The Modern Win Rates and Spiciest Decks at MC IV

Posted in Event Coverage on July 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.

Here are the Modern match win rates in non-mirror matches during the Swiss rounds for all archetypes with two or more pilots.

Archetype Players Win Rates
Hogaak 98 56.2%
Izzet Phoenix 48 50.8%
Eldrazi Tron 42 50.4%
Humans 38 48.1%
W/U Control 38 46.8%
Jund 36 52.3%
Tron 19 49.3%
Urza ThopterSword 19 55.3%
Burn 18 48.3%
Dredge 17 45.1%
Mono-Red Phoenix 10 52.0%
Hogaak Dredge 7 60.4%
R/G Valakut 6 53.2%
Neobrand 5 41.9%
Hardened Scales 4 54.5%
Bogles 3 40.0%
Cheerios 3 35.0%
Hollow One 3 50.0%
Mardu Pyromancers 3 50.0%
SnowShift 3 40.0%
Bant Snow Company 2 0.0%
Devoted Vizier 2 12.5%
Esper Control 2 61.1%
Goblins 2 55.0%
Jeskai Control 2 15.4%
Mardu Shadow 2 55.0%
Merfolk 2 41.7%

Hogaak and Hogaak Dredge had the highest Modern win rates of all major archetypes. (To give a rough indication of significance based on the sample size: the 95% Clopper-Pearson confidence interval for Hogaak's win rate ranged from 52.1% to 60.1%, and the corresponding interval for Hogaak Dredge ranged from 46.0% to 73.5%.)

To give another statistic, over half of the players who went 8-2 or better in Modern were playing Hogaak or Hogaak Dredge. Given this, it's surprising that only one deck featuring Hogaak advanced to the Top 8.

The reason is that the Hogaak players with the best Modern records did poorly in draft. Even though Hogaak players as a group had an above-average win rate in draft collectively, the Hogaak players with excellent draft records did poorly in Modern, and vice versa. The exception was Top 8 competitor Martin Müller—the only Hogaak player to excel in both Limited and Constructed.

Hogaak Dredge Was the Deck of the Tournament

Purely based on Modern match win rates, Hogaak Dredge had the best performance of all major archetypes. This was a team deck played by Roshen Eapen, Ben Friedman, Marcus Luong, Ondrej Strasky, Oliver Tiu, Oliver Tomajko, and Noah Walker.

Eapen, Roshen - Hogaak Dredge (8-2 in Modern)

Their list was basically a Dredge deck, but with 3 copies of Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis (instead of several Narcomoeba) and 4 Stitcher's Supplier (instead of Shriekhorn) to enable it. Another important inclusion is the fetchable Dryad Arbor, which can help convoke Hogaak.

Although their list lacks the explosive element of Vengevine, it is better in a damage race due to Creeping Chill. This burn spell, along with Conflagrate, also helps beat Ensnaring Bridge in Game 1, which is not to be underestimated.

There Are Several New Decks to Watch

War of the Spark and Modern Horizons enabled several new decks, most notably. Urza ThopterSword. This archetype had an excellent performance with a 55.3% match win rate. It even went 15-12 against Hogaak. So making infinite Thopters or stopping 8/8s with Ensnaring Bridge is a solid plan against the boogeyman of the format, and Manuel Lenz piloted the deck to a Top 8 finish.

But I wanted to highlight three other new decks, played in lesser numbers, to keep an eye on.

Kihara, Atsuki - Devoted Neoform (6-4 in Modern)

In the main deck, you see the infinite-mana combo of Devoted Druid and Vizier of Remedies. A new addition is Giver of Runes, which can protect the combo or be sacrificed to Neoform to find the pieces. But except for the somewhat unusual choice of Eldritch Evolution over Finale of Devastation, the main deck looks fairly normal.

The surprise lurks in the sideboard. When opponents bring in removal spells for small creatures, Kihara can transform into a deck that aims to sacrifice Allosaurus Rider to get Griselbrand. Genius deck building.

Kensuke Kato - Mardu Pyromancers (6-4 in Modern)

The deck formerly known as Mardu Pyromancer got an upgrade in Seasoned Pyromancer, so now it's fittingly called Mardu Pyromancers. Seasoned Pyromancer is particularly good when you can discard Lingering Souls or Smiting Helix for value, so it's a great fit.

Another new element in this deck is Lightning Skelemental, which can be returned via Unearth or Thunderkin Awakener.

Nicholas Montquila – Goblins (6-4 in Modern)

The reprintings of Goblin Matron and Goblin Ringleader have brought back the core that has made the Goblin tribe so successful in past formats. Munitions Expert and Sling-Gang Lieutenant are also major additions to the deck.

There were two Goblins players in the event, and both did reasonably well. Jim Davis went 5-5 with Skirk Prospector as his one-drop, and Nicholas Montquila went 6-4 with Thoughtseize as his turn-one play. Together, they showed that Goblins is a real, competitive Modern deck.

Modern Still Allows for Plenty of Spice

Finally, I wanted to highlight two of the spiciest decks in the room. These players may not have put up impressive Modern records, but they showed that in a format based on over 15 years of cards, anything is possible.

Hellauer, Erich - Unexpected Emrakul (2-3 in Modern)

This is basically a TitanBreach deck which can randomly win games with Unexpected Results. If you're lucky enough to hit Emrakul, the Aeons Torn off the top of your deck, then that should win the game right there.

As far as I could track down the origin of this exciting deck, it was first played by Ruin000 on Magic Online several months ago, then highlighted by Corbin Hosler, and finally updated by Erich Hellauer for the Mythic Championship.

Mee, Jerry - W/U Quest (2-2 in Modern)

The ideal draw for this deck starts with Quest for the Holy Relic on turn one, followed by Ornithopter and Memnite to get the quest counters going. Then on turn two, you might play Glint Hawk, return and recast Ornithopter, convoke Martyr's Soul, and finally sacrifice Quest for the Holy Relic. This allows you trigger Argentum Armor as early as turn two, which should be enough to carry you to victory.

All in all, the Mythic Championship showed that Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis is dominating, but there is still a diversity of sweet decks possible in Modern.

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