This weekend we got our first peek at Post-Horizons Modern with GP Dallas and SCG Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, CFB has failed to share the GP Top 32 with us so we are unable to analyze the data. Regardless, we still have the SCG results to look over. For today’s data set we have pulled the decklists from the Top 8 teams so you can think of it as a Top 24. All decklists are available here.
Note: This was not team-unified so there were no restrictions on the decks that the players chose. However, team results data of any kind is less than perfect. We have to keep in mind that one of the players could have lost every match if the other two players on the team one every match. This would be a wild anomaly though so I would not worry too much. It is more than likely that each of these decks performed extremely well over the weekend. With that elephant pushed out of the room, let’s break it down.
Wow that is a lot of Phoenix. Izzet Phoenix has been the best deck in Modern since KCI was banned; it has been the top archetype in every GP Top 32. It is worth noting that one of these players opted for a Mono-Red build though. This dominance was expected to come to an end with the rise of Hogvine. On the other hand, the archetype did recently gain Fiery Islet and Aria of Flame. The result is that Phoenix players took up as many Top 8 seats that any other two archetypes combined. In fact, two of the Top 8 teams had every player on Izzet Phoenix. That data point is arguable. Does the data look this way because so many of them were on it? Or were so many of them able to reach Top 8 because they were on it? Nobody knows for sure but it looks like Phoenix is never truly dead.
Behind it we saw Hogvine and Humans. Hogvine has been described as Tier 0 format destroyer in the lead up to this weekend. Despite not beating out Phoenix, that may still be the case. If you look among the decklists you will see that most of them have devoted 3-5 sideboard slots to graveyard hate. Even with this heavy, heavy hate the deck managed to do great. I would be lying if I said I was not concerned about it. Humans decks are still doing well in post-Horizons Modern. The deck was reinvigorated when Phoenix rose as it has a good matchup against the deck. And if you are willing to devote four sideboard slots to grave hate, the Hogvine matchup is good too. It even has some sweet toys from Horizons such as Collector Ouphe. I do not see the archeype’s viability changing anytime soon.
The final two archetypes to be recognized were Infect and Thopter Sword. One Infect player opted for a Bant build while the other stuck with traditional Simic. Either way you build it, Scale Up has buffed the deck. The Phoenix matchup will still be a struggle, but the higher chance of a Turn 2 win certainly raises the floor on all matchups. Thopter Sword gained more than any other deck from Modern Horizons; nearly 20% of the spellbase did not exist before. Goblin Engineer makes the combo more consistent to assemble and Urza turns it into an actual win. The deck may still lose to artifact and graveyard hate, but only the latter is particularly relevant in the format right now.
Our rogue decks were Mardu Shadow, Devoted Devastation, Eldrazi Stompy, and Burn. Mardu Shadow is something we really have not seen before but Ranger-Captain tutoring up Shadows seems too powerful to pass up. Devoted Druid decks have bounced between tiers two and three for a couple years now but Giver of Runes and Eladamri’s Call are serious upgrades. Eldrazi Stompy was especially well positioned against Hogvine as they can Serum Powder into Leyline of the Void with shocking consistency; Chalice is quite good in the matchup as well. I believe that this will be one of the best decks once we switch over to the London mulligan. I have to highlight this beautiful Burn list. Mono-Red with eight canlands and Light Up the Stage. The utter madman. I do not know if it is actually good or better than Mono-Red Phoenix but I love what I am seeing.
I am yet again disappointed in CFB but I am hopeful that we will get the Top 32 results eventually. Worst case scenario we will just cover cover the Top 8 decklists in-depth. So what is your take on Hogvine’s performance? Was it proven to be overrated or did it’s high placement in the face of heavy hate prove that it needs a ban? Please share your thoughts with us in our discussion group. Or if you would like to take a swing at writing content for the site you can contact us directly here. We will be back tomorrow with hopefully the results of GP Dallas. Until then my friends.