With this piece we start a section of PDVG dedicated to the world of digital card games, especially focused on the world of MTG: Arena (and surroundings) and, if theActivision / Blizzard they do not bury it completely, Hearthstone.

On the weekend of 23 and 24 February, the Mythic Championship in that of Cleveland, Ohio. The Mythic Championship is part of the circuit that from 2019 will replace what was once the Pro Tour circuit. The change was necessary after the advent of MTG: Arena, which led to the digital revolution the most famous card game of all times.

The total prize pool of this circuit is X millions million dollars, which will be equally divided between "physical" and "digital" invitation tournaments.

Following a brief analysis of the metagame of the first two days and the final top8 of the Cleveland tournament.

Day One

Exactly as we expected to be the masters of the tournament we have Sultai Midrange and bunches based Nexus of Fate (we ring the Wizard that banned him from the BO1 format), with over 1 / 3 of the field occupied by these two archetypes.

Afterwards we have a large number of aggro and aggrocontrol decks (WW and Mono U) and to follow all the rest with percentages lower than the 10% presence. Among the "others" I would like to report those 7 Izzet Phoenix on 499 and I'm going to briefly explain why.

Day Two

Izzet Phoenix was the only archetype present whose percentage of achievement of Day Two was 100%, ie all 7 players who decided to bet on this deck have passed the cut-off of the first day.

It is also true that with such small numbers this result may not be indicative, but I personally believe that more capable players have decided to take in hand an archetype that at the moment can be considered almost like a "rogue"Deck.

Among the big ones of day one, the decks with the best percentage are those based Nexus of Fate (confirming what impact this card has on the metagame), while as expected Izzet Drakes has shown its inconsistency (the classic bouquet I would like but I can not), not even reaching the 50% of the passage of the day.

Check these top 8

We finally come to the heart of the analysis, that is the study of the decks that have reached the fateful 8 top of this Mythic Championship.

[d title = "MonoU Tempo - Autumn Burchett - Winner" style = "embedded"]

4 Siren Stormtamer (XLN) 79

4 Pteramander (RNA) 47

1 Mist-Cloaked Herald (RIX) 43

4 Merfolk Trickster (DAR) 56

4 Tempest Djinn (DAR) 68

1 Chart a Course (XLN) 48

1 Entrancing Melody (XLN) 55

4 Opt (XLN) 65

4 Dive Down (XLN) 53

3 Spell Pierce (XLN) 81

2 Essence Capture (RNA) 37

1 Negate (RIX) 44

4 Wizard's Retort (DAR) 75

4 Curious Obsession (RIX) 35

19 Island (XLN) 265


1 Essence Capture (RNA) 37

3 Negate (RIX) 44

3 Entrancing Melody (XLN) 55

1 Island (XLN) 265

1 Disdainful Stroke (GRN) 37

3 Surge Mare (M19) 77

2 Deep Freeze (DAR) 50

1 Jace, Cunning Castaway (XLN) 60

[/ A]

Mono U It was the great surprise of this Mythic Championship, with well 3 decks placed in the top8, including the winner.

The strategy of this deck is very simple, but not easy to put into practice: put a creature with evasive ability into play as soon as possible, enchant it with [mtg_card] Curious Obsession [/ mtg_card] in such a way as to have a draw- engine active since turn 2 to maintain the advantage of cards needed to protect the enchanted creature.

As soon as it is possible to drop [mtg_card] Tempest Djinn [/ mtg_card] with adequate protection, be it [mtg_card] Dive Down [/ mtg_card], [mtg_card] Siren Stormtamer [/ mtg_card] or any counter, try to close the game with a really off-scale finisher, since for only 3 mana we usually have a 3/4 flier that tends to grow in the following turns.

When the gameplan goes as shown, the deck is a machine, but already when you drop the drop to 1 or worse [mtg_card] Curious Obsession [/ mtg_card], things get more complicated. And it is in these situations that the player's greatest abilities Mono U Time expert come out.

Knowing when to mulligate (the most difficult art to learn in the world of Magic, in my opinion), know when to force a game even without protection or even know how to manage the race in aggro mode, make Mono U a deck that requires a deep knowledge of the whole metagame, since being monocolour also leads to structural deficiencies to handle particular threats that the opponent can put in the field (one above all, the total lack between main deck and side of something to handle spells or artifacts, with the only hope of counteracting them before they come into play).

The other two decks Mono U who have reached the top8 (Reid Duke e Julien Berteaux) really differ in a few choices, especially as regards the sideboard, where we always see the presence of a large number of [mtg_card] Negate [/ mtg_card], precisely to counter those threats we were talking about before, but also [mtg_card] Entracing Melody [/ mtg_card], one of the best solutions against [mtg_card] Hydroid Krasis [/ mtg_card] or [mtg_card] Wildgrowth Walker [/ mtg_card], cards that we find in 4x in the decks Sultai Midrange that were stradominanti in the metagame.

And if someone explains to me the usefulness of a monocopy of [mtg_card] Jace, Cunning Castaway [/ mtg_card] could solve one of my biggest questions since the time of the three shells of Demolition Man.

[d title = "Esper Control - Yoshihiko Ikawa - Runner Up" style = "embedded"]

4 Teferi, Hero of Dominaria (DAR) 207

1 Karn, Scion of Urza (DAR) 1

4 Thought Erasure (GRN) 206

3 Kaya's Wrath (RNA) 187

2 Cry of the Carnarium (RNA) 70

1 Moment of Craving (RIX) 79

3 Cast Down (DAR) 81

3 Vraska's Contempt (XLN) 129

1 Negate (RIX) 44

3 Chemister's Insight (GRN) 32

3 Mortify (RNA) 192

3 Absorb (RNA) 151

2 Search for Azcanta (XLN) 74

1 The Eldest Reborn (DAR) 90

4 Isolated Chapel (DAR) 241

1 Island (XLN) 265

4 Hallowed Fountain (RNA) 251

4 Godless Shrine (RNA) 248

4 Glacial Fortress (XLN) 255

4 Drowned Catacomb (XLN) 253

4 Watery Grave (GRN) 259

1 Swamp (XLN) 269


1 Moment of Craving (RIX) 79

1 Negate (RIX) 44

1 The Eldest Reborn (DAR) 90

4 Thief of Sanity (GRN) 205

3 Hostage Taker (XLN) 223

2 Lyra Dawnbringer (DAR) 26

2 Duress (XLN) 105

1 Kaya, Orzhov Usurper (RNA) 186

[/ A]

As a control player this is obviously my favorite deck of format and tournament. A nice controller that has potential answers to any threat is placed in front of him.

Note that in the maindeck of this deck, compared to the versions that could be seen up to a few weeks ago, cards like [mtg_card] Cry of the Carnarium [/ mtg_card] and a monocopy of [mtg_card] Karn, Scion of Urza [/ mtg_card].

The former is necessary in many matchups, sometimes as a simple mass wipe (let's think about it WW o Boros, but also the same Mono U), but often also for the secondary effect, that is to exile the creatures that are killed that turn by this card. This allows the player to Esper not having to worry too much about the recursion from the graveyard through cards like [mtg_card] Find // Finality [/ mtg_card], another card that makes Sultai Midrange a very annoying deck to deal with.

The most interesting choices of this Esper Control however, we have them on the sideboard where we find some of my favorite cards of the format. First of all [mtg_card] Thief of Insanity [/ mtg_card], a real bomb if not addressed as soon as it touches the ground. Usually the decks they play against Esper Control they tend to sidesthe removal for creatures, since they are basically useless in the 1 game. At that point the player of Esper Control he can opt for an alternative plan, that is to drop a [mtg_card] Thief of Insanity [/ mtg_card] in turn 3 and go on to win the game simply by protecting him, using his opponent's resources.

A card like [mtg_card] Lyra Dawnbringer [/ mtg_card] is certainly oriented towards a metagame dominated by RDW, where the Lifelink ability can change the course of the game. Perhaps the reading of the metagame was not perfect and from this point of view, if in the sideboard of this Esper Control we had two more copies of [mtg_card] Moment Craving [/ mtg_card] in place of the legendary white, maybe today we would have had the good Ikawa as the winner of the Mythic Championship of Cleveland (too slow Lyra against Mono U).

The last card I would like to focus on is [mtg_card] Kaya, Orzhov Usurper [/ mtg_card]. This Planeswalker has started to make an appearance, after this tournament, in the maindeck of many Esper Control that I met on my way to the Mythic rank (for now I have always stuck at Diamond 2). She too, like [mtg_card] Cry of the Carnarium [/ mtg_card] is a card used above all to block the recursion with the cemetery of some decks, but at the same time it is a card that also allows us to go up of life points against more decks aggressive, to manage threats from the Mono U which are all at cost 1 apart from the [mtg_card] Tempest Djinn [/ mtg_card] and ultimately also act as a finisher with its -5 effect (although rarely playing Esper Control I won a game in this way, usually the opponents concede first).

[d title = "Izzet Phoenix - Luis Scott-Vargas - Top4 ″ style =" embedded "]

1 Ral, Izzet Viceroy (GRN) 195

4 Arclight Phoenix (GRN) 91

4 Goblin Electromancer (GRN) 174

4 Crackling Drake (GRN) 163

4 Chart a Course (XLN) 48

4 Lava Coil (GRN) 108

2 Tormenting Voice (M19) 164

1 Beacon Bolt (GRN) 154

1 Entrancing Melody (XLN) 55

4 Radical Idea (GRN) 52

4 Opt (XLN) 65

4 Shock (M19) 156

2 Discovery // Dispersal (GRN) 223

4 Steam Vents (GRN) 257

4 Sulfur Falls (DAR) 247

8 Island (XLN) 265

4 Mountain (XLN) 273

1 Blood Crypt (RNA) 245


1 Beacon Bolt (GRN) 154

1 Ral, Izzet Viceroy (GRN) 195

2 Entrancing Melody (XLN) 55

2 Sorcerous Spyglass (XLN) 248

2 Niv-Mizzet, Parun (GRN) 192

1 Spell Pierce (XLN) 81

1 Murmuring Mystic (GRN) 45

1 Shivan Fire (DAR) 142

3 Negate (RIX) 44

1 Disdainful Stroke (GRN) 37

[/ A]

And here it is, one of the Magnificent Seven at the start of the tournament, which reached the top 4. Izzet Phoenix it is a very old archetype of the format that, apart from the single copy of [mtg_card] Blood Crypt [/ mtg_card], with the remote possibility of using the effect of the split [mtg_card] Discovery // Dispersal [/ mtg_card], does not use no card from Ravnica Allegiance.

For those who play Izzet Drakes, sees very well that the base of the two decks is very similar, with the difference that while Drakes once stopped the first threats tends to finish the gasoline, Phoenix has the possibility, at advanced game, to still be dangerous with the recurrence of the Phoenicians.

I tried the deck several times, but I think the game just hate me: usually my Phoenicians, even if they played half a bunch, remain buried in the 30 cards that remain at the end of the game, when the opponent now has the victory in hand.

Apart from personal bad luck, we note that Izzet Phoenix, perhaps more than Sultai Midrange, suffered the appearance of [mtg_card] Cry of the Carnarium [/ mtg_card] and [mtg_card] Kaya, Orzhov Usurper [/ mtg_card] which devastate the deck by themselves.

On the other hand, a deck that does not update to the latest expansion, is likely to see these insurmountable blocks to deal with and certainly not enough two copies of [mtg_card] Niv-Mizzet, Parun [/ mtg_card] or the monocopy of [ mtg_card] Murmuring Mystic [/ mtg_card] to scare a deck that can draw on cards like the ones mentioned above.

Among the cards to report on the sideboard of this deck there is certainly [mtg_card] Sorcerous Spyglass [/ mtg_card], one of the most effective cards against Planeswalkers in circulation. In addition to giving us an idea of ​​what the opponent can do in the turns to come, it allows us to block the effects of Teferi and his companions and usually, decks that abuse Planeswalkers, have few solutions against artifacts. The fact that it is an artifact makes it particularly appealing to all decks and so it could play the role that [mtg_card] Null Rod [/ mtg_card] has played in the Vintage metagame for many years.

[d title = "RDW - Alex Majlaton - TOP 8 ″ style =" embedded "]

4 Fanatical Firebrand (RIX) 101

4 Ghitu Lavarunner (DAR) 127

4 Runaway Steam-Kin (GRN) 115

4 Viashino Pyromancer (M19) 166

3 Goblin Chainwhirler (DAR) 129

4 Light Up the Stage (RNA) 107

4 Shock (M19) 156

4 Lightning Strike (XLN) 149

4 Wizard's Lightning (DAR) 152

4 Experimental Frenzy (GRN) 99

13 Mountain (XLN) 273

4 Stomping Ground (RNA) 259

4 rootbound Crag (XLN) 256


1 Goblin Chainwhirler (DAR) 129

4 Lava Coil (GRN) 108

4 Cindervines (RNA) 161

3 Collision // Colossus (RNA) 223

2 Treasure Map (XLN) 250

1 Say Fleet Daredevil (RIX) 99

[/ A]

We assume that online this deck is shown in the tournament report as a Gruul Aggro, but it is clear that it is simply a matter of one RDW with green splash for a particular card: [mtg_card] Cindervines [/ mtg_card].

This card, dropped in turn two, can be one of the biggest threats ever seen for the [mtg_card] Nexus of Fate [/ mtg_card] based decks (which usually do not have major main deck removals except some bouncers) and in general for all control decks.

Still referring to the world of Vintage (where I come from) we can see a certain similarity with [mtg_card] Pyrostatic Pillar [/ mtg_card], a card that as a combo player I feared more than anything else.

Apart from that the choice of the maindeck is very "standard", with obviously a manabase modified properly to hold the cards with green splash from the side and the choice to play 4 copies of [mtg_card] Experimental Frenzy [/ mtg_card], a card that when it touches the ground it usually allows us to recover lost games, even if I find that 4 copies are a bit heavy.

Apart from the aforementioned [mtg_card] Cindervines [/ mtg_card], in the sideboard of this RDW we note the monocopy of [mtg_card] Dire Fleet Daredevil [/ mtg_card], a card that I personally love and that could also find space in the main of some RDW in the future (certainly in 4x and not in a single copy).

Having had access to greenery, it is also used to play [mtg_card] Collision // Colossus [/ mtg_card], excellent card to manage steering wheels such as [mtg_card] Pteramander [/ mtg_card], the various Drakes, [mtg_card] Niv-Mizzet , Parun [/ mtg_card], [mtg_card] Nicol Bolas, the Ravager [/ mtg_card], [mtg_card] Doom Whisper [/ mtg_card] and [mtg_card] Hydroid Krasis [/ mtg_card].

[d title = "Azorious Aggro - Marcio Carvalho - TOP 8" style = "embedded"]

1 Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants (M19) 3

4 Benalish Marshal (DAR) 6

4 Dauntless Bodyguard (DAR) 14

4 Skymarcher Aspirant (RIX) 21

4 Snubhorn Sentry (RIX) 23

4 Tithe Taker (RNA) 27

4 Venerated Loxodon (GRN) 30

2 Adanto Vanguard (XLN) 1

2 Baffling End (RIX) 1

3 Conclave Tribunal (GRN) 6

4 History of Benalia (DAR) 21

4 Legion's Landing (XLN) 22

4 Glacial Fortress (XLN) 255

4 Hallowed Fountain (RNA) 251

12 Plains (XLN) 261


2 Baffling End (RIX) 1

2 Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants (M19) 3

2 Disdainful Stroke (GRN) 37

4 Tocatli Honor Guard (XLN) 42

1 Island (XLN) 265

1 Spell Pierce (XLN) 81

2 Negate (RIX) 44

1 Unbreakable Formation (RNA) 29

[/ A]

This is one of the few decks I have not had the chance to try, as I still have too many cards to mount it. As for RDW with green splash, here too we have a classic WW that adjusts the manabase with double blue lands to have access to a few sideboard cards, that is the beauty of 5 counters, to counteract cards that can win games alone against this archetype, such as a mass wipe or a base deck [mtg_card ] Nexus of Fate [/ mtg_card] which starts queuing turns on turns. 

The [mtg_card] Tocatli Honor Guard [/ mtg_card] is mainly used against Sultai Midrange, since almost all of its creatures have an effect that triggers when they come into play, while [mtg_card] Unbreakable Formation [/ mtg_card] is the classic trick of WW decks and derivatives that can have the dual task of closing a turn before the game or avoid a mass wipe.

Now, not having tested it properly I am probably wrong, but is it possible that there was no space for a card like [mtg_card] Dovin, Grand Arbiter [/ mtg_card]? It's probably too slow for the metagame, but the ultimate is truly a bomb.

[d title = "Nexus Simic - Micheal Blonde - TOP 8 ″ style =" embedded "]

2 Hydroid Krasis (RNA) 183

3 Blink of an Eye (DAR) 46

4 Chemister's Insight (GRN) 32

4 Growth Spiral (RNA) 178

4 Nexus of Fate (M19) 306

4 Opt (XLN) 65

1 Precognitive Perception (RNA) 45

4 Root Snare (M19) 199

3 Sinister Sabotage (GRN) 54

3 Search for Azcanta (XLN) 74

4 Wilderness Reclamation (RNA) 149

4 Breeding Pool (RNA) 246

6 Forest (XLN) 277

4 Hinterland Harbor (DAR) 240

4 Island (XLN) 265

4 Memorial to Genius (DAR) 243

2 Simic Guildgate (RNA) 257


1 Hydroid Krasis (RNA) 183

3 Atzocan Archer (XLN) 176

2 Biogenic Ooze (RNA) 122

2 Crushing Canopy (XLN) 183

1 Druid of the Cowl (M19) 177

3 Incubation Druid (RNA) 131

2 Negate (RIX) 44

1 Nezahal, Primal Tide (RIX) 45 [/ d]

Here is the only Nexus-based deck to make it to the top 8. With a very similar deck I climbed ladder BO1 before [mtg_card] Nexus of Fate [/ mtg_card] was banned, only I used [mtg_card] Devious Cover-Up [/ mtg_card] as a counter to recursion [mtg_card] Root Snare [/ mtg_card] and other utilities if needed.

Here too, very peculiar sideboard choices like [mtg_card] Atzocan Archer [/ mtg_card], useful for blocking an early [mtg_card] Thief of Insanity [/ mtg_card] and in any case having a blocker with a 4 constitution against RDW (to avoid its bolts that do 3 damage), which also allows us to make a nice 2 × 1 with creatures with both constitution of both RDW that of WW.

Instead, the [mtg_card] Biogenic Ooze [/ mtg_card] is beautiful, which marries the turn-based recursion philosophy that characterizes the deck, perhaps an interesting enough idea to find a couple of main slots to make the most of it.