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Bonus Play-In Championship Showcase

Bonus Qualifier Play-In Event Guide and Decklists: Arena Championship 1 Showcase

Our complete guide to the Bonus Qualifier Play-In: Arena Championship 1 Showcase event. You'll find event details, decklists, and our team's recommendations on the best decks to play.

Between September 24 and September 26, players will be able to compete in a Bonus Qualifier Play-In event in order to qualify for the upcoming. October 15, 2022 Qualifier Weekend. You will be able to pick one of the ten pre-built decks being used by the competitors in the upcoming Arena Championship 1 tournament in Best of One, and you don’t need to have the cards for them!

Here is our guide for the event, including all the decklists, and a review of what our team members think the best decks are for the event!

Event Details

It’s time for the very first Arena Championship! This weekend, September 24–25, 32 of the best players in MTG Arena are facing off to earn the title of Arena Champion and a seat at World Championship XXVIII.

For the rest of us, it’s not too late to start climbing toward the next Arena Championship, and it can all start with this week’s Bonus Play-In. Get six match wins in this Play-In event to earn your seat at the October 15–16 Qualifier Weekend if you’re not already qualified.

The Bonus Play-In: Championship Showcase is a Preconstructed Best-of-One event, and players choose from one of the ten Alchemy decks submitted by the following Arena Championship 1 competitors:

Holger Althues
Humberto Patarca
Liao Wen-Jiun
Matthew Watkins
Michael Bonde
Per Lundstrom
Sam Rolph
Shota Yasooka
Yota Kato
Yu Kutsuzawa

Take a look at the complete Alchemy decklists submitted for Arena Championship 1 and to find your favorite. You may swap decks after each match.

Wizards of the Coast
  • Duration: September 24, 2022 @ 6:00 AM PST to September 26, 2022 @ 6:00 AM PST
  • FormatAlchemy Preconstructed
  • Entry Fee: 20,000 Gold or 4,000 gems or 20 Play-In Points
  • Ends After: 6 Wins or 2 losses
  • Match Structure: Best of one matches (Bo1)

Event Rewards

WinsReward
6 Wins6,000 gems + October Qualifier Weekend invitation
5 Wins6,000 gems
4 Wins4,500 gems
3 Wins3,000 gems
2 Wins1,500 gems
1 Win1,000 gems
0 Wins500 gems

Arena Championship 1 Showcase Decklists

HOLGER ALTHUES: IZZET CONTROL
by MTG Arena Zone
Buy on TCGplayer $86.07
Alchemy
best of 3
0 mythic
17 rare
15 uncommon
28 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (8)
4
Tolarian Terror
$1.96
Instants (30)
4
Consider
$9.96
3
Negate
$0.75
4
Essence Scatter
$1.00
4
Ertai’s Scorn
$1.00
3
Kindred Denial
$0.00
Lands (22)
8
Island
$2.00
1
Mountain
$0.25
4
Shivan Reef
$7.16
60 Cards
$123.59

Utilizing all spells and cheap threats like Calim and Tolarian Terror, Izzet looks to cast a flurry of spells and then overwhelm the opponent with large, undercosted threats.

Humberto Patarca: Jund Revels – Arena Championship 1
by MTG Arena Zone
Buy on TCGplayer $100.99
Alchemy
best of 3
4 mythic
44 rare
4 uncommon
8 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (2)
Enchantments (4)
60 Cards
$136.04

Taking a bigger approach to a typical aggro deck, Jund Revels has a fantastic curve, but the card quality is still very high as each threat can be an issue on its own.

Liao Wen-Jiun: Abzan Lifegain – Arena Championship 1
by MTG Arena Zone
Buy on TCGplayer $151.74
Alchemy
best of 3
1 mythic
34 rare
11 uncommon
14 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (1)
Sorceries (6)
Enchantments (2)
Lands (24)
3
Forest
$0.75
6
Plains
$1.50
1
Swamp
$0.25
1
Deathcap Glade
$9.99
60 Cards
$219.4

Using the powerful Lifegain shell that has been a mainstay in Alchemy for awhile, Abzan splashes Black over Red to gain access to powerful removal to back up their synergistic threats.

Matthew Watkins: Mono-Black Midrange – Arena Championship 1
by MTG Arena Zone
Buy on TCGplayer $285.75
Alchemy
best of 3
8 mythic
16 rare
9 uncommon
27 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (2)
Instants (7)
3
Cut Down
$6.87
1
Cast Down
$0.29
3
Infernal Grasp
$3.87
Sorceries (4)
4
Invoke Despair
$7.16
Enchantments (6)
Lands (26)
23
Swamp
$5.75
2
Field of Ruin
$0.78
60 Cards
$320.96

Playing unparalleled interaction and powerful threats, Mono Black Midrange can grind well into the late game while mounting a lot of early pressure as well.

MICHAEL BONDE: DOMAIN CONTROL – ARENA CHAMPIONSHIP 1
by MTG Arena Zone
Buy on TCGplayer $257.8
Alchemy
best of 3
3 mythic
42 rare
5 uncommon
10 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (4)
Instants (15)
2
Painful Bond
$0.00
2
Bind to Secrecy
$0.00
4
Shadow Prophecy
$1.00
Sorceries (8)
4
Molten Impact
$0.00
Enchantments (7)
4
Leyline Binding
$39.96
Lands (26)
3
Mountain
$0.75
2
Plains
$0.50
1
Swamp
$0.25
1
Shipwreck Marsh
$5.99
60 Cards
$332.85

Looking to capitalize on the powerful Domain synergies from Dominaria United, Domain Control gets access to amazing card advantage and interaction at the expense of a slightly slower mana base.

Per Lundstrom: Mono-Red Aggro – Arena Championship 1
by MTG Arena Zone
Buy on TCGplayer $76.58
Alchemy
best of 3
9 mythic
15 rare
12 uncommon
24 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (2)
Instants (5)
3
Play with Fire
$8.37
Sorceries (5)
4
Molten Impact
$0.00
1
Traumatic Prank
$0.00
Enchantments (4)
Lands (23)
22
Mountain
$5.50
60 Cards
$78.05

One of the current best decks in Alchemy, Mono Red tries to get under it’s competitors and kill them before they can enact their game plan.

Sam Rolph: Rakdos Sacrifice – Arena Championship 1
by MTG Arena Zone
Buy on TCGplayer $196.98
Alchemy
best of 3
2 mythic
22 rare
11 uncommon
25 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (11)
4
Voltage Surge
$1.00
4
Deadly Dispute
$11.16
3
Infernal Grasp
$3.87
Artifacts (8)
4
Oni-Cult Anvil
$1.00
Enchantments (4)
60 Cards
$242.78

Capable of grinding nearly any strategy out, Rakdos Anvil can play long games with incremental damage or quickly kill opponents over the course of a few turns.

Shota Yasooka: Esper Midrange – Arena Championship 1
by MTG Arena Zone
Buy on TCGplayer $175.5
Alchemy
best of 3
8 mythic
31 rare
13 uncommon
8 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (3)
Instants (15)
4
Cut Down
$9.16
1
Essence Scatter
$0.25
2
Infernal Grasp
$2.58
2
Undersimplify
$0.00
1
Bind to Secrecy
$0.00
2
Void Rend
$5.98
Sorceries (2)
60 Cards
$246.51

Widely considered to be the best deck in Alchemy, Esper Midrange uses the best threats and interaction the format has to offer to outvalue the competition.

Yota Kato: Esper Aggro – Arena Championship 1
by MTG Arena Zone
Buy on TCGplayer $120.29
Alchemy
best of 3
8 mythic
41 rare
8 uncommon
3 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
60 Cards
$178.92

A mix between an aggro and midrange deck, Esper Aggro utilizes the powerful threats that Esper provides while lowering the curve to play a shorter game with the opponent.

Yu Kutsuzawa: Selesnya Enchantments – Arena Championship 1
by MTG Arena Zone
Buy on TCGplayer $194.4
Alchemy
best of 3
1 mythic
36 rare
8 uncommon
15 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (1)
Instants (7)
4
Rite of Harmony
$7.96
1
Destroy Evil
$0.25
60 Cards
$250.59

A deck capable of fast starts and slow games, Selesnya Enchantments is a tough competitor as you have to be mindful of their fast early game and powerful mid game engines!

Our Team’s Picks

Altheriax

Altheriax Avatar

I’d probably pick Sam Rolph’s Rakdos Sacrifice deck since it’s very close to the list I just put up an article on, the deck seems decent against the field since it has really good reach and is great at producing chump blockers through Anvil which is good against aggro and bigger threats like Lae'zel, Githyanki Warrior.

Liao Wen-Jiun’s Abzan Lifegain list looks like it’ll probably be the worst matchup but Sam’s list has 7 removal spells in addition to Bloodtithe Harvester so it has decent tools to fight in that matchup too. One other concern with that deck in Bo1 is Sheoldred, the Apocalypse can be a problem but Sam’s running 3 Infernal Grasp as a clean answer (plus Bloodtithe Harvester) and there are only 2 other decks running Sheoldred (one of which is only a 1 of) so it should be well positioned for this event.

Parabolian (Josh)

Josh Avatar

Shota Yasooka and their Esper Midrange, it’s no coincidence that the most commonly registered card in the Championships is Diviner of Fates. The card is an insane value engine. I wish Shota had run four copies of Lae'zel, Githyanki Warrior as this card combos particularly well with Diviner (if Takuma Fujiyama‘s list was an option I would opt for that).

Lae’zel allows absurd lines of play such as specializing black to simultaneously toss and reanimate Diviner. Esper has been consistently one of the strongest decks in the format, yet it is consistently dodged the ban/nerf hammer that has befallen things like Grinning Ignus.

PVDDR

PVDDR Avatar

I would also opt for Shota’s deck, I think the Alchemy-only cards are extremely strong and the Esper builds are the ones that can play the most of them. The deck also just works very well because each card is individually powerful and there’s also synergy between them, and it gives you a ton of options at all points.

There’s a lot of looting/filtering/discarding so it’s almost impossible to have a “bad draw” whereas other decks will sometimes fizzle due to drawing the wrong half of their deck or drawing too many lands.

Omrithopter

Omrithopter Avatar

I’d go with Sam Rolph’s sacrifice deck too (surprise surprise), I’m a sucker for sacrifice decks and his looks really well built. I like how streamlined his deck is, and it seems well-positioned overall. Voltage Surge lines up against Diviner of Fates, and Braids, Arisen Nightmare seems good against all the Esper Midrange and Domain control decks that don’t have many permanents they don’t mind sacrificing.

Shota’s Esper deck is a close second for me because of how powerful all the arena-only cards are, it’s difficult to go wrong running Diviner of Fates, Calim, Djinn Emperor, and Lae'zel, Githyanki Warrior.

Lukas Honnay

Lukas Honnay Avatar

I like Michael Bonde’s Domain Control, not sure how good the mana is but the format seems slow enough that you can get away with some taplands. It just has great answers to a lot of the other decks while having great tools to win the lategame in a very grindy metagame.

Eliott_Dragon

Eliott_Dragon Avatar

I like Michael Bonde’s Domain Control. I wanted to build a control deck with Shadow Prophecy and it seems to be one of the best shell for it. There is also an hidden combo between Fragment Reality and Leyline Binding that allow you to fetch a Sphinx of Clear Skies for 2 White mana EOT, this is spicy and I’m sure it’s the reason Fragment Reality is in that build.

Holder’s Izzet Control deck would be my second choice as the game play seems clean for a Bo1 deck.

DoggertQBones

DoggertQBones Avatar

While the safe pick is likely to go with Shota’s Esper or Sam’s Rakdos, I’m going to go out on a limb with Michael Bonde’s Domain Control deck. Alchemy tends to be a slower format, and considering the line up for this event, most of the decks follow that trend. There is little incentive to reinvent the wheel as decks like Rakdos and Esper have already proven themselves to be excellent options, so if Michael going with something as off the wall as this, he must have excellent reason to do so.

Furthermore, I like how this deck lines up into the format as cards like Sphinx of Clear Skies and Shadow Prophecy just provide obscene levels of card advantage. This deck will likely suffer a bit being in Bo1 rather than Bo3, but it’s definitely my sleeper pick!

Bohe

Bohe Avatar

Cabaretti Revels is one of the most powerful cards in Alchemy. It let you develop amazing board states in a blink. Humberto Patarca‘s list plays a full set of this Naya enchantment. This enchantment is so powerful that it already got Grining Ignus banned.

With this in mind, I think Humberto’s deck has a very good chance to be one of the best for playing this event. Also, the list is very similar to Roberto Castiello‘s one. I know Roberto, and without a doubt, he had solid reasons for being on Gruul.

A-Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes is also a Legacy powerhouse. Even if this card is slightly nerfed in Alchemy, is still a great planeswalker for this format. With other great Alchemy cards such as Racketeer Boss and Tenacious Pup, this Gruul deck (with a black splash for Ziatora, the Incinerator) is going to be one of the top contenders of the tournament.

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