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Mythic Championship VII Matchup Data


Apart from wrapping up pro play for 2019, Mythic Championship VII was notable for one major reason: it was the first Mythic Championship since the latest round of Standard bannings took Oko, Thief of Crowns, Veil of Summer, and Once Upon a Time. Only a month ago we were talking about how Oko itself took up around 70% of the meta at Mythic Championship VI, but at least in terms of deck diversity the bannings seem to have righted Standard's ship. Congratulations to Piotr Glogowski for winning the entire tournament with Jund Sacrifice, not dropping a match the entire tournament! You can see all the decks from the tournament here.

Today we're going to take a look at the matchup data from Mythic Championship VII to try to get a sense of which decks performed best (and worst) on Magic's biggest stage. Of course, this comes with a big asterisk: Mythic Championship VII only had 67 players, which means we're working with some small sample sizes. As such, our analysis should be considered preliminary and used to back up play testing and other sources of information. This said, when we broke down the matchup from Mythic Championship V, the numbers were eerily predictive despite a similar sample size. Anyway, here are the numbers.

 
Overall
Other
Azorius Control 44%
(25)
n/a
(0)
0%
(2)
67%
(3)
0%
(2)
75%
(8)
100%
(1)
50%
(2)
0%
(1)
50%
(2)
n/a
(0)
0%
(4)
Golgari Adventure 48%
(65)
100%
(2)
50%
(6)
43%
(7)
40%
(5)
41%
(17)
45%
(11)
100%
(2)
50%
(4)
0%
(1)
0%
(2)
63%
(8)
Golgari Sacrifice 44%
(50)
33%
(3)
57%
(7)
n/a
(0)
50%
(4)
43%
(14)
40%
(5)
n/a
(0)
25%
(4)
33%
(3)
50%
(2)
50%
(8)
Izzet Flash 47%
(53)
100%
(2)
60%
(5)
50%
(4)
50%
(2)
67%
(9)
29%
(14)
50%
(2)
20%
(5)
0%
(2)
33%
(3)
80%
(5)
Jeskai Fires 49%
(124)
25%
(8)
59%
(17)
57%
(14)
33%
(9)
50%
(24)
55%
(11)
67%
(6)
11%
(9)
50%
(8)
50%
(6)
67%
(12)
Jund Sacrifice 58%
(76)
0%
(1)
55%
(11)
60%
(5)
71%
(14)
45%
(11)
50%
(6)
50%
(2)
63%
(8)
60%
(5)
50%
(6)
71%
(7)
Rakdos Sacrifice 40%
(20)
50%
(2)
0%
(2)
n/a
(0)
50%
(2)
33%
(6)
50%
(2)
n/a
(0)
0%
(1)
n/a
(0)
100%
(1)
50%
(4)
Simic Flash 67%
(46)
100%
(1)
50%
(4)
75%
(4)
80%
(5)
89%
(9)
38%
(8)
100%
(1)
50%
(4)
0%
(3)
100%
(2)
100%
(5)
Simic Ramp 55%
(29)
50%
(2)
100%
(1)
67%
(3)
100%
(2)
50%
(8)
40%
(5)
n/a
(0)
100%
(3)
n/a
(0)
33%
(3)
0%
(2)
Temur Reclamation 54%
(28)
n/a
(0)
100%
(2)
50%
(2)
67%
(3)
50%
(6)
50%
(6)
0%
(1)
0%
(2)
67%
(3)
n/a
(0)
67%
(3)
Other 41%
(68)
100%
(4)
38%
(8)
50%
(8)
20%
(5)
33%
(12)
29%
(7)
50%
(4)
0%
(5)
100%
(2)
33%
(3)
50%
(10)

 

The Most Played Deck

 
Overall
Jeskai Fires 49%
(124)
25%
(8)
59%
(17)
57%
(14)
33%
(9)
50%
(24)
55%
(11)
67%
(6)
11%
(9)
50%
(8)
50%
(6)
67%
(12)

Jeskai Fires was the most played deck at Mythic Championship VII, and managed to win just under half the time overall with a 49% match win percentage. However, if you dig a bit deeper into the numbers you can get a very good sense of where Jeskai Fires stands in the meta: it tends to crush Adventure decks and various Cauldron Familiar / Witch's Oven sacrifice strategies, but gets absolutely dominated by more counterspell heavy decks, winning only 33% of the time against Izzet Flash, 25% against Azorius Control and a dismal 11% of the time against Simic Flash which put three players in the Top Eight and should be in line to see more play moving forward. 

This leaves us in a weird position: Jeskai Fires seems like it was a good deck for Standard from a week ago and an okay deck for Mythic Championship VII, but it might not be all that good a week from now. Flash decks are already popular choices on Arena since they can often be built without a huge number of wildcards. Combine that with their solid performance at Mythic Championships VII and it seems likely that Jeskai Fires worst matchups are about to get a lot more popular. Plus, it's hard for Jeskai Fires to fix its weakness against counterspells since it can't simply overload on sideboard Negates and Mystic Desputes itself, since its namesake Fires of Inventions disallows the casting of spells on opponents' turns.

The Best Decks

 
Overall
Jund Sacrifice 58%
(76)
0%
(1)
55%
(11)
60%
(5)
71%
(14)
45%
(11)
50%
(6)
50%
(2)
63%
(8)
60%
(5)
50%
(6)
71%
(7)

Two big winners emerged at Mythic Championship VII. The first was Jund Sacrifice. The Cat Oven strategy backed by the explosive Korvold, Fae-Cursed King as a finisher posted a win rate of 50% or better against every deck in the field except for losing a single match against Azorius Control (a sample size that is meaningless) and showing a slight weakness to Jeskai Fires where it only won 45% of the time across 11 match. Otherwise, the deck was somewhere between fine and good against everything, and was especially successful against Flash decks, beating Izzet Flash 71% of the time and Simic Flash 63% of the time, making Jund Sacrifice one of just two decks in the Mythic Championships VII field that can actually boast of a winning record against the dominant Simic Flash. If we assume that Simic Flash is on the rise based on its Mythic Championship VII performance and that Jeskai Fires is on the decline (since it can't beat Flash decks), Jund Sacrifice might be the best deck in Standard moving forward. It helps that it was the eventual tournament winner as well.

 
Overall
Simic Flash 67%
(46)
100%
(1)
50%
(4)
75%
(4)
80%
(5)
89%
(9)
38%
(8)
100%
(1)
50%
(4)
0%
(3)
100%
(2)
100%
(5)

While Jund Sacrifice was good at Mythic Championships VII, Simic Flash was great. While individual matchups suffer from small sample sizes since the deck wasn't all that heavily played at the tournament, winning at a 67% clip overall across 46 matches is extremely impressive. Furthermore, setting aside the sample size problem for a minute, the deck didn't seem to have that many bad matchups, going 0-3 against Simic Ramp and winning 38% of the time against Jund Sacrifice. Otherwise, the deck didn't just beat, but crush, many of the other decks in the field. The deck backed up its solid numbers by putting three players into the Top Eight, which means it will get a ton of extra time on camera. When you add this all together, Simic Flash is - by far - the biggest winner of Mythic Championship VII and will likely see a lot more play as we move towards Theros: Beyond Death's release in just over a month, which is potentially good news for Jund Sacrifice and maybe Simic Ramp, but bad news for many other heavily played decks which really struggle to beat Simic Flash.

It's Complicated Decks

 
Overall
Simic Ramp 55%
(29)
50%
(2)
100%
(1)
67%
(3)
100%
(2)
50%
(8)
40%
(5)
n/a
(0)
100%
(3)
n/a
(0)
33%
(3)
0%
(2)

 
Overall
Temur Reclamation 54%
(28)
n/a
(0)
100%
(2)
50%
(2)
67%
(3)
50%
(6)
50%
(6)
0%
(1)
0%
(2)
67%
(3)
n/a
(0)
67%
(3)

Simic Ramp and Temur Reclamation are two decks that, at first glance, look like winners from Mythic Championship VII, joining Simic Flash and Jund Sacrifice as the only decks to win more than 50% of the time overall. However, if you dig deeper into the performance of the two decks, the shine starts to wear off a bit. First and most obviously, the sample size for both decks is tiny, which each only having three players at the event, which means only 28 and 29 matches were played with Temur Reclamation and Jund Sacrifice respectively. Furthermore, if you look at the performances of the players on these decks you'll see an interesting pattern. 

  • Simic Ramp: one player with zero wins, one player with six wins, one player in the Top Eight.
  • Temur Reclamation: one player with two wins, one player with four wins, one player with nine wins (missing Top Eight on tie breakers). 

The story of both Simic Ramp and Temur Reclamation is that they each had one player that absolutely killed with the deck, with John Girardot just missing the Top Eight with nine Temur Reclamation wins and Andrea Mengucci hitting 10 wins and making the Top Eight with Simic Ramp. Considering that other players on these decks performed somewhere between average and, in some cases, downright poorly, and it's fair to wonder if Simic Ramp and Temur Reclamation are good decks (as their win percentage suggests) or if certain players are just very good at playing these decks. Combine that with the small sample size and it's really difficult to say much about these decks. Could they be good? It's certainly possible. Could they be much worse than their overall win percentage suggests if you aren't Mengucci or Girardot? Also very possible. 

 
Overall
Azorius Control 44%
(25)
n/a
(0)
0%
(2)
67%
(3)
0%
(2)
75%
(8)
100%
(1)
50%
(2)
0%
(1)
50%
(2)
n/a
(0)
0%
(4)

In many ways, everything we were just talking about in regards to Simic Ramp and Temur Reclamation holds true for Azorius Control, but rather than posting good win percentage with a small sample size, Azorius Control posted a bad win percentage with a small sample size. Ben Stark hit seven wins with the deck, while its other two players got stuck on two wins and dropped out on day one. As an example of just how tricky analysis can be with small sample sizes, if a Azorius Control player won two more matches the deck would have almost exactly the same stats as Temur Reclamation and Simic Ramp. It's also worth mentioning that Azorius Control played some weird matchups, running into "other" decks four times (its most played matchup outside of Jeskai Fires) and losing every time, so it might be that Control players at Mythic Championships VII had some bad luck in hitting less expected matchups that happened to line up well with UW Control's answers. If there's good news for the control deck, it did beat Jeskai Fires 75% of the time across eight matchups, and seemed to do well against various sacrifice decks as well, although in a sample size this small its hard to say much definitively. 

Middling Heavily Played Decks

 
Overall
Golgari Adventure 48%
(65)
100%
(2)
50%
(6)
43%
(7)
40%
(5)
41%
(17)
45%
(11)
100%
(2)
50%
(4)
0%
(1)
0%
(2)
63%
(8)

Overall, Golgari Adventures posted an underwhelming but not terrible win percentage at 48%, although in reality, traditional builds of Golgari Adventures were even worse than these already middling numbers suggest. A total of three players made day two at Mythic Championship VII with Golgari Adventures, and none of them were playing the traditional build of the deck. Ally Warfield ended up at eight wins playing a Smitten Swordmaster / Lucky Clover Knights build of Golgari Adventures, while both Jordan Cairns (who ended with eight wins) and Chris Kvartek (who cruised to 10 wins and a Top Eight birth) played builds of Golgari Adventures featuring four main deck copies of Vivien, Arkbow Ranger, a bunch of Rotting Regisaurs and some number of The Great Henges. 

To me, this suggests that there is a way to build Golgari Adventures to be successful in our current Standard meta, but simply playing the old build from a couple of weeks ago isn't likely to get the job done. We often think about innovation in terms of creating new archetypes, but in the case of Golgari Adventures the top two players innovated within the confines of a GB Edgewall Innkeeper shell and were greatly rewarded with solid performances at Mythic Championships VII. If you're looking to play Golgari Adventures in the new future in paper or on Magic Arena, go with Crhis Kvartek's build. It looked very strong at Mythic Championships VII, and should be the default build of Golgari Adventures moving foward.

 
Overall
Izzet Flash 47%
(53)
100%
(2)
60%
(5)
50%
(4)
50%
(2)
67%
(9)
29%
(14)
50%
(2)
20%
(5)
0%
(2)
33%
(3)
80%
(5)

While a 47% win percentage isn't horrible, it's hard to think of Izzet Flash as anything but a loser at Mythic Championships VII, in part because winning 47% of the time isn't great, and in part because Simic Flash was so good that it's hard to see a reason to play Izzet if you want to play a flash deck. Yes, Izzet Flash has a good matchup against Jeskai Fires, but so does Simic Flash, and Simic Flash performed way better than Izzet Flash in other matchups. More importantly, while the sample size is small with five total matches, it seems that Izzet Flash loses to Simic Flash heads up, considering Izzet Flash only won one of the five. 

This makes it difficult to see if (or how) Izzet Flash fits in the meta. It basically does the same thing as Simic Flash (beats Jeskai Fires) but worse, while posting worse records against most other decks in the field and losing to Simic Flash heads up. If you want to play a Flash deck, do yourself a favor and play the good one: Simic Flash.

The Bad Sacrifice Decks

 
Overall
Rakdos Sacrifice 40%
(20)
50%
(2)
0%
(2)
n/a
(0)
50%
(2)
33%
(6)
50%
(2)
n/a
(0)
0%
(1)
n/a
(0)
100%
(1)
50%
(4)

 

 
Overall
Golgari Sacrifice 44%
(50)
33%
(3)
57%
(7)
n/a
(0)
50%
(4)
43%
(14)
40%
(5)
n/a
(0)
25%
(4)
33%
(3)
50%
(2)
50%
(8)

While Jund Sacrifice was one of the best decks at Mythic Championship VII, straight two-color sacrifice decks (both Golgari and Rakdos) were downright awful. Outside of winning 1 of 1 matches against Temur Reclamation, Rakdos Sacrifice only won its best matchups 50% of the time, while Golgari Sacrifice got crushed by pretty much everything except for Golgari Adventures, where it had a slightly favorable win rate across several matches. 

If we learned one thing about Sacrifice decks at Mythic Championships VII, it's that Jund Sacrifice is very good, while the rest of the bunch are bad. Looking at the data, there isn't really any reason to play straight Rakdos or Golgari Sacrifice, if you want to grind out value with Witch's Oven and Cauldron Familiar, go three colors and add Korvold, Fae-Cursed King to the mix to maximize your chances of winning a match every now and then. 

Wrap Up

So where does this leave us in terms of Standard as we move forward towards the release of Theros: Beyond Death? Well, first and foremost, we managed to do a pro tour wrap up without talking about bannings, which is a relief in and of itself. Looking at the metagame and data from Mythic Championship VII, it's hard to think that anything is broken in Standard currently. There will probably be some complaints about Simic Flash, but that's more because some players really dislike getting all of their spells countered rather than the deck being broken in the Field of the Dead / Oko, Thief of Crowns sense. Otherwise, the metagame looks surprisingly healthy, and with the possible exception of Simic Flash, all of the top decks seem to have a foil in the format (and even Simic Flash might lose to Jund Sacrifice or Simic Ramp). 

Based on this weekend, it seems likely that Simic Flash will rise to the top of the meta over the short term, which is bad news for previous top deck Jeskai Fires, which gets crushed by Simic Flash. Jund Sacrifice seems like the go-to deck to fight against Simic Flash, while Simic Ramp might be a dark horse candidate since it technically beat Simic Flash 100% of the time, although it's hard to be too confident thanks to the small sample size. If Jund Sacrifice becomes prominent as a Simic Flash foil, that might open the door for Jeskai Fires, which is one of the best decks in the format against Jund Sacrifice. This would leave us with a nice rock, paper sissors meta at the top of the format, potentially with room for other decks to sneak in and perform well, especially when the meta skews too heavily towards one of the top decks (for example, if everyone plays Jeskai Fires to beat Jund Sacrifice, then Azorius Control could potentially be a good choice for a weekend, since it's good against both Fires and Sacrifice).

While it took multiple rounds of bannings, it seems like Standard might finally be healthy, at least for the next month until Theros: Beyond Death shakes up the format and (likely) releases a bunch more ultra-powerful cards. 

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. What do you make of these numbers? What Standard deck are you going to play for the next month until Theros: Beyond Death releases? Let us 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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