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Mythic Championship 1 Cleveland: Day One Wrap Up


Today marked the start of our first ever Mythic Championship. All of the Magic Pro League along with nearly 500 other players started their battle for money and glory in Cleveland, with the formats being Ravnica Allegiance booster draft and Standard constructed. While we won't know the true winners and losers until Sunday, the first day of a Mythic Championship does give us an interesting overview of what the professional community thinks about our Standard format. As such, our main focus today will be to look at the metagame and decks from day one of the event!

Coverage

Before jumping into the decks, a quick word on coverage: with Wizards cutting back greatly on Grand Prix coverage there was some thought that perhaps they were pouring all of their resources into making Mythic Championship coverage insane. So far this appears to not be the case. While the coverage from Mythic Championship Cleveland was solid for the most part, it looked more or less like coverage of past Pro Tours. It will be interesting to see what happens when we have our first Magic Arena Mythic Championship — perhaps this is where all of the coverage resources are going in 2019.

The Meta

You can see the full metagame breakdown here.

#1: Sultai Midrange

Having Sultai Midrange come in as the most-played deck in the format is unsurprising — it's been near the top of Standard ever since Hydroid Krasis came out and Golgari Midrange decided the finisher was worth splashing into blue for. It's likely a safe choice, and with Mythic Championship Cleveland being one of the largest Pro Tours in a long time, Sultai Midrange appears to be the deck of choice for some high-level pros as well as qualifiers who decided to play the "best deck" heading into the tournament. 

#2: Nexus of Fate

Being the second most-played deck in the format is somewhat surprisingly for Nexus of Fate. Heading into the Mythic Championship, the most-played Nexus of Fate deck was only the seventh most-played overall. However, the metagame page lumps together all the different builds of Nexus of Fate into one heading, which help explains why it ranks so high. Wilderness Reclamation has long been called the most broken card in Standard; the big question moving forward this weekend is what Nexus of Fate deck is best and if any of the pros at the Mythic Championship figured out a way to truly break the archetype. 

#3: White Aggro

White-based aggro decks (both mono-white and Azorius) have risen up the Standard rankings in recent weeks based on the power of Tithe Taker to the already strong White Weenie shell that we saw dominate at Pro Tour Ravnica Allegiance. At this point, we don't know the exact breakdown of Mono-White versus Azorius, but it will be worth keeping an eye on for the rest of the weekend, as heading into the event both archetypes were among the top eight decks in Ravnica Allegiance Standard.

#4: Mono-Blue Tempo

Rising from a quirky budget deck to one of the best archetype in Ravnica Allegiance Standard, Mono-Blue Tempo is the final pillar of the Mythic Championship Cleveland Standard format. Don't expect much innovation here — sticking a Curious Obsession on an evasive creature and protecting it with counters has been the plan of Mono-Blue Tempo for as long as it has been a deck and this is unlikely to change on the Mythic Championship stage.

#5: Esper Control

Coming in at just under 10% of the metagame we have Esper Control. While being the fifth most-played deck at a Mythic Championship is nothing to scoff at, in some ways this is a disappointment for Esper Control considering it was the third most-played deck in the metagame heading into the event. Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is still one of the most powerful cards you can resolve in Standard. The question will be whether Esper Control players can find the right mixture of answers to deal with the diverse range of threat presented by the other top decks in the format ranging from enchantments like Wilderness Reclamation to uncounterable Hydroid Krasis card draw, to aggressive one-drops from Mono-Blue and Mono-Red.

Other Meta Decks

The top five decks at Mythic Championship Cleveland make up 79% of the meta. The other 21% is made up of other known decks, with the exception of the 24 "other" decks. In all honesty, there aren't really a lot of surprises here: the Standard metagame at Mythic Championship Cleveland is roughly the same as the broader Standard metagame heading into the event.

If we dig deeper to the decks being played by just a couple of people, we find that most of the "other" decks are two- and three-color midrange decks like Jund, Dimir, Naya, and Orzhov. While it's possible that some of them are spicy, we won't really know until the best performing lists get published on Sunday, since "Orzhov Midrange" and "Jund Midrange" doesn't really tell us much about the makeup of the decks.

Deck Tech Decks

Wrap Up

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In general, there weren't a ton of surprises on day one of the Mythic Championship in Cleveland. Perhaps the biggest winner of day one was Mono-Blue Tempo which seemed to be on camera just about every round and seems to have several players near the top of the standings heading into day two. Meanwhile, Esper Control might be over performing, at least based on the matches we've seen in the featuring match area.

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On the other hand, the biggest loser from day one was very likely Nexus of Fate, which didn't show up on camera a single time despite being the second most-played deck. Whether that means that Nexus of Fate decks are performing poorly or Wizards is intentionally keeping them off of video for the sake of the audience, it's hard to say. We should have more details tomorrow once the day to metagame breakdown is revealed. My guess would be a little of both, considering the amount of Mono-Blue Tempo on the top tables. We also didn't see much White Aggro on day one, but this could just be a quirk of coverage.

One thing that was clear from day one is that Wizards is focusing heavily on the Magic Pro League from a coverage perspective. This might explain why there was so much Mono-Blue Tempo on camera since many of the MPL players near the top of the standings are on the deck. Finally, heading into day two we have two undefeated players: one playing Esper Control and one on Simic Nexus (which does suggest the deck can win even though we haven't seen it on camera), with a bunch of Mono-Blue Tempo in the 7-1 bracket. 

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. We'll be back tomorrow to break down all the happenings from day two at Mythic Championship Cleveland. Until then, did you catch any of the live stream? What did you think? What decks will you be rooting for over the next couple of days? Let me know in the comments! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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