Predicting What Deck Will Win MC V

John Rolf

John Rolf

Introduction

Golos, Tireless PilgrimOko, Thief of CrownsGruul SpellbreakerInspiring Veteran

Mythic Championship V is going to take place this weekend, and it will be the first Standard premier event featuring the new set Throne of Eldraine. Decklists were recently made public, and a staggering 42% of all players have registered Golos Field! The second most popular decks is Oko-Food variants, many of which contain main-deck 《Disdainful Stroke》s. After this, the percentages drop off significantly, and we see less popular decks like Gruul Aggro and Mardu Knights round out the metagame. So let’s take a look at five popular decks that were submitted, and I’ll tell you what archetype I predict will emerge victorious at the end of the tournament.

#1 Bant Golos

Golos, Tireless PilgrimField of the DeadKenrith, the Returned King

23 players (including myself) chose to submit Bant Golos for this event. Others chose Fires Golos or a different variation. I think the Bant version is the best deck in the format. The engine is potent and interacting with lands is at an all-time low in Standard after we lost tools like 《Field of Ruin》, 《Blood Sun》, and 《Alpine Moon》 to the rotation. The deck has been dominating both online and IRL, which has lots of people on Twitter saying 《Field of the Dead》 needs to be banned, and I agree with them. Being able to play 28-30 lands in a five-color deck with near-zero cost is problematic, and the majority of the time leads to uninteresting and frankly — a frustrating gaming experience.

The thing to keep in mind is 《Oko, Thief of Crowns》 is ridiculously powerful, and if Field left would be even more powerful. Wizards of the Coast needs to tread carefully, but right now, I’m advocating for a ban on both 《Field of the Dead》 and 《Oko, Thief of Crowns》.

#2 Oko Food Variants

Gilded GooseOko, Thief of CrownsNissa, Who Shakes the World

These decks are all excellent choices and mainly prey on aggro decks and other midrange decks. I do believe they are slightly disfavored against Golos Field — but not by much. Their best starts usually involve 《Gilded Goose》, into Oko, into an early 《Nissa, Who Shakes the World》.

Disdainful Stroke

If Food variants want to win this tournament, they need to pressure the Golos players and try to maneuver board states where they are ahead and back it up with a 《Disdainful Stroke》 (not precisely the easiest situation to set up). The Golos player’s strategy of the other side will be to put a priority on cleaning up board states and not letting things get too out of control at any one time. If they do so, 《Disdainful Stroke》 will go from an all-star card to a medium one.

#3 Czech Bant Ramp

Teferi, Time RavelerDeputy of DetentionOnce Upon a Time

From the brain trust featuring Stanislav Cifka and Ondrej Strasky, this is a new deck to the scene. This is the same team that found Kethis Combo last season, despite the cards being available in Standard for quite some time without others finding it. They are at it again.

Their deck looks to ramp out early with 《Paradise Druid》/《Arboreal Grazer》 and play a 《Deputy of Detention》 later in the game to clear up a large horde of zombie tokens from the Golos player. Deputy might be the best card in this deck. Not only can it be picked up by 《Teferi, Time Raveler》, but it can also be found by 《Once Upon a Time》 (a card featured in a majority of decks this weekend). Like 《Legion’s End》, 《Deputy of Detention》 is and will continue to be well-positioned as long as tokens play a prominent theme in Standard. Look for this deck and the players piloting it to go far in this tournament.

#4 Gruul Aggro

Gruul SpellbreakerSkarrgan HellkiteEmbercleave

This is one of the few decks my team, and I found in testing that had a favorable matchup against Golos Field. Haste creatures are good against wrath-effects, and 《Skarrgan Hellkite》s and 《Embercleave》 are excellent ways to get through tokens.

The problem with the deck? The mana. The deck is forced to play many basic lands and frankly can be quite inconsistent. It needs to hit double red and double green — and the current fixing in Standard isn’t what it used to be. It doesn’t even want to play something like 《Fabled Passage》, but sadly is forced to. Additionally, the Food Matchup and BG Adventure matchups are not so great. Proceed with caution if you decide to pick up this deck. Someone could go far with this strategy, but they will need a little bit of luck, both mana and pairing wise.

#5 BG Adventure

Edgewall InnkeeperFoulmire KnightLovestruck Beast

I think this deck is underrated, and I would have submitted something similar if I had not chosen Golos. There are two different versions of the deck. The one you see above, popularized by Piotr Glogowski in the MPL split, and the other is a 《Lucky Clover》-Knight version that I played in that split as well. Both use 《Edgewall Innkeeper》 as a one-sided 《Howling Mine》 and 《Lovestruck Beast》 (a card that will stop aggro in its tracks). While the version I played has a deceivingly powerful knight engine with a unique drain ability — I do feel like Piotr’s is the stronger and more well-rounded version.

Questing BeastRankle, Master of PranksVivien, Arkbow Ranger

You get to play incredible four drops (《Questing Beast》, 《Rankle, Master of Pranks》, and 《Vivien, Arkbow Ranger》), all of which are good against Golos Field. 《Paradise Druid》 might seem like an odd inclusion, but it makes perfect sense and was something I was considering in BG as well. It gets your four drops down one turn earlier and smoothes the mana out, letting you play Vivien, which would otherwise be much harder to do.

Legion's End

As mentioned previously, 《Legion’s End》 is excellent against Golos. They need a 《Veil of Summer》 up to interact with the card favorably, which isn’t always feasible. The tricky part about BG is balancing removal and threats, and also being aggressive enough to have a good chance vs Golos. I think Piotr did an excellent job of this. I could see a player going far with this strategy, but they will need to win a lot of die rolls in order to actually to pressure golos players.

Conclusion and Bonus Deck

So what do I think will win the tournament? Well, Golos Field, of course and for three reasons. First, it will be the most played deck. This makes it an obvious front runner. Second, it is doing the most powerful and resilient thing you can do in Standard. And third, Standard master Brad Nelson is playing it himself 🙂

My teammates and I spent a lot of our testing time looking for a deck that could both beat Golos meaningfully while also being OK against the rest of the metagame and couldn’t find it. While I was worried slightly about playing a deck people would be targeting, I doubted people’s ability actually to beat it significantly, and it felt to me like it could never be a truly bad choice because of its incredible raw power level and inevitability. The only thing I’m not looking forward to is the mirrors.

That’s all I have for today. I hope everyone enjoyed the read and tunes into MC V. You can catch the action at Twitch. Wish me luck!

Bonus Deck: BR Adventure Knights

Smitten SwordmasterLucky CloverBonecrusher Giant

Also, here is a bonus decklist if you are looking for a change of pace in Standard. I created this deck in testing but it sadly wasn’t quite good enough to submit for MC V. It’s probably not worth giving up access to 《Edgewall Innkeeper》, but the deck is fun to play and has a lot of reach 🙂

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John Rolf

John Rolf John Rolf is a pro player from United States. In the 2017-2018 season, He top8ed in Pro Tour Ixalan with his favorite 《Hazoret the Fervent》. Furthermore, he constantly left the good results in GPs and PTs, he finally reached Platinum Level from Bronze Level season starting and accomplished his first world championship appearance. With Brandon Ayers who is the teammate and best friend in the same town, he joined Hareruya Pros in the 2018-2019 season. Read more articles by John Rolf