The matches from the day three playoffs at Mythic Championship V were intense, but the competition has yet to draw to a close. The top four Magic: The Gathering players have advanced to the semifinals, where they will battle it out for a grand final seat and a chance to win $100,000.
The playoffs at Mythic Championship V were played in a double-elimination bracket format with the losers having a second chance at redemption in the lower bracket. Once the dust settled, there were four players left in the semifinals.
- Javier Dominguez: Gruul Aggro (upper bracket).
- Jean-Emmanuel Depraz: Bant Golos (upper bracket).
- Gabriel Nassif: Simic Food (lower bracket).
- Andrea Mengucci: Bant Food (lower bracket).
MCV Semifinals highlights
Each match would be played in a best-of-three format with a majority taking three games to determine a winner. Once in the finals, the winner of the lower bracket semifinals would play the loser of the upper bracket semifinal match.
The winner of that match would then move onto the finals, but would have to win two consecutive games in a row before being crowned the champion of MCV. The upper bracket player would only need to win the usual best-of-three to claim a victory.
In a fight between the two upper bracket players, it was all about Dominguez seeking a chance to smash Bant Golos to pieces with his Gruul Aggro deck. And that’s exactly what happened in game one as Depraz conceded—much to the surprise of Javier.
Game two, however, played out much differently. With a Time Wipe, Depraz began to gum up the battlefield with an army of zombie tokens and quickly took the win.
Only one game remained to determine who would move onto the finals. Dominguez was forced to take a mulligan, but the Gruul gods were on his side. The defending Magic World Champion quickly beat down Depraz within the first five turns, moving on to the grand finals.
The lower bracket semifinals would feature the veteran Magic pro, Gabriel “Yellow Hat” Nassif, against Mythic Invitational champion Andrea “The Scarf” Mengucci. And it would be a true battle of Food, with Yellow Hat playing Simic Food and The Scarf on Bant Food.
Game one began with Mengucci hitting Nassif hard with Oko, Thief of Crowns shenanigans. And there was no coming back for Yellow Hat. Digging deep into his sideboard for game two, Nassif increased his copies of Voracious Hydra and took out the Disdainful Strokes in exchange for Aether Gust. But it would Oko and Nissa, Who Shakes the World getting dropped first (in combo with Questing Beast) that would earn Nassif the game two win.
It would then come down to game three in which Mengucci dropped a turn three Nissa after a mulligan and win the match. With Nassif out of MCV, Mengucci moved on to play Jean-Emmanuel Depraz.
During the post-match interview, Mengucci mentioned that Bant Golos was the one deck he was hoping to avoid in the top eight. But his wishes didn’t come true, and the last match prior to the finals would be Bant Golos vs. Bant Food.
The heat was on in the match between Mengucci and Depraz because whoever would win would earn an invite to this year’s Worlds since Dominguez is automatically invited as the defending Magic World Champion from last year. In addition, the winner would also advance to the finals and be that much closer to winning $100,000.
Mengucci started off by pressuring Depraz with Oko and Nissa. Jean-Emmanuel was ready with Golos, Tireless Pilgrim but The Scarf stole it with a Deputy of Detention swap via Oko’s minus five ability. Depraz would wipe the board, drop an Agent of Treachery, and steal Mengucci’s Nissa. But it wasn’t enough to win the game.
Game two, however, was all about the zombie apocalypse from Field of the Dead and it would all come down to game three. Depraz got Bant Golos rolling early with Mengucci behind the entire game and Jean-Emmanuel would force a scoop from The Scarf.
MCV grand final match
The final match of MCV was similar to a fairy tale story, with Dominguez playing Gruul Aggro (a deck crafted to stomp Golos). And with over 30% of the field playing Bant Golos at Mythic Championship V, Depraz was the only one to make it into the top eight.
The grand final at MCV was a rematch between Dominguez and Depraz, in which Javier dominated their first encounter. And game one began just like the original match between the two Magic pros. But Depraz wasn’t going down without a fight, winning game one.
Never count Dominguez out, however. He took advantage of Depraz searching for mana in game two with several quick and precise attacks for a victory. The win by Javier forced Depraz to win two more consecutive games in a row while Dominguez only needed one more victory.
Game three began with Dominguez taking a mulligan down to five. But the Gruul gods were working in his favor once again when Javier beat Depraz down to seven life. Jean-Emmanuel quickly recovered with a Golos and zombies galore from Field of the Dead to win the match.
It would come down to one final match, with both players hungry for a Mythic Championship title and the $100,000 first-place earnings.
Dominguez had a sweet draw in game one and wrapped it up in less than five minutes with Embercleave. The Gruul deck failed to pop off in game two, though, with Depraz also winning a game.
And it would all come down to one last game as both players patiently picked through their sideboards for an advantage. Dominguez started the match on the play and immediately went to work at picking Depraz’s life away.
With chat chanting “believe in the cleave,” Dominguez attacked and won the Mythic Championship V.
Against all odds, Javier Dominguez ground through all three days with Gruul Aggro to win Mythic Championship V and $100,000.