Insider Information – Mythic in Extended

Tuesday, January 25th – Cedric Phillips took Mythic to second place in an online PTQ and doesn’t feel it’s getting the respect it deserves. Here’s the lowdown on this unsung deck!

It started the morning before Day Three of Worlds. A fellow columnist was in search of an Extended deck with little time left to spare:

Sam Black.

In good shape going into Day 3. Awake early and trying to brew. Just have to hope these Extended MODO 2-mans will fire.

Many of you know that I skipped Worlds. I made that decision for a few reasons:

1.) Standard was one of the least fun formats I’d played in a very long time.

2.) I was entering my retirement phase. If I had a strong finish at Worlds, I’d convince myself to keep playing because “it was worth it.”

3.) I was scheduled to work a bunch of doubles serving.

But if I had gone to Worlds, I knew what I was going to play had I been in contention for anything relevant on Day Three. I even told Sam as

Cedric Phillips: Play Mythic with Jace Beleren in the board for 5-Color (not kidding).

Sam played a suboptimal Faeries decklist, missed Level 7, and the rest is history.

The Worlds results came rolling in. 4CC, Faeries, and some Wargate deck looked to be the big winners of the event. Sperling had a great run with a red
deck, but no one seemed to notice. I decided to keep that particular result in the back of my head because that meant one thing:

I wouldn’t have to configure my deck to beat Red yet.

Fast forward a few weeks later. The online PTQ schedule was announced for Pro Tour Nagoya. An Extended PTQ was scheduled for 6:00 am on a Sunday.

I happened to have the day off work. Can’t mize if ya don’t try amirite?

So I woke up at the a** crack of dawn and got to battling. Nine hours later and I was in game three of the finals against a Faeries deck. I ended up
keeping a suboptimal hand and lost to a turn 2 Bitterblossom.

All that grinding for nothing!

Sort of…

Articles came flooding in about how Faeries was the deck to beat. People were talking about the Pestermite + Splinter Twin combo deck that made Top 8.
Hell, writers were even penning how Jund was the natural foil to Faeries. The Innovator even told us how things were

going to get worse

before they got better.

It’s as if I wasn’t a game away from winning the first PTQ of the season with no Faerie hate in my sideboard:

You’ll find no Great Sable Stags here. Looking for Cloudthresher? You won’t find him either. My deck was geared to beat 4CC, other aggro decks, and the
worst deck in the format by a country mile, Ooze Your Daddy. I knew that seeing a Secluded Glen was going to be bad news, but I still managed to go 3-1
against the deck over the course of 12 Rounds (a great John Cena flick).

I felt disrespected. I’m used to the decks I play/write about not getting any respect (Kithkin, Turboland, Dredge, Goblins, Belcher, Allies), but what
more did I have to do with this one? Did anyone watch my replays? I was beating the hell out of every opponent while I was half-asleep in a Snuggie
watching Easy A (sick movie) and drinking Sunkist. Imagine, for a second, if my deck had been tuned instead of copy-pasted from a previous

But no one did. So I decided I would.

I played two Daily Events on Magic Online. I went 4-0, 8-0 in both of them.

Then the Facebook messages started coming in.

“Can you tell me how to sideboard?”

“Why aren’t you playing Vendilion Clique?”

“How is your matchup against Faeries?”

Now they’re interested! I guess it took the irrelevant finishes of two Daily Events to get people to notice instead of the twelve-round grind fest I
had runnered-up a week prior. Makes sense!

My decklist was evolving, but the a**-kickings were the same. Everyone was getting obliterated except for the Faerie menace.

What to do? Call Max McCall, James Nguyen, and Steven Birklid of course!

You all know Max by now due to the backlash on the best article he’s ever written. Most
of you know Steven from his articles on that other website about why Merfolk is complete garbage in Legacy (he’s correct for the record). But
you probably don’t know James.

James is better than I am at Magic. He’s better than Steven. He’s better than Max. He’s better than you. He’s better than most of the regulars on the
Pro Tour. He Top 8ed SCG Open Seattle with the Brilliant Ultimatum + Emrakul deck:

That’s one of the worst decks I’ve ever seen in my life, and he managed to win nine rounds with it. His losses in that tournament? Some durdle named
Luis Scott-Vargas managed to derail him twice with a neat Turboland deck.

But I digress. The point is this. James is probably the best Faerie player I know not named PVDDR, LSV, or Lenny B. And I decided to ram my Mythic deck
into my perceived worst matchup for seven hours. The results?

Holy sh!t is this matchup bad for me!

We tried Great Sable Stag. We tried Chameleon Colossus. Gave Qasali Pridemage a go. None of it worked.

And then I got a text at work from James later in the week:

“How do you feel about Bant Charm in the sideboard to stop Mistbind Clique, Wall of Tanglecord, Cryptic Command, Consume the Meek, and Wurmcoil

I like that quite a bit!

Like I said, he’s better than me.

So, the trio held another testing session while I was at work. I showed up after my shift to find a frustrated James and a very happy Steven and Max.

“Why are you two idiots so happy?” – Me

“Because James is so unhappy.” – Steven and Max

“This matchup is real bad for me now…” – James

/high fives all around

That brings us to this post I made in my Constructed forums:

A plan has been developed to beat jerks playing Faeries. I’m 12-1 on MTGO today. If you want to win a PTQ, I recommend the following:

Against Fae

-4 Sovereigns, -2 Eldrazi Conscription, -4 Lotus Cobra, -1 Marsh Flats

+2 Qasali Pridemage, +4 Great Sable Stag, +2 Chameleon Colossus, +3 Bant Charm

This plan is insane against all of the proposed Fae decklists at the moment. Bant Charm solves every problem (Mistbind Clique, Wall of Tanglecord,
Wurmcoil Engine, Cryptic Command, or a timely removal spell) while still also being good in other matchups (Fauna Shaman decks). I hate Great Sable
Stag, but you need it to beat Faeries. It’s complete garbage against every other deck in the format (including Jund), but I hate losing to morons
casting Bitterblossom. Chameleon Colossus is pretty good right now, as it’s very good against Faeries and Jund in addition just being a giant moron who
interacts with Knight of the Reliquary + Sejiri Steppe very well.

Only loss today was to flooding. Just. Saying.


I’m so nice aren’t I?


But let’s be honest. I know what you came here for. You don’t really care how I got to the decklist I’m going to tell you to play in your next PTQ. You
just care about the 75 cards, how to sideboard, and what to do in each matchup. So David Sharfman, Sam Gaard, Ben Friedman, Todd Anderson, Ricky
Sidher, Phil Samms, Frank Lepore, and all you other buffoons who refuse to put some time in and would rather copy-paste your way to victory, here’s the
deck to beat for the next few weeks:

Cards that cannot be changed:

4 Birds of Paradise

4 Noble Hierarch

4 Lotus Cobra

4 Knight of the Reliquary

4 Sovereigns of Lost Alara

4 Mana Leak

4 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

2 Eldrazi Conscription

25 lands

Those 55 cards are the core of the deck. That leaves you five slots of wiggle room. In case you didn’t notice, that isn’t very much. Here’s why you
should run those five:

3 Kitchen Finks: I had Dauntless Escort in this slot for a very long time, but it’s time we give the Mono-Red deck some respect. Sperling took a PTQ by
surprise that he didn’t even play in by tuning his red deck from Worlds and handing it off to Greg Hatch. Predictably, Hatchypoo decimated the
tournament to earn his first – and long overdue – Pro Tour invitation.

Kitchen Finks is good against red decks for obvious reasons, but the current iterations don’t play very many Magma Sprays (if any) and are overall soft
to the card. Resolving one of these makes the game a lot easier, and two is close to game over. Kitchen Finks also happens to be very good against
control decks that rely on red spells for removal (4CC), Jund, and Faeries when they don’t draw Bitterblossom (pretty miserable against a Bitterblossom
draw but aren’t all non pro-black creatures?).

2 Chameleon Colossus: Raise your hand if you enjoy losing to Jund or Faeries. Oh, no hands are up? Strange…

Not only is Chameleon Colossus insane against Jund and Faeries once it resolves, but it also has many subtle interactions within the deck:

– Can be revealed to Murmuring Bosk.

– Can’t be killed by the Necrotic Ooze + Grim Poppet combo.

– Its being a 4/4 forces Valakut decks to shoot it two or three times if you have 2GG up.

– Exalted plays nicely with its activated ability.

Knight of the Reliquary + Sejiri Steppe play very nicely with its activated ability.

Here are the cards you shouldn’t be running in those five slots:

Vendilion Clique: This is the first card people ask me about when I send them my decklist. And in turn, I ask them this question:

What problem does this card solve?

Just because a card is good doesn’t mean it should automatically be in a deck. The first time you play a turn 1 mana accelerant and then a turn 2
Vendilion Clique just to have them both die to Volcanic Fallout, you’ll understand. The first time your Vendilion Clique is facing down an active
Bitterblossom, you’re going to be fairly upset because not only can you not attack with it, but you can’t block either!

That three-of slot really needs to do something relevant for Mythic. Dauntless Escort was perfect because it countered Volcanic Fallout or Day of
Judgment while attacking for three damage. It served a purpose other than just being a sweet card.

Some people have made the argument that Vendilion Clique lets you know when it’s safe to cast Sovereigns of Lost Alara. I’ll answer that by saying

If you can’t figure out when it’s safe to resolve a spell, you’ve got some other holes in your game you need to fix first.

Dauntless Escort: The only reason I’ve moved on past this card is because Mono-Red is a relevant deck. As such, one has to adjust accordingly. If U/W
Control and 4CC pick back up in popularity, an easy switch can be made.

A quick sideboard rundown:

4 Sower of Temptation: I was actually going to keep the Sower of Temptation technology hidden because I was going to attend the Grand Prix. Since I
chose to skip that tournament (congrats to Jason Ford!), it’s time to unveil the mega trump card.

This slot used to be Linvala, Keeper of Silence. Then other people began playing Linvala, Keeper of Silence to trump my Linvala, Keeper of Silence. You
know what’s better than legend ruling? Taking their legend and screwing them with it. Imagine you’re playing the Mythic mirror match. Is there any card
you don’t want to steal?

Lotus Cobra

Knight of the Reliquary

Linvala, Keeper of Silence


But there are even more uses. Perhaps we shall steal a Fauna Shaman from our opponent in green mirrors. And what’s better than using their Fauna Shaman
to search for more Sower of Temptations to steal more of their guys? Oh right. Nothing.

Perhaps you’d like a Necrotic Ooze? Can I interest you in an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn after it’s Summoning Trapped into? Doesn’t keeping the Windbrisk
Heights decks off of three creatures sound dreamy?

I’m just saying there are a lot of interactions that make this card completely broken, okay?

4 Great Sable Stag: I hate this card with the rage of 1,000 suns, but it has to be played to beat Faeries. For the record, I don’t board this card in
against Jund because they have plenty of ways to kill it (Lightning Bolt, Flame Slash) and plenty of ways to trump it (Boggart Ram-Gang, Kitchen Finks,
Bloodbraid Elf). I’d much rather have Kitchen Finks in that particular matchup.

3 Bant Charm: This is mainly for the Faeries matchup, as it trumps every non-Bitterblossom card, but its versatility allows you to bring it in

– Against the G/W Summoning Trap deck, not only can it deal with Primeval Titan or keep the opponent off of three creatures, but it also counters
Summoning Trap.

– Against Naya, it can handle any creature, blow up Basilisk Collar, or counter a timely removal spell (Lightning Bolt, Path to Exile).

– Against control decks, it deals with whatever their win condition is (Baneslayer Angel, Wurmcoil Engine, Sun Titan) as well as countering timely
instants (Esper Charm, Consume the Meek, Cryptic Command).

2 Qasali Pridemage: You don’t need to kill Bitterblossom to defeat Faeries, but being able to is certainly not a bad thing. Furthermore, this
is an additional answer to Wall of Tanglecord or Ratchet Bomb in that matchup. Lastly, Qasali Pridemage keeps the Prismatic Omen decks honest, and
those look to be increasing in popularity.

1 Chameleon Colossus and 1 Kitchen Finks: There for redundancy.

Do I think this is one of the best decks in the format? Absolutely I do! I ran my Constructed rating on MTGO from 1580 to 1890 in under ten days
without playing a ton as I used to. The appeal of this deck is the exact same as it was six months ago:

Very few decks are prepared to be attacked for 10+ damage on the fourth turn of the game.

Though I have been crushing online, there’s nothing like a little real-life battling. I can tell I’m starting to get the itch again, so I may attend
the SCG Open in Indianapolis to see my old roommate, Zachary Q Wolff and play some Legacy (read: Goblins). If not, perhaps I’ll be Grand Prix Denver

No guarantees though!

Until the next time I feel like writing,

Cedric Phillips

[email protected]