This is your (Team) Captain Speaking

Stardate 26.-28.04.2019

Welcome to the third installment of the Captain’s Log, an ongoing article series where I will share with you my assessment of Team Mage x MTGMintcard (formerly Team Snapcardster x MTGMintcard) after each Mythic Championship. You can find my first two article of the series here and here. Now I would like to invite you behind the scenes with the team. What is our current situation and future prospect? Let us take a look at our training course, deck choices and expectations prior to the tournament in London. We’ll also evaluate how well the team did, as well as how we can improve.

Team spirit was high after a great performance, worth 43 pro points, at Mythic Championship I. Michael Bonde made top 8, Thomas Enevoldsen became platinum and Team Mage was catapulted into 6th place prior to Mythic Championship II in London. However, only 4 of our 6 members were qualified. I myself requalified via RPTQ, but unfortunately Martin Muller didn’t earn an invite, so Team Mage was only going to be represented by 5 players in London, fighting for those top spots.

The known and established

Going for what you’ve mastered in Modern

Karn Liberated from Ultimate Masters

Karn Liberated from Ultimate Masters

Competing in Mythic Championship II, we had to prepare for Modern Constructed and War of the Spark Draft. The latter of the two hadn’t even come out yet at the time – it was a Prerelease weekend after all.

With Modern for the constructed portion of the event, we to test that online. Modern is such a large format that we found our best option was if we all selected a deck that fits our individual playstyle and then get loads of games in with those decks. You need to know what to do against the decks in the format, how to sideboard and what the key cards for the matchups are. And to do that you just need to play lots and lots of games. Therefore, the MTGO grind is the best way to go about this.

The use of the team in Modern testing comes in when you need to confer about uncertainties with your sideboard plans or just confirm if what you’re doing makes sense. The gameplay and info gathering themselves are just more efficient online.

In the end we each choose a deck we were familiar with, and had lots of games with. In Modern, I would not recommend a last minute switch to a deck you haven’t played much, even if you think it would be better against the metagame. Christoffer and I chose to play Tron, Michael went with Whir Prison, Simon played white Eldrazi and Thomas was back on his beloved UW control. Playing Teferi is his thing and he does it well, which he once again proved this tournament.

A Completely New Format

Preparing for War of the Spark Draft

God-Eternal Oketra from War of the Spark

God-Eternal Oketra from War of the Spark

The Limited format this time around was War of the Spark Draft. A brand new set that wasn’t released globally until a week after the Mythic Championship, which meant the Prerelease was held at the same time as the Mythic Championship. Because of this, our team got a bit creative in order to test for the format. We printed out 4 of each card and made proxy boosters to test with. The process was tedious and took some time but results were fine.

Our team, myself excluded, met up in Copenhagen for a 3 day draft camp. To reach the 8 people required for regular Draft, we added other Danes that were qualified for the MC to fill out the remaining spots. I was unfortunately unable to participate in the Draft camp, due to family issues, and I focused the time I had on testing Modern. As a result, I made bad choices in Draft at the Mythic Championship. I picked Sarkhan’s CatharsisSarkhan’s Catharsis fourth pick and ended up playing two of them in my control deck, thinking they could shoot creatures. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when my first round opponent informed me that I was mistaken.

Since I couldn’t prepare properly for the Limited portion, my teammates stepped in and provided me with some fixed strategies. I was told big green creatures were hard to deal with. The format was slow, so don’t go for the aggro deck, unless you know which cards to pick and which to expect on the wheel. Blue-red spells is a good deck and overall it is fairly easy to splash. After that they gave me a rundown of all the rares, how good they were in testing and how we valued them in Draft.

From then on, my plan was to stick with a certain strategy that depended on which cards I opened in the first booster, unless I was passed clear signals to follow one of my few other prepared strategies. Let me make it clear though, this was an emergency strategy. I wouldn’t recommend this way of drafting, unless you lack experience with the format or maybe you’re new to Draft in general.

The Team Results

We hoped to do better

Team Mage performance at Mythic Championship II

Team Mage performance at Mythic Championship II

Thomas did great and showcased once again how awesome he is at navigating those control decks. However, aside from Thomas the team had a horrible Mythic Championship. None of us could win more than 50% of our matches. This just goes to show how hard the competition is at these events.

In total, we collected a modest 22 pro points which placed us 13th on pro points gathered at this MC. However, because of our great results at the previous Mythic Championship, we came in tied of for 6-7th place in the overall team standings. This is great news, because it qualifies Martin Muller and me for the next tabletop Mythic Championship in Barcelona, for another chance to redeem ourselves.

Lessons learned

What I’m taking away from this MC

Accumulated Knowledge from Masters 25

Accumulated Knowledge from Masters 25

So, what did we learn from this Mythic weekend? If you don’t have enough time, at least be sure to learn what the cards do and set up some strategies for yourself to follow. Even without time to test Limited properly myself, I still got a 5-1 record thanks to the help I got from my team and their testing.

The Modern metagame is ever changing, so remember to update yourself with what is popular. Knowing your own deck and how to handle various situations are still the best advice to handle Modern as a format.

Barcelona, where the next tabletop Mythic Championship takes place, is not far from Denmark and the format will once again be Modern and Draft, so we will have every chance to do well this time around. Also it is during the summer vacation which should provide us all with enough free time, to get the sufficient amount of testing done.

We will have to shake off this bad overall result and focus on the positive. We are still in the top 8 going into the last Mythic Championship of the season, so we will all be qualified for that one and motivated to finish this team series in style. We will finish strong and people will know the name Team Mage.

 

This article was written by Martin Dang in a media collaboration with mtgmintcard.com

Martin Dang

Martin Dang

Martin Dang is a Danish professional player and #mtgdad. He won Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir in 2015 and GP Liverpool 2015.