Wow these Mythic Championship VI Decks

Mythic Championship VI decks were rife with Oko, Thief of Crowns

To Begin With, Mythic Championship VI was “the most lopsided, the most homogeneous, Pro Tour in history”

Right before coverage started, Pro Tour Historian Emeritus Brian David-Marshall called up Mike.

He asked: “What was the percentage of Rebel decks at ‘Pro Tour Rebels’?”

“Pro Tour Rebels” was of course Pro Tour New York 2000… The first and last song of Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero in Masques Block; famous for an overwhelming representation by one archetype (the aforementioned “Rebels”)… Despite being won by a Mono-Blue Rising Waters deck.

Forty-three percent.

To give you a frame of reference, Mythic Championship VI featured…

  • Over 70% Oko, Thief of Crowns,
  • Nearly that many Gilded Goose, and
  • A whopping 75.76% Once Upon a Time!

The top decks were Simic Food, Sultai Food, and Bant Food. Differences among them were not super pronounced; but if you weren’t one of them… You mostly got trounced. For its part, Simic was first, second, and third in this tournament when the dust settled!

All eight decks in the Top 8 — including one dissenting Golgari build and one Selesnya — packed not only Once Upon a Time but Veil of Summer.

Mythic Championship VI was, as Patrick says, “the most lopsided, most homogeneous, Pro Tour in history.”

Despite the Best Mythic Championship VI Decks Being Known, the Format Managed to Break!

Now despite the convergence around the core Food strategy, largely topping up on Nissa, Who Shakes the World and Hydroid Krasis, a dissenting Food — rather Cat Food — deck emerged and distinguished itself.

Somehow, amidst a Caw-Blade like line in the sand at this Pro Tour, Sultai Sacrifice managed to perform even better than its cousins. Trading in a Cauldron Familiar + Witch’s Oven for the default top end, Sultai Sacrifice performed even better than the three main Food decks against other Food decks… And absolutely murdered everyone else.

Playing an important event this weekend? Patrick heartily recommends Sultai Sacrifice!

In Other News, Veil of Summer was Banned in Pioneer This Week…

Basically, we think this is great.

Permission was already terrible in Pioneer; and Veil of Summer made it even worse. It also sets a great precedent for Standard…

What’s Next for Standard After Mythic Championship VI?

Clearly, if we are looking for any kind of a playable, balanced, format at all, Oko, Thief of Crowns has got to go.

The question is… Will anything else?

There are a lot of heavily played cards in Standard… But most of them don’t deserve a ban. Gilded Goose is just a fun creature; banning it would make Standard worse. Nissa, Who Shakes the World is a perfectly balanced, fair — if powerful — card… That just happens to be in the same colors as these broken Throne of Eldraine spells. Wicked Wolf? Come on!

The cards that have to be banned are Oko, and…

Once Upon a Time is an option. Michael doesn’t think this is going to happen in Standard, but maybe Once Upon a Time will become a thing of the past in Pioneer.

Veil of Summer, though? It’s already been banned in Pioneer. Why not Standard? The rate on Veil of Summer is just too good. It’s a permission spell, and an anti-permission spell. It’s a cantrip Dispel… But more flexible. You can just burn it to draw a card! Perhaps least civil of all, think about the poor Thought Erasure people. Oftentimes they have to play Thought Erasure to fix their hands… And then Veil happens?

Exactly.

We won’t know entirely what will be banned in Standard until next week; but it sure is fun to speculate. Listen now (but make sure to check back next week!):

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Fallout from the First Pioneer PTQ

Felidar Guardian
Felidar Guardian is one of three cards banned after the first Pioneer PTQ

First Up… The Pioneer Banned List

In light of the first Pioneer PTQ (and other events) our overlords in Renton, WA started taking the ban-hammer to the available cards in this new format. They plan to update us every Monday. The first one was a riot!

  • Felidar Guardian – There are lots of good reasons to ban the Copy Cat. It is a key card in one of the two most prevalent (and successful) Pioneer archetypes to date. But maybe more than that, with four toughness, Felidar Guardian is really tough for some decks to deal with (for example a Red Deck where Shock-plus Wild Slash is the default burn spell)
  • Oath of Nissa – Oath of Nissa was a key early spell in a number of archetypes. This card was a four-of in both of the most popular Pioneer decks (Copy Cat and Mono-Green Devotion). It made the Devotion deck really — really — consistent (especially because of its ability to help hunt up Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx.
  • Leyline of Abundance – Maybe not the most offensive card to anyone’s sensibilities, Leyline of Abundance just contributed to extraordinary explosiveness from the green mana acceleration decks and provided two essentially unearned green pips for Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. Patrick notes that there is a long and storied tradition of banning (or just restricting) weird cards so that the card R&D wants to be good can remain in the format. This time it was Leyline of Abundance that bit the bullet.

An Energy Sub-Theme from the Pioneer PTQ?

One curious jumping-off point might be BARONVONFONZ’s four-color Copy Cat deck from the PTQ.

Yes, Felidar Guardian is no longer going to bother anyone (at least not in Pioneer) but it is interesting to think about BARONVONFONZ’s approach and technology.

Our speculation is that the Energy sub-theme was there largely to power up Harnessed Lightning; which can deal four damage to an opposing Felidar Guardian. The deck already had Oath of Chandra to go along with the typical Oath of Nissa set.

Losing Oath of Nissa makes casting Planeswalkers in up to four different colors more challenging. To what degree does Attune with Aether keep a “Temur Planeswalkers” deck alive? Might Traverse the Ulvenwald make a reasonable replacement for Oath of Nissa here?

Mike is skeptical, especially given what’s left in Pioneer…

Not a Single Card was Banned from Wilderness Reclamation

The big winner from the first winner-take-all PTQ event was obviously TROLLINGSARUMAN with Wilderness Reclamation.

This deck is highly reminiscent of the recent Standard deck… But upgraded with Dig Through Time as an additional awesome card to play on your own end step. Not for nothing, this particular awesome card is helpful in finding the “real” signature big blue instant of the deck: Nexus of Fate.

Given the shakeups elsewhere, Wilderness Reclamation combo might be the right place to start. After all, it did rip through a room full of Mono-Green Devotion packing Leyline of Abundance and Felidar Guardian with… um… actual Felidar Guardians. How might it fare against theoretically weaker opponents?

Check it all out in this week’s episode:

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It’s the Pioneer Decklists Podcast!

What is Pioneer?

Magic was born in 1993.

Modern, one of the game’s most beloved formats, takes cards that were legal from 2003 on… So chops off Magic’s first ten years.

Now Pioneer does the same, but starting in 2013. It eliminates Magic’s first twenty years.

It’s the Wild, Wild West.

Pioneer is great, or at least exciting for now because it’s such a wide open universe. There have been lots and lots of bans in Standard over the last six years… But none of those bans have hit Pioneer (yet). It’s like Sam Black said… If you’re not trying to get a card banned, you’re not trying hard enough.

Is Goblin Chainwhirler Good Enough for Pioneer Red Decks?

Goblin Chainwhirler
Goblin Chainwhirler

There have been a number of viable Red Decks over the last six years. Multiple won Pro Tours, even! (Back when we had such a thing.)

Tiny creature decks with Atarka’s Command were great.

There were lean and flexible decks with Eidolon of the Great Revel and Abbot of Keral Keep.

There were fast threats like Earthshaker Khenra. Big and busted ones like Hazoret the Fervent.

We know the Pioneer Red Deck will be less uniform and efficient than the Modern Red Deck. It has to be, right? There will be no Lighting Bolt, for one thing. Will the ever-impressive (in Standard) threat Goblin Chainwhirler make the cut?

Spoiler: Might that creature be great if people are playing 8-12 one drop mana accelerators a la Llanowar Elves?

What Will be the Role of Dig Through Time in Pioneer?

Dig Through Time
Dig Through Time

Patrick loves the idea of Dig Through Time being powered up by Wilderness Reclamation.

Wilderness Reclamation

If all you do is resolve a Wilderness Reclamation, you can start casting Dig Through Time the next turn, even if you haven’t put a lot of cards in your graveyard.

But of course you can set up to put cards in your graveyard! Growth Spiral is going to be in a class by itself. But Opt will be great… and so will cycling cards like Hieroglyphic Illumination an Censor.

Censor, in particular, is interesting: There are so many busted things to do in Pioneer… But none of them are permission spells! Censor does double duty here. It’s not much worse than Quench (even if it feels worse, when it happens to you). Its Plan B is so good to help find Wilderness Reclamation and resolve Dig Though Time.

It’s Probably Going to be a Treasure Cruise Deck…

At least until they ban Treasure Cruise.

Format is wild

New ideas are flowing.

All our takes on the first couple of Pioneer tournament results here:

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