Our Chris Galea competes in Mythic Championship Barcelona 2019
Congratulations to Chris Galea, one of our Magic regulars who qualified for and competed in Mythic Championship Barcelona 2019. Here is his tournament report:
I was smashing it at the kitchen table, and late 2017, thought it was time to take my newfound talent to the big leagues. With Ajani precon deck in hand, I ambitiously rocked up to a Modern FNM event at Games Empire, to which I was brutally enlightened to the power of some cards. Over the progressing year, I delved deep into learning the Standard format, where I’ve brewed many decks and researched into the details of the meta and advanced strategy of the game.
Fast forward to mid 2019, I’ve got a few minor league escapades under my belt, and get an invitation to join a team, who's first escapade was to band together and support each other in the Mythic Championship Qualifier IV Barcelona tournaments across Sydney and Melbourne a couple of months ago in June.
The Saturday of the Melbourne weekend, I took a meta net-deck of Mono Red Experimental Frenzy. Initially not very confident in the build, my unsurprising result was an incredible 162nd out of the 186 players. Day two, I optimistically made my unique changes, and managed to run hot for the day, taking myself all the way to winning the finals, and earning myself the prize invitation to the official Mythic Championship IV in Barcelona!
Being primarily a standard player, the next month consisted of strenuous grind to learning the ins and outs of the Modern Constructed and Horizons Draft formats. I never expected I’d be able to take out 1st place against 500 of the worlds best players, but I thought after making it this far, I’d give it my best shot! My testing proved positive, and I went through many leagues of both formats with promising results. The deck I’d chosen was far off meta, boasting cards perceived unplayable in the Modern format, including Ghitu Lavarunner and Flame of Keld. This was the deck I was comfortable with, and despite knowing it was not a tier 1 build, I was confident in its ability to give me a good chance to take out a few games at the tournament.
With the support from many loving friends and fond Magic companions I’ve made over the past couple of years, I eagerly set off to Spain, in what was my first time travelling overseas (quite the personal feat in itself!).
The first 3 rounds of the tournament consisted of the Modern Horizons Draft. Here, I learnt a relatively expensive lesson, partially due to my lack of experience and short preparation time. I didn’t feel too bad about the deck I’d pulled together, but quickly discovered the power level of the archetype I was running - Blue-Red Draw - was considered by even pros to be arguably the worst in the format. The deck was too reliant on drawing a delicate balance of lands, enabler and payoff cards in order to have an impact on each individual game. Combine this inconsistent power level with the unfavorable variance that hit me in more than half of my games played, struggling to draw enough lands in my deck that was playing significantly more than average the typical land count at 18 lands, I was able to pull through a pretty quick streak of 0 wins and 3 losses.
I was able to identify the issues I had pretty quickly, and shrug off my poor start in preparation for the next 5 rounds of Modern to come. Many of the games were super close, and I was even matched against MTG Hall of Famer, Eric Froehlich. My results were as follows:
- 0-2 Naya Zoo Burn
- 2-1 Hogaak
- 1-2 Humans
- 1-2 Jund
- 2-1 Devoted Druid
Taking my own brew to a 2 win - 3 loss finish had me pretty stoked, especially considering I was pitting it against the best decks of the format!
I didn’t make my hopeful goal of day 2 (requiring a minimum of 4 wins across the 8 matches), but I was still incredibly proud of my performance, considering I must be one of the newest players to the Magic scene. It’s an honour to have my own deck list and name posted to the official Wizards website . The entirety of the experience; the grind of preparation, meeting a few of the pros that I look up to (got my Bolt signed by Jim Davis #upstairs), and the awesome connections I’ve made along the way I’m incredibly grateful for. The experiences, challenges and sense of community the game of Magic: the Gathering brings is incomparable to anything else I’ve experienced in my many years of gaming, and I hope to continue to push myself to further heights!