MTG 2020 Mythic Invitational top 8 upper bracket results

Gabriel Nassif completed a shocking comeback.

Image via Wizards of the Coast Magic the Gathering

The double-elimination top eight of the 2020 Mythic Invitational began with the upper bracket. Gabriel Nassif defeated Luis Salvatto in an incredible marathon series and game two comeback to secure a spot in the finals, sending Salvatto to the lower bracket. Nassif won the only 2-0 match of the day. All other matches at the Magic: The Gathering event went the full three games.

Tomorrow’s action features the lower bracket and tournament finals on Magic‘s Twitch channel.

Here is a full recap of each game from day one of the 2020 Mythic Invitational top eight.

Upper Quarter Finals

Ken Yukuhiro (Mono-Red Goblins) vs. Grzegorz Kovalski (Jund Citadel)

Game one was in a position to end quickly but Yukuhiro’s turn-four Muxus, Goblin Grandee completely whiffed. As a result, Kovalski strengthened his board with some powerful cards in Priest of the Forgotten Gods and Woe Strider into a Bolas’ Citadel, the key card in his deck. Citadel found double Mayhem Devil into Blood Artist off the top forcing the concession from Yukuhiro. Kovalski controlled game two in a similar fashion with Blood Artist, Mayhem Devils, and an untapped Priest which represented near-lethal, even if Yukuhiro managed to sacrifice goblins to Skirk Prospector to cast Muxus. After a Thoughtseize off the top by Kovalski, Yukuhiro saw the writing on the wall and conceded. 

Kovalski won the series 2-0.

Most Valuable Card of the series: Mayhem Devil

Seth Manfield (Sultai Midrange) vs. Luis Salvatto (Rakdos Arcanist)

Seth Manfield took game one with a solid draw. Salvatto simply couldn’t establish a board presence. He started strong on game two going turn one Duress into turn two Dreadhorde Arcanist. Salvatto leaned into the hand disruption strategy by leveraging Dreadhorde Arcanist to cast Duress again and discard Manfield’s Nissa, Who Shakes the World. Salvatto kept the pressure on with a key top deck of Spark Harvast to clean the board and present lethal, forcing Manfield to concede

With the series tied, the two headed into the match point. Manfield started game one with a strong first hand with an opening Grafdigger’s Cage, Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath, and five lands. He continued the wild draws with an Extinction Event into Nissa. Salvatto drew a clutch Thoughtseize to snipe the Extinction Event from Manfield’s hand. After avoiding disaster, Salvatto continued to leverage Young Pyromancer tokens to Spark Harvest Nissa and the land elemental she makes, leaving Manfield’s board empty with no answers in hand. Manfield continued to draw no answers hitting three straight lands off the top.

Salvatto won the series 2-1

Most Valuable Card of the series:  Young Pyromancer

David Steinberg (Jund Sacrifice) vs. Matthew Nass (Mono-Black Gift)

Matthew Nass faltered in game one by failing to establish some of the truly strong loops that make Mono-Black Gift difficult to beat. Steinberg kept himself in the game after a relatively slow start with Trail of Crumbs powering a card advantage engine. Steinberg ran with the slower variation of Jund Sacrifice and it paid off as he took game one. In game two, Nass established an aggressive board and quickly defeated Steinberg through combat damage. To open game three Steinberg’s Mayhem Devil put in work quickly dropping Nass to nine life. Nass couldn’t find an answer to Steinberg’s Cat Oven combo engine pinging him for multiple life per turn. After drawing multiple lands in a row Nass was forced to concede.

Steinberg won the series 2-1

Most Valuable Card of the series: Trail of Crumbs

Luis Scott-Vargas (Jund Sacrifice) vs. Gabriel Nassif (Jund Sacrifice)

The last quarter finals matchup pit two teammates against each other running the exact same Jund Sacrifice deck lists. Scott-Vargas got ran over in game one after sitting on four Woe Strider in hand and only two lands on the battlefield. Game two was more representative of the typical game we’ve seen from Jund Sacrifice mirrors. Scott-Vargas won the lengthier game two with the help of a late-game Korvold, Fae-Cursed King. Both players had a strong start in game three with Nassif developing a slighting stronger board with two Mayhem Devil to Scott-Vargas’ one. Once both players traded Mayhem Devil, Nassif had one that gave him the advantage.

Gabriel Nassif won the series 2-1

Most Valuable Card of the series: Mayhem Devil

Upper semifinals

Grzegorz Kovalski (Jund Citadel) vs. Luis Salvatto (Rakdos Arcanist)

Kovalski had a quicker start in game one getting his Blood Artist on the battlefield early while Salvatto struggled hitting his land drops. Once Kovalski resolved a Mayhem Devil he took over the game. In one crucial sequence, Salvatto cast a Spark Harvest targeting Mayhem Devil, but Kovalski had enough food tokens to sacrifice that Mayhem Devil combined with Blood Artist took Salvatto down to four life. Salvatto tried his best to stabilize but Kovalski took a commanding 1-0 lead. The story of game two was Kovalski getting stuck on two lands and being unable to take advantage of his strong hand. Salvatto took advantage of Kovalski’s misfortune and snatched game two. In game three, Salvatto did what his deck does best. He tore Kovalski’s hand apart and established an aggressive board to swing in for lethal.

Luis Salvatto won the series 2-1

Most Valuable Card of the series: Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger

Gabriel Nassif (Jund Sacrifice) vs. David Steinberg (Jund Sacrifice)

A near mirror semi-final match had Steinberg taking game one by establishing his Trail of Crumbs value engine early. In game two both players ended up at a stalemate with te first person to top deck action should win. It was Nassif with the Midnight Reaper to get himself significant card advantage which led him to win round two. Steinberg struggled again in game three just not able to draw action. Nassif resolved another Midnight Reaper to break a stalemate to gain card advantage. Nassif took game three. Steinberg really struggled when he couldn’t establish his Trail of Crumbs engine.

Gabriel Nassif won the series 2-1

Most Valuable Card of the series: Midnight Reaper

Upper Bracket Finals

Gabriel Nassif (Jund Sacrifice) vs. Luis Salvatto (Rakdos Arcanist)

Nassif started off slow after a mulligan to six and keeping a four-land hand. The turn one Thoughtseize by Salvatto hurt Nassif’s already weak hand even futher. Salvatto made the choice to escape Kroxa instead of play removal. This was a turning point in game one because it allowed Nassif to stabilize and develop a life lead. Both players were forced to play conservatively spending the majority of the late game below 10 life. Nassif finally found a Collected Company and hit Mayhem Devil and Woe Strider to shockingly win game one.

Salvatto brought in Hazoret, the Fervent in for game two, shifting the focus of his deck to a more straightforward beatdown strategy. Nassif finds his Collected Company early and hits a Priest and Dreadhorde Butcher. It didn’t matter, however, because Salvatto’s Hazoret applied significant pressure nearly defeating Nassif. Nassif kept hanging on despite running up on time and managed to nail an incredible comeback. His patience paid off as he found a clutch Witch’s Oven and Mayhem Devil to supercharge his engine and close out the marathon series.

Gabriel Nassif won the series 2-0

Most Valuable Card of the series: Witch’s Oven