Event Spotlight: Grand Prix Minneapolis (8/19)

A format in ruin. Of course that us hyperbole but these numbers are just as bad what we saw during Eldrazi Winer. Hog Summer continues despite the Bridge from Below ban. Things were looking bleak during the Mythic Championship weekend and they have not improved. We all know that Hogvine is the best deck and our preparations fail to curb its dominance. This weekend the Hog train rolled into Minneapolis and it was not pretty. In fact, these results are the most troubling we have ever covered. CFB has only given us the Top 16 decklists to review but they are all available here.

Top Decks
There were only two that put more than one player into the Top 16. This would not necessarily be a problem but the top deck, Hogvine, accounted for more than 40% of the Top 16 finalists.  More troubling was that it took up five of the Top 8 seats. The finals were even Hogvine versus Hogvine. What more can I say? It is the best deck in the format and it is not close. This is a deck that loses to grave hate, we are all packing a ton of grave hate, and yet it still wins. We need the ban hammer to slam down and save us from this nightmare. More than two thirds of the players in Top 16 were packing a full set of Faithless Looting but Luke’s recent article convinced me that it is not the true problem. Hogaak was an awfully designed card and will remain a problem as long it is legal in Modern.

The other big deck at the tournament was Mono-Red… Phoenix? Not quite. Mono-Red Prowess decks of mostly similar builds did extremely well and most of them were running Arclight Phoenix. You may recall Luke’s Mono-Red Prowess brew that eschewed Looting. He mentioned in the article that he was interested in testing a build that kept Looting but dropped Phoenix for Bedlam Reveler. Well the only Mono-Red player to crack Top 8 did exactly that. We will talk about that build more in tomorrow’s article but we wanted to highlight it here. The majority of players decided to stick to their birds though and had admirable finishes as well. It is a great deck, a cheap deck, and arguably the best way to play Phoenix; though I believe the deck is better without it. I must point out that this is the first reported Grand Prix since the KCI ban at which Izzet Phoenix was not the most successful deck. It was a great run, eight straight I believe, but this time it missed the Top 16 entirely.

Rogue Decks
While I am not pleased to see the large data trends, I do enjoy the rogue decks from this tournament. Burn, after virtually disappearing for the past year, ended up in sixth place with a mostly traditional build. Humans also made it into 8th with a slightly odd manabase and some sweet classics in the sideboard. Eldrazi Tron continued its renaissance with a 9th place finish and Hardened Scales was right behind it at 10th. The final rogue deck snuck in at 16th and caught everyone off guard. This Merfolk list featured the freshly Modern legal Lonely Sandbar and though a tapped land seems odd in an aggro deck it clearly paid off. They also had mainboard Force of Negation to patch Merfolk’s old combo deck weakness. I do wonder if this will be a return to form for the archetype.

Wrap-Up
Results like this make me not miss video coverage quite as much. I do wish that they would initiate an emergency ban but this is confirmed to be false. Grand Prix Vegas, the highest profile event of the year, will be ruined by Hogvine. At this point, is there even a chance that we adjust to this deck? What archetype are you piloting to tackle the menace? Please share your ideas 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 the sweetest tech from the tournament’s Top 8. Until then my friends.

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