Event Spotlight: Grand Prix Birmingham (8/19)

Another Modern Grand Prix ruined by Hog Summer. There really should have been an emergency the day after the Mythic Championship. Next up will be Grand Prix Las Vegas, the largest Grand Prix event of the year, and I do not expect things to change. On the bright side, Channel Fireball seems to have gotten it together on the text coverage front. Not a Top 16 this time, not a Top 32, not even a Top 64. We have been given every single decklist registered at the event so kudos to CFB on this one. In light of this we will present a few different slices of the dataset. If this is how they operate going forward, we will let our discussion group choose a standardized slicing method.

Top 32
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11-4 or Better Records

Top 64
10-5 or Better Records
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Top Decks
No matter how you slice the data, Hogvine is the best deck in Modern by a significant margin. We have spoken about this at length after every tournament so what more can I say? Bridge From Below was not the correct ban and we are all suffering for it. The interesting runner-up is Tron. The Tron players have dropped the cute Karn the Great Creator stuff and their results have picked up considerably. Though this likely also was a response to the recent uptick in GBx, which also did quite well; most of them falling within the Top 32. Surprisingly, near the top of the heap we also saw a few Prison decks; two on Mono-Red and one on Whir. Mono-Red Phoenix/Prowess continues to succeed as well. Hardened Scales may only make up a respectable proportion at the Top 32 level but one of them ended up in Top 8. Izzet Phoenix saw a slight resurgence from Mono-Red’s shadow as well. The most noticeable absence is Humans, it was not a lack of registration either. It started Day 1 with just as many players as Mono-Red Phoenix; thirty-seven. As a Humans player myself, I do find this troubling.

Less Represented Decks
Just because a deck was less represented does not mean that it is bad; all of the decks below went 10-5 or better but did not have enough pilots to make up 5% of that slice. The most notable example would be Mardu Shadow; the deck that ended up taking home the trophy. Our old friend Mike Rapp has been writing about it recently and I am a true believer. Only ten players brought the deck and 40% of those players ended up at 10-5 or better. A Burn player made Top 8 as well and every prison player that managed a 10-5 or better record made it into the Top 16. Devoted Vizier and Bant Blink just barely missed out on making Top 8 runs. The point is that Hogaak may be a turd in the punch bowl but Modern is still fun and diverse beyond it.

Mardu Shadow 4
Burn 4
Prison 3
Scales 3
Eldrazi Tron 2
Dredge 2
Bogles 2
Humans 2
Goryo’s Breach 1
Devoted Vizier 1
Bant Blink 1
Merfolk 1
UW Spirits 1
Titanshift 1
Amulet Titan 1
Storm 1
Infect 1

Well I am happy about our sample size but not so pleased with the resulting data. Flip through the decklists and see the absurd amount of graveyard hate on display. This is what allows the other decks to survive while Hogaak continues to dominate. The ban cannot come soon enough. What do you think will be the next top deck? My bet is on Thopter Sword but only time will tell. 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 another article for you to enjoy. Until then my friends.


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