The Mythic Invitational is over and it’s time to see how accurate I was with my metagame prediction and analysis last week!
Honorable Mentions: U/W Auras, Monoblue Tempo, Temur Flash.
Sleeper card of the week: Elder Gargaroth. This card is great against Jund, so make sure you put a few copies of it in your Ramp decks.
You can find the Invitational results on the bottom of this page. Here’s the top20 standings after swiss.
Long story short, the top8 was 50% Jund and the three big decks were Jund Sacrifice, Goblins and Sultai Ramp. This is, in my opinion, a pretty clear top3 of the format.
I have Jund Sacrifice on the top, because it has the tools to beat the other two decks. If you want to be better against Sultai, you can put more copies of Scavenging Ooze into your sideboard, so you have better hits in your Collected Company that also deal with Uro. Vraska is also very good in this matchup because it’s both an answer for Uro and a possible Grafdigger’s Cage. One thing that is absolutely critical in this deck is to keep the hits for Collected Company as high as possible. I don’t have a separate deck for Jund Citadel, because most of the deck is the same as Jund Sacrifice. It plays for a longer game with Citadel, which is better against decks like Sultai. I like the Sacrifice version more though, because playing a ton of mana creatures in a world ruled by Mayhem Devil can be very costly.
Goblins is the most solid and consistent deck in the format. You can’t really go wrong by playing it. There’s a similar thing to keep in mind as in Jund and that’s keeping the hits for Muxus as high as possible. Don’t over-sideboard with Leylines and 1-for-1 removal, otherwise your Muxus can easily turn into a 6-mana 4/4 that looks at the bottom 6 cards of your library. I have Goblins on nr. 2 because if Jund assembles the Cat/Oven/Devil combo, you just lose and your deck just doesn’t have any interaction to stop it in game one.
Sultai is also a very consistent and solid deck, but you need to get a lot of things right. It’s a deck with a lot of answers and it can be hard to figure out exactly the right split of removal spells and sideboard cards. Do you want Eliminate or Heartless Act? How many Cry of the Carnariums do you want to bring in against Jund Sacrifice? What if you choose the wrong mix and then can’t kill Scavenging Ooze because you have 2 Heartless Acts and Cry of the Carnarium in your hand after sideboard? Lots of small decisions that can end up winning or losing you the match, so I would strongly suggest having a lot of practice and doing a lot of research before playing this deck.
In my opinion, these three decks for a very rock solid tier 1.
I would put R/B Kroxa and Monoblack Gift at tier 1.5. Kroxa had a great run in the hands of Luis Salvatto at the Mythic Invitational and it’s one of the best game 1 decks in the format. The only problem is sideboarded games when your opponents decide to bring in 4 Leylines or Rest in Peace, then your deck feels like it shrunk down to 4-8 relevant cards. I liked Luis’s sideboard plan with a bunch of Hazorets, which can be a good answer for this. Unfortunately, on the ladder, you have no information about your opponent’s decklist and sideboard, so it’s a lot harder to make these changes.
I tried really hard to make the God-Pharaoh’s deck work, but ultimately also put it away in favor of Jund. It’s a really strong deck, but again, it suffers greatly from the anti-graveyard hate cards. Still, a group of top players like Matt Nass, Siggy, PV and Zachary Kiihne chose to play this deck at the Invi, so you have to give it proper respect. I believe I saw Abe Corrigan post a version of this deck on twitter splashing green for Reclamation Sage, which could help against the graveyard hate cards. Remember that you can also play your own Grafdigger’s Cage in the sideboard, because it does nothing to your deck but it stops your opponent’s Companies, Muxus etc.
U/W Control, Bant Ramp round out my tier 1.5. UW Control is always going to be a solid deck, but it’s hard to pilot and it has a similar problem like Sultai – you need to choose your counters and other answers perfectly. Do you want Seal Away, Baffling End or Glass Casket? Essence Scatter, Negate or Dovin’s Veto? Sphinx’s Revelation or cheaper card draw spells like Chemister’s Insight? You need a lot of practice and a good grasp of the format to have the correct answers to these questions.
I like that Bant plays a bit more proactive. Rather than focus on counters, it plays the ramp game with Growth Spiral and Uro. The only problem is that Hydroid Krasis, Uro and Nissa are just the perfect fodder for Claim the Firstborn.
We saw Rafael Levy add Collected Company to Gruul and take a shot with it at the Mythic Invitational. 8-3 was a great start for the French Hall of Famer, but he ultimately fell a little short.
I still like Gruul because of it’s incredibly fast starts backed with Embercleave, but sometimes you just don’t have an answer for Priest + Claim and the game is over on turn 3.
Monogreen Walkers has a lot of promise because it gets to play 4 Karn, which gives it maindeck access to Grafdigger’s Cage, which can stop Jund Sacrifice and Goblins on it’s own. I still haven’t been able to find the perfect version, but Christopher Leonard’s 11th place finish at the Invi shows some promise.
Kethis made an appearance in the hands of top players like BBD and Alexander Hayne and it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on it for the future, but right now I don’t think it’s on the same power level as the decks above it. Without Teferi, you lost a critical piece of your deck that worked both as a way to slow down your opponent, and also as an answer to annoying sideboard cards like Leyline or Scavenging Ooze when you want to go off.
Decks like Monored Aggro, Monoblue Tempo and U/W Auras are fine tier 2 decks to play if it’s the style of deck you like to play, but don’t expect to do well with them against Jund, which is a terrible matchup for all of them.
What would Team CFB Pros play in a Historic tournament this weekend?
Martin: Jund Sacrifice! It was my pick last week and the Invitational results only solidified my belief that it’s the best deck in the format.
Reid: I’d play Goblins. It’s clear that Jund was the best choice for the Invitational–a high level tournament with a predictable field. But I still believe nothing beats the power and consistency of MonoRed Goblins for an open field. Plus if Luis is cutting his Witch’s Vengeances…Bring it on!
Gabe Nassif: I’d just play Jund Sacrifice again.
LSV: I’d play Jund Sac with 3-4 Leylines of the Void in the sideboard. I wouldn’t bring them for the mirror, but they are great against R/B Kroxa and Monoblack Gift. I’d probably cut Vengeance from the sideboard because I wouldn’t expect too many Goblins.
Huey: Jund because it did so well at the Invitational.
Andrea: I’d still play Sultai. Maybe replacing some Languish in the sideboard with Cry of the Carnarium for the Jund Sacrifice Match-Up. But I wouldn’t give up my love for Midrange decks.