Looking back at MC VII
Updated: Dec 17, 2019
As some of you already know, I was eliminated day one of Mythic Championship after an unimpressive 4-4 record and in this article I will try to identify the reasons behind it.
1) Deck - Honestly after I saw all the decklists submitted for MC, I was not as convinced our group has the best deck in the room as I was in the last 3 events. I am writing this article after day 1 and I still am unsure what I'd prefer to play with full information about the metagame since no deck really stands out above the others. (which is a sign of healthy meta)
I am not unhappy with our deck choice overall, Martin Juza advanced with 5-1 record with the same list.
I was wrong in predicting the metagame, since I expected roughly 15% of Embercleave decks and there was only 1 player using this strategy in the whole tournament. I ended up with some suboptimal cards in my 75, especially Assassin's Trophy was totally useless and I was at least 2 cards away from having perfect sideboard. It could look like a minor thing, but when you compete at the top level this could make the difference between day 1 elimination and winning the whole thing.
Some tournaments are like a nice walk, you face easy matchups and mediocre opponents. This tournament was exactly the opposite, I faced 6 MPL players and match-ups were not great either, especially against Lucas Esper Berthoud I felt I would need a miracle in order to beat his UG Elementals. (it almost happened, but I lost 1-2 in the end)
4) In-game performance
I could play better. It's almost always the case for every player. Against Chris Pikula I've cast Casualties of War destroying red Cavalier and land, took 1 extra damage and died
a turn later. I’ve won the match in the end so one could say it didn’t matter, but making brutal mistake like this is something that should never happen.
I lost two super close matches vs. Brad Nelson on UG Flash (twitch link, time 3 hours 41 minutes). I had a choice whether I wanted to have 2 Vraska 1 Duress or 2 Duress 1 Vraska against his UG flash deck. In the end, I decided on double Duress. The game went long, and I had access to my whole deck because of Trail of Crumbs. If I had the second Vraska, I would have won, but this way I lost an extremely close game to Sorcerous Spyglass. Against Mike Sigrist I had a choice whether to have 4 Shifting Ceratops and 1 Wicked Wolf against his Jeskai Fire deck or 3+2. Normally it's easy 4+1, but Mike had a lot of answers for Ceratops in his 75 (4 Bonecrusher Giants and 3 Justice Strikes) so I went with 3+2. The game played out in a way that Mike attacked with all his creatures and I drew a lot of cards with Midnight Reaper trying to find the Ceratops that would attack for the win. I ended up drawing Wicked Wolf and lost. Obviously both matches could have gone differently, but in this example I would like to show you how the smallest decisions can make the difference between success and failure. (the game against Mike was win and in) It's always important to identify what you did well and what you did wrong. I am satisfied with the first part of the preparation, even with the decklist I brought. It could have been slightly better, but I am not an oracle to know how exactly meta will look like and I am happy with the approach of diversifying the risk by putting many different 1-ofs in the sideboard.
I gotta admit I made a big mistake after all the decklists became public. I did not test enough against UG flash deck (choice of some top players) and I played only around 10 games against it. I am still unsure how to SB in that match up, I have no clue about both mulligan decisions and best overall strategy. Therefore the main lesson for next time is to schedule time after decklists release more efficiently, so you then could practice the match-ups where you are uncertain. So that's it for today, another article about BG deck will follow briefly, and if you have any questions about general deck building or tournament preparation, feel free to ask in the comments!