This past weekend I attended Oasis Games’ Standard Mythic Championship Qualifier, sporting the colors of Gruul Warriors and bringing the deck to a 5-2-1 finish, losing my final match to miss out on Top 8. Retrospective helps me put things into perspective for myself however, so today I’m going over how my choices fared me. But first, my list.
Round One: 2-1 vs Esper Control
The first match of the day I sat across what I felt was a decently favored matchup. Our first game went long, taking up 25 minutes as he was able to answer my threats belatedly after they had already netted me value, allowing me to chain threats until he was able to kill me with a God-Eternal Kefnet. I side boarded out my Shocks and Goblin Chainwhirlers in favor of Cindervines, Vivien Reid and Carnage Tyrants. Game two I had a very aggressive start with a turn two Growth-Chamber Guardian, adapting it on turn three, followed by a hasted Spellbreaker on four and five to aggro him out. Game three was similar to game one in that it went long, I was able to take him down to 2 life to force the Kaya’s Wrath that was in his hand before playing a Carnage Tyrant. He died on my next turn.
Round Two: 2-0 vs Gruul Warriors
My draws were better than my opponents in both of these games, as his answers lined up very awkwardly with my threats, and my answers lines up very well with his threats. Game one I had a second turn Guardian that ate a Lava Coil followed by a third turn Domri that went unanswered as my opponent played a Chainwhirler, to which I played a Spellbreaker to fight the Chainwhirler with Domri, followed by a Rekindling Phoenix and a God-Eternal Rhonas to alpha strike for the win. I took out my Direfleet Daredevils and two Chainwhirlers for Lava Coils, Collision // Colossus and Vivien Reid, Hoping to not play the role of beatdown this game, being on the draw. It worked as I was able to answer his second, third, and fourth threat before landing a Domri and Chandra on an empty board, who I rode to victory.
Round Three: 2-1 vs Gruul Warriors
My second mirror of the day, this one was a bit rougher as it felt my opponent was more skilled than my last. All three of our games went long as we both respected and answered the threats that we could. All three games ended when one of us were able to stick a Chandra for an extended period of time, I just happened to do it twice before he did.
Round Four: 2-1 vs Grixis Control
I hadn’t tested at all against Grixis Control, but from what I understand is they are weaker due to a lack of potent board wipes. Our first game I landed a Growth-Chamber Guardian on two and a Domri on three and a Sarkhan on four to kill him. Our second game he was able to keep on top of my threats via Thought Erasure and a well timed Ritual of Soot before landing a Liliana, Dreadhorde General to end the game. Our third game he had a turn one Duress and a turn two Thought Erasure, to which I was able to land a third turn Direfleet Daredevil to Duress him, ripping a Ritual of Soot out of his hand and leaving him with three lands in hand. From there I stuck every threat I drew and won.
Round Five: Intentional Draw vs Zach Bird
My good friend Zach and I were both 4-0 going into this round, so we decided to intentional draw so as not to harm either of our records. The way the math broke down, we were both able to take at least one more loss or draw throughout the remaining three rounds, so we drew and took an hour off to recover.
Round Six: 0-2 vs Azorius Aggro
Both games my opponent had very good draws, doing exactly what White Weenie wants to do, go wide and then make them large through both a Benalish Marshal and Venerated Loxodon. My Shocks, Lightning Strikes, and Lava Coils all quickly became useless and he was able to overwhelm me both games, giving me my first loss of the day.
Round Seven: 2-0 vs Esper Control
I wasn’t too confident in my Esper match up until after this match. Gruul Spellbreaker and my nine mainboard planeswalkers do what they were designed to do, murder control players. In our second game he was able to keep on top of my threats until I landed a Carnage Tyrant after he Kaya’s Wrathed my board for the win.
Round Eight: 1-2 vs Jeskai Walkers
This is a deck that I had not expected to play against. Our first game he won pretty handily as he landed planeswalker after planeswalker that drew him cards and gained him life and gave him blockers, keeping my at bay until he landed a Sarkhan to kill me. Our second game I drew every planeswalker in my deck to keep him at bay, and landed a Chainwhirler that killed four of his walkers and a Fblthp to seel the game. Our third game, he sideboarded in Dovin’s Veto, which I still think is incorrect to do, but they wound up winning him the game as I couldn’t land any of my potent threats.
I finished the night with a 5-2-1 record, taking 20th place of the 172 player tournament. I believe I played as best as I could have, save for a fatal sideboarding mistake in my eighth match where I didn’t side in my Carnage Tyrants when I should have. My opponent ended up bubbling at 9th place, so even if I had won I wouldn’t have Top 8’d, which helped with the post-tournament blues. I am, none the less proud of how I did, performing past what my expectations were. Zach Bird did end up Top 8’ing, making the whole thing worth it.
Something I learned is Chandra, Fire Artisan is much better than I gave her credit for. If your opponent isn’t playing black, then there is not an easy or clean way to answer her.
Standard is in a very good position right now, with good threats having good answers for them. The Jeskai Walkers deck seems extremely powerful, and I think I could have won my final match if I had prepared against it a bit better. But, there’s always next time.