Metagame Monday – Top Standard Decks of Mythic Championship VII
Today we saw the exciting conclusion of Mythic Championship VII and the 2019 Magic: The Gathering competitive season come to an end as we wind down for the festive period and the new year. It looks like the best decks in Standard will mostly be settled until the release of Theros: Beyond Death on January 16, 2020 when the format is injected with fresh cards. In this week’s Metagame Monday, we dissect the best decks of Mythic Championship VII, look at what card choices made them perform well and how players can adapt their decks for MTG Arena.
Mythic Championship VII Top 8 Decklists
Before we delve in, here are the top 8 decklists from the tournament. Congratulations to Piotr Glogowski on his flawless victory!
Five-Color Fires by Ken Yukuhiro (decklist)
Back in October, Ken Yukuhiro successfully piloted his unique Mardu Knights deck in Mythic Championship V to a top 8 finish. In another bold move, he brought to the tournament a deck featuring Fires of Invention, Niv-Mizzet Reborn and Casualties of War.
This deck is primed for a slower metagame that he anticipated in this particular tournament – the power and fun level is definitely there. This deck would probably fare less well in a broader ladder environment due to its weakness to aggressive decks, so adding some copies of Deafening Clarion or Time Wipe may be a good idea as it can be drawn with Niv-Mizzet as well.
Izzet Flash by William Jensen (decklist)
Izzet Flash was one of the decks that performed well in light of the Jeskai Fires-heavy metagame. The team of William Jensen, Shahar Shenhar and Gabriel Nassif took the deck to high finishes in the tournament
Four copies of Gadwick, the Wizened in these decks was the glue that held the deck together, which similar decks like Simic Flash cannot accommodate. It is also better against more aggressive matchups, as it has burn in the form of Scorching Dragonfire and Bonecrusher Giant.
Jeskai Fires by Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa (decklist)
At the beginning of the tournament, Jeskai Fires was the most played deck, occupying 17.9% of the metagame. This number was reduced to 7 decks out of the 12 on day 2 where they collectively had a 34% win rate (13-25), and only Paulo’s deck managed to survive all the way to the top 8. This was the result of the players correctly predicting that this deck archetype was to be the one of the decks to beat on the weekend.
Although this does not mean Jeskai Fires is a bad deck, many MTG Arena players will pick up the decks from the tournament which were built to beat Jeskai Fires. Paulo’s deck stood out from the rest with his two main deck copies of Aether Gust, which served him well throughout the tournament due to the power of green decks.
Moving forward, players should watch the metagame and look at altering the interactive spells in this deck. Deafening Clarion can be substituted for single target removal such as Justice Strike which can pick out the bigger creatures such as Kenrith and Korvold.
Jund Sacrifice by Piotr Glogowski (decklist)
Piotr Glogowski masterfully took his powerful Jund Sacrifice deck to victory with an undefeated match record in the tournament. He also had the advantage of skipping the first day due to his prior Eldraine Split victory during the Magic Pro League season.
His list featured three copies of Beanstalk Giant, again, anticipating a slower metagame, which is excellent for extra mana especially useful for Trail of Crumbs triggers and just a big body that can hold on its own against the Cavaliers or Kenrith. Wicked Wolf is usually a maindeck inclusion but was relegated to the sideboard for this tournament – but in MTG Arena, it is still probably good enough to go back into the main deck.
Golgari Adventures by Chris Kvartek (decklist)
Chris Kvartek has been a standout player this competitive Magic season, qualifying for back to back MTG Arena Mythic Championships despite the brutal qualifiers involved. As a result of his excellent performance he will be competing in the Magic Pro League next year! He is known to bring innovative decks to tournaments – for example, he qualified for Mythic Championship V using a Mono Green Stompy deck featuring Vine Mare which was a silver bullet against Vampires and Field of the Dead decks at the time.
The Golgari Adventures deck Chris and fellow day 2 competitor Jordan Cairns brought was no different – featuring an aggressive build using Rotting Regisaur and Vivien, Arkbow Ranger to give your creatures trample and go over troublesome chump blockers such as Cauldron Familiar. The Great Henge was also a great addition, which is reduced to only 2 mana with the dinosaur in play, and can draw even more cards in combination with Edgewall Innkeeper to go for the longer game.
There has been different builds of Golgari Adventures going around – ones featuring Lucky Clover and Knights that Ally Warfield and Autumn Burchett brought to the tournament, or a more midrange build with Nissa. Going forward, this deck may be the most prominent version but there is still a lot of flexibility here. Massacre Girl looks to be a nice addition to the deck against the aggro matchups.
Simic Ramp by Andrea Mengucci (decklist)
Andrea Mengucci took this relatively fringe deck all the way to the top 4 of the tournament. It turns out green is still a powerful color despite the bans, and Risen Reef makes its way back into the metagame. Lucas Esper Berthoud was also part of the same testing team and he also took to a day 2 finish, which he wrote an in-depth guide on the deck which you should read before playing the deck.
The main deck is one sided in that it forgoes any sort of interaction, requiring your opponents to keep up with your threats and leaves the counterspells in the sideboard. Lucas notes in his article above that the deck abuses the new London Mulligan and open decklists – in a MTG Arena match, this is different because we don’t know the opponent’s deck in game one.
As the deck is popularized, some form of disruption in the form of Voracious Hydra, Aether Gust and Brazen Borrower could be decent especially since you will face decks with Embercleave and may make mirror matches more manageable.
Simic Flash by Brad Nelson (decklist)
Our deck of the tournament goes to the brand new version of Simic Flash. In a stroke of genius, all three players – Seth Manfield, Brad Nelson and Javier Dominguez – took a hybrid build of Simic Flash and Simic Ramp to the top 8 of the tournament.
The deck excludes the early flash creatures such as Spectral Sailor and Brineborn Cutthroat and instead includes Growth Spiral, Paradise Druid, Hydroid Krasis and most importantly, Nissa, Who Shakes the World. Untapping a Breeding Pool with a counterspell backup has been one of the most important plays of the weekend.
What was considered a relatively second tier deck until now, with tournament success the deck will no doubt be a force to be reckoned with. However, do note that this particular Simic Flash deck was built to beat the slower decks – namely Jeskai Fires – and the plan worked perfectly in the tournament itself but do note that the deck is still relatively weak against aggresive decks.
We anticipate the new Standard metagame to be in a equilibrium between Jeskai Fires, Jund Sacrifice and Simic Flash with Simic Ramp and Embercleave aggro decks fitting somewhere in between. In the meantime, we will keep an eye on the Standard and Historic metagame and be back next week with any insights when the dust has settled.
With that, the last tournament of the 2019 Magic competitive season year is now over. We can catch a little breather until the new year when Theros: Beyond Death previews start, leaving plenty of room for innovation and a shift in the metagame until the Mythic Qualifier weekend on January 11 to 12, 2020. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or join the discussion in our Discord server!