Sixty-seven of the best Magic: The Gathering players from around the world gathered to compete in the final Arena Mythic Championship of the year today.
The final major Magic: the Gathering tournament of the 2019 season features a heated Mythic Points race toward Worlds and seats in the MPL, along with great plays and a diverse Standard metagame.
There are normally 68 competitors at an Arena Mythic Championship but MCVII only has 67. George Kaschihin, an MTG Arena player who earned a seat at the tournament via the MTGA qualifiers, couldn’t attend due to a visa delay. An additional competitor wasn’t added and Wizards of the Coast officials decided to run match byes during day one.
“One player will receive a round-one bye and then byes will continue in rounds two to four for different players, at which point the bye will work itself out of the system before the end of the first day,” Bruce Dugan told Dot Esports.
The first feature match of the day showcased two discretionary invites to MCVII. Esther Trujillo (Gruul Adventure) claimed a victory in game one quickly against Stephen “Crokeyz” Croke (Golgari Sacrifice). The second game began with a double mulligan from Crokeyz and a lack of mana. But he made a miraculous comeback due to Trujillo’s weak sideboard entries.
Despite the comeback, Crokeyz had to mulligan again in game three, falling quickly behind the Gruul Adventure deck. Trujillo was able to combo Embercleave on Gruul Spellbreaker, basically guaranteeing a game three victory against Golgari Sacrifice.
In another discretionary invite matchup, Kat Light (Golgari Sacrifice) faced off against Mimi Arthur playing Golgari Adventure. Each player took a win in games one and two, forcing a third game.
Arthur drew two copies of Casualties of War, the most dominant removal card at MCVII, as game three progressed.
But Light had answers too, with two copies of Massacre Girl. After wiping out Arthur’s board state, Light went to work with two Wicked Wolfs.
The first featured match of round two was between a couple in real life, Javier Dominguez (Simic Flash) and Beatriz Grancha (Jeskai Fires). The matchup favored Flash on paper since counters keep the Fires deck at bay. But Grancha was able to sneak out a Fires of Invention and a Deafening Clarion to board wipe Dominguez. She then used Teferi, Time Raveler and Stonecrusher Giant to win game one.
After gaining access to his sideboard in game two, Dominguez put his counterspells to use in conjunction with a Nissa, Who Shakes the World. And it came down to game three. Dominguez gained advantage once again via counterspells and Nissa, wrapping up game three with a round two match win.
The next feature match showcased Brian Braun-Duin and his Jund Sacrifice deck against Seth Manfield (Simic Flash). And BBD went to value town, dropping Witch’s Oven and Korvold, Fae-Cursed King with a Cauldron Familiar, Trail of Crumbs, and Midnight Reaper already on the battlefield.
Here are the top-16 Mythic Championship VII standings after round two:
Round three began with an MTG veteran showdown between Shahar Shenhar playing Izzet Flash against Dmitriy Butakov (Rakdos Sacrifice). Gadwick, the Wizened and Brineborn Cutthroat secured a game one victory for Shenhar. Butakov gained an early advantage in game two, but Shenhar pulled ahead and claimed an important match victory.
Next up, Ally Warfield and her Golgari Adventure deck played against MPL player Ben Stark (Azorius Control). Returning to the forefront of top-tier MTG decks, Azorius Control gained an early advantage in game one with one bounce after another. The devastating board wipe, Planar Cleansing, sealed the deal.
Game two, however, was all about Warfield stacking the battlefield for a quick win. The third game was a true showdown, showing off both players’ skills. Stark made a smart move and passed on Planar Cleansing early in the game, but he failed to draw it when needed. After drawing 31 cards, Stark failed to find a board wipe and Ally claimed the match victory.
Stanislav Cifka and his unique Golgari Sacrifice deck also battled Brad Nelson and his Simic Flash in round three. With each player earning a win in games one and two, Nelson pulled out a monstrous win in game three.
After three rounds, eight players remain undefeated at Mythic Championship VII.
The fourth round at MCVII kicked off with the 3-0 Andrea Mengucci (Simic Ramp) battling against the undefeated Chris Kvartek and his Golgari Adventure deck. After missing a land drop in game one, Mengucci quickly conceded.
Mengucci rebounded in game two, having three copies of Aether Gust in his hand to secure a win. Game three began with a double mulligan from Kvartek, putting him at a disadvantage. Mengucci had a great start, however, dropping Risen Reef and Cavalier of Thorns onto the battlefield. It didn’t take Kvartek long to see the writing on the wall before conceding the match.
Discretionary invite Chris Pikula and his Jeskai Fires deck also faced Grzegorz Kowalski, playing Jund Sacrifice, in round four. Pikula claimed a victory in game one and gained the advantage in game two without dropping a Fires of Invention. But Kowalski rebounded mid-game with Korvold, Fae-Cursed King, to earn a win.
Pikula and his Fires deck turned things around in game three. And he claimed another match victory with a game-ending Cavalier stomp.
The fifth round of MCVII showcased a feature match with two undefeated players, Nelson on his Simic Flash deck against Jordan Cairns and his Golgari Adventures deck. Players with five wins were a lock for day two of Mythic Championship VII. Those with four losses were out.
Cairns stacked the battlefield quickly in game one, earning a win. Nelson turned things around in game two with two Nightpack Ambushers on the battlefield and counterspells when needed, earning himself a win.
Game three began with an Edgewall Innkeeper on the board for Cairns, followed by a second. Outdrawing Nelson on every turn, the MPL pro couldn’t recover, even with a Nightpack Ambusher on the battlefield. And Cairns remained undefeated while also securing a seat at day two of MCVII.
Miguel Da Cruz Simões (Jund Sacrifice) and Mengucci (Simic Ramp) also faced off in round five. Game one began with a nice move by Mengucci, dropping a Quasiduplicate on Cavalier of Thorns.
And with a stacked battlefield of mana, Mengucci went on to drop a 14/14 Hydroid Krasis. But Simões had a Korvold on the battlefield, along with the oven and cat combo.
Sitting at the top of the leaderboard of day one at MCVII after five rounds were two undefeated Arena Mythic Championship Qualifiers.
Here were the other top 24 MCVII standings after five rounds:
Simões and Cairns were already locked for day two, but there were still plenty of matches left to play. Round six featured Kvartek (Golgari Adventure) against Gabriel “Yellowhat” Nassif and his Izzet Flash deck. Both players were at 4-1 heading into the match.
Nassif began game one short on red mana and would hand over the win to Kvartek. Known for being methodical in between every turn paid off for Yellowhat, earning himself a win thanks to Embercleave in game two.
Game three favored Kvartek, with two Edgewall Innkeepers on the battlefield for card draw. Nassif couldn’t find answers and Kvartek earned himself a seat at day two with a match victory.
The other feature match in round six was between Seth Manfield (Simic Flash) against John Girardot and his Temur Reclamation deck. The slow matchup favored Manfield’s “Ramp/Flash” deck, earning him a match victory and moving onto day two.
With two rounds left, round seven featured a Ramp matchup between Luis Salvatto (Sultai Ramp) against Lucas Esper Berthoud and his Simic Ramp deck. Both players were also battling for Mythic Points, sitting on the bubble in the MPL 2020 seat race.
Berthoud started game one with a turn-three Nissa, Who Shakes the World. But Salvatto answered with a Casualties of War, earning a win. Berthoud fired off Finale of Devastation in game two, gaining control of Salvatto’s Nissa with Agent of Treachery. But he missed making his Breeding Pool a 3/3 with Nissa, so he could Negate Salvatto’s Casualties of War.
Despite the mistake, Berthoud picked up another Finale of Devastation to earn him the game two win.
Game three was a wild one. Salvatto popped off Nissa’s ultimate, making all his lands indestructible. And despite Bertoud having multiple copies of Finale of Devastation, Salvatto and his lands won the match.
Also battling in round seven was Giradot and his Temur Reclamation deck against Andrew Smith (Jund Sacrifice). Smith has three copies of Trail of Crumbs in play, which Giradot answered with a Niv-Mizzet, Parun. But it would be an Expansion//Explosion that would earn Giradot the match win, moving onto day two at MCVII.
There were over 15 competitors with 4-3 records heading into round eight. And only nine day-two spots left.
The final feature match at day-one was between Kenji Egashira (Temur Reclamation) against Marcelino Freeman and his Jeskai Fires deck. A win by Egashira would put him in day-two and possibly earn him a seat in the 2020 Rivals League.
Game one, however, did not go Egashira’s way as Freeman’s Jeskai Fires deck fired off exactly how it was supposed to.
Egashira had the advantage at the start of game two. But after several whiffs looking for his key cards, Freeman earned the match victory.
Pikula (Jeskai Fires) and Warfield (Golgari Adventure) also faced off in round seven, each wanting a day-two seat. After two heated games, Warfield claimed the match victory.
Also fighting for a day-two seat was Brian Braun-Duin (Jund Sacrifice) against Tian Fa Mun (Jeskai Fires). BBD took a loss in game one. And couldn’t get his Sacrifice deck to fire off in game two, as Mun claimed the match victory.
Here were the top 24 players who earned a spot at day two of Mythic Championship VII:
Coverage of Magic’s Mythic Championship VII day two begins on Dec. 7 at 11am.