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Beating the Breakout Decks from MC7


Bans. The answer to the question of "How to beat them" in Standard since Throne of Eldraine was released has been that 4-letter word. Bans. That is, until Mythic Championship VII. In the past three months we have seen Field of the Dead, Oko, Thief of Crowns, Veil of Summer, and Once Upon a Time get the banhammer to solve a metagame dominated by an individually broken strategy. With those extremely powerful cards forced out of the format, we can start to use strategic card choices and play to defeat the powerful decks of the format. MCVII gave us an up close look at what the best decks look like and how to defeat them. I watched nearly every moment of the event with my Twitch audience, and this article includes my strategies on how to compete with each of the top performers from the event when you run into them on the MTG Arena ladder.

How to Beat Jund Sacrifice

Piotr Glogowski's winning list from MCVII will be out and about this week. While tournament grinders have known that Korvold, Fae-Cursed King isn't just a Brawl commander for some time, your casual Arena player with a couple of Mythic Wildcards to spend per month is just learning his name. The other new trend in Jund Sacrifice decks has been more copies of Casualties of War to win the longer games and mana fixing cards like Beanstalk Giant and District Guide to reduce land issues.

Korvold, Fae-Cursed King
Casualties of War

Expensive spells like Casualties of War and expensive creatures like Korvold, Fae-Cursed King are weak against counterspells. Despite Teferi, Time Raveler being in the format, this meta is shifting back toward countermagic in a big way. Izzet Flash, Simic Flash, Azorius Control, and Temur Reclamation usually run some amount of countermagic in the main deck while all kinds of Simic-based strategies bring Negate and Disdainful Stroke from the sideboard.

Witch's Oven
Trail of Crumbs

While countering the big spells is good and important, you also have to deal with Trail of Crumbs and Witch's Oven to keep from getting nickel and dimed to death. Cheap and flexible removal really helps. Sorcerous Spyglass and Thrashing Brontodon can make more appearances, and I have developed a soft spot for Disenchant in my Esper, Azorius, and Jeskai lists.

Rotting Regisaur
Vivien, Arkbow Ranger

Don't play cards that can get chump-blocked by Cauldron Familiar. The creepy little kitty can stop any attacker without trample or evasion, so make sure you have a way through. Chris Kvartek played an innovative version of Golgari Adventures that featured four copies of Vivien, Arkbow Ranger to give trample to Rotting Regisaur and Lovestruck Beast. Questing Beast made the list as well.

In a world where more and more Golgari decks were going slower and bigger, Kvartek went faster and taller. It is nice to see The Great Henge now that it can be more than an Elk. Look at the creatures in your deck and ask yourself if they get over or around a Cauldron Familiar/Witch's Oven combo.

How to beat Simic Flash

While Jund Sacrifice was able to win the tournament, the story of the tournament was Simic Flash. Brad Nelson, Javier Dominguez, and Seth Manfield were the trio that played a hybrid of Simic Flash and Simic Ramp, and all three of them made the Top 8! That is a 100% conversion rate across a small event with the best players in the world!

In the past we could defeat these decks by killing Nightpack Ambusher at all costs, dragging the game out, and letting them flood out while their Quenches and Mystical Disputes became useless. This version of Simic Flash has the powerful endgame of Nissa, Who Shakes the World plus Hydroid Krasis, and they can back it up with a counterspell. You also see zero copies of Brazen Borrower and Wildborn Preserver in this list. Why? I suspect it is because both cards get blocked by Cauldron Familiar plus Witch's Oven.

Teferi, Time Raveler

Teferi, Time Raveler can beat the Simic Flash decks, but it can't do it alone. Jeskai Fires decks had four copies of the planeswalker and the matchup was terrible for the Jeskai side of things because they did nothing of consequence before casting Teferi, Time Raveler. You need early plays that force the Simic Flash player out of their comfort zone, and Jeskai Fires and Azorius Control don't have those options.

Knight of the Ebon Legion
Fervent Champion

Aggro was almost non-existent at MCVII. Despite the banning of Oko, Thief of Crowns, the pros failed to find an aggro list that could reliably bash its way through Food tokens and Mayhem Devils. As Simic Flash becomes a huge part of the meta, the format will need some 1-drop aggro cards to keep ug mages on their heels. My first instinct is to revisit Rakdos Knights.

In the spirit of helping Teferi, Time Raveler do his job and keep counterspells in check, I want to see if there is a Bant Ramp list that can compete in this meta. turn one Gilded Goose can lead to turn two Teferi, Time Raveler.

Noxious Grasp, Aether Gust, and Mystical Dispute are sideboard cards every deck should be running if they fit the colors. You must be able to win counter wars or remove Nightpack Ambusher at instant speed on turn three. Shifting Ceratops is a reasonably-priced card that cannot be countered, but I was not impressed by the card watching the matches at MCVII. Too often the Ceratops was brick-walled by Wolf tokens and Elemental lands from Nissa, Who Shakes the World. Epic Downfall, Wicked Wolf, and Casualties of War weren't able to resolve against Simic Flash, so you are in trouble if they are your sideboard plan.

Simic Flash and Jund Sacrifice are great decks, but they are far from broken. Most colors can compete with small adjustments to their builds and sideboard plans. If you have an aggro list that dunks on Jund Sacrifice and Simic Flash I would love to see it!

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