This weekend marked the last major Magic: The Gathering tournament before an expected shakeup on Nov. 18’s banlist announcement. Oko, Thief of Crowns and the Food engine that accompanies him have been Standard tyrants since their printing. This weekend proved no different, with a baffling 69 percent of decks having Oko somewhere in the 75. Ondřej Stráský would go on to win Mythic Championship VI with his particular brand of Oko.
Not playing Green was incorrect
Every top eight deck this tournament was a green strategy. Eli Klassis played Golgari Adventure while Andrew Cuneo brought the Selesnya variant. They were the only players that made top eight without Oko, and both were eliminated in the quarterfinals. We’ve known this all season, but Oko’s sheer power level compared to the rest of the field is remarkable. The most popular strategy to eschew green mana was Jeskai Fires of Invention. Grzegorz Kowalski piloted the deck to a 9th place finish. Scarce other strategies showed up, such as Mardu Knights and the Azorious Control deck that enjoyed some success at MagicFest Lyon. The pros had a solid month to try and crack the Oko code, but it seems that “join them” proved the most winning option.
Ondřej Stráský takes Oko all the way to the top
We all expected an Oko deck to win the trophy this weekend, and Ondřej Stráský was no exception. There had been a lot of Sultai and Bant variants leading up to the tournament, but Stráský decided to ignore a third color and go pure Simic. A black or white splash gave players access to pieces of interaction like Noxious Grasp or singularly powerful cards like Teferi, Time Raveler. Stráský, however, felt that blue and green gave him plenty of tools to capitalize on his opposition’s greedier mana base. Aether Gust proved to be a very tricky tempo play on many occasions, and Mass Manipulation broke otherwise cramped boards to clear a path to victory.
Finals full of Food
Stráský managed to dodge the two non-food decks in the top eight bracket, most importantly Selesnya Adventure. Without access to Massacre Girl, Stráský’s Simic deck can often get run over by the wide boards Selesnya can produce. Instead, Stráský saw Sultai Food in both his quarter and semi-final matches, making convincing work of both. Despite lacking a third color for additional options, Stráský had very efficient and versatile threats in Brazen Borrower and Gadwick, the Wizened (out of the sideboard). Food decks don’t traditionally have a lot of fliers, and Stráský used Brazen Borrower to exploit this with an evasive threat on otherwise gummed-up boards.
Stráský’s final Mythic Championship VI opponent was Hall of Famer Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa. Da Rosa (affectionately called PVDDR) brought an almost identical list to this event, and the mirror-match finals were an absolute nail biter. PVDDR picked up the first win, lost the second, and won the third. Game four was amazing. PVDDR was on the draw, and both players began with a pair of Paradise Druid. PVDDR crucially resolved the first Nissa, Who Shakes the World. This format has taught us that being the first and last player to control a Planeswalker often decides the game. Despite slowly being crushed under pressure, Stráský managed to stem the bleeding with a wild series of plays.
Stráský laid (bounced) his head on the table, as if in disbelief that he had forced a game five. Unfortunately for PVDDR, he had to take a mulligan to five in game five (for the second time in top eight!). Despite building an impressive board, he wasn’t able to keep up with Stráský’s curve and ultimately fell to the Czech powerhouse after a miraculously top-decked Mass Manipulation. Congratulations to the winner of Mythic Championship VI, Ondřej Stráský.
Can’t get enough of your card game fix? Make sure to read up on the winner of the Hearthstone Global Finals.