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Mythic Championship VI Day One Metagame Breakdown

November 08, 2019
Frank Karsten

It's been only a few weeks since Javier Dominguez took Gruul Aggro to victory at Mythic Championship V, but the Standard metagame has gone through substantial changes since then. Most notably, after the ban of Field of the Dead, Oko, Thief of Crowns started to dominate. Here is what the field at Mythic Championship VI in Richmond looks like.

Archetype Players Percentage
Sultai Food 183 37.0%
Simic Food 94 19.0%
Bant Food 35 7.1%
Golgari Adventure 33 6.7%
Jeskai Fires 21 4.2%
Temur Reclamation 21 4.2%
Sultai Sacrifice 13 2.6%
Azorius Control 12 2.4%
Rakdos Sacrifice 11 2.2%
Gruul Aggro 8 1.6%
Selesnya Adventure 8 1.6%
Esper Dance 5 1.0%
Four-color Sacrifice 5 1.0%
Jund Sacrifice 5 1.0%
Rakdos Knights 5 1.0%
Other 36 7.3%

Oko decks are 69% of the metagame

A mind-boggling 69% of the players ended up registering Oko, Thief of Crowns main deck or sideboard, which represents an unprecedented level of metagame dominance. I have been at Pro Tours and Mythic Championships for 20 years, and I have never seen this level of dominance. It is unprecedented. Even at the Mirrodin Block Constructed Pro Tour, Affinity decks were less than 50% of the metagame. This event will go into the historical record books as Mythic Championship: Oko.

I labeled the vast majority of these Oko decks as "Food" decks. Their core is generally comprised of Gilded Goose; Oko, Thief of Crowns; Wicked Wolf; Paradise Druid; Nissa, Who Shakes the World; Hydroid Krasis; and Once Upon a Time. Given this green-blue core, several color combinations are possible:

  • Simic Food: These decks are typically rounded out with Brazen Borrower and Aether Gust to play a good tempo game. The two-color mana base is relatively painless.
  • Sultai Food: This version is the most popular one because it maximizes maindeck answers to opposing Okos. Black offers maindeck Noxious Grasp; Vraska, Golgari Queen; and Casualties of War.
  • Bant Food: The key reason to splash white is Teferi, Time Raveler, which is great against countermagic or Wilderness Reclamation. In addition, most Bant Food decks also contain a few Aether Gusts and several copies of Mass Manipulation, which is particularly good when paired with Teferi – Mass Manipulation can then be cast it at instant speed, and Veil of Summer is invalidated as an answer.
  • Four-color Food: Only three players are on this version. It stretches the mana base but gains both Noxious Grasp and Teferi, Time Raveler.

While a consensus on the optimal color combination or Food build is lacking, a large part of the field agreed that building around Throne of Eldraine's Food engine in a green ramp shell is the best way to succeed in Standard.

In addition to the 63% Food decks, there are 5% other decks with main deck Oko:

  • Sultai Sacrifice and Four-Color Sacrifice: Eighteen players ran Oko in a deck built around Cauldron Familiar, Witch's Oven and sacrifice payoffs like Trail of Crumbs or Mayhem Devil. Although these decks generally run Gilded Goose and Wicked Wolf as well, the sacrifice theme is more prominent.
  • Temur Planeswalkers: Two players registered this deck. They can turn Oko and a variety of other planeswalkers into Dragons with Sarkhan the Masterless.
  • Bant Ramp: Only two players are playing this deck. It resembles Bant Food, but it lacks Wicked Wolf and instead exploits Arboreal Grazer and Time Wipe.
  • Simic Adventure and Simic Quasiduplicate: These singleton deck choices don't rely on the full Nissa-plus-Hydroid-Krasis package, but instead exploit Edgewall Innkeeper with Lovestruck Beast or Quasiduplicate with Cavalier of Thorns. Therefore, they play out slightly differently than Simic Food.

Finally, by including the few Simic Flash decks that merely run Oko in their sideboards, the rounded number of Oko decks jumps up to 69%. Nice.

Golgari Adventure is the most-played non-Oko deck

Among players who did not want to play Oko, Golgari Adventure is the most popular choice, at 6.7% of the field. The deck is fueled by the power of Edgewall Innkeeper, which will draw cards when you cast Foulmire Knight, Murderous Rider, Lovestruck Beast, and/or Order of Midnight. The remaining maindeck slots are often some combination of Paradise Druid; Rankle, Master of Pranks; and Noxious Grasp.

Besides Golgari Adventure, the next four most popular non-Oko decks are as follows. Together, they comprise about 13% of the metagame:

  • Temur Reclamation: This deck aims to use the mana from Wilderness Reclamation for an enormous, game-ending Explosion in the end step.
  • Jeskai Fires: Fueled by Fires of Invention, the deck tries to overpower opponents by casting multiple spells per turn for free, especially spells that draw into more cards.
  • Azorius Control: This deck says no to spells with Absorb, no to creatures with Time Wipe, and eventually locks up the game with massive X-spells like Mass Manipulation.
  • Rakdos Sacrifice: The best card in this deck is Mayhem Devil, which pings when you put a Cat in the Oven or bring a Cat back from the dead, when you sacrifice creatures to Priest of Forgotten Gods, or even when your opponent sacrifices Fabled Passage.

Given that everyone expected Oko to be dominant, many players chose these decks in the hope that they would have a slightly favorable matchup against the Food decks.

These beliefs make sense in theory. For example, Temur Reclamation may be able to go over the top in the lategame, and Rakdos Sacrifice can take advantage of the relative lack of removal in the Food decks. But we'll have to see whether it all plays out like that in practice.

The 7.3% "Other" category contains some spice

The "Other" category from the metagame table is a mashup of the following:

  • Four-Color Food: 3 players
  • Gruul Adventure: 3 players
  • Izzet Flash: 3 players
  • Simic Flash: 3 players
  • Sultai Elementals: 3 players
  • Bant Ramp: 2 players
  • Esper Control: 2 players
  • Mono-Red Aggro: 2 players
  • Temur Planeswalkers: 2 players
  • Boros Aggro: Andreas Hofverberg
  • Boros Knights: Eric Gray
  • Drowned Kethis: Jake Durshimer
  • Four-Color Fires: Dan Ward
  • Golgari Sacrifice: Ryan Leek
  • Grixis Amass: Jheng Yu Jhang
  • Grixis Midrange: Alex Khanin
  • Mardu Knights: William Araujo
  • Mono-Black Aggro: Gary Abel
  • Orzhov Control: Jody Keith
  • Simic Adventure: Peter Strauch
  • Simic Quasiduplicate: Michael Anthony Kilberry
  • Temur Midrange: Ruey-Jer Yeh

Overall, there are plenty of spicy brews to root for. All decklists (for now without quantities of sideboard cards) are available here.

There are more Breeding Pools than Mountains, Plains, and Swamps combined

The most-played cards among all maindecks and sideboards break down as follows.

Card name Total number of copies Maindeck copies Sideboard copies
Forest 1895 1894 1
Breeding Pool 1472 1472 0
Once Upon a Time 1397 1397 0
Gilded Goose 1382 1379 3
Oko, Thief of Crowns 1373 1357 16
Wicked Wolf 1339 1307 32
Paradise Druid 1338 1338 0
Nissa, Who Shakes the World 1282 1276 6
Hydroid Krasis 1233 1227 6
Veil of Summer 1224 90 1134
Island 1152 1151 1
Noxious Grasp 1041 909 132
Overgrown Tomb 989 989 0
Fabled Passage 912 912 0
Watery Grave 841 841 0
Aether Gust 787 514 273
Thrashing Brontodon 717 0 717
Swamp 707 707 0
Negate 633 43 590
Duress 544 2 542
Mystical Dispute 453 142 311
Brazen Borrower 446 431 15
Massacre Girl 424 90 334
Voracious Hydra 386 5 381
Disdainful Stroke 382 15 367
Vraska, Golgari Queen 364 337 27
Lovestruck Beast 358 166 192
Temple of Mystery 333 333 0
Hallowed Fountain 315 315 0
Teferi, Time Raveler 292 215 77
Castle Vantress 287 286 1
Mountain 286 286 0
Legion's End 252 13 239
Questing Beast 248 140 108
Murderous Rider 221 216 5
Steam Vents 202 202 0
Liliana, Dreadhorde General 200 132 68
Temple Garden 197 197 0
Stomping Ground 181 181 0
Edgewall Innkeeper 180 180 0
Kraul Harpooner 179 97 82
Casualties of War 178 142 36
Plains 174 172 2
Castle Locthwain 171 171 0
Bonecrusher Giant 168 142 26

The battle lines are drawn, and now two questions remain to be answered: What is the best Oko deck, and are there any decks that can beat the Food menace? We'll have 10 rounds of Standard with some of the best players in the world to find out, and I will share my analysis throughout the weekend.

Check back tomorrow to see what decks make the cut to Day Two, and of course, check out the action live at!

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