This is your (Team) Captain Speaking

Stardate 26.-28.07.2019

Welcome to the fourth and (at least for this season) last installment of the Captain’s Log, an article series where I will share with you my assessment of Team Mage x MTGMintcard after each Mythic Championship. My previous articles in this series covered the Mythic Championships in Atlanta, Cleveland and London. Now I would like to invite you behind the scenes with the team. What is our current situation and future prospect? We will take a look at our training course, deck choices and expectations prior to the tournament. We’ll also evaluate how we did, as well as how we can improve.

After MC London we were placed 7th in the team series, mostly due to Thomas’ sick run which saw him hit platinum and Michaels top 8. With only one MC left there was all to fight for. Because we were in the top 8, Martin Müller earned a qualification, and so our team would have all six players battling it out for those top prizes. Here is how it went down at Mythic Championship IV in Barcelona, where the format was Modern Horizons draft and Modern Constructed.

Hogaak Summer

Testing Modern in a sauna

Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis from Modern Horizons

Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis from Modern Horizons

Spain is warm during July and ACs are usually not a thing in Europe, so our trip started off with a misplay, as we had rented a small Airbnb, which felt like a sauna. Luckily the owner understood our issue and provided us some fans to cool us off.

Our Magic preparation for this event was very good and focused. The constructed format being Modern, once again most of our preparation was done online with the Hareruya Latin boys. A cooperation which we are very fond of. Those guys are funny and very smart. We identified early on, that Hogaak was the best deck, even after the bannings, and we agreed that it would be naive to think that our team was the only one reaching that conclusion. Therefore most of us settled on Hogaak and tried to get in loads and loads of games, to fine tune the deck towards a metagame where Hogaak would be the most played deck.

The deck had a few flex slots, which we could not quite agree on, until at one point Müller suggested playing the Leyline of the VoidLeyline of the Void in the main deck. Even though the idea sounded preposterous, it actually made a lot of sense. At the Mythic Championship we have open decklists, so you know how good the card would be in the matchup and since you mulligan so often and play Faithless LootingFaithless Looting, it is easy to get rid of it, if it is not needed. This little stroke of genius really put the deck over the top for me and made us all excited for playing the deck.

Going in Strong

3 Top8ers in Modern Horizons

Martin Dang, Christoffer Larsen and Simon Nielsen of Team Mage in the Top8 of GP Copenhagen.

Martin Dang, Christoffer Larsen and Simon Nielsen of Team Mage in the Top8 of GP Copenhagen.

Limited wise we were mostly set. Having 3 of us top 8 at GP Copenhagen, which was the same format and the set being out much earlier, made it so that we all felt quite comfortable in the format. We talked a bit about the pick order, but didn’t have to grind as much as we usually do, once we met up. Even so, we still had the daily trophy bet, where the last one to get a draft trophy on MTGO would buy lunch for the crew.

I lost both trophy bets and paid the iron price.

With everything comfortablly in place, the optimism and spirit were high, especially when we got to spend all day before the MC at a rooftop pool and bar teamdrafting and swimming.

The Team Results

Our metagame prediction was spot on

Performance of Team Mage at Mythic Championship IV

Performance of Team Mage at Mythic Championship IV

Our prediction with Hogaak was spot on and the maindeck Leyline won me multiple game ones, even one where I mulliganned to three.

Prior to the tournament, our goal was to maintain top 8 of the team series, for an extra invite for Muller and flight expenses for the rest of us for the upcoming MC. We knew it was going to be close since all the teams weren’t too far apart pointwise. However, after Muller made top 8 and I finished 11-5, we did the math and a quarterfinal win for Muller would actually put us in the top 3, which would give each team member 5000$. Naturally we were very excited and had an even bigger stake in Mullers Sunday appearance.

A quarter final win would have secured us 30.000$ and himself another 5000$ which is pretty high stakes.

We went home early and Muller went to sleep so he was ready for Sunday while Thomas and I played the matchup a bunch of times, trying to concoct a good sideboard plan.

Mythic Championship IV – Top 8 von Magic auf www.twitch.tv ansehen

You can see the match on coverage and in the end, it all came down to him drawing 3 cards in a turn where he has 2 outs and his deck has about 24 cards left. It was truly nerve wrecking to see and heartbreaking when he missed.

The Sixth Best Team in the World

Team Mage among the Elite of competitive Magic

Elite Guardmage from War of the Spark

Elite Guardmage from War of the Spark

After the tournament we went for the usual team dinner and drink, where we agreed that we were still happy in the end finishing 6th in the team series. Being the 6th best team in the world is great and knowing that you were so close to a top 3 finish, made us optimistic for the road ahead.

We set out to prove, that we had what it takes to compete with the best, and prove it we did. This is by far the best team I’ve had the honor to play with. Our team clicks very well, and we have the same mentality towards many aspects of the game and life in general, so hanging out and conversations seem easy and not forced.

We have known each other for a long time, and we know what to expect, as well as each other strength and weaknesses. I have teamed with individuals that are better and more accomplished in Magic, but this team has made me better myself and happier playing the game.

A Great End to a Great Season

Looking back and looking ahead

What I have learned from this season, is teaming with friends has made this season great. Magic is still a hobby and since we don’t know how long Pro Magic will last, enjoying the ride is the most important thing.

Congratulation to Martin Muller for making another top 8 at the games biggest stage.

Being on Team Mage this season has been an honor and representing such a great company made the experience feel great.

Thank you all very much for the support throughout the season and in the future.

 

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.