Leyline of the Void was the most played card of Mythic Championship IV
Many decks played four copies of Leyline of the Void… Even if they couldn’t normally tap for black mana.
The winning “Mono-Green” Tron deck only has basic Forest for color-producing lands… But still ran the full play set. On the one hand, it can actually cast Leyline with Chromatic Star and Chromatic Sphere… On the other hand, “Plan A” is to drop the Leyline for free on turn zero.
There is some risk to the potential reward to playing a card you can’t cast… But there was a big enough problem at Mythic Championship IV to warrant so many.
Hogaak is a Real Problem in Modern
Almost immediately after it was printed, we asked if Hogaak should be banned.
With a Mythic Championship in the books… We’re even more certain!
There was only one Hogaak deck in the Top 8, but the card / deck(s) / strategy did remarkably well anyway. “Hogaak” was the most popular pure archetype in the tournament (at about twice the popularity of Izzet Phoenix)… And “Hogaak Dredge” was essentially the top performer on Modern record. (Remember: mixed format Mythic Championship Top 8s are heavily influenced by Limited records).
Of all the decks that went 8-2 or better, more than half played the Modern Horizons monster! More than half!
It’s crazy to think, but Hogaak was a top performer even with Leyline of the Void as the most popular card in the tournament… And that doesn’t even consider the popularity of alternatives like Nihil Spellbomb, Tormod’s Crypt, or Surgical Extraction.
The heavy anti-graveyard attitude of this Modern tournament looks to have been instrumental in holding down the former best archetype. It used to be industry standard to bring in Rest in Peace against Phoenix. Now folks have all four Leyline of the Voids… and might have two or three main deck!
The combination of open deck lists and so many anti-graveyard hate cards — not to mention the London Mulligan — made for some unusual incentives.
And again… Hogaak still performed great.
Where Does Modern Go from Here?
We predict “Tree of Tales”-level bannings. Tree of Tales never hurt anyone; all it ever did was cast the Oxidize that helped contain the Affinity menace… But Tree of Tales was close enough to the actual villains of the format that it got swept up in the bans.
So who should get the veritable Lightning Axe?
Faithless Looting – Is this card the real problem? It’s not just played in Hogaak and Hogaak Dredge, but Izzet Phoenix, Mono-Red Phoenix, and more.
Ancient Stirrings – If you’re going to ban Faithless Looting, it’s tough to justify keeping Ancient Stirrings… Especially given the winner of this Mythic Championship. Alongside the London Mulligan, Ancient Stirrings makes assembling turn three Tron just a little too consistent.
Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis – Hogaak itself, because we fear that just cutting Faithless Looting wouldn’t be enough!
… Izzet Phoenix would be a key winner with such changes; but this might just be setting up a domination of Urza-Thopter-Sword. Is the answer Mox Opal?
Lots to unpack this week.
We hit on Jund, Phoenix variants, and how much of a problem Wrenn and Six will be. Check it out!