6-0 Drafters at Mythic Championship II

Posted in Event Coverage on April 27, 2019

By Corbin Hosler

War of the Spark is a draft format unlike any we've ever seen before. The much higher prevalence of planeswalkers has thrown a huge curveball at the Mythic Championship field here in London, and with so many pros trying to figure out the format fast it's been a wild weekend of draft.

Of course, some competitors are ahead of the curve. Nine players finished the event with a perfect 6-0 draft record across Friday and Saturday, and after a strong performance by blue in the first draft, things evened out in the second.

Here are how the 6-0 players found success in the second draft:

  • Azorius: 2
  • Selesnya: 2
  • Boros: 1
  • Golgari: 1
  • Dimir: 1
  • Rakdos: 1
  • Sultai: 1

That's a much different picture than Day 1 painted, and the majority of the decks did not splash for a third color. Hall of Famer Yuuya Watanabe, however, leaned into it and played a full-on four-color deck "splashing" a fifth for Niv-Mizzet Reborn.

Yuuya Watanabe's Sultai

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Niv-Mizzet Reborn is about as deep as you can go in War of the Spark draft, and Watanabe proved it was a viable archetype even at the highest levels of play.

Other competitors went the opposite direction. Take Paul Reitzl, for example, another Hall of Famer and one no stranger to attacking. He, of course, found success with Boros.

Paul Reitzl's Boros

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Paul Reitzl

"Look, draft is always self-correcting," the Hall of Famer explained. "When I heard that Grixis was doing well on Day 1, I wanted to sit at a table and look for the aggressive green or white cards. Blue or black may be the best color, but that doesn't matter if everyone's fighting over them. The draft will self-balance, and I think you saw that today."

If you plan on attacking with small creatures in a world of planeswalkers and Zombie Armies, Reitzl has some pointers.

"The quality of your two-drops matters a lot," he said. "You need ones that do something later in the game. I had a mix of War Screecher to pump my team, Martyr for the Cause to proliferate my planeswalkers when they died and good combat tricks. In this format there's not a ton of instant-speed tricks that will punish you for your combat tricks; a lot of time you can cast them into open mana and it will just work."

Reitzl pointed to Callous Dismissal as the perfect example. Typically, the bounce spells in sets tend to be instants, but thanks to the structure of this particular format – and the amass mechanic – many interaction spells are sorceries, which opens the door to relying on cards like Defiant Strike to win combat.

"In my last round my opponent had just an obscene deck. He had all the rares and mythics you could want, but his deck was four colors so it was slow to get going," Reitzl recalled. "That meant he was essentially starting the game at 14 life before he was able to do anything, and at that point it's about getting in damage and managing combat. That's exactly where I feel comfortable."

Fast or slow, two colors or five – we've seen it all from War of the Spark, and it's only prerelease weekend.

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