2020 Mythic Invitational Day 1 Coverage

2020 Mythic Invitational

Welcome to MTG Arena Zone’s coverage of the 2020 Mythic Invitational tournament! Here you will find all the information you need including the live stream, VOD, and text coverage of each round as the tournament progresses. Remember to keep refreshing this page, since Drifter is adding his commentary as the day progresses!

With a $250,000 prize pool and top players from MTG Arena, the 2020 Mythic Invitational is the last step for Magic competitors on their path to the 2020 Season Grand Finals. Streaming live and played online through MTG Arena, the world will watch the Magic Esports debut of MTG Arena’s Historic format as the next champion is crowned.

VOD

The broadcast of day 1 commences on Thursday September 10th at 9 AM PDT and ends when round 7 of the Swiss is finished. Players will be looking for a 4-3 record or better to move onto day 2.


Preview

This is the first ever major Historic tournament, and with the recent Field ban, nobody is really sure what the best deck is, so get ready for a cutthroat battle for the crown! One of the few major events where you can say that Mountain is by far the most played card…

Final Standings

Check the coverage below for standings after each of the later rounds!

Round One

VS

Splash Thoughtseize is a powerful inclusion for the Goblins mirror, and should heavily improve this Control matchup too. While this does mean Deltour is unable to play as many Phyrexian Towers as stock Goblins and is required to run a few taplands, the consistency hit won’t be as important as the gains here!

Game 1

Cuneo wins the die roll, censors the t2 Snoop and plays a t3 Narset, which gets attacked down to 1 loyalty. Cuneo starts to pull ahead on value, while Deltour starts to flood out a bit into a couple of Cuneo’s counterspells. Cuneo eventually resets the board with a timely Wrath with counterspell back up, which Deltour is unable to play Muxus, Goblin Grandee, his most important card, into. Cuneo wraps up the game with a couple of giant Sharks, taking game 1 in pretty trivial fashion!

Game 2

Cuneo boards in his Baffling Ends for Narsets, a card he doesn’t have a lot of time for in this matchup, throws in 1 Grafdigger’s Cage to stop Muxus, and 1 Timely Reinforcements just to help him recover from the beats.

On the draw, this is a much tougher matchup for the Azorius side and Deltour starts out the gates swinging with a much better hand than Cuneo’s. A slight misstep from Cuneo on turn 4, forgetting that his Glacial Fortress comes into play tapped and therefore failing to leave up Censor. Cuneo topdecks a timely Wrath of God, but Deltour’s careful play allows him to immediately kill Cuneo the turn after with Warchief -> Krenko for a bunch of hasty damage.

Game 3

Cuneo keeps a fairly slow hand, being only able to jam a couple of Sharks into Deltour’s fast start. Fairly disappointing final game since Cuneo whiffs on drawing a Wrath, but probably wouldn’t have won into Deltour’s Muxus even with one. Deltour ends up winning 2-1 in a decisive fashion!

Corey Burkhart vs Grzegorz Kowalski: Abzan Gift vs Jund Citadel

Game 1

Both players lead on a Llanowar Elves, but Corey takes the lead with the immense power of Karn, the Great Creator -> Grafdigger’s Cage, an insane hoser against the Jund Citadel deck, as Kowalski starts to flood out. However, Kowalski sets up his Woe Strider + Mayhem Devil + Blood Artist combo, dealing 3 damage per sacrifice, which goes right through the Cage and blows Corey right away! Maindeck hate doesn’t come close to snagging this game, which really showed off the power of Jund Sacrifice.

Game 2

Kowalski keeps a one-lander off the back of three 1-drop mana accelerants, which matches up well against Corey’s mull to 6, which eventually allows him to blow away a Llanowar Elves with Plague Mare but doesn’t do much else, Fiend Artisan sitting in play as a 2 mana 1/1. Kowalski topdecks a Collected Company while Corey floods out, but only manages to search up just one Mayhem Devil. Corey eventually churns out his turn 6 hardcast God Pharaoh’s Gift, but it’s not all that exciting into Scavenging Ooze and Klothys burning away his graveyard. Corey, seeing no way out of the situation, packs it in.

Kowalski on Citadel takes the match with a slaughterous 2-0 sweep!

Matt Nass vs Gregory Orange

Game 2

Matt Nass is already leading 1-0 with his powerful Mono Black Gift deck (check out our recent guide to the deck!) versus Greg on Sultai Midrange. Nass leads off with a pair of Thoughtseizes, leaving Greg with only lands. Greg continues to flood out but draws a Wilt as an insurance policy against God-Pharaoh’s Gift. Nass’s horde of Zombies starts to peck away as Orange draws more and more reactive spells, not really getting the job done. Nass expertly plays around counterspells, avoiding running his Rankle or Gift into Greg’s Neutralize and instead forcing him to deal with cards like Woe Strider which aren’t costing Nass much.

Orange, feeling the pressure, fires off a Memory to reset both hands and erases all Nass’s work by removing his graveyard but, with his new hand, Nass is able to rebuild with Gate to the Afterlife and sacrificing a bunch of creatures before Orange is able to untap with countermagic. Orange finds himself at just 1 life, and packs it in facing three attackers, his Eliminates coming too little too late.

Nass wins 2-0 with Mono Black GPG, an impressive game showing off both the deck’s gameplans – the aggro game to chip his opponent down and then going way over the top with the eponymous card!

Round 2: William Jensen vs Carlos Romao – Mono-Red Goblins vs Temur Flash

Game 1

The Flash deck has a fairly disruption-light start, which William Jensen expertly reads to slam a turn 4 Muxus off Phyrexian Tower + Treasure Token, and the Goblin Grandee is devastating as usual! Jensen pauses to consider how he could possibly lose from this ridiculous position, but it turns out he can’t with Romao’s hand!

Game 2

Romao has a much better hand, with Explore -> double Nightpack Ambusher/Magmaquake available. Krenko takes a huge lead over Ambusher, but Romao has Magmaquake at the ready to blast an entire tribe to smithereens.

Still, Huey’s hand is stacked and he untaps and slams a pretty disappointing Muxus, netting him one Krenko (which immediately eats an Abrade) and Gempalm Incinerator as a vanilla 2/1 for 2. Still, he follows up with Warchief -> Warchief -> another Krenko, and these Ambusher wolves just aren’t close to being able to keep up. Carlos quickly gets buried by Huey topdecking a Goblin Chieftain for a crushing victory.

Goblins slaughters Temur Flash 2-0, and it’s not close to close!

Raphael Levy vs John Rolf

Game 1

Levy leads off on the play with a rapid Llanowar Elves -> Gruul Spellbreaker draw, which Rolf is able to disrupt with Thoughtseize -> Eliminate. The rest of the latter’s hand isn’t too exciting, with a topdeck Uro immediately being swept away by Scavenging Ooze, but it still lets him power out a faster Nissa. A topdeck Heartless Act proves a ridiculous draw, since Rolf is able to hold it up alongside Nissa through untapping Overgrown Tomb. That tempo swing allows him to power out Ugin the next turn off Nissa’s ridiculous mana-doubling ability, but Rolf is left at just 1 life in the process! Uro swoops in to save the day though, by far Rolf’s best draw, leaving Levy with no outs.

Game 2

Rolf gets to further an already advantageous matchup, getting rid of his slower cards for more removal.

Still on the draw, he falls behind versus Levy’s Llanowar Elves -> Spellbreaker draw again, but is able to leverage Essence Scatter + Heartless Act to stem some of the bleeding, especially since Levy went for the 3/3 Haste rather than adding a counter. Rolf hangs on for dear life, even as Levy starts to flood out a bit. Still, Scavenging Ooze comes down to take out his Uro and is immediately massive. Rolf misses a few too many land drops versus Levy’s colossal board for a disappointing end.

Game 3

Levy starts his third game in a row with t1 Llanowar Elves -> t2 Spellbreaker, though it’s less threatening on the draw. Essence Scatter on Scavenging Ooze into Extinction Event on odd resets the board, and Rolf pulls ahead with Nissa -> untap Overgrown Tomb to Eliminate a Rampaging Ferocidon. A second Extinction Event on odd wraps up the game, not even hitting his own Nissa lands, and a giant Shark ends the game mega-buffed by Nissa’s static ability.

Sultai Midrange takes it 2-1!

Jean-Emmanuel Depraz vs Noah Walker: Rakdos Goblins vs Mono Red Goblins

Game 1

The Goblins mirror swings massively in Walker’s favor, since he gets the combo of Conspicuous Snoop with Krenko on top of his library. Depraz has had enough, and concedes on turn 2 with his zero goblins to five!

Game 2

Noah Walker’s Irencrag Feat tech allows him a ridiculous turn 3 Muxus. Depraz untaps with just 4 life, but fails to draw the Muxus he needs to keep the game competitive.

Mono Red Goblins, the faster variant, takes a quick 2-0 over the mirror in what will likely be the shortest match of the whole night!

Round Three: Luis Scott-Vargas vs Peter Yeh – Jund Sacrifice vs Sultai Midrange

Game 1

LSV starts off with an early Dreadhorde Butcher/Mayhem Devil, diversifying his threats against Extinction Event, which Peter Yeh is forced to use to blow away the Butcher before it gets any bigger on turn 4. From there, Peter floods out and loses rapidly to LSV’s creatures.

Game 2

LSV chooses to trim a couple of Mayhem Devils and some slower cards for Claim the Firstborns, really looking to leverage his speed advantage in the matchup rather than play a slower game into opposing Ugins.

Luis’s start runs into a much more devastating Extinction Event, and then he starts to miss land drops. Peter Yeh, fearing Claim the Firstborn, is hesitant to slam his Nissa Who Shakes the World but eventually lands it on a turn where he can also play Uro, ending his turn with eight lands to Luis’s three. Yeh starts to flood out as Luis recovers on lands. He does manage to land a Grafdigger’s Cage to prevent Luis’s Collected Company, but it hurts him just as much in preventing him from escaping Uro. LSV picks up a Korvold, finishes his Cat-Oven combo, and starts to really pull far ahead but it’s at a really low life total and there’s still the danger of Peter drawing an Ugin or Extinction Event! Luis starts to beat down with bigger and bigger Korvold hits while blocking and devouring food to prevent races. Yeh fails to find anything relevant and dies to an unanswered 11/11 Korvold.

Yeh loses as much to his own Grafdigger’s Cage as to his opponent in game 2, for a clean 2-0 sweep on LSV’s side!

Louis-Samuel Deltour vs Brad Nelson – Rakdos Goblins vs Sultai Midrange

Game 3

As with every game 3, we’re starting off this one 1-1! Brad Nelson plays a strong controlling game, using any and all means to keep Deltour off Muxus until turn 5, but he’s topdecked a few too many Black sources to start escaping Uro just yet. Deltour is able to finally resolve a Muxus, only for it to net a disappointing two Goblins, after which Nelson immediately topdecks a Witch’s Vengeance for easily lethal!

2-1 to Sultai Midrange, with Brad Nelson showing extreme respect for Muxus and it greatly paying off!

Round Four: Seth Manfield vs Theo Moutier

VS

Game 1

Seth leads on Thoughtseize, immediately taking Muxus out of the opposing hand, and then topdecks another one to take out Krenko too. Between Aether Gust and Languish, Seth’s maindeck is very prepared for this matchup, but this game shows off the resiliency of Goblins’ beatdown plan, since Moutier is able to take advantage of Seth’s reactive play and inaction to deal plenty of damage with disposable creatures. Seth’s answers are eventually whittled down, and his tapping down for Uro is immediately met with a Muxus, but Moutier’s hits are fairly disappointing. Seth is able to recover easily with the ridiculous tempo of Nissa -> Languish on the same turn. From there, Seth easily takes the game since his deck has the much better draws and is far better equipped for the late game, while Moutier starts to draw 2 drops and 2/2 Haste creatures.

Game 2

Moutier takes a quick victory with an aggressive draw capitalising on the mana advantage from being on the play, while Seth stumbles and misses land drops.

Game 3

Moutier leads on Snoop -> Warchief on the play versus Seth on the legendary Standard hand of Growth Spiral -> Uro, and the advantage clearly favours the latter draw, with Seth able to stave Moutier off with repeated sweepers and reactive spells. Moutier attempts to make a game of it with Castle Embereth beats, but starts to fall to Nissa with counterspell back-up. Eventually Uro comes down as the nail in the coffin, with Manfield having Disdainful Stroke for Muxus at the ready all the while.

The Sultai deck continues to crush the deck it most teched against, with its maindeck Aether Gusts and Languishes, taking a cool 2-1 victory this time around.

Isaak Krut vs Luis Salvatto – Rakdos Goblins vs Rakdos Arcanist

Game 1

This may be a battle of the Rakdos decks, but the actual lists and strategies couldn’t be more different! A really grindy matchup, this one begins to come down to Young Pyromancer and Lurrus producing creatures vs Krenko producing exponentially more and more each turn. In the end, while the Rakdos Arcanist deck is unable to outgrind its foe, it is able to burn them out with repeated Kroxa plays and Escapes.

Game 2

Salvatto is able to keep Kruut at bay with sweepers, but the Rakdos Arcanist late game pales in comparison to Goblins, so that might not be enough in the long run… indeed, Krut happens to have a full two Muxuses in his hand, so the pressure is certainly on Salvatto to end the game.

Salvatto pushes his advantage as Krut misses land drops, and by the time the latter draws his sixth land, he’s on too low a life total to even pay for a Shockland, resulting in a painful final loss!

Rakdos Arcanist takes the match 2-0, showing itself surprisingly capable of racing the Goblins deck even when it can’t outgrind.

Round Five: Brad Nelson vs Luis Salvatto – Sultai Midrange vs Rakdos Arcanist

Game 1

Both players mull to 6, but Salvatto’s hand has a lot more action to it and he’s able to take away a critical Extinction Event on turn 3, preventing Salvatto from naming even and obliterating his board the next turn. Still, Nelson is able to Gust away Young Pyromancer and then Essence Scatter it away on the way back down, which is enough to enable Uro. Salvatto makes it a true battle of the titans, bringing out Kroxa to counter him, and Nelson packs it in, out of action and low on life.

Game 2

Salvato boards in some sick tech in Hazoret the Fervent, a powerful way to close the games and stop the Sultai deck from outgrinding you.

Nelson leads off on Thoughtseize and is faced with a tough choice: Arcanist or Hazoret, both of which are extremely threatening. Nelson ultimately decides to take the curve play in Arcanist, since his opponent’s hand doesn’t have too much else in it, and gets his Nissa and Hydroid Krasis Thoughtseized, only to topdeck another Nissa! In a battle of busted Standard cards, Nissa faces off against Hazoret but Salvatto is unable to empty his hand fast enough to leverage his bomb and is buried under a pile of 3/3 lands and a Nissa ult.

Game 3

Both players have solid openings, with Salvatto’s t2 Pyro immediately meeting a Heartless Act, but Nelson pulls ahead with Grafdigger’s Cage, a powerful sideboard hoser against the Arcanist deck. Salvatto tries to Bedevil the Cage but runs into Nelson’s two copies of Aether Gust. Nelson tries to pull ahead on mana, capitalising on the time the Gusts are buying him, but spends too much time playing for tempo on the Bedevil which leaves him soft to Hazoret, now unlocked and smashing him for tons of damage. Topdeck Claim the Firstborn against Brad’s Nissa draw seals the game, stealing it and removing his only blocker.

The Rakdos Pyromancer deck defeats a difficult matchup for it, showing off its resilience and power.

Chris Kvartek vs William Jensen – Rakdos Goblins vs Mono Red Goblins

Game 1

Kvartek mulls to 5, but has a pretty good hand nonetheless. Still, Jensen’s 7 allows him to quickly find a Muxus with Conspicuous Snoop, and Kvartek is forced to blast away his Skirk Prospector with Gempalm Incinerator to prevent him from casting it as rapidly. In classic mull to 5 fashion, Kvartek starts to miss land drops, which gives Jensen a window to land the first Muxus on turn 5, which is able to deal enough damage to prevent Kvartek from using the Shockland on top of his library (showing off a significant disadvantage from the Rakdos build!) to land his own Muxus, leading to a disappointing concession.

Game 2

Both players keep 7, but Kvartek has a hand that lines up poorly into Jensen’s Goblin Chainwhirler. Still Jensen starts to flood out, drawing two Phyrexian Towers, while Kvartek is able to slam the first Muxus on turn 5 this time round. Jensen manages to draw nine lands while Kvartek is able to slam a second Muxus, but both are disappointing, finding next to nothing! Kvartek is unable to pressure Jensen before he topdecks his own Muxus, which gets a much more exciting roll, finding Krenko to immediately build a huge board. Still, Jensen is unable to attack through immediately, giving Kvartek time to land a third Muxus and this one is the best of the lot, Chainwhirling away Jensen’s board while finding Chieftain + Krenko for an easy lethal! A ridiculously swingy game, entirely decided by the quality of Muxus rolls…

Game 3

Jensen leads off with a nut draw on the play, capable of turn 3 Muxus if he draws a land, but Kvartek has an incredibly disruptive draw, blowing away his first Prospector with Gempalm Incinerator and the second with Chainwhirler. While Jensen recovers quickly, Kvartek is able to Thoughtseize Muxus out of his hand, forcing Jensen to rely on only Krenko versus Kvartek’s much more stacked hand. Jensen chumps to give himself the out of hitting the Muxus topdeck, the only card that can save him, but topdecks a Mountain to end the match.

2-1 to Rakdos Goblins, with Thoughtseize coming in clutch at certain moments and the mana base hurting Kvartek at others too!

Round Six: Luis Scott-Vargas vs William Jensen – Jund Sacrifice vs Mono Red Goblins

Game 1

This matchup tends to favour Jund Sacrifice, through the sheer power of Mayhem Devil and Claim the Firstborn, but game 1 is disgusting even in that context. Luis has the nuts with the Cat-Oven combo, Mayhem Devil, Collected Company, and enough lands to cast them. As he begins picking off Goblins for free while drawing cards off Midnight Reaper, the game doesn’t last much longer, especially when the second Devil emerges…

Game 2

Jensen has a much faster draw than LSV on the play, but runs into a t3 Witch’s Vengeance on Chieftain/Snoop. LSV tries to fight with Collected Company on Jensen’s huge Muxus turn, and it finds two Mayhem Devils which immediately mows down half of Jensen’s board, including a Krenko, a Warchief, and several tokens. However, it was in fact a missed lethal, since Jensen was only on 10 life and LSV would’ve been able to just burn him down alongside attacks, rather than his creatures. It doesn’t end up mattering, since Jensen floods out, is only able to kill one Devil, and the other one takes over the game the very next turn.

Jund Sacrifice shows off the ludicrous power of Mayhem Devil against a deck with so many small creatures, with it taking over both games, defeating the Goblin Grandee himself, and even making it look easy!

Emma Handy vs Miguel Simoes: Mono Red Goblins vs Sultai Midrange

Game 1

Miguel has a slower reactive hand, which matches up well against Emma’s slower draw, beginning on turn 3 with a Goblin Matron. Miguel spikes double Thoughtseize, taking out both Emma’s Muxuses while wasting a bunch of her tempo by making her search them up with Goblin Matron first. Still, Miguel lacks a clean answer to Krenko, which threatens to win the game by itself alongside Goblin Chieftain over a couple of turns. Miguel’s one out is to draw an Extinction Event over two turns against the 20 or so creatures Emma is presenting, but he draws blanks instead and scoops em up.

Game 2

Miguel keeps 5 lands, Hydroid Krasis, and Pact of Negation, which is a pretty loose hand, but topdecks a Thoughtseize to stop Legion Warboss from applying pressure. Miguel lands Elder Gargaroth and Pact of Negations Emma’s Muxus, but she’s able to rebuild quickly with a stacked hand, threatening to land another Muxus just a couple of turns later. Miguel draws Cry of the Carnarium and blows up the board, so Emma can still cast Muxus but it’s a lot less devastating without Skirt Prospector to continue going off.

Eventually we get to this position, where Emma doesn’t quite have enough to attack profitably into all Miguel’s huge creatures, and the next turn a lethal Hydroid Krasis comes down which Emma might’ve been able to deal with if she drew Muxus, but instead she draws yet another Mountain and scoops to the Krasis. It’s worth noting that if Emma had left up Mountain rather than Phyrexian Tower in the above screenshot, she would have been able to play Krenko a turn earlier using that and her Treasure Token, which would’ve given her a good shot at racing, but that’s with the benefit of hindsight rather than being the clear better play.

Game 3

Emma comes out of the gates swinging, while Miguel has a fairly land-heavy draw but is able to eliminate an early Chieftain to mitigate some damage. Still, Emma mostly draws low-impact cards while Miguel topdecks a Nissa, a card that is incredibly hard for the Goblins deck to deal with without an extremely favourable board. When things are looking bad for Emma, she topdecks the best Muxus of the entire tournament, hitting two Goblin Chieftains and a Krenko for easy lethal in one of the swingiest games of the tournament!

This match shows how much late game power Goblins has with Muxus, even against decks that look like they would be able to outgrind it. It’s not your run of the mill aggro deck, and is capable of winning games on turn 20 just as much as on turn 5. Muxus is the most impactful card of the entire tournament, and leveraging his absurd power certainly paid dividends for Emma here!

Final Round: Luis Salvatto vs Ivan Floch – Rakdos Arcanist vs Jund Sacrifice

The remaining two undefeated players finally face off!

Game 1

Both players have good hands, with Salvatto on Stitcher’s Supplier -> Young Pyromancer -> Kroxa, but Floch’s hand matches up better with Woe Strider + double Mayhem Devil to immediately take Salvatto’s creatures down. While Devils are out, all Salvatto’s sacrifice effects have an extremely painful downside, so Salvatto has to painstakingly take all of them off the board before he can majorly progress his gameplan, and unfortunately for him Floch even finds a third! Even worse, Salvatto starts to majorly flood out, with nine lands to his opponent’s three (!), and he scoops this very one-sided game up soon after.

Game 2

Salvatto shaves some Pyromancers to trim down on devastating Devil targets and brings in a couple more removal spells, but post-board he has a major weakness to Floch’s graveyard hate in the form of Scavenging Ooze.

Salvatto keeps a double Thoughtseize Arcanist nut draw, and Floch quickly loses his entire hand, leaving him with one lone Priest of Forgotten Gods in play and the top of his library as his only friend. Salvatto is reduced to 11 life from all his seizing, and the fact that he doesn’t have much to capitalise with leaves him vulnerable to Floch’s Woe Strider topdeck. From there, it only gets worse from him as Floch peels a Claim the Firstborn to kill both his Dreadhorde Arcanists with Priest, and then escape the Woe Strider to its huge escaped size.

From here, Salvatto is still in pretty tough shape, as he is forced to take 5 damage from the Strider to avoid having to sacrifice Lurrus, but from there he starts to pull back since Lurrus goes unanswered. Floch finally draws the card of the matchup in Mayhem Devil, which he is immediately able to trade for Lurrus. Both players are still in topdeck mode and flooding out quite a lot. Jund Sacrifice tends to have much better topdecks as a whole, but Salvatto is the first to draw a spell in Young Pyromancer. Still, Floch draws a Collected Company the next turn which nets him double Scavenging Ooze, one of which gets Redcap Meleed but the other begins to pad his life total and become huge. After a couple of turns though, Salvatto has managed to amass enough tokens that a topdeck Claim + drawing Magma Spray off Castle Locthwain allows him to alpha strike and go to game 3!

Game 3

Both players lead with pretty strong hands, but Salvatto’s hand is discard heavy and begins to tear apart Floch’s draw, with Claim + Spark Harvest ready. Still, he chooses to take Witch’s Oven rather than Mayhem Devil, and Floch happens to topdeck both another and a Cat. Salvatto draws a timely Abrade to take out the Devil, slams Lurrus onto an empty board, and actually gets to untap with it! From there, he draws Stitcher’s Supplier to stock up his graveyard with a Dreadhorde Arcanist and Kroxa to bring back. Unfortunately, all that whittling down with the previous Devil has done a number on his life total, and he’s trying to stabilise at 5 life against the Cat-Oven combo. Unfortunately for him, Floch finds a Devil with Woe Strider scries and blows him away with several Food tokens for lethal!

An incredible final matchup, with both sides playing many of the same cards to an incredibly intense and close series of games, but Jund with its greater access to graveyard hate and the absolute mirror-breaker that is Mayhem Devil came out on top to a 2-1 finish! Ivan Floch takes down day 1 with an incredible 7-0 finish.

Tune in for day 2 tomorrow at 9 am Pacific!

Drifter

Drifter

Drifter is our site’s content manager and main editor! Follow him on Twitter and check out his content at https://mtgazone.com/drifter. A draft and strategy specialist, of special mention are his limited reviews and draft coaching service.

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