Last weekend, Mythic Championship VII was held on MTG Arena. With a total prize pool of $750,000 up for grabs in post-ban Standard, it was a high-stakes event that threw together 67 players and a bye for three days of competition.
Match Win Rates by Invitation Source
Before analyzing groups of decks, I ran the numbers on how well the various groups of players did.
|Invitation source||Number of players||Record|
|Magic Pro League||32||185—151 (55%)|
|Mythic Championship Qualifier Weekend||15||61-62 (50%)|
|Past Performance||4||19-18 (51%)|
|Discretionary Invite||16||47-75 (39%)|
There was no significant difference between the first three groups, but the players who got a discretionary invite noticeably underperformed compared to the rest.
MCQW competitor George Kaschihin was unable to attend due to a visa delay and was replaced with the bye. Weirdly enough, the bye finished above Simone Rocutto and John Rolf in the Day 1 standings. I am not quite sure what to make of that.
Match Win Rates by Deck Archetype
The following table provides the win percentages, along with plus/minus numbers that represent the 95% confidence interval under the normal approximation. All deck lists can be found here.
|Deck archetype||Number of players||Record|
|Jeskai Fires||12||62-65 (49% +/- 9%)|
|Jund Sacrifice||9||50-34 (60% +/-10%)|
|Golgari Adventure||8||34-36 (49% +/-12%)|
|Golgari Sacrifice||7||22-28 (44% +/-14%)|
|Izzet Flash||6||26-28 (48% +/-13%)|
|Simic Flash||4||38-21 (64% +/-12%)|
|Simic Ramp||3||18-15 (55% +/-17%)|
|Rakdos Sacrifice||3||8-12 (40% +/-21%)|
|Temur Reclamation||3||15-13 (54% +/-18%)|
|Azorius Control||3||11-14 (44% +/-19%)|
|Sultai Ramp||2||9-10 (47% +/-22%)|
|Five-color Fires||2||7-7 (50% +/-26%)|
|Temur Adventure||1||4-4 (50%)|
|Esper Control||1||6-7 (46%)|
|Gruul Adventure||1||1-4 (20%)|
|Rakdos Fires||1||0-4 (0%)|
|Jund Fires||1||0-4 (0%)|
Sample sizes are small, so it’s hard to derive strong conclusions from these numbers alone. But especially when we zoom into specific builds, several interesting observations can be drawn.
Piotr Glogowki Had the Best Cat Oven Deck by Far
On the whole, Jund Sacrifice did much better than Golgari Sacrifice. It’s not easy to properly compare the performance of the two archetypes because the set of players with discretionary invites, who performed poorly overall, contained zero Jund Sacrifice decks and three Golgari Sacrifice decks. Nevertheless, the numbers still suggest that splashing Mayhem Devil is worth it. And Piotr Glogowski’s build is almost surely the best one.
Piotr Glogowski, Mythic Championship VII winner
5 Forest 1 Mountain 2 Swamp 4 Blood Crypt 2 Castle Locthwain 3 Fabled Passage 4 Overgrown Tomb 4 Stomping Ground 3 Beanstalk Giant/Fertile Footsteps 4 Casualties of War 4 Cauldron Familiar 4 Gilded Goose 2 Korvold, Fae-Cursed King - Foil - Brawl Deck Exclusive 2 Massacre Girl 4 Mayhem Devil 2 Murderous Rider/Swift End 2 Thrashing Brontodon 4 Trail of Crumbs 4 Witch's Oven Sideboard 2 Deathless Knight 4 Duress 1 Korvold, Fae-Cursed King - Foil - Brawl Deck Exclusive 3 Lovestruck Beast/Heart's Desire - Showcase 1 Massacre Girl 1 Murderous Rider/Swift End 1 Thrashing Brontodon 2 Wicked Wolf
Piotr Glogowski won the Mythic Championship with a build of Jund Sacrifice that can be described as an outlier. His list featured Murderous Rider, Beanstalk Giant, and Massacre Girl instead of the more typical Midnight Reaper, and it worked out beautifully for him.
These creatures gave him more immediate action to find with Trail of Crumbs in the late game, and he went undefeated (10-0 after his bye into Day 2) in the entire event.
Rotting Regisaur Belongs in Golgari Adventure
Golgari Adventure may have had an average performance overall, but one build of the deck stood out.
Chris Kvartek, Top 8 at MC VII
6 Swamp 8 Forest 4 Temple of Malady 4 Overgrown Tomb 2 Fabled Passage 4 Edgewall Innkeeper 4 Foulmire Knight/Profane Insight 4 Lovestruck Beast/Heart's Desire - Showcase 4 Murderous Rider/Swift End 2 Order of Midnight/Alter Fate 4 Paradise Druid 3 Questing Beast 4 Rotting Regisaur 3 The Great Henge 4 Vivien, Arkbow Ranger Sideboard 2 Casualties of War 3 Duress 2 Epic Downfall 1 Kraul Harpooner 2 Noxious Grasp 2 Shifting Ceratops 3 Thrashing Brontodon
Chris Kvartek and Jordan Cairns were the only players who relied on Rotting Regisaur, Vivien, and The Great Henge, and it paid off for them with a collective 18-9 (67%) record. Rotting Regisaur adds a more aggressive element to the deck that is hard to answer with damage-based removal spells. When you give it trample with Vivien or use it ramp into a turn-4 The Great Henge, you will quickly realize that this is the way forward for the archetype.
Simic Flash Was the Deck of the Tournament
Both Simic Flash and Simic Ramp did great, showing that Nissa, Who Shakes the World is still one of the best cards in Standard. The performance of these decks would be even better if we remove MCQW competitors Raymond Nevison and Simone Rocutto, who played different versions of Simic Flash and Simic Ramp to 2-4 and 0-4 records respectively, from the data set. Then the match win rates would have been 68% for Simic Flash and 62% for Simic Ramp.
But overall, Simic Flash had the best record of all deck archetypes at the tournament. Three players registered this deck (Brad Nelson, Seth Manfield, and Javier Dominguez) and all three made the Top 8.
Brad Nelson, second at Mythic Championship VII
7 Forest 7 Island 4 Breeding Pool 2 Castle Vantress 2 Fabled Passage 4 Temple of Mystery 3 Paradise Druid 2 Brazen Borrower/Petty Theft 4 Frilled Mystic 2 Hydroid Krasis 4 Nightpack Ambusher 4 Growth Spiral 2 Aether Gust 2 Mystical Dispute 1 Negate 4 Nissa, Who Shakes the World 3 Sinister Sabotage 3 Quench Sideboard 1 Aether Gust 2 Chemister's Insight 1 Crushing Canopy 1 Hydroid Krasis 1 Kenrith's Transformation 4 Lovestruck Beast/Heart's Desire - Showcase 2 Mystical Dispute 1 Negate 2 Sorcerous Spyglass
You could also call their deck “Simic Flash Ramp.” It was Seth’s idea to run Paradise Druid over Brineborn Cutthroat, and he may have broken the format. Sure, Brineborn Cutthroat seems tailor-made made for Flash decks, but a turn-3 Nightpack Ambusher is much better than one on turn-4 and a turn-4 Nissa is much better than a turn-5 Nissa.
Simic Flash crushes Jeskai Fires, whose expensive spells are easily countered. However, it has a poor matchup against Golgari Adventures and Rakdos Knights, whose 1-drops can go under the countermagic. So if you’d like to beat Simic Flash, which is sure to increase in popularity in the upcoming week, then you should consider switching to one of these decks.
Simic Ramp may also be well-positioned. The deck went 3-2 against Simic Flash at MC VII, which is not a sample size that we can draw conclusions from, but one of the matches ended in spectacular fashion.
"Nice!" – @SethManfield
"Nice!" – @Mengu09
— Magic Esports (@MagicEsports) December 8, 2019
Standard is the main event format at MagicFest Oklahoma City this weekend, and the format seems to be in good shape. I’m looking forward to attend MagicFest Oklahoma City as a competitor, and if you’re there, then please feel welcome to say hi!