Magic World Championship XXVII 2021 Day 2 Live Coverage
Welcome back everybody, it’s time to get the second day of competition underway at the Magic: The Gathering World Championship XXVII! Yesterday, we saw three rounds of competition in Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Draft followed by two rounds of Standard Constructed. Today, we’re going to finish out the Swiss rounds 6-10 in Standard constructed and determine who the Top 4 players will be for tomorrow’s playoffs.
The leader of the tournament going into today’s play was Ondřej Stráský, who managed an impressive undefeated performance in Day 1 with a 5-0 record. His Izzet Epiphany deck has been performing extremely well so far, keeping Mono Green at bay just long enough to take turn after turn with Alrund’s Epiphany. There were still two other players sitting with only one loss going into Day 2: Sam Pardee and defending champion Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa. Both of the 4-1 players are running versions of Mono Green Aggro.
Competition has now finished for the day, and our Top 4 players have been determined. Tomorrow, we’ll be back to cover the final showdown between Ondřej Stráský, Yuta Takahashi, Jean-Emmanuel Depraz, and Jan Merkel, so don’t miss out! If you missed it, make sure you also check out our coverage from day one:
The official Magic Twitch channel will be running live coverage with commentary for all three days starting at 9 a.m. PST. You’ll find the Twitch stream embedded below:
World Championship XXVII Qualifications
Players had to qualify for eligibility to compete in the World Championship either by finishing in the Top 4 of the Rivals League or MPL standings at the end of the regular season, or by placing highly at one of the three post-season Gauntlet. You can see how each of the Championship competitors earned their slot in the following graphics:
Standings and Brackets
Day 2 Standard Constructed
|Deck Archetype||# Decks||% Field|
|Mono Green Aggro||3||18.75%|
|Mono White Aggro||2||12.5%|
Standard Constructed Decklists
As we discussed yesterday, the main story of the meta at this event is the Alrund’s Epiphany/Galvanic Iteration decks and the mono colored aggro decks that are looking to stop it. So far, Ondřej Stráský has been making things look easy with Izzet Epiphany, going undefeated even in the face of Mono Green Stompy. Grixis Epiphany has also been looking good against the aggro decks, but perhaps not as strong in the mirror. Be sure to read yesterday’s coverage for a bit more detail on the metagame.
The first featured match of the day pitted undefeated Izzet Turns player Ondřej Stráský against the defending champion PVDDR piloting his Mono Green Aggro list. The first game saw PVDDR build up a big board, eventually getting both Esika’s Chariot and Wrenn and Seven onto the field at once even through multiple Divide by Zeros from Stráský. However, Stráský was able to cast Burn Down the House and copy it with Galvanic Iteration, doing enough damage to wipe the entire board and setting PVDDR too far back to catch up.
PVDDR was forced to take a mulligan in game two, while Stráský was able to get a Smoldering Egg down early and transform it fairly quickly to put pressure on PVDDR. PVDDR was able to get rid of the
In game three, Stráský was on the play again and managed to get too far ahead for PVDDR to keep up after an Alrund’s Epiphany with a Goldspan Dragon already on the field. A few removal spells later, and PVDDR was forced to concede the match, keeping Ondřej Stráský undefeated at 7-0.
The second feature of the day saw Sam Pardee playing Mono Green against Jean-Emmanuel Depraz and his Temur Treasures deck. Wizards’ broadcasting team was quick to point out that the fight spells are absolutely key in the matchup for Mono Green, as Sam Pardee would need removal for Depraz’ powerful creatures like Moonveil Regent and Goldspan Dragon.
Right away in game one, we saw the fight spells mattering, as Sam Pardee was able to use an Inscription of Abundance to blow out Depraz’ block and keep him on the backfoot. With Werewolf Pack Leader leading the way and a Ranger Class keeping his attackers growing, Pardee was able to keep the threats coming and overwhelm Depraz in the midgame.
With Jean-Emmanuel Depraz on the play in game two, Pardee got started with a great looking hand. Both players had Esika’s Chariot ready to go on turn four, but Pardee was sitting pretty with two copies of Blizzard Brawl and an Inscription in hand. However, because of the sorcery-speed nature of Blizzard Brawl, Depraz’ Esika’s Chariot was able to dodge the fight-based removal. Eventually the two Goldspan Dragon’s in his hand were able to get the job done and take the win for Depraz.
The story of this matchup was Chariot versus Chariot, with both players ramping into the card early on turn three of the third game. Both players traded their Chariots away early, but the impact that the card has on the board is no joke. Depraz was struggling to keep up with the massive board created by Mono Green with Pardee on the play, but Goldspan Dragon and some good chump blocking allowed him to steal the win away with just one life remaining. The match win went to Depraz, taking his unique Temur deck to 3-0 in the constructed portion of the championship.
We got started in round 7 by continuing to follow undefeated Ondřej Stráský and his Izzet Epiphany deck against Noriyuki Mori playing his one-of-a-kind Azorius Tempo deck that was specifically designed to do battle with the extra turns decks. Quick and disruptive creatures like Reidane, God of the Worthy and Elite Spellbinder are key to the deck’s plan to slow down the combo deck and beat it down at the same time.
Stráský’s draw in game one was quite good, with plenty of removal and bounce to slow Mori down. At perhaps the most exciting point in the game, Stráský resolved a Galvanic Iteration and went for the double Epiphany, but Mori had two copies of Concerted Defense to counter both extra turns. Unfortunately for Mori, Stráský was able to assemble the combo a second time and pull way ahead.
In game two, it was looking great for Mori’s tempo plan as he pulled way ahead. With Stráský down to just four life, he managed to topdeck a Burn Down the House that kept him in the game. Things got out of control very quickly for Mori from there, as Stráský cast a Smoldering Egg and flipped it in just one turn. Mori continued to put up a good fight, but the game finally came to an end when Stráský used two Galvanic Iterations to cast three Mascot Exhibitions at once. Stráský remains undefeated and has already clinched his Top 4 spot.
Coverage continued to follow Noriyuki Mori into the next round as he took on fellow Japanese player Yuta Takahashi playing Izzet Dragons. Takahashi played a very effective control strategy in game one, and although it was a long and grindy game, Mori was never able to get much of anything going. During game two, we saw more of the Dragons strategy in play for Mori who had Goldspan Dragon in play right on time and overpowered Mori for the 2-0 match win. Yuta Takahashi started the tournament with a 0-3 in the draft rounds, but has gone undefeated since then with Izzet Dragons in constructed.
The second featured match was Sam Pardee doing battle with Epiphany once again, this time Grixis Epiphany in the capable hands of Matt Sperling. The first game saw Matt Sperling draw all three copies of The Celestus, a card which has done a lot of work filtering cards for him, but not something you want in multiples at all. Even after resolving an Alrund’s Epiphany, Sperling was still fairly far behind against a strong board on Pardee’s side of the table. Things were looking quite bleak for Sperling who went down to 1 life, but he managed to resolve multiple extra turns in a row to steal the win.
Pardee came out strong once again in game two, and even after a Burn Down the House off the top of the library, Matt Sperling wasn’t able to stop the green onslaught backed up by Faceless Haven. Sperling started off game three with three removal and ripped another one off the top as his first draw. He stumbled to find land four though, and was forced onto the backfoot. Sperling held on at 1 life point once again, and it nearly looked like he would stage a comeback, but a trampling token from Old-Growth Troll was able to get the job done and secure a match win for Sam Pardee.
In round nine, the featured match was a showdown between Yuta Takahashi, looking to stay undefeated in constructed, and Sam Pardee, who only needed one more match win to lock in the top 4. Pardee faced some heatrbreak once again versus a control opponent as he came up just short against Takahashi two games in a row, keeping him from locking in the top 4 slot for now.
Up next, we sat in on a Grixis Epiphany mirror match between Jan Merkel and Eli Kassis, two players who tested and developed their deck together and are running identical lists. The first game was a ridiculous back-and-forth where both players were fighting to keep their Lier, Disciple of the Drowned on the field. Eventually, Jan Merkel was able to pull off the win. In the second game, Merkel was able to use Galvanic Iteration to double a Duress and pick Kassis’ hand apart. A Go Blank put Merkel even farther ahead, exiling Kassis’ graveyard even as Merkel was resolving a Lier himself.
Round 10 is the final round of the Swiss rounds of the World Championship, and by the end we will know who the Top 4 players will be for tomorrow’s playoffs. The feature match that kicked off the round was Yuta Takahashi’s still undefeated Izzet Dragons versus Matt Sperling’s Grixis Epiphany. A win for either player would earn them the in for the top 4. Game one started out as a staring match, with neither player drawing any action until turn six when Takahashi finally drew a Goldspan Dragon. Takahashi beat up on Sperling for several turns with the Goldspan Dragon in play, but flooded hard. Despite the flood, he managed to finish Sperling off with a Hall of Storm Giants.
Mana problems dogged Sperling in game two, and the rest of his draw didn’t help to get him caught up. Yuta Takahashi ended up taking the win, sealing his spot in the top 4 and continuing his undefeated run in Standard constructed.
With the Swiss rounds of competition at their end, the World Championship this year was designed with a tiebreaker runoff tournament to prevent the last two top 4 slots from being determined by a mathematical tiebreaker.
The first match of the tie breaker marks the third time that Sam Pardee and Jean-Emmanuel Depraz have faced off today. Sam Pardee came out swinging hard against Depraz, with a turn two
Game two was a different story though, with Jean-Emmanuel on the play and getting off to a strong start featuring Magda, Brazen Outlaw. Pardee played well, but the top of Depraz’ deck was kinder. Esika’s Chariot into Goldspan Dragon was able to close the game, bringing the match to 1-1.
In game three, Pardee was back on the play, but drew three copies of Sculptor of Winter and no heavy-hitters while Depraz’ draw was nearly perfect. Near the end of the game, Sam Pardee finally drew a Wrenn and Seven with the hopes that it might help him get back into the game, but instead, the last card in Depraz’ hand was a Negate that made sure Wrenn never touched the battlefield. For the third time today, Depraz beat Sam Pardee, securing his place in the Top 4.
The second of the tiebreaker matches was another Grixis mirror match, this time pitting Jan Merkel against Sam Pardee. The winner of the match will be the only one of the Grixis Epiphany players to make it to the Top 4. In the first game, a long back and forth had Matt Sperling looking like he was ahead for most of the game. In a crazy twist,
In game two, Matt Sperling struggled to find a red mana source, leaving him powerless as Merkel resolved a Lier. Just as it looked like Sperling may be recovering, a Go Blank from Jan Merkel took out the last two cards from his hand, leaving him with nothing but an Alrund’s Epiphany foretold. He never was able to recover, as Merkel’s topdecks remained favorable and managed to close out with the Iteration/Epiphany combo.
The Top4 is now set in stone, and we will be back tomorrow for the final Top 4 showdown. Don’t miss out on the final exciting matches that will determine our new World Champion!