My 6th Pro Tour Top 8 with Azorius Aggro

Marcio Carvalho

Marcio Carvalho

Introduction

Hi everyone!

I’m back and well… you might know I made top 8 at Mythic Championship (MC) in Cleveland with Azorius Aggro and I will talk about my choices, hopes and dreams for this tournament.

My Own Rule for All Pro Tours

Curious ObsessionNexus of FateHydroid Krasis

Since an early stage in testing, I knew I wanted to have a deck that could beat the “Mono Blue menace” and 《Nexus》 decks, while having a fair shot against Sultai because people love to play those kind of decks even if they are not that good enough.

My golden rule for Pro Tours is: don’t be fancy! Magic has evolved so much and there’s so much information out there that everyone knows everything and have access to almost all techniques. For that reason, I don’t want to be the guy who keeps answering opponent’s threats. Instead, I like to be proactive and throw my threats to the board over and over again.

Otherwise, it’s really hard to play control decks at the moment for “Pro Tours” because you should make your list correctly with the right answers for the expected metagame but if you fail to this, even if slightly, then your deck will be a crap. This fact doesn’t happen with proactive decks because at the end of the day you just want to crush their heads against the wall!

Testing for the Mythic Championship

So heading to the Mythic Championship, I had two decks in mind: the safe choice was Sultai and the deck I’ve liked the most was White Weenie splashing blue!

The Reason Why I Played 《Baffling End》 in my Maindeck

Baffling End

At the beginning, we tried 《Deputy of Detention》. The card is very good in the mirror match but I didn’t like to have cards costing blue maindeck because it would hinder my ability to play all my spells efficiently.

As the deadline of deck submission went closer, a huge Brazilian grinder named Eduardo Vieira was doing really well with White Weenie. At the moment he was #1 or #2 ranked player in the Mythic ladder on MTG Arena so I asked him about some of his card choices and he told me he was playing 《Baffling End》 maindeck and explained me why and it made so much sense, he addressed some of the problems we might encounter in a lot of matchups:

Other Card Choices

Adding 《Adanto Vanguard》 over 《Hunted Witness》

Adanto Vanguard

One of the minor changes I made was cutting the 2 《Hunted Witness》. I really dislike them! Don’t get me wrong, the creature is awesome with your nut draws, helping flip 《Legion's Landing》 more often on turn 3 or explosive start with 《Venerated Loxodon》. I still wanted something with a little more power so I decided to play 2 《Adanto Vanguard》.

Normally this kind of 2 drop was like Luis Figo but after 《Tithe Taker》 (Cristiano Ronaldo) appeared, he fell out of fashion as Jeskai wasn’t the best control deck. That place belongs to Esper and all their removal could deal with it easily and Cristiano Ronaldo was just completely bonkers against a tough Mono Blue (Chelsea F.C.) matchup that I thought it was going to be really big!

Cutting 《Unbreakable Formation》 for 《Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants》

Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants

The last card I couldn’t cut until almost the “injury time” was 《Unbreakable Formation》 maindeck as it’s probably the best card you can have in the mirror but in all other matchups… oops, just seemed a ultra polarized card that was the best draw ever or just plain awful so I wanted to give my White Weenie a little more punch and consistency again so we have called the help to the mighty 《Ajani》 (Paulo Dybala) and I might tell you that I don’t regret this… the card overperformed a lot in almost all matchups!!

Final Decklist

With all that in mind I registered the final 75 cards:

The sideboard is a mix of different kind of tools:

Tournament Report

So how did my Pro Tour go? Fantastic I might say!

Day 1

First Draft and My Strategy

I started in a very good pod but was lucky enough to 3-0 with a very good Temur deck.

Blade JugglerChillbringer

In our team limited discussion, I’ve said there are 2 “mythic commons”: 《Blade Juggler》 and 《Chillbringer》 a.k.a “《Frost Titan》”.

AeromunculusGrasping ThrullFinal Payment

My strategy is “don’t be afraid to first pick 《Aeromunculus》 or 《Grasping Thrull》 or even 《Final Payment》 just because they are multi-color”. This set is all about the gold cards so you need to take a leap of faith as the mono-colored cards normally are just inferior.

Gruul GuildgateOpen the GatesSimic Guildgate

Other peculiar thing in this set is, you don’t need to be in your guild like Guilds of Ravnica that you always played Boros or Dimir, etc. I am not a big fan of 3 color decks but in this set I ended up more than normal. Always respecting the manabase, if possible, because I’m a maniac and I picked 《Open the Gates》 and Gates highly if possible as you might notice in my drafts.

Standard

So let’s continue onto the constructed portion of the tournament… I was feeling good with my deck choice but after 3-0ing my first draft I always have this kind of thought in my head “what if my construted deck is awful?”. You know what’s the worst feeling ever? 3-0 a draft and then just lose all the constructed rounds and don’t even play day 2… that’s sad!

ForestHinterland Harbor

In my Round 4, I played against enemy number 1 Sultai but if I recall correctly, he played 《Forest》, 《Hinterland Harbor》 and 0 spells so I thought he was on 《Nexus of Fate》 and I boarded in all my counterspells. Then he goes turn 2 《Wildgrowth Walker》 and my chin goes to the ground, but in the end, it didn’t matter because I had a very strong hand and a turn 3 with 5 creatures tap all for 《Venerated Loxodon》 plus the 《Negate》 and he mulliganned to 5 if I remember this match correctly.

Round 5, I played a mirror match and won the lottery of drawing better than my opponent.

Round 6, I got completely destroyed by Ben Friedman on 《Hadana》 Sultai without putting much of a fight.

Round 7, I have some epic games against Dane “the Giant” Larsen… in the end I was luckier, of course who knew!

At this point, I’m 6-1 and feeling pretty good about the tournament so far and for the last round to make 7-1 I just have to win against… a legend Jon Finkel, no biggie right?

Jon Finkel

Image Copyright : Wizards of the Coast

All of his teammates were on the Mono Blue deck and I had some good draws and win 2-0 to escape the day 1 with a 7-1 score!!! Woohoo!

I felt very happy with my day and how things went so I go to eat, sleep and get ready for day 2!

Day 2

Second Draft

Again… I had a very strong pod and I knew almost all the players!

SharktocrabKaya's Wrath

In my Pack 1 Pick 1, I had a tough choice between 《Sharktocrab》 and 《Kaya's Wrath》. I think 《Sharktocrab》 is one of the 2 best uncommons in the set, just behind 《Gate Colossus》. There were some more Orzhov cards in the pack and 《Sharktocrab》 was the only good Simic card, furthermore when you are in a very tough pod, 《Wrath of God》 effects get worse because no one is going to get utterly destroyed by it, so I took 《Sharktocrab》, passing all the Orzhov cards to William “Huey” Jensen, hoping to get rewarded in pack 2 and yes… I was rewarded!

Incubation DruidFrilled MysticFrilled Mystic

《Incubation Druid》 and some 《Frilled Mystic》s after opening a second 《Sharktocrab》 made my deck very good again and I ended up Simic with a little splash for 《Savage Smash》 and 《Rhythm of the Wild》.

I ended 3-0 this pod too to a 10-1 score and I felt amazed as you can imagine… I was so close to top 8 the first MC!

Standard

Round 12, I played against another tough opponent named Reid Duke and he was on Mono Blue too.

Reid Duke

Image Copyright : Wizards of the Coast

Game 1 was very close and I think I played it pretty well but Reid drew the land he needed on the last turn to adapt 《Pteramander》 and I lost a nail-biter! Game 2 and 3 I recovered and win to a 11-1 score!

Round 13, I faced Michael Bonde‘s 《Nexus of Fate》 deck and I think this matchup is very good but not as good as people think. Michael was running hot and steamrolled me game 1 after I had a very good draw too, game 2 and 3 I drew very well and I won to put me virtually locked to top 8 with a 12-1 score needing one draw in the last 3 rounds!!!

Round 14, I played against Yoshihiko Ikawa on Esper, one of the toughest matchups(!!) and escaped with a 2-1 win for a 13-1 score.

Yoshihiko Ikawa

Image Copyright : Wizards of the Coast

The last 2 rounds, I intentionally drew and well I was the 1st seed entering the top 8, making this my 6th Mythic Championship top 8 and the 3rd Mythic Championship top 8 in the last 4 I’ve played!!

It’s an amazing feeling to continue to crush event after event and I know variance is on my side, I just hope I can take advantage of this as much as I can.

Day 3

LSV

Image Copyright : Wizards of the Coast

In the top 8, I was going to play against a legend Luis Scott-Vargas who was playing Izzet Phoenix deck. I thought the matchup was going to be close but things turned out in his favor to a 3-1 score.

The tournament felt amazing, all the people surrounding it too! Big congrats to Autumn Burchett for winning it all!

Conclusion

I guess I will have to wait a little bit longer before having the glory to become champion… Hope you like it.

Until next time,

Marcio: @KbolMagic on Twitter / kbol_ on Twitch

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Marcio Carvalho

Marcio Carvalho Portugal’s top pro player. And he is a member of Hareruya Latin. He owns the title Draft Master of season 2015-2016. As shown in his results, he is a limited format specialist. His daily effort toward Magic earned this result, with an episode that he has picked 287 copies of Clutch of Currents in the Battle for Zendikar draft. Read more articles by Marcio Carvalho