MC V Breakdown and Bannings

Arne Huschenbeth

Arne Huschenbeth

Introduction

Hello everyone, today I am going to take a look at the Mythic Championship V decklists. MC V will be held on October 18-20. Over the course of this article I will point out certain details in deck construction and predict how the different archetypes will perform at MC V. Additionally I will provide you with a few words on bannings at the end. Let’s start by getting a quick overview of the metagame.

Mythic Championship V Metagame Breakdown

Archetype % of the Field
Bant Golos 33.8
Simic Food 16.2
Golgari Adventure 8.8
Golos Fires 7.4
Bant Ramp 7.4
Gruul Aggro 5.9
Bant Food 4.4
Mardu Knights 4.4
Selesnya Adventure 4.4
Others 7.4

All but one of the decks on this list play green. Only 6 out of 68 players chose not to play green at this tournament. Green has a lot of tools right now and it is hard to decide against using these tools.

Bant Golos

Bant Golos is the current king of the format. The question in the room is if it should be banned or not and this tournament is there to help answer this question. All eyes on 《Field of the Dead》. Brad Nelson, one of the best Standard players of all time, chose to play public enemy number one, let’s take a look at his list.

Agent of TreacheryKenrith, the Returned KingAgent of Treachery

Brad went without the 《Fae of Wishes》/ 《Jace, Wielder of Mysteries》 package and opted instead for two copies of 《Agent of Treachery》 and one 《Kenrith, the Returned King》 instead of a 《Hydroid Krasis》 as main deck tools against the mirror. I am a big fan of main decking two 《Agent of Treachery》 since the first days of Bant Golos. The card has an immense power level and this deck can easily fit it in. Mirrorbreaker and together with the sweepers your best card against Simic/Bant Food decks.

Ashiok, Dream RenderDeputy of DetentionTeferi, Time Raveler

The sideboard is fairly unexciting, Brad opted for 《Ashiok, Dream Render》 and 《Deputy of Detention》 as the mirror tech. Deputy is fantastic, Ashiok is good on turn 3. One last thing, we see many Golos lists trim on 《Teferi, Time Raveler》 which is good news for everyone who registered 《Negate》 and/or 《Disdainful Stroke》 at this tournament. Especially with this extra time to make sideboard plans for each and every matchup, we will most likely see players exploit this weakness.

Simic Food

Next up Simic Food. The Japanese testing team and Pantheon chose to play this Archetype.

Disdainful Stroke

I, myself, couldn’t do much Standard testing in the last two weeks, because I was concentrating on testing Limited for GP Utrecht. But I can tell you that what I had on my mind or let’s say what I would have tried to combat Bant Golos would have been Simic Food with 《Disdainful Stroke》s in the main. I also said it on stream when people in chat asked me what I would do, maybe Kai Budde or Reid Duke listened to me. Stealing my tech! We will never know, but I take all the credit if Simic Food wins! Just kidding, even if unrelated seeing Pantheon putting my thoughts into action is just very cool.

Castle GarenbrigCastle Vantress

The rest of the list is very straightforward 24 lands and only 4-ofs. 《Questing Beast》 as the best card against Bant Golos is included. Pantheon chose not to play 《Castle Vantress》 just 1 《Castle Garenbrig》, while the Japanese team played both of them. Pantheon going for the consistency, The Japanese for the better lategame.

Voracious Hydra

The sideboard has no unusual suspects either, 《Voracious Hydra》 lurking in the board to come in against most Non-Golos decks. I would have liked to see some number of 《Agent of Treachery》 for the mirror match, but Pantheon decided their space is better used. The Japanese are playing one copy in the 75. One more fun fact on the Pantheon list. Reid Duke apparently had a tough time deciding what mana creatures to play. While all the other members of his team submitted four 《Paradise Druid》, Reid opted for two 《Leafkin Druid》, one 《Paradise Druid》 and one 《Maraleaf Pixie》. I am curious to find out his thought process behind those numbers.

In any case, if Simic Food can hold a winning record against the many Golos players, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it being one of the best performing strategies of Mythic Champpionship V.

Golgari Adventure

Next up Golgari Adventure in the hands of Piotr “Kanister” Glogowski.

Paradise DruidVivien, Arkbow RangerNissa, Who Shakes the WorldThe Great Henge

The newest additions to the archetype are 《Paradise Druid》, 《Vivien, Arkbow Ranger》 and 《Nissa, Who Shakes the World》. Vivien’s strength depends on the creatures in your sideboard. Kanister chose to go with 《Kraul Harpooner》, 《Thrashing Brontodon》, 《Massacre Girl》 and 《Cavalier of Night》 as his tutor targets. A nice set of creatures to get. 《Paradise Druid》 speeds up your game plan and 《Nissa, Who Shakes the World》 gives you extra mana to go off in the lategame with 《Edgewall Innkeeper》 and 《The Great Henge》.

Davriel, Rogue ShadowmageAshiok, Dream RenderLiliana, Dreadhorde General

The overall trend we can see is that the deck relies less on Adventure synergy and goes more for raw power level. I like this approach and I am especially looking forward how 《Vivien, Arkbow Ranger》 plays out in this shell. A powerful planeswalker that hasn’t had their time in the spotlight yet. More planeswalkers in the board with 《Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage》 as resource denial, 《Ashiok, Dream Render》 mostly for Golos and one copy of 《Liliana, Dreadhorde General》 to trump the midrange mirrors.

Bant Ramp

Next up we have Bant Ramp, I will refer to it as Czech Food, (Czech Food is very delicious and the name is funny) the deck chosen by deckbuilding genius Stanislav Cifka and his teammates.

Deputy of DetentionTeferi, Time RavelerTolsimir, Friend to Wolves

The Czech opted to play Bant instead of just going for the consistent Simic version of “Oko.dec”. White cards in the 75 are three 《Deputy of Detention》, two 《Teferi, Time Raveler》 and two 《Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves》 in the sideboard. Deputy is the best it has ever been right now. Lots of zombie tokens and 《Hydroid Krasis》 to turn into dust. We all know that 《Teferi, Time Raveler》 is a good card all around. And 《Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves》 provides you with an excellent hate card against aggressive creature strategies, especially in combination with 《Wicked Wolf》.

Nissa, Who Shakes the WorldHydroid KrasisCastle Vantress

While Simic Food is more an aggressive ramp into heavy hitters and planeswalkers strategy. This Bant deck follows the plan of winning the game with planeswalkers and 《Hydroid Krasis》 plus 《Castle Vantress》 to keep the gas flowing. But of course it can also just cheese you out with two of the most powerful plays in the format. Turn 2 《Oko, Thief of Crowns》 or Turn 3 《Nissa, Who Shakes the World》. 《Deputy of Detention》 is also a nice counterplay against 《Agent of Treachery》. With Agent being the only clean way for Bant Golos to deal with planeswalkers, it is nice to have Deputy to just get them back eventually. This version of the Oko/Nissa shell scratches the 4-drops 《Wicked Wolf》 and 《Questing Beast》 for more lands, more ramp, Deputies and Teferi. 《Once Upon a Time》 to glue things together.

This deck is very strong and I believe it can compete against Bant Golos. But without maindeck 《Disdainful Stroke》 a strong draw from Bant Golos with early ramp will cause problems for you. The Czech team is definitely very well prepared and I am sure they got a good grasp on the metagame as well as the Golos Matchup. I am looking forward to see how this deck plays out.

Bant Food

Next up we have Bant Food by Marcio Carvalho and Andrea Mengucci. Basically a middle ground of the two previous decks.

Leafkin DruidDeputy of Detention

This list is very close to Pantheon’s Simic Food list. The differences in the main, besides the manabase, are -2 《Once Upon a Time》 +2 《Leafkin Druid》 and -4 《Disdainful Stroke》 +4 《Deputy of Detention》. Also of note, 4 《Disdainful Stroke》 in the board. If I am a Bant Golos player, I assure you I would be scared to sit across Andrea or Marcio.

The strategy here is to just be quick onto the board, deal chip damage and finish your Golos opponent off with a 《Deputy of Detention》 taking away crucial blockers. The list is very clean, I would have liked to see a little less blue cards in the board for more stuff like Tolsimir or Hydra, otherwise I give my thumbs up.

It is very interesting to see the Czech Team, Pantheon and Carvalho/Mengucci come up with different takes on the Oko/Nissa/Krasis shell. Is it Simic’s consistency, is it the Czech explosiveness or a mix of both that will prevail? I am not sure, they are good reasons for all three versions and seeing the best in the world come up with three different takes shows us that there is still uncertainty and disagreement. Hopefully this tournament can clear things up.

Golos Fires

Five players chose to go with Golos Fires, here we have MC I Champion Autumn Burchett’s take on the archetype.

Fires of InventionFae of WishesDeafening Clarion

I am not the biggest fan of Golos Fires to begin with. The deck is aiming to be more powerful than Bant Golos by trading consistency and most of your sideboard in for a higher powerlevel. Losing out in the postboard games because your opponent actually has a sideboard they can use. The deck is very weak against counterspells without 《Teferi, Time Raveler》. Three 《Beanstalk Giant》 and three 《Fabled Passage》 with only six Basics is questionable as well as just playing 28 lands. The one thing Golos Fires has going for it is that 《Deafening Clarion》 can’t be countered by 《Disdainful Stroke》. Nonetheless I would be surprised if this archetype makes a deep run.

Gruul Aggro

Next up we have Gruul Aggro piloted by Javier Dominguez.

Zhur-Taa GoblinCollision+Colossus

Gruul is known to be good against Bant Golos and that’s about it. Oko and Adventure decks are things this deck doesn’t want to see across the table. Javier choses to go for tempo instead of lategame by playing 《Zhur-Taa Goblin》 over 《Growth-Chamber Guardian》. 《Domri’s Ambush》 got moved to the board for 《Collision/Colossus》. Another indicator that Javier was aiming to make the Golos Matchup as good as possible.

Selesnya Adventure

My good friend and teammate Christian Hauck chose to bring Selesnya Adventure to the arena.

Venerated LoxodonUnbreakable FormationFlower+Flourish

I have almost zero experience with or against this deck. I trust Christian in finding a strong proactive strategy with a good Golos matchup. I am really not sure how this deck plays out against the top decks. I believe Oko is a problem for this deck, which means another good matchup for the Food boys in the room.

Mardu Knights

Last, but certainly not least we have a spicy one. Mardu Knights in the hands of two Hall of Famers, Ben Stark and Eric Froehlich.

EmbercleaveWeaselback Redcap

Aggressive and low to the ground is the name of the game. Get under them with a good curve out and use the power of 《Embercleave》 to push the last damage through. 《Weaselback Redcap》 got the spot over 《Foulmire Knight》. The pump seems more relevant than Deathtouch and lategame potential of the zombie knight. Interesting to see the exclusion of removal magnet 《Worthy Knight》. This deck looks to be strong against Golos, but yet again similar to Selesnya and Gruul will most likely struggle against 《Oko, Thief of Crowns》.

Summary

Those are the top decks of MC V and my take on each of them. I think the clear winners will be the Food decks. Filled with very powerful cards and a good plan against the most played deck, they look to be in prime position to win the most. I can’t really say “to win the tournament”, because logically the division winners playing 2x Bant Golos (Carlos Romao and Seth Manfield), Mono Red Cavalcade (Lee Shi Tian) and Mardu Knights (Ben Stark) are big big favorites to take it down with their advantage of already having advanced to the Top16.

Fook Token

Here, because everyone loves rankings, my ranking for the best performing archetypes at MC V. The Top3 are very close together and I am uncertain which will come out on top. One thing is for sure, UGx Food will dominate this tournament.

My Rank Archetype
#1 Czech Food
#2 Bant Food
#3 Simic Food
#4 Golgari Adventure
#5 Bant Golos
#6 Selesnya Adventure
#7 Golos Fires
#8 Gruul Aggro
#9 Mardu Knights

My Perspective on the Next B & R Announcement

At last a few words regarding potential bannings. Wizards of the Coast announced last week that they are shifting the Banned and Restricted Announcement from November 18 to October 21. Signaling to us that they are having an eye on Standard cards and that they might want to ban something after the conclusion of MC V. 《Field of the Dead》 is the most obvious target, Golos could be a consideration and 《Oko, Thief of Crowns》 is hopefully on their watchlist as well.

Field of the Dead
Crumble to DustAcidic SlimeAlpine Moon

A few words to 《Field of the Dead》. I believe, in my humble opinion, that the card is totally fine to have in Standard. It just comes to be, that in conjunction with Golos being in the format, Aggro being rather weak, midrange being king and most importantly the hate for Field being very narrow – Field decks become dominating. This would have been easily fixable by more hate like 《Crumble to Dust》, 《Acidic Slime》 or 《Alpine Moon》 and so on.

Gilded GooseOko, Thief of CrownsWicked WolfQuesting Beast

Now we come to the core of the problem, the printing of multiple very strong green cards like 《Gilded Goose》, 《Oko, Thief of Crowns》, 《Wicked Wolf》 and 《Questing Beast》. These extremely pushed green cards cited by Oko push out the Aggro decks. We have weaker aggressive cards and we are punishing aggressive strategies. Nobody seems to realize what is going on, most people are just complaining about the powerlevel of 《Field of the Dead》 and 《Oko, Thief of Crowns》. While the real issue lies in the entire format. A healthy format has Aggro, Midrange/Control and “Over the Top”/Combo decks. This format really only has the last two. Yes you can play Aggro, but let’s be real it’s not advisable.

How do we fix it? We have to make the green midrange decks much weaker. The Food Archetype relies on 《Oko, Thief of Crowns》. Without Oko 《Gilded Goose》 will become very medium and maybe even unwanted. Green is way too strong. We have to axe 《Oko, Thief of Crowns》 to make this format enjoyable to play. The card was a design mistake. To the people that are scared of a price drop, Oko is being tested in all eternal formats right now. I expect Oko will be a staple in Modern and maybe even in Legacy. The price will drop after a ban of course, but if you hold Oko it might just take six months or a year and he will be back to where he was. If we just ban Oko, Field will probably still be very dominant because the aggressive cards are just not that great right now. This would probably not be an issue if we had better hate against Field, then we could just leave Field alone. But as is, I think if we ban 《Oko, Thief of Crowns》 we also have to do something about 《Field of the Dead》 for the time being.

Teferi, Time Raveler

You could also make a case to ban 《Teferi, Time Raveler》. Teferi is a very unfun and obnoxious card to play against. I like to compare it to eternal staples like 《Blood Moon》 and 《Chalice of the Void》. Very annoying, but not format warping and not to strong in themselves. I would be happy if Teferi goes, but it is by no means necessary.

My suggestion would be to ban 《Oko, Thief of Crowns》 in Standard forever and to ban or restrict 《Field of the Dead》 down to one copy with the statement that it might be unbanned at some point in the future when more cards (land hate/strong aggressive cards) have entered the format. Of course, this suggestion is not set in stone yet and just based on the current facts. I will take a close look at how MC V plays out and maybe adjust my ban suggestion, I believe that to be unlikely though.

With that being said, let us all enjoy the Mythic Championship and hopefully say Goodbye to Broko very soon.

Until next time,

Arne (Twitter / Twitch)

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Arne Huschenbeth

Arne Huschenbeth Arne is an enthusiast for Standard and won GP Rimini which was held by exact his favorite format. He also achived impressive 10-0 record at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation. He has 3 more GP top 8s past seasons, and earned 41 Pro Points during 2017-2018 season which was good enough to become a Gold Level Pro. Read more articles by Arne Huschenbeth

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