Mythic Championship Qualifier Barcelona 2019

18th May 2019

Suntec Convention Centre, Room 303-304

We had the immense honour and privilege of hosting the first of the Mythic Championship Qualifiers, which is the rebranded form of what used to be known as the Pro Tour. This MCQ feeds into Mythic Championship Barcelona, and is the first of the paper Magic MCQs to be held. As is befitting of our extremely competitive local scene, we had a full house at Suntec City Convention Center for the MCQ! Games Haven would like to thank all of you for your support and enthusiasm, and we hope you had a fun time.

The metagame for the MCQ was broad and diverse, stretching across all broad archetypes and virtually every colour combination. Fascinatingly, we had almost equal representation across the trifecta of aggro, midrange and control. The takeaway here is that in the current standard, whatever style of play you like, there is something for you. Once we zoom in, however, we see a more skewed story.

Esper is undoubtedly king of the hill. Naturally, some others come very close, and some are even on the same playing field within the category, but as a whole Esper is the dominant colour combination. A very big reason for this is Teferi Senior and Junior. Between the two of them, both Teferis have an extremely wide range of functions that are broad enough to serve a variety of strategies within Esper and outside of Esper. With one or both Teferis as the glue for virtually every deck strategy, one may be supplemented by Liliana, Dreadhorde General, Thief of Sanity, Enter the God-Eternals, Nexus of Fate, Adanto Vanguard or even Sarkhan the Masterless, and chances are that the deck exists and isn't bad. Pick your poison, and ride it to victory. Nippon Paint, and Wakanda forever.

That's not to say that one HAS to play Teferi, of course. Teferi's key opponent in true metagame dominance is, to nobody's surprise, Mountain. While no longer receiving the blessings of Hazoret the Fervent, Chandra, Fire Artisan has enough fire to back up the red decks, and then some. Chandra represents one of the most awkward planeswalkers ever printed to attack into since Gideon Jura, and if one does not attack into her, the card advantage streaming forth from her can be a very quickly ticking clock. This isn't even looking at her ultimate, which deals you 7 damage anyway. As the only mainstream way to deal with Chandra cleanly are cards like Vraska's Contempt, Prison Realm, Deputy of Detention and The Elderspell, expect their stock to rise quickly as the flame continues to burn.

Decks from the old Standard have been forced to adapt to the new planeswalker-centric metagame, as expected of a set like War of the Spark. If a deck cannot accommodate either Teferi or Chandra (to say nothing of their respective A-teams Liliana/Gideon/Ashiok/Narset and Tibalt/Domri/Sarkhan/Vivien), chances are that it has lost some favour in the new Standard. BG and Sultai Midrange are in the uncomfortable spot between "just decent" and "pretty bad", and Izzet Phoenix is no longer the powerhouse of old, having moved on to Modern instead.

There is just one exception to the Teferi vs Chandra brawl. It's a doozy, and it shouldn't surprise you at all.

Nicol Bolas.

Yes, the final boss himself is large, in charge, and perfectly content to get into an arms race with Teferi and Chandra. Grixis Control represents an arm of the metagame that strongly and stubbornly resists all efforts to make players conform, and is poised to be a very big player at least in these few weeks. Grixis Control decks tend to stick to one greedy, ruthless build that slowly picks off at both hand and board until there is literally nothing left and some form of Bolas can swoop in uncontested and laugh maniacally turn after turn while ticking up to a win. Sometimes, even when one knows what's coming, there is still not much to do about it. If you fancy yourself in the driver's seat, picking off insects with all the poise of a Bond villain, rejoice, for Grixis exists to serve your evil mastermind needs.

The above may make it sound like there are only three decks to pay attention to, but the reality is anything but. While Teferi, Chandra, and Bolas are indeed major players, the other walkers are by no means left in the dust, and despite sharing common planeswalkers, one deck may feel very different from the other. Some special mentions that are up-and-coming and might be worth your notice are:

Jeskai Superfriends

Half meme, half the real deal, the deck can look extremely strange on paper (in fact, one might say that some can get TOTALLY LOST), but the deck has produced results before, and doesn't seem like a one-shot-wonder at all. Bonus points if you make roaring noises everytime you land a Sarkhan for a surprise lethal.

4C Command the Dreadhorde

This deck might be the next evolutionary stage of Sultai Midrange, and that's saying something considering that the decks feel completely different from each other. The principle of using the explore package to grind out card advantage is tested and proven, and since explore puts unwanted cards in the graveyard, why not Command the Dreadhorde for when you finally want them?

Bant Midrange

Magic players are all denizens of the Internet, and there's one thing that all denizens of the Internet have in common - we love kets. O-ket-ra is the real deal, and is everything that the pros have been warning us about for weeks.

In the midst of all this vying for dominance, eight players emerged to prove their worth, and another two hours after that, we had our MCQ winner. Qualifying for his first Mythic Championship/Pro Tour is long-time player New Chee Wee! His victory was well-earned and very much deserved, and we wish him many congratuations and all the best in Barcelona!

And now for the Standard Top 8 decklists:

White Weenies piloted by New Chee Wee

 

1st Place

 

Main Deck

20x Plains

4x Law-Rune Enforcer

1x Snubhorn Sentry

4x Dauntless Bodyguard

4x Skymarcher Aspirant

4x Adanto Vanguard

2x Tithe Taker

4x Benalish Marshall

4x Venerated Loxodon

4x Legion's Landing//Adanto, the First Fort

4x History of Benalia

4x Conclave Tribunal

1x Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants

Sideboard

1x Ajani, Advsersary of Tyrants

3x Demystify

4x Baffling End

3x Tocatli Honor Guard

3x Gideon Blackblade

1x Unbreakable Formation

Mono-Red Aggro piloted by Clement Choo

 

2nd place

 

Main Deck

19x Mountain

4x Fanatical Firebrand

4x Ghitu Lavarunner

4x Viashino Pyromancer

3x Runaway Steam-Kin

4x Goblin Chainwhirler

4x Shock

4x Lightning Strike

4x Light Up the Stage

3x Skewer the Critics

3x Wizard's Lightning

1x Tibalt, Rakish Instigator

2x Chandra, Fire Artisan

1x Experimental Frenzy

Sideboard

2x Dire Fleet Daredevil

4x Lava Coil

3x Legion Warboss

2x Tibalt, Rakish Instigator

1x Experimental Frenzy

2x Rekindling Phoenix

1x Mountain

Mono-Red Aggro piloted by Bryan Ong

 

Top 4

 

Main Deck

19x Mountain

4x Goblin Chainwhirler

4x Ghitu Lavarunner

4x Viashino Pyromancer

4x Runaway Steam-Kin

4x Fanatical Firebrand

2x Risk Factor

4x Shock

4x Lightning Strike

4x Wizard's Lightning

4x Light Up the Stage

3x Experimental Frenzy

Sideboard

3x Dire Fleet Daredevil

3x Legion Warboss

4x Rekindling Phoenix

4x Lava Coil

1x Mountain

Grixis Control piloted by Albertus Law

 

Top 4

 

Main Deck

4x Blood Crypt

4x Dragonskull Summit

4x Drowned Catacomb

3x Steam Vents

4x Sulfur Falls

2x Swamp

4x Watery Grave

2x God-Eternal Kefnet

4x Nicol Bolas, the Ravager//Nicol Bolas, the Arisen

2x Angrath's Rampage

4x Thought Erasure

4x Bedevil

2x Cry of the Carnarium

2x Ritual of Soot

2x Enter the God-Eternals

4x Discovery//Dispersal

2x Bedeck//Bedazzle

2x Narset, Parter of Veils

3x Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God

1x Liliana, Dreadhorde General

1x Ugin, the Ineffable

Sideboard

2x Duress

2x Moment of Craving

1x Cry of the Carnarium

4x Legion Warboss

4x Thief of Sanity

1x Vraska's Contempt

1x Enter the God-Eternals

UW Weenies piloted by Kong Chong Teng

 

Top 8

 

Main Deck

12x Plains

4x Glacial Fortress

4x Hallowed Fountain

4x Dauntless Bodyguard

3x Law-Rune Enforcer

3x Adanto Vanguard

4x Skymarcher Aspirant

4x Snubhorn Sentry

4x Benalish Marshal

4x Venerated Loxodon

4x Legion's Landing//Adanto, the First Fort

4x History of Benalia

2x Conclave Tribunal

2x Gideon Blackblade

2x Teferi, Time Raveler

Sideboard

2x Teferi, Time Raveler

1x Island

3x Dovin's Veto

1x Disdainful Stroke

2x Spell Pierce

4x Baffling End

2x Deputy of Detention

Bant "Midrange" piloted by Orange Chua

 

Top 8

 

Main Deck

4x Hallowed Fountain

4x Temple Garden

4x Breeding Pool

4x Hinterland Harbor

2x Glacial Fortress

2x Sunpetal Grove

3x Forest

2x Island

4x Frilled Mystic

4x Hydroid Krasis

3x Paradise Druid

4x Llanowar Elves

4x Incubation Druid

3x Entrancing Melody

3x Chemister's Insight

4x Mass Manipulation

3x Teferi, Time Raveler

3x Nissa, Who Shakes the World

Sideboard

2x Deputy of Detention

3x Knight of Autumn

2x Lyra Dawnbringer

2x Thorn Lieutenant

1x Thrashing Brontodon

1x The Wanderer

4x Dovin's Veto

UW Weenies piloted by Lucas Wong

 

Top 8

 

Main Deck

12x Plains

4x Glacial Fortress

4x Hallowed Fountain

4x Skymarcher Aspirant

4x Dauntless Bodyguard

3x Law-Rune Enforcer

3x Snubhorn Sentry

2x Adanto Vanguard

1x Tomik, Distinguished Advokist

4x Benalish Marshal

4x Venerated Loxodon

4x Legion's Landing//Adanto, the First Fort

4x History of Benalia

3x Conclave Tribunal

2x Gideon Blackblade

2x Teferi, Time Raveler

Sideboard

2x Disdainful Stroke

3x Dovin's Veto

1x Teferi, Time Raveler

1x Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants

1x The Wanderer

1x Lyra Dawnbringer

3x Baffling End

3x Tocatli Honor Guard

UW Superfriends piloted by Yang Zhijian

 

Top 8

 

Main Deck

4x Glacial Fortress

4x Hallowed Fountain

4x Mobilized District

2x Azorius Guildgate

3x Plains

2x Island

1x Karn's Bastion

4x Interplanar Beacon

4x Fblthp, the Lost

1x Spark Double

1x Deputy of Detention

2x Tomik, Distinguished Advokist

3x Spell Pierce

2x Callous Dismissal

2x Time Wipe

2x Mox Amber

4x Teferi, Time Raveler

4x Dovin, Hand of Control

3x Kasmina, Enigmatic Mentor

2x Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

3x Narset, Parter of Veils

1x Dovin, Grand Arbiter

1x Gideon Blackblade

1x Karn, Scion of Urza

Sideboard

3x Sky Tether

1x Deputy of Detention

3x Shalai, Voice of Plenty

2x Lyra Dawnbringer

2x Negate

2x Prison Realm

1x Dovin's Veto

1x Gideon Blackblade