Day 1 of World Championship XXVI is in the books! Four of the 16 competitors have been eliminated, four more have advanced to the Top 8, and the remaining eight players will return tomorrow morning to battle for the other four spots in the Top 8.

Don’t miss our coverage of Day 2 of World Championship XXVI.

The World Championship’s new structure means that Day 1 split the 16 players into two pods of eight for three rounds of draft, then organized the players into new winner and elimination groups for three rounds of Standard.

Theros Beyond Death Draft Groups

Draft Pod A on Day 1 of World Championship XXVI

In Pod A, Marcio Carvalho and Seth Manfield quickly earned two wins and advanced directly to the winners Standard group, while Gabriel Nassif and Autumn Burchett both lost their first rounds and won their second rounds, forcing them to play against fellow 1-1 drafters Piotr Glogowski and Ondrej Strasky in a third round. Nassif and Burchett both won their matches to advance to the winners group while Glogowski and Strasky were sent to the elimination group, where they were joined by the 0-2 drafters Sebastian Pozzo and Thoralf Severin.

Draft Pod B on Day 1 of World Championship XXVI

In Pod B, Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa and Chris Kvartek were the 2-0 drafters and advanced directly into the winners Standard group. Raphael Levy and Eli Loveman won their 1-1 matches against Jean-Emmanuel Depraz and reigning World Champion Javier Dominguez to make the winners group, dropping Depraz and Dominguez to the elimination group along with 0-2 drafters Matias Leveratto and Andrea Mengucci.

Standard Groups

The elimination group on Day 1 of World Championship XXVI

After three rounds of draft, the players regrouped for three rounds of Standard. In the elimination group, players were fighting for their tournament lives, with the Top 4 players advancing to the play-in group on Day 2 and the losers being eliminated from the event.

Sebastian Pozzo and Piotr Glogowski went 2-0 to make the play-in group, while Jean-Emmanuel Depraz and Thoralf Severin won their 1-1 matches against Andrea Mengucci and Ondrej Strasky to keep their tournament hopes alive. Mengucci and Strasky were eliminated with their loses, as were the 0-2 players Matias Leveratto and Javier Dominguez.

The winners group on Day 1 of World Championship XXVI

In the winners group, players were competing to advance directly to the Top 8 bracket on Day 2. Marico Carvalho went 2-0 to complete an undefeated Day 1 and stamp his ticket in the Top 8, where he was joined by the other 2-0 Standard player Eli Loveman.

Manfield, who lost to Carvalho in the 1-0 bracket, went on to defeat Autumn Burchett in the battle of the 1-1 players to advance to the Top 8, as did Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, who defeated Gabriel Nassif to advance to the Top 8. Burchett and Nassif still advanced to Day 2 but will be forced to compete in the play-in group for their shot at the Top 8, as will the 0-2 Standard players Chris Kvartek and Raphael Levy.


Top 8: Marcio Carvalho, Eli Loveman, Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, Seth Manfield

Play-In: Gabriel Nassif, Autumn Burchett, Chris Kvartek, Raphael Levy, Sebastian Pozzo, Piotr Glogowski, Jean-Emmanuel Depraz, Thoralf Severin

Eliminated: Matias Leveratto, Javier Dominguez, Andrea Mengucci, and Ondrej Strasky

Match of the Day

Skip to 7:04:08 if the embed does not do so for you.

This is cheating a little bit since less than four minutes of the match made it on camera—but they were the most important four minutes of the match.

In the final round of the elimination group, Thoralf Severin and Ondrej Strasky were playing a UW Control mirror match in a true win-or-go-home elimination match, with the winner advancing to the Day 2 play-in group and the winner being eliminated from the tournament. Coverage joined the match at the end of Game 2 with Severin up 1-0 but with Strasky looking to even the match up with a Dream Trawler and three Castle Ardenvales in play, while Severin had no way to interact with the hexproof Trawler.

But what went unnoticed was that, despite his massive board advantage, Strasky only had three cards left in his library. After untapping, drawing for turn, and attacking with the Dream Trawler (and three Human tokens, one of which traded for a token from Severin’s own Castle Ardenvale token) to put Severin to three life, Strasky was down to one card in his library.

Severin untapped at three life, staring down lethal on the board, and examined his two-card hand containing Emergency Powers and Absorb. He passed the turn back to Strasky, seemingly accepting his fate, and Strasky made three more Human tokens with his Castle Ardenvales.

Strasky untapped, drew the last card in his library, and saw that the win was within reach. He couldn’t attack with the Dream Trawler because the Trawler’s attack trigger would force him to draw a card from his empty library and cause him to lose the game. But he still had four 1/1 Human tokens, and while Severin could make his own Human token to block one of Strasky’s, Severin was at three life and three Humans would make it through unblocked to win the game.

So Strasky attacked with his four Humans…but Severin didn’t activate Castle Ardenvale to make a token. Instead, he cast his Emergency Powers and countered it with Absorb, gaining three life to six, allowing him to take survive the attack at two life after taking four damage. Strasky, realizing that he would lose on his next turn thanks to his empty library, conceded and was eliminated from the World Championship while Severin advanced to the play-in group on Day 2.


World Championship XXVi continues tomorrow at 2 PM Eastern on

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