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Mythic Invitational: Preparation

As you all know, in a few weeks, I'll be at PAX East competing at the Mythic Invitational with a ton of other wonderful content creators and pros!

As this is quite the event I've been prepping for and all that's on my mind, how does one prepare for a Duo-Standard? I figured I may as well let you know what I imagine a few people will be playing. This will also be a two part article. This is the before article but you can rest assured there will be an after article!

Disclaimer: Lists I post will all be rough drafts and don't represent what I'll be playing. Also the decks I'm prepping to play against will be different as the week progresses.

What's Going On In Crim's Head?

To be completely transparent, this will be one of the biggest events I've ever competed in and I want to win 

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It's not for the money, the fame, or any of that. I want to win because I'm going to be up against wonderful content creators and some of the best players Magic can offer. I won't be concerned if I get eliminated early as I know that I took my shot and missed but took my shot in a game I've loved ever since I was a Crimling(kid). Magic has been such a big part of my life. I've always been about my M & M's: Music and Magic. I mean sure, I love comics and anime too but let's be real, I chose Music and Magic as my careers. 

 As you know, I have Grinning Demon tattooed on me as Onslaught was the first time I truly got into competitive play. When I say competitive, I mean FNM but when you're in middle school this shook me to my core and gave me the nerves. Those nerves are coming back as I feel as excited as ever and anxiously pace back and forth in my room while dialing in the numbers for my decklists.

How Am I Prepping?

Luckily right now, there are so many MPL players and content creators jamming games on the ladder trying to understand the best of one meta that I've been getting a ton of practice against some of the best minds. It may seem tedious but I'm the person that learns maybe 1% of the lines on a deck's first play through. I personally know that the youtube comments absolutely love my random misplays (Insert laughing emoji), but to be honest, that's how you learn. I'm not ashamed of most misplays I make, and I choose to not edit those out from my videos. Why is that? To 'Git Gud' I have to make all the misplays and from there I learn what not to do. Much like how in sports when teams win or lose, they still go back and study the tape. To tie it all back, this is why I jam games on the ladder so much. I've got to get all the misplays out of the way. It's even better that I have VODs uploaded to my Twitch page as this allows me to go back and watch all my videos to see what I would do differently next time. 

On top of getting my play to be tighter through repetition, we're going to be testing out the Duo-Standard format which will be exciting! New formats of Magic? Don't mind if I do! For those that don't know how Duo-Standard works here's an example:

-Competitors will enter the tournament with two 60 card decks. You can bring two of the exact same 60 card decks or bring two random decks. They just have to be standard legal. There will be no sideboarding but that doesn't mean you can't bring a sideboard in case anything requires you to search outside of the game

- Game 1 both competitors decks will be chosen at random

- Game 2 both competitors play the deck they didn't battle with after game 1

- If there is a game 3, players will then choose one of their two decks

The randomness of game one will make it so all the competitors need to make sure they bring a deck with a hyper aggro plan or a plan ready to fight off the hyper aggro plans. Being Proactive seems to be the best plan as being the person asking all the questions is better than being the person who has to answer them all! I believe you can try to bring two decks that cover what the other deck is weak against and pray to RnG they get matched up accordingly. 

Decks That Interest Me

Gruul may not have had its time to shine in Best of Three but in Best of One, maybe this is the place for it? My issue with Gruul is its manabase and inconsistent draws. As we don't really have many ways to smooth our draws out, it can be a bit scary, but having cards like Gruul Spellbreaker smashing in is sweet. It's even better as the Hexproof on your turn allows us to Collision // Colossus without worrying too much about a blow out from a removal spell. With how sturdy and hasty our threats are, cards like Kaya's Wrath aren't as bad for us. This will also tax control decks on their instant speed removal, which means they may use Vraska's Contempt early which will clear the way for Rekindling Phoenix

Jeskai Drakes has been treating me decently as we pair up old friends Teferi, Hero of Dominaria and Niv-Mizzet, Parun. This deck is great unless we get paired against Golgari. Golgari feels so bad with all their removal and the fact that one of their best cards easily stops all of our threats. Yes, that card is Vivien Reid, but this deck is amazing against Mono Blue and just needs to stay alive long enough to connect once with a big drake for the win.

Another fun deck that has potential is Esper Midrange. The deck allows us to be aggressive and disruptive but the concern is how weak we are to hand disruption and counterspells. Esper Control feels like a nightmare matchup, but every now and then you can sneak a win in with Hero on two. The good news is we have a ton of lifegain attached to a clock that can give red a run for its money. The four copies of Mortify are amazing as it nets us a token off of Hero of Precinct One while dealing with Experimental Frenzy, Legion's Landing, Conclave Tribunal, and Search for Azcanta

What Have I Been Prepping To Play Against?

Mono Red is still here and even with all the life gain, some of its best hands can't be beaten. I know for a fact whatever I play, I need to be ready for this. 

Another popular deck is Mono White. This deck's ability to drop so many one drops and then flip an early Legion's Landing is terrifying. It's because of this deck that Esper Control is jamming more Cry of the Carnarium than ever before.

With Mono Blue taking the first Mythic Championship, this deck has increased popularity. We all know how good of a player Autumn is, so this will be a scary deck to run into.

I'm expecting to see two variants of Esper Control. Up first will be the usual control deck we see

But I also expect to see some of Brian Braun-Duin's spicy toolbox Esper deck! With Mastermind's Acquisition there's always an answer for everything. Especially backed behind a control gameplan to help ensure that you see the late game. Deck seems sweet!

Outside of the pillars of best of one, I've been running into random Crucible of Worlds midrange decks. I'm not sure how real these decks are but for you Legacy players, it has a Lands vibe. Maybe it's the constant Field of Ruin blowing up all the non-basic lands and keeping all the players with greedy mana bases honest.

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Whatever I play against, I'm excited as the MPL has been testing for the last couple of weeks and there have already been a few spicy meatballs. Best of one started out as a format I was scared and reluctant to embrace with Magic but after playing it, Best of one is absurdly fast and fun. It's also nice to see other MPL players reflect this opinion. Maybe it's not so bad after all!


There's a lot to be excited about right now. Magic's move into Esports has me jumping with joy. The fact that HP has sponsored the event to TSM (big esports team) has picked up NumotTheNummy means Magic is moving in the right direction. Hopefully in the next article I'll be talking about the trophy I won but to be completely honest, I'm just honored to compete. I would've done this for $5 and some tea so the fact that this is the biggest prize pool in Magic's history is insane! The trailer for Magic's move into esports had a line .... "the world will know".. if there's one thing I want the world to know as I enter and leave this tournament....I want the world to know that I tried.

Yours Truly


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