcelona this weekend, and it's earned high praise from the competitors in the room.

Especially if you're a fan of Ninjas.

The tribe – centered in blue and black – was the best-performing archetype among the 3-0 drafters. Here's how the full 3-0 metagame broke down:

  • Blue-Black: 12
  • Black-Red: 9
  • Red-Green: 5
  • Green-Blue: 5
  • Bant Snow: 4
  • Black-Green: 4
  • Blue-Red: 4
  • Red-White: 3
  • Green-White: 2
  • Four-Color Snow: 2
  • White-Black: 1
  • Sultai Snow: 1
  • Temur Snow: 1
  • Five-Color: 1

Ninjas made a triumphant return in Modern Horizons, much to the delight of ninjutsu fans everywhere. Filled with cheap, evasive creatures like Faerie Seer or Changeling Outcast and powerful payoffs like Moonbalde Shinobi or Ingenious Infiltrator, the deck keeps opponents guessing and rewarded its pilots this weekend.

3-0 Ninjas

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Next up was black-red, with Goblins the focus. There are a litany of powerful tribal cards on theme, with Sling-Gang Lieutenant bringing serving as both an enabler and a payoff, Munitions Expert rewarding you for sticking with the tribe, and Goblin Matron to tie it all together. And Goblin War Party fills the perfect niche to help the deck flood the board or put together a massive attack (or both).

Of course, you can't talk about Modern Horizons without talking about the Snow mechanic. It's one of Magic's oldest mechanics – it first debuted with Ice Age – but has made a triumphant return to the game and has found its way into Constructed formats with the set. In Limited, it was Bant Snow that found the most success in the draft rounds, with decks based in green-blue but splashing up to five taking advantage. With Rime Tender, Springbloom Druid and Regrowth to bring them back if need be, the base-green snow deck can splash anything it wants – and conveniently the splashed lands help provide much-needed snow permanents.

3-0 Snow

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And, of course, someone found success going clear off the rails. We'll have more on this on Saturday, but one particularly interesting strategy to come out of the Mythic Championship is the five-color control deck that uses Stream of Thought to control its own draws while whittling down an opponent's resources. There was even a Future Sight involved in one such deck on Friday, making for an enormously powerful engine that created an overwhelming advantage as the deck was continuously refilled with its best cards.

We learned a lot from the first draft at Mythic Championship IV, and anyone with their eyes on the Top 8 will have to show their chops at the format one more time.

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