Mythic Championship V Metagame Analysis

Mythic Championship V decklists has now been released. There are now just a few days left until the big tournament, and a potential shakeup of the Standard format may come not long after. In this article, we will explain and summarize the following:

View all 68 Mythic Champonship V Decklists here!

  • The top cards and decks people are playing for this tournament;
  • What individual card choices were made to give them an edge;
  • And the implications of the potential banning of certain cards.

Watching and following a high-level event such as this one is both fun and an educational experience. For those unaware, here are some helpful links that you should check out before venturing further:

Deck Archetype Breakdown

Source: Mythic Championship V Metagame Breakdown
Source: Mythic Championship V Metagame Breakdown

Hall of Famer Frank Karsten has already done an excellent job in explaining the different archetypes in this tournament, and you can read his article here. Two thing to note with the breakdown:

  • Ramp and Food archetypes are separated solely on whether they use Wicked Wolf in their main deck or not, and Simic and Bant versions have their subtle differences (mainly using the white for Teferi, Time Raveler). The core of the deck is pretty much the same other than this. We opted to combine the Ramp and “Food” versions.
  • Golos Fires and Four-Color Golos are sub-archetypes of the Bant Golos deck, and for the purposes of this heavily skewed metagame we will also combine them together.
Deck ArchetypeNumber of Decks% of Decks
Bant Golos / Golos Fires2942.6%
Simic Food 1116.1%
Bant Ramp / Bant Food811.8%
Golgari Adventures68.8%
Gruul Aggro / Jund Aggro57.4%
Mardu Knights 34.4%
Selesnya Adventures34.4%
Rakdos Aristocrats 11.5%
Jeskai Fires11.5%
Mono Red Cavalcade11.5%

Decks containing Field of the Dead and Golos, Tireless Pilgrim were by the most popular decks chosen by the players and there is no disputing that it is the strongest archetype in Standard and over 40% of the players chose to do the most logical thing. It is then followed by the decks that use the core of the green/blue ramp package revolving around the Food mechanic and Nissa, Who Shakes the World. Combined with the Bant versions, they consist of just over 25% of the metagame.

Having said that, we can see that green is a heavily represented color – with 91% of the metagame having some sort of green card in their lineup. Throne of Eldraine introduced some generic but powerful cards to each color, but especially green. This brings us to the next point of the top cards below.

Top Cards

Source: Mythic Championship V – TOP 20 most frequent cards

The above infographic shows the tally of all the top 20 cards that will be used in this tournament. MTGGoldfish also has useful data on this as well, though it’s pretty obvious what kind of picture this is painting:

RankCardNumber% Decks Using
1Once Upon a Time17170.59%
2Hydroid Krasis16070.59%
3Growth Spiral13854.41%
4Veil of Summer12080.88%
5Circuitous Route11542.65%
6Golos, Tireless Pilgrim11442.65%
7Questing Beast10341.18%
8Agent of Treachery9957.35%
9Oko, Thief of Crowns9844.12%
10Teferi, Time Raveler8948.53%

Top Creatures

RankCardNumber% Decks Using
1Hydroid Krasis16070.59%
2Golos, Tireless Pilgrim11442.65%
3Questing Beast10341.18%
4Agent of Treachery9957.35%
5Paradise Druid8636.76%
6Arboreal Grazer8348.53%
7Gilded Goose7627.94%
8Wicked Wolf6627.94%
9Deputy of Detention5838.24%
10Lovestruck Beast5829.41%

Top Non-creature Spells

RankCardNumber% Decks Using
1Once Upon a Time17170.59%
2Growth Spiral13854.41%
3Veil of Summer12080.88%
4Circuitous Route11542.65%
5Oko, Thief of Crowns9844.12%
6Teferi, Time Raveler8948.53%
7Nissa, Who Shakes the World8333.82%
8Disdainful Stroke7935.29%
9Aether Gust7739.71%
10Devout Decree6639.71%

Card Choices

This being a tournament with a relatively small sample of only 68 curated, high-level players (compared to something like a MagicFest/Grand Prix where there can be more than 1000s of players), we cannot blame the metagame looking not so diverse especially when 1-2 of the decks are clearly on a tier of their own (Golos and Ramp). After all, why would you play a weaker deck? Having said that, let’s have a look at individual decklists and see what players have worked on to improve their chances of winning:

  • The Simic Food deck used by the team of Andrew Cuneo, William Jensen, Reid Duke, Kai Budde, Shahar Shenhar and Gabriel Nassif includes four copies of Disdainful Stroke, which is usually a sideboard card at best. Obviously its primary target is Golos, Tireless Pilgrim as a metagame call, but with the expected metagame to be slow, it has numerous targets.
  • Piotr Glogowski seems to have found the best version of Golgari Adventures, being more midrange and value oriented. It includes cards such as The Great Henge, Vivien, Arkbow Ranger and Find // Finality and does not need to go all-in on the Adventure synergy.
  • Golos decks are weaker to aggro decks – and Embercleave is probably the best card in Standard at the moment to combat it. It can deal tonnes of damage out of nowhere. Mardu Knights by Ken Yukuhiro is capitalizing on this, as it includes the full four copies and Rotting Regisaur. Gruul Aggro is also another decent deck, as it is deadly with Questing Beast.
  • Kenrith, the Returned King has been touted as one of the best cards to break the Golos mirror match, by giving your zombies haste and your bigger creatures (such as Beanstalk Giant) trample.

Banning Announcement

Earlier this week, Wizards have announced that the next Banned and Restricted Announcement is to be on October 21, just one day after Mythic Championship V. This news came not long before the decklist submission deadline, and people are speculating that they would not have done this without any reason. It is thought that after looking at the decks for this tournament, they may have felt that an emergency banning is required for Standard. There are a number of possibilities:

  1. Field of the Dead: The top candidate for the banning. Being a land makes it harder to counter, and the act of playing lands to create creature tokens can be considered too powerful.
  2. Oko, Thief of Crowns: Another potential candidate as a ubiquitous three mana planeswalker that can do everything on its own. It didn’t take too long to make players groan when playing against it. We feel that the chance of this card being banned is 50/50.
  3. Golos, Tireless Pilgrim: Its primary job is to search for the Field of the Dead, so we don’t think it will be banned.
  4. Once Upon a Time: This card also makes it easier to find Field of the Dead, but is also good enough to be used in other decks. We don’t think this card will be banned in Standard as it still restricts deck building to be more creature focused.

It will be interesting to see what card(s) will be affected by the banning announcement, and whether it will help with the diversity of the format and promote new archetypes that do not rely heavily on green cards.

Wrapping Up

So what do you think? Discuss in the comments below, or as always, you can join us in the Discord and keep up to date on the latest news on our Twitter!

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