Last weekend I took third at Mythic Championship V, played on MTG Arena. Standard was different last week, as Field of the Dead wasn’t banned–but the deck I played wasn’t predicated on beating Field of the Dead: I played Bant Food to a third-place finish.
I liked the Goose–Oko shell a lot, but I couldn’t beat Golos Field with just Simic, so I tried splashing white for Deputy and Teferi, although the deck was still weak and I found myself without very good options to fight Field of the Dead.
That’s when Marcio Carvalho suggested cutting Teferi entirely and playing more Questing Beast. Teferi was very bad in a format without much countermagic, but haste creatures like Questing Beast were very strong. Questing Beast is the way to push the final damage against Golos and go aggro, and how to attack planeswalker decks like Jeskai or Temur, though it’s very bad against Wicked Wolf.
Another card that I underrated was Once Upon a Time. We played only 2, but if I could go back I’d play 4. Giving consistency to your Turn 3 Nissa and Turn 2 Oko is how you win the game. The London Mulligan + Once Upon a Time means that you can nut-draw your opponent over and over, and you only need to push back those slow hands and look for the broken one, even 4 or 5 cards, similarly to what you are doing in Modern.
The tournament was wonderful, Wizards put so much effort into making this Arena MC work, and it did work! The tournament structure was new, and over three days I went 5-2 in Day 1, 5-1 in Day 2 and 3-2 in the Top 8.
Record by Matchups
- Vs Gruul: 2-0
- Vs Golos Field: 2-3
- Vs Bant Ramp (Czech deck): 4-0
- Vs Simic Food: 3-1
- Vs GW Adventures: 0-1
- Vs Mono-Red: 1-0
Plus one match from Day 1 I can’t remember. I knew coming to the tournament that my deck wasn’t built to beat Golos Field, and I was an underdog despite doing my best with 4 Questing Beast, 4 Deputy of Detention and 4 Disdainful Stroke in the sideboard. My other two losses were GW Adventures in the hands of Christian Hauck and Simic Food from Gabe Nassif.
I believe my list was superior to both Bant Ramp from the Czechs and Simic from the Pantheon. I hated Disdainful Stroke in every single matchup that wasn’t Golos–I don’t want to be reactive in the mirror, and the lack of Deputy means that we have no answer to Hydroid Krasis or to Zombies, which isn’t killable otherwise in Simic.
I also disliked Bant Ramp from the Czechs, as not playing Wicked Wolf maindeck was too extreme. Yes, the card was bad against Golos (not even that bad sometimes), but it was just too good in every single other matchup. Also, without Questing Beast you’re risking flooding out and must rely too much on Nissa and have too few threats overall.
If I had to play a Goose-Oko deck, I would stick to my take on the deck with some small tuning. Here’s where I’m at after the Field ban.
Andrea Mengucci – Bant Food in Standard
4 Temple Garden 4 Hallowed Fountain 4 Breeding Pool 3 Fabled Passage 1 Plains (331) 2 Island (335) 6 Forest (347) 4 Gilded Goose 4 Paradise Druid 4 Hydroid Krasis 4 Deputy of Detention 4 Questing Beast 4 Wicked Wolf 4 Once Upon a Time 4 Oko, Thief of Crowns 4 Nissa, Who Shakes the World Sideboard 3 Tamiyo, Collector of Tales 2 Glass Casket 1 Negate 2 Disdainful Stroke 1 Voracious Hydra 1 Knight of Autumn 2 Veil of Summer 2 Aether Gust 1 Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves
Esper Doom Foretold was one of the best decks at the beginning of the format, before Golos Field rose to take over. With Field gone, I can see a great return of Esper Doom.
Tamiyo singlehandedly deals with the deck, so I want to have three copies of that card in my sideboard for this matchup now. To find space for Tamiyo, I cut 2 Disdainful Stroke, and it might be even possible to cut them entirely, as there could be a return of Teferi and you’d rather have Negate in those matchups.
I kept on changing how to sideboard in this matchup based on what I was seeing in Game 2 or how my opponent’s teammates were sideboarding. Disdainful Stroke is bad if they keep in Teferi or board in Veil of Summer (Czechs); Veil of Summer is bad if they board out Disdainful Stroke (Huey did against Nassif), although it’s still okay versus Deputy and Oko’s ultimate; Aether Gust is bad if you are behind as it just delays the threat and it’s bad to bounce a planeswalker after they’ve already hit the field; Voracious Hydra is okay but can often be hard to make a good impact on the board, which is why I don’t want more copies of it.
This means that there isn’t a true and proper guide for this matchup. I just know that I want to cut 3 Questing Beast as they are ridiculously bad versus Wicked Wolf and not great if your opponent has Oko and you can’t kill it that turn.
Edgewall Innkeeper needs to die, as it’s their way to keep up with your high-value cards. Watch out for March of the Multitudes from Selesnya, and if you think they play lots of those, you can consider Negate or Disdainful Stroke, but then again we have access to Deputy of Detention.
I played against Javier two times, and I won both matches 2-1. Javier still managed to beat Cifka and Nassif in the Top 8, and it’s possible that this matchup is closer than it looks, especially if you start putting Disdainful Stroke in your deck and cutting Wicked Wolf.
I always hated Deputy against Esper. Deputy isn’t a good card if your opponent plays removal, especially if they play Kaya’s Wrath. Again, Tamiyo is great in this matchup on so many levels, but mainly for her static ability to stop your opponent from making you sacrifice permanents.
This is the 75 I’ll start with, but there’s definitely a lot to explore now that Field of the Dead is out of the picture. I’m hoping that Oko, Thief of Crowns won’t be too oppressive and we’ll find a deck that has a good matchup against it.