See our Day 1 and Day 2 recaps.

In a well-rounded Top 8 featuring five of the most popular decks of the Standard format, Autumn Burchett (on Mono-Blue Tempo) defeated Yoshihiko Ikawa (on Esper Control) 3-2 to win the first Mythic Championship at MagicFest Cleveland. Burchett is the first English national to win a premiere-level event, as well as the first trans, non-binary champion between all Pro Tours and Mythic Championships.

We Will Fight On the Islands

Autumn Burchett had an intense run to their championship finish—known on Twitch as AutumnLily, they are a specialist of the Standard Mono-Blue Tempo deck that became popular in the middle of Guilds of Ravnica Standard. The deck received further upgrades from Ravnica Allegiance, such as Pteramander and Essence Capture, that helped turn it into a Tier 1 choice. Burchett defeated Julien Berteaux in the quarterfinals and Reid Duke in the semifinals, both of whom were also on Mono-Blue Tempo.

Burchett and Ikawa took the finals of the first Mythic Championship to a full five games, with each game being heavily dictated by the former’s counterspells lining up against latter’s removal spells. The match concluded with a flurry of spells, as Ikawa desperately tried to resolve an answer to Burchett’s Pteramander enchanted with Curious Obsession, all of which Burchett was able answer leading to their victory.

Burchett mentioned in their winner’s interview that they hope their high-level success will help influence the lives of the LGBT community, both inside and outside Magic. It was also Brian David-Marshall’s final interview as a host of the Mythic Championship, and he warned Magic Pro League players that Burchett would be coming for them in next month’s $1 million Mythic Invitational.

A Very Blue Top 8

Beyond the finals, the rest of the Top 8 matches were also filled with suspenseful moments, as well as plenty of displays of mastery of each player’s respective decks.

Reid Duke and Autumn Burchett played a very intense mirror in the semifinals with their Mono-Blue Aggro decks, coming down to the wire in Game 4, when Burchett was able to stabilize at one life and claw their way back into the game with some timely interaction. They eventually won the game and the match 3-1 to advance to the finals.

Another highlight came in the quarterfinals, when Michael Bonde cast a Precognitive Perception and found exactly what he need to combo off with his Simic Nexus deck, just before his opponent Yoshihiko Ikawa was able to untap with an active Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. Bonde ultimately lost the match after mulliganing to five in Game 5.

Ikawa also had a popular clip circulate on Twitch during his semifinal match against Luis Scott-Vargas. LSV had joked that he was “so hungry” between games, after which Ikawa offered him food in a show of true sportsmanship. This was LSV’s second Mythic Championship semifinals in a row, but he was unable to overcome a bad matchup against Ikawa to make it to a second consecutive Mythic Championship finals.

A Balanced Metagame

The Top 8 of Mythic Championship I Cleveland featured three Mono-Blue Tempo decks, and one of each of Simic Nexus, Azorius Aggro, Esper Control, Gruul Aggro (Mono-Red with a splash of Green), and Izzet Phoenix. While skewed somewhat towards the aggressive strategies, and in particular Mono-Blue Tempo, the diversity in the Top 8 was fairly representative of the 21-23 point metagame at the event.

The decks with records that varied from 7-2-1 to 7-3 in the Standard rounds showed a strong variety to the current Ravnica Allegiance Standard format. Out of the 51 players listed, 10 played a variation of Nexus combo (19.6%), 15 players played an aggressive strategy (29.5%), 17 played midrange decks in a variety of colors including Drakes (33.3%), and nine players chose to take a more controlling route, typically based around Blue (17.6%).

However, three of the Top 8 competitors—Luis Scott-Vargas, Julien Berteaux, and Alex Majlaton—did not have Standard records that put them into the 21+ match point bracket, likely due to their intentional draws in Round 16, though only Berteaux made it to 18-20 match points with his Standard deck.

The Standard metagame of decklists with seven wins at Mythic Championship Cleveland was:

  • 10x Sultai Midrange
  • 8x Esper Control
  • 7x Azorius Aggro
  • 6x Mono-Blue Tempo
  • 6x Simic Nexus
  • 2x Dimir Midrange
  • 2x Nexus of Gates
  • 1x Bant Midrange
  • 1x Bant Nexus
  • 1x Esper Midrange
  • 1x Jeskai Drakes
  • 1x Gruul Aggro (Mono-Red)
  • 1x Mardu Aggro
  • 1x Rakdos Midrange
  • 1x Temur Nexus
  • 1x Temur Reclamation

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.