Modern Snapshot: August 2019

With June and July in the books we are pulling the data to prepare you for the coming weeks. This data set of over 1,300 decklists is especially interesting as 75% of it contains Modern Horizons results and then we saw the London mulligan towards the end. We will comb over the expansive data set to establish the leading archetypes as well as the best performing mainboard and sideboard cards in the Modern format. Make sure to compare this data side-by-side with last month’s data to see how things have changed.


All data has been pulled from The data set contains more than 1,300 decklists from  June and July 2019 tournament results. Archetypes that comprised more than 4% of the dataset have been identified above. Individual cards have been ranked by dominance rating. This is calculated by multiplying the percent of decks they appear in by the average number of copies that appear in said decks. For frame of reference, a card that appears in 25% of decks as a two of will have a 0.5 dominance rating. For a hypothetical, 100-player tourney this means that there would be 0.5 copies of said card per player in the room.

As can be seen above, Phoenix is back on top and UWx Control has taken a big hit. Sandwiched between the two is the big nasty Hogvine. This is the boogeyman of the format and current top dog. This dataset contains Bridge From Below results, but if you look at recent results you know that the deck is as potent as ever. Notably, Hogaak was not even legal for 25% of our sample period. If you were to adjust the percentage with this in mind, Hogvine would come out to more than 12% of the metagame. Interestingly, this actually is less than Phoenix was at its peak but regardless of the comparison it is not a healthy format state. Eldrazi has surged massively in the sample period. The vast majority are playing Eldrazi Tron and they have gone from an unrecognized archetype to a Tier 1 deck in a few short weeks. Humans has stumbled from third to fifth, becoming the second best tribal deck. Rounding out the top archetypes we see the classic format pillars: Tron and Jund. This is actually a slight slip for Tron compared to the previous period. Jund, on the other hand, has made huge strides on the back of Wrenn and Six. I am excited to see how things shape up once we push the old data out next month.

Top 10 Mainboard Cards
No surprise here, Bolt is still the best spell in the format. It has been the most dominant spell every year since the format began. However, Faithless Looting continues to advance its standing in the format. It has finally crossed the 1.00 dominance threshold. This means that at the average Modern tournament, there are more Faithless Lootings than there are players. I know this is a contentious topic, but we may need to seriously consider banning it. It could possibly fix the Hogvine problem. The greatest changes for the period were in the green cards. Noble Hierarch has dropped out of the Top 5 and Ancient Stirrings has fallen out of the listing entirely with a 0.30 dominance rating. Aether Vial fell out as well but was only 0.02 away from the cutoff. The new entrants are Bloodghast and Karn the Great Creator. The rising Hogvine and the Dredge loyalists have kept Ghast well positioned and Karn is the new hotness from WAR. In recent weeks though, green Tron decks have been dropping him so it will be interesting to see if he sticks around in the rankings.

Top 10 Sideboard Cards
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Leyline of the Void has maintained the top spot and widened the gap considerably. This is the closest we have seen a sideboard card come to the 1.00 threshold. If any card can pull it off, it would be a Leyline. Casting cost is irrelevant and it is typical to run four of them. Other than that, things were relatively static. The Top 10 is nearly identical month-to-month apart from the ordering so there is not much to say. The most drastic change was Dispel; it has plummeted to a meager 0.05 dominance rating. In its place we see Thoughtseize return to its former glory. The Top 5 is interesting as it contains four graveyard hate spells and the best spell at removing permanent-based hate cards.

Hopefully this week’s entries have given you enough charts and data to hold you over. I know I have seen more than enough and hopefully by September Hog Summer will be truly over. Were you surprised to see Phoenix in the top spot again? What percentage do you expect Hogvine to attain in next month’s dataset? 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 on Monday with another article for you to enjoy. Until then my friends.

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