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Muhan Yu is the Master of Modern at the MTG China Open

March 12, 2024
Corbin Hosler

It was a packed house at the MTG China Open last weekend, as 274 players showed up to compete at the Regional Championship for China this cycle. Each of those competitors had already won a tournament to qualify for this event, and on the line were Pro Tour invites, prizes and future qualifications as well as one seat at the Magic World Championship later this year.

Modern was on full display in what would be the last weekend with Violent Outburst in the format. And while the breakout Domain Rhinos deck with Crashing Footfalls alongside the Leyline of the Guildpact/Scion of Draco combo did place Liu Guanlin into the Top 4 and qualify him for the Pro Tour, it was Muhan Yu's Goryo's Ephemerate deck that found ways to loop Atraxa, Grand Unifier that ultimately took down the tournament, defeating Hanzhi Li and his Rakdos Grief deck in the finals!

Congratulations to Muhan Yu, who won the MTG China Open with Goryo's Vengeance-Atraxa, Grand Unifier deck!

The finals featured a traditional Rakdos Grief deck from Hanzhi Li that excelled at making opponents discard cards. Unfortunately for the Rakdos player, Yu's deck very much wanted to discard cards, and setup pieces like Faithful Mending also helped insulate against the Grief-laden starts. The result was a decisive victory that awards Yu the coveted seat at the World Championship later this year.

Finalist Li qualifies for the Pro Tour coming in Amsterdam later this year, and will be joined by fellow Top 4 finishers Liu Yuchen (Yawgmoth combo) and Liu Guanlin (Domain Rhinos).

It was an extremely diverse Top 8 in China, with seven different decks making it into the Top 8.

  • 2 Rakdos Grief
  • 1 Goryo's Ephemerate
  • 1 Domain Rhinos
  • 1 Golgari Yawgmoth
  • 1 Azorius Control
  • 1 Urza ThopterSword
  • 1 Izzet Murktide

That makes sense for a field where only one deck eclipsed even 10% - and even then only by one player. That was Golgari Yawgmoth leading the way, with variants of Temur Rhinos right behind it. The breakout Gory's Vengeance deck that won the event was the next most popular, followed closely by classic archetypes in Tron and Zoo.

The decks just outside of the Top 8 were as diverse as those that made the cut; Living End, Tron, Merfolk, and Hammertime all finished in the Top 16. In a format set for a shakeup from the cascade decks, the tournament in China demonstrated how much Modern has to offer players and that it is very deep – Jiaming Zheng made the Top 8 as the only player in the field to bring Urza ThopterSword, the very literally named deck featuring Urza, Lord High Artificer, Thopter Foundry, and Sword of the Meek.

The MTG China Open showcased not only the format, but the region's top players battling it out in a tournament that comes with high stakes but is also a cherished gathering every few months for the country's Magic community – and they're already looking forward to the next one. If you're interested in learning more about Regional Championships, you can find qualifiers near you to get started!

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