The Modern metagame Day 1 of Mythic Championship IV Barcelona was dominated by the Hogaak Vine deck, with over 21% of players—98 of the 456—choosing to play it. The next most-played archetype, Izzet Phoenix, was chosen by 10.5% of the field—less than half of the number of players on Hogaak Vine.

Despite the best efforts of Wizards of the Coast, Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis is still a menace in Magic: the Gathering’s Modern format. With the release of Modern Horizons on June 14, 2019, both Hogaak and Altar of Dementia were added to Modern. Those two cards combined with Bridge from Below to make an oppressive combo deck.

Then, two and a half weeks ago on July 8, 2019, Wizards banned Bridge from Below to try to rein the deck in. But that only served to slow it down a little bit. The deck replaced the Bridge from Below and Altar of Dementia combo by going in a different self-mill direction with Satyr Wayfinder, which still enables the deck to cast Hogaak on as early as Turn 2.

Berarndo Santos's Modern Hogaak Vine at Mythic Championship IV

Creatures (31)
Carrion Feeder
Stitcher’s Supplier
Insolent Neonate
Satyr Wayfinder
Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis

Spells (10)
Faithless Looting
Lightning Axe
Assassin’s Trophy
Leyline of the Void
Lands (19)
Blackcleave Cliffs
Blood Crypt
Bloodstained Mire
Overgrown Tomb
Polluted Delta
Stomping Ground
Verdant Catacombs

Sideboard (7)
Leyline of the Void
Assassin’s Trophy
Engineered Explosives
Fatal Push
Force of Vigor
Rotting Regisaur

(The exact quantities of the sideboard cards for Mythic Championship IV decks aren’t currently available.)

It seems like players at Mythic Championship IV were aware that Hogaak was still going to be popular. Leyline of the Void, one of the premiere graveyard hate cards, was the most-played card on the weekend with 836 copies finding their way into decks.

The second most-played card was Faithless Looting. The powerhouse one-mana spell is a key card in both the Hogaak Vine deck and the Izzet Phoenix deck, which together made up nearly 32% of all decks at Mythic Championship IV Barcelona.

But at the end of Day 1, two of the top three players had chosen a different strategy: control. The French duo Arnaud Hocquemiller (8-0) and Guillaume Wafo-Tapa (7-1) brought Azorius Control and Esper Control, respectively, and managed to keep the Hogaak menace at bay. In fact, Wafo-Tapa’s only loss in Day 1 was to Hocquemiller, or else there could have been two undefeated control players going into Day 2.

Arnaud Hocquemiller's Modern Azorious Control at Mythic Championship IV

Creatures (3)
Snapcaster Mage

Planeswalkers (9)
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Narset, Parter of Veils
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
Teferi, Time Raveler

Spells (23)
Timely Reinforcements
Wrath of God
Serum Visions
Supreme Verdict
Path to Exile
Cryptic Command
Force of Negation
Logic Knot
Spell Snare
Detention Sphere
Lands (25)
Celestial Colonnade
Field of Ruin
Flooded Strand
Glacial Fortress
Hallowed Fountain
Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta

Sideboard (9)
Timely Reinforcements
Force of Negation
Celestial Purge
Ceremonious Rejection
Engineered Explosives
Monastery Mentor
Rest in Peace
Vendilion Clique
Winds of Abandon

(The exact quantities of the sideboard cards for Mythic Championship IV decks aren’t currently available.)

The Most Important New Cards

During the broadcast, Hall of Famer Frank Karsten argued that Modern Horizons and War of the Spark would go down as two of the most impactful sets in the history of Modern. To make his case, he ran down the Top 10 Modern cards from those two sets at Mythic Championship IV Barcelona. Every single card he listed has played an important role in at least one of Modern’s major decks. The top two on the list happen to be the sixth- and tenth most-played cards in the tournament overall.

1. Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis (Modern Horizons, 422 copies)
2. Carrion Feeder (Modern Horizons, 379 copies)
3. Karn, the Great Creator (War of the Spark, 260 copies)
4. Force of Negation (Modern Horizons, 229 copies)
5. Plague Engineer (Modern Horizons, 227 copies)
6. Narset, Parter of Veils (War of the Spark, 146 copies)
7. Force of Vigor (Modern Horizons, 145 copies)
8. Blast Zone (War of the Spark, 132 copies)
9. Wrenn and Six (Modern Horizons, 126 copies)
10. Teferi, Time Raveler (War of the Spark, 120 copies)

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