A Month of MCQ Events Part 2
Big Mythic Championship Qualifier Events are back and Andifeated decided to play all the ones taking place in German-speaking regions. Learn about his experience, performance, and about traveling for events more generally!
May was an exhausting month for me! I spent every weekend traveling and I earned about 500 Planeswalker Points (May sound silly but they are important to me as I still can become the first Bavarian Level 50 Archmage), I caught up with a lot of friends that I hadn't seen in a while, and had five chances to qualify for a Mythic Championship. All I had to do was travel 3000+ Kilometers. While I didn't qualify, I was rewarded with this nice playset of Modern, Vintage and Legacy Staples:
Traveling for MCQ Events
I know Mythic Championship Qualifier Events are no MagicFests or Grand Prix, but they're still pretty exciting and worth some traveling to me. A tournament where the winner directly qualifies for a premier event while also providing a promo card that almost pays your entry fee is an enticing one. Especially when that promo is also a highly sought after tournament staple for many different formats. When the Schedule of MCQ Events was up I immediately figured out which Events I could do. Since MCQ Events in your region attracts people in your region, I knew a bunch of people at the Events and it was the perfect opportunity to catch up with old friends and spend quality time with them at and after the tournaments.
In an earlier article of mine, I told you how important it is for tournament players to build a network of friends with similar goals and this MCQ season I really benefited from building such a network last year. I was invited to stay at friend's places near all MCQ Events and didn't need to book expensive accommodations which made the MCQ grind much more accessible and enjoyable. Dominik Dosch let us crush his parents place near Frankfurt and his parents always do a barbecue for us when we stay at their place for tournaments which is pretty amazing. For MCQ Dülmen, I was invited by German All-Time Planeswalker points Leader Mike Hofmann to stay at his place and play the Pokemon Go Community Day alongside him in Bonn after the MCQ Tournament in Dülmen. (He is a retired Magic Player now but a Pokemon Go Pro) For the last weekend, Mark Litvak and his wife hosted me in beautiful Vienna and he even brought me some awesome gifts from their honeymoon vacation in Japan.
Having all these friends in my life makes it much easier and more accessible for me to travel to tournaments and we always have a blast hanging out. Earlier in my career, I struggled a lot with making friends and being outgoing. If you can relate please hear my advice and try to open yourself to other Magic players. It's the most important lesson for your life you can take away from being a Magic tournament player and will make things much easier. After a match, talk to your opponent, get to know them and always be kind. Not only is this mandatory for polite human interaction but it also opens up future opportunities. I really can't stand the type of tournament player who just focuses on his wins and losses and doesn't say more than “Hi” and “Goodbye” while giving you the feeling you're nothing more to him but a signature on the result slip.
This Standard Format has to be one of the most diverse, fun, and difficult formats to figure out since I started playing the game. The metagame seems to change almost daily and new decks emerge weekly since WAR released. After only posing an average 8-8 record at the first two MCQs with my pet deck – Esper Control – which I discussed in my previous article, I collected a lot of data and talked to a lot of competent players while preparing for MCQ Dülmen. The Red aggressive deck was by far the most popular Deck at the first two MCQ Events and I expected that number to even go up as it's cheap (You just need to buy the Challenger Deck and some single cards for a few bucks) and very strong. After almost half a year without competitive Standard Tournaments in Germany, it doesn't surprise me that many players sold their collection and just want a cheap deck for their local MCQ Event.
I decided to go with my trusty Esper list again as it is favored against RDW with a full playset of Absorb in the main deck while the card also provides a generic answer to all kind of strategies my opponents would bring to the table. Flexibility is key in a diverse metagame where you can't predict your matchups due to too many viable different decks. That sounded like a pretty good theory to me as being ahead against 25-30 % of the field while having access to flexible answers to diverse strategies should give you an advantage over the other players. My logic wasn't off, but I did miss an important detail:
Teferi, Time Raveler is the most played nonland permanent in Standard.
Absorb is pretty abysmal at countering cheap spells like Teferi (especially in decks with Llanowar Elves and when he resolves, you can't cast anything at instant speed and the complete Esper Control Deck doesn't function anymore. To make things worse, a plethora of different decks plays it and numbers where going up. I went 4-4 again and watched my friend Mike make the Top 8 playoffs with my Simic Stompy Deck, which I lent to him and wrote about in a recent article.
Since Esper Control was out, I figured that this list was the one I had the most experience with and that it's a decent plan to pressure all the Superfriends decks. Playing pressure like Llanowar Elves and Steel-Leaf Champion while having access to Counterspells seemed like a good line. The RDW Matchup was close too, so the deck was attractive. When I arrived in Vienna, I played the Magic Arena Mythic Championship Qualifier with the Deck and went 0-2 unfortunately, which immediately ended my tournament. I lost against fair to decent matchups and shrugged it off as variance. We spent the day playing the Standard Showdown Event at SpielRaum Wien and since I lost a very close finals, I ended up pretty confident in my deck choice.
On Sunday, I went 3-5 at the MCQ, losing four close matches to RDW, one to 4C Dreadhorde, and the last one to Bant Midrange. Dreadhorde and Bant are very bad Matchups, as they have plenty of removal alongside decent creatures which is hard to beat for Simic Stompy. Whenever I lost to RDW though, I had lethal damage on board and was just one turn short. Often, I needed them to fade one draw step or I needed to win the dice roll to turn the loss into a win so I'm really not sure if the matchup is bad or if I was just unlucky. It might be that running a playset Wildgrowth Walker and more Jadelight Ranger in the Sideboard is necessary in order to make the matchup better. I guess I'll try that plan out and see if it's worth playing the deck again at MCQ Rosenheim in my hometown, the last MCQ of the Season.
Wish me luck and tell me your MCQ Stories in the comments!
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.