It's a new Magic world here at Mythic Championship I in Cleveland, and Ravnica Allegiance has provided us with plenty to be excited about as almost 500 people arrived to battle with the set in both Draft and Standard.
Here are the highlights that stood out to us from the first day of the Mythic Championship.
Bonde and Pisano Lead the Way
Nearly 500 players came to Cleveland with championship aspirations. Just over 300 of them will return for Saturday, and they'll all be chasing two players on their way to the Top 8.
Michael Bonde and Rob Pisano paced the field, both turning in perfect 8-0 records. They cut through a field that was not only tough—it is a Mythic Championship, after all—but one that saved some of its toughest challenges for last.
For Pisano, that meant none other than Reid Duke, Magic Pro League member and one of the most decorated professionals in the game. Playing against Duke under the lights on the game's biggest stage? It doesn't get any tougher than that.
But Pisano was unfazed, and rode his Teferi to victory in the final round.
I went 8-0 day 1 of #2019MC1 its been an unreal day and I can’t say how much the flood of messages in my inbox means to me. There’s still a lot of magic to be played though. Hoping to close tomorrow.— Rob Pisano (@Rob_Pisano) February 23, 2019
Joining him at the top is Bonde, a Danish pro who won Grand Prix Lyon last year and has posted a pair of 17th-place finishes at previous top-level events. His final round came against Autumn Burchett, the defending two-time English National Champion. Their Mono-Blue Tempo deck was a tricky matchup for Bonde, but he navigated it perfectly to lock in his spot at the top of the standings.
And he's not done yet.
Raph Makes it 100
Qualifying for your first Mythic Championship is a huge accomplishment—a dream come true that players spend years chasing.
Making it to your hundredth such event? Now that is something very few will ever be able to claim. But one of them is Hall of Famer Raphaël Lévy, who not only made it to Cleveland to participate in that astounding number, but also went 5-3 to advance to Day Two of the competition.
It's an incredible feat, and one the recent father said he'll never forget.
Ravnica Allegiance Hits the Scene
Of course, the newest set has been out for several weeks now, but today was our first chance to see it in action at the highest level of competition. From a Standard format featuring a wild variety of decks—not to mention creature types (looking at you, Hydroid Krasis)—to a Draft format that ranges from low-land-count aggressive Rakdos decks to slow-but-inevitable Gates decks that win with Gates Ablaze and Archway Angel, Ravnica Allegiance is leaving its mark on Magic.
Let's start with Draft. You can find the full breakdown of 3-0 decks here, but suffice to say there is plenty of room for experimentation. And not necessarily just from the Simic Combine.
Mass Manipulation and 1/3s. Name a more iconic duo.
You Can Do That?
Count me among those who didn't know exactly how Captive Audience works. Neither did Tom Ross, and while it may have cost him the game it certainly made for a memorable moment.
There are many wild interactions that can come up in Ravnica Allegiance, and dealing with a corner-case answer to a powerful mythic rare showcases the diversity of the format perfectly.