Read our Day 1 and Top 8 recaps.

After 16 rounds here at Mythic Championship Cleveland, the Top 8 is set.

The Top 8 Players

When the pairings for the final round were posted and the top four tables all intentionally drew with each other, it was clear that the Top 8 had already been determined.

Marcio Carvalho was able to ID his final two rounds to wrap up the first seed. He will be joined in the Top 8 of Mythic Championship Cleveland by Reid Duke, Autumn Burchett, Yoshihiko Ikawa, Michael Bonde, Julien Berteaux, Alex Majliton, and Luis Scott-Vargas.

This will be Scott-Vargas’s tenth career Mythic Championship Top 8,* and his fifth in the last nine, continuing one of the best runs of finishes in Magic history. Carvalho, no slouch himself, will be competing in his sixth career MC Top 8, and will be the fourth for Duke and second for Ikawa, while Burchett, Bonde, Berteaux, and Majliton will be competing in their very first MC Top 8s.

* Wizards of the Coast has been referring to all previous Pro Tours as Mythic Championships.

Burchett, two-time English National Champion, became emotional when discussing their first Top 8 with Brian David-Marshall before the Top 8 ceremony. At times fighting to hold back tears, they explained just how important it was that they could be the first non-binary competitor in a Mythic Championship Top 8.

The Top 8 Decks

While Sultai Midrange may have been the most popular deck in the tournament, none of the players in the Top 8 will be piloting the deck, having chosen instead to come with decks that were prepared to beat it.

Three of the Top 8 players—Duke, Burchett, and Berteaux—will be playing Mono-Blue Tempo, which we ranked as the best deck in Standard going into the weekend. The rest of the field will be made up of five separate archetypes: Azorious Aggro (Carvalho), Esper Control (Ikawa), Gruul Aggro (Majliton), Izzet Phoenix (Scott-Vargas), and Simic Nexus (Bonde).

The Top 8 of Mythic Championship Cleveland begins tomorrow morning on

Carvalho Mired in Controversy

In Round 14, eventual first seed Marcio Carvalho was playing his Azorious Aggro deck against eventual fourth seed Yoshihiko Ikawa’s Esper Control deck. After going down a game, Carvalho got off to a fast start in Game 2, with two Legion’s Landings and a Dauntless Bodyguard on Turns 1 and 2, attacking with two Vampires and the Bodyguard on Turn 3, flipping Adanto, the First Fort and playing a Turn 3 Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants.

Ikawa untapped, played his third land, and cast Cry of the Carnarium to wipe the board. In response, Carvalho sacrificed his Dauntless Bodyguard, which he then returned with Ajani’s -2 ability the next turn, along with casting a History of Benalia. But the text of Cry of the Carnarium says to “[e]xile all creature cards in all graveyards that were put there from the battlefield this turn,” so the Bodyguard should have been exiled and unavailable to be targeted by Ajani’s -2. Nobody noticed this mistake and Ikawa was unable to recover, losing that game as well as the deciding Game 3, giving the match to Carvalho.

A mistake like that is easy to make, especially given the odd way that Cry of the Carnarium is worded, and therefore could normally be forgiven—but Carvalho has a history of high level disqualifications on his record. His problems started in 2009 at Grand Prix Rotterdam, where he was disqualified for peeking at another drafter’s cards and suspended for six months.

Carvalho returned to Magic and made the 2014 Magic World Cup on Team Portugal. In Round 5, after presenting his deck for Game 2 or 3, Team Israel noticed that Carvalho had failed to put a Hornet Queen back into his deck, and had therefore presented an illegal 59-card deck. Carvalho claimed it was a mistake, that the card had been exiled by a Whip of Erebos the previous game and he had simply forgotten to return it to his deck. He was given a game loss and disqualified after an investigation.

As if that wasn’t enough, the investigation into Carvalho’s forgetfulness at the 2014 Magic World Cup uncovered two separate allegations that Carvalho had drawn from his sideboard at Pro Tour Amsterdam in 2010, made by Tom Martell and Matt Sperling.

Taken all together, many in the Magic community are loath to give Carvlaho the benefit of the doubt, even in a situation involving a card as oddly-worded as Cry of the Carnarium. No announcement has been made about investigating Carvalho’s actions in Round 14 of Mythic Championship Cleveland and it is very likely he will be competing in the Top 8 on Sunday.

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