Some weeks are quieter than others in the world of Magic news. Last week was not one of those weeks. Let’s get right to it.
Path to the Mythic Championships Revealed
On Wednesday, February 20th, we found out quite a bit about what the highest level of Magic competition will look like this year. From the World Championships to Mythic Championships, it was all covered here.
First up is qualifying for the 2019 World Championships. The tournament will feature 16 players, headlined by the reigning World Champion Javier Dominguez. The winners of the 7 Mythic Championships (both tabletop and Arena) will be joining him (we will have more of the second confirmed participant later), as well as the top 4 Mythic-Point-earning Magic Pro League players and the top 4 Challengers (that is, players not in the MPL).
What is a Mythic Point? They are points awarded for doing well at both tabletop and Arena Mythic Championships. A complete breakdown of the point structure for events can be found here. The Mythic Invitational at PAX East will not award Mythic points. Neither will Grand Prix.
Qualifying for the Mythic Championships can happen a few ways. For tabletop Mythic Championships, the path looks similar to what has existed. You can win a Mythic Qualifier or do well at a Grand Prix, be a member of the MPL, or perform well at a prior Mythic Championship. This is familiar to anyone who has been following high-level Magic in recent years.
Qualifying for Arena Mythic Championships is a little different. Members of the MPL will qualify and there will be prior performance invites as the top 4 Challengers from the previous Arena Mythic Championship will get a slot, but the number of players is capped at 52, unlike tabletop events that can feature up to 500 players.
How do Challengers make it into the Arena events? Players in the top 1,000 of the Mythic Rankings (both Constructed and Limited) will have a chance to participate in a Mythic Qualifier Weekend (MQW). All players will participate on Saturday and those who meet the win threshold will make it to Sunday. The top 16 finishers on Sunday will be invited to the appropriate Arena Mythic Championship.
There is a lot happening in Magic right now and this year looks to be one of both growth and change.
Brian David-Marshall Retires from Coverage
Ahead of the first Mythic Championship, Brian David-Marshall, a staple of the coverage team for nearly two decades, announced that the event in Cleveland would be his last.
Taking on an exciting new job which means that I am making #2019MC1 my last event as an active member of the coverage family. Thank you to everyone who helped me along the way and I will absolutely miss the hell out of it. pic.twitter.com/6qB4WxDL4I
— Brian David-Marshall (@Top8Games) February 20, 2019
On a personal note, I grew up going to Brian’s store, Neutral Ground. I, like so many others, would not be as connected to the game without his involvement. Magic is greater for having had him and will be less without him. Good luck BDM!
Former US National Champion Dennis Bentley Passes Away
Sad news broke during Day 2 of the Mythic Championship. Dennis Bentley, the 1996 United States National Champion, passed away at age 50. Bentley won his National Championship during Necro Summer, a time when Necropotence decks were dominating Standard, then known as Type 2. Our thoughts are with those who held Bentley close.
ChannelFireball to Provide Grand Prix Video Coverage
ChannelFireball will be providing video coverage of at least five Grand Prix this year, starting with Grand Prix Los Angeles this weekend. At the time of writing there will be four additional Grand Prix receiving video coverage.
New Mulligan Rule to be Tested at Mythic Championship London
Mythic Championship London will feature a test of a potential new mulligan rule. The event, which will feature War of the Spark Limited and Modern Constructed—but without War of the Spark being legal—will do away with the Vancouver mulligan for at least one event. Currently, if a player does not like their opening hand, they can shuffle their hand back in and then draw one card fewer than was previously in their hand (7 to 6, 6 to 5, and so on). Once all mulligans have been resolved, a player can then scry 1.
The London mulligan, as it is being called, means that after a player shuffles their hand back into their library they will then draw up to seven cards. If they keep they will put one card from their new hand on the bottom of their library. If they do not like their hand of 6+1, they can shuffle and draw a new seven, but then put two cards on the bottom. If the London mulligan is well received and functions as intended it will be rolled out. If, however, it does not perform adequately, then the Vancouver mulligan will remain in place.
No More MSRP
Starting with War of the Spark, Wizards of the Coast will no longer be providing a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for their products. The announcement details that MSRP is not preferred in all parts of the world. The goal of this change is to better communicate with the “global player base.”
Speaking of products, a few got release dates. A new art book – Rise of the Gatewatch: A Visual History – will hit the shelves July 23, 2019. This book will collect art of the Gatewatch, from their origin to the upcoming battle with Nicol Bolas, from cards and elsewhere to present a history of the team. We also found out that Core Set 2020 will release on July 12, 2019 while Commander (2019 Edition) hits the marketplace a little over a month later on August 23, 2019.
Grand Prix Cleveland
Before we get to the Mythic Championship, let’s talk about the other tournament. Grand Prix Cleveland featured Ravnica Allegiance Limited and the field was stacked. Multiple top players failed to make Day 2 of the Mythic Championship, so they entered the Grand Prix fray. Wyatt Darby, Andrew Elenbogen, Ken Yukuhiro, Yuuya Wantanabe, Tom Ross, and more were all making a run at the Top 8.
In the end, however, it was another player with a professional pedigree. One third of the team that won Pro Tour 25th Anniversary, Allen Wu, emerged victorious. After going undefeated on Day 1, Wu ran his record to 12-0 before taking a loss. At 12-1-1, after an intentional draw, he was forced to play against Wyatt Darby in what ended up being a win-and-in. Wu won and locked the first seed where he opened a Hydroid Krasis. Over the course of the Draft he was passed two copies of Guardian Project and a Biogenic Ooze.
Congratulations to Allen Wu, your Grand Prix Cleveland Champion!
— ChannelFireball (@ChannelFireball) February 25, 2019
Autumn Burchett Wins the First Mythic Championship
Mythic Championship 1 took place in Cleveland, Ohio. The format was Standard and Ravnica Allegiance Draft. Reid Duke made his fourth Top 8. Luis Scott-Vargas made his tenth, his second in a row, and 5 for his last 8 played. Marcio Carvalho made his fifth Top 8 and his third out of his last four events. Michael Bonde, Julien Berteux, and Alex Majlaton all made their first while Yoshihiko Ikawa made his second.
But none of them are the story. Autumn Burchett is. The two-time English National Champion piloted their Mono-Blue Tempo deck expertly and secured the victory. In two mirrors, against Berteux and Duke, Burchett won in four. The only time they went to game 5 was in the finals against Ikawa’s Esper Control. Burchett faced down a Lyra Dawnbringer, won in game 4, and stuck an early Pteramander and Curious Obsession to draw enough counters to win the game and the title of Mythic Champion.
There’s more, of course. Burchett is the first non-male to win a Magic event of this caliber. Melissa DeTora is the only other non-male to ever make a Top 8 at a Pro Tour or Mythic Championship at Pro Tour Gatecrash. Autumn, who is non-binary, was tackled by friends with hugs as they won. Perfectly stoic during their matches, the emotions overwhelmed them as the weight of the moment sank in. The new era of Magic has a deserving first champion. We’ll be seeing them at the World Championship as well.
Congratulations to Autumn Burchett, your Mythic Championship Cleveland Champion!
Congratulations to @AutumnLilyMTG! The Top 8 of Mythic Championship I was packed with talent, but they piloted Mono-Blue Tempo to perfection and secured a truly timeless championship title. Thank you, Autumn, for inspiring so many of us today. #2019MC1 pic.twitter.com/pYEAPupwTH
— Magic Esports (@MagicEsports) February 24, 2019
19 Island 4 Siren Stormtamer 4 Pteramander 1 Mist-Cloaked Herald 4 Merfolk Trickster 4 Tempest Djinn 1 Chart a Course 1 Entrancing Melody 4 Dive Down 3 Spell Pierce 2 Essence Capture 1 Negate 4 Wizard's Retort 4 Curious Obsession 4 Opt Sideboard 1 Essence Capture 3 Negate 3 Entrancing Melody 1 Disdainful Stroke 3 Surge Mare 2 Deep Freeze 1 Jace, Cunning Castaway 1 Island
I will see you next week for the MagicFest in Los Angeles. Modern is the name of the game and ChannelFireball will be providing video coverage. Luis Scott-Vargas, Riley Knight, William Jensen, and Marshall Sutcliffe will be bringing you all the action from the feature matches while Vincent “PleasantKenobi” Chandler will be reporting from the floor.