Rhythmik Study: All Roads Lead to Washington, Part 2

In my last article, I wrote about a Naya build I came up with, using the Boss Naya toolbox as a shell. I had a lot of success with that build, but as the format started to progress, I noticed that Jund was starting to fall to the wayside, and that Blue-White Control was starting to become very popular. In testing, I found that Vengevine is not as stellar against a deck with reliable ways to exile Vengevine, so I decided to call an audible at the last minute before Saturday’s Pro Tour Qualifier.

I spent a few hours looking through decklists, I came across a deck that won a Nationals Qualifier in Germany – Mythic Conscription. This deck uses the shell of Mythic, developed by Zvi Mowshowitz, and uses the engines of Lotus Cobra, Noble Hierarch, Birds of Paradise, and Knight of the Reliquary to power out an early Sovereigns of Lost Alara and tutor for an Eldrazi Conscription to put tons of hurt on an unsuspecting opponent. After a little bit of testing, and realizing that many decks can’t answer a threat the turn it comes into play, I decided to call the audible, and go with the following list.

Mythic Conscription Click the arrow to download the above deck in .txt format

(To load a .txt deck into Magic: Online’s Deck Editor, click “Load”, select “Local Text Deck”, find the location of the downloaded deck file and double-click the deck.)

My favorite part about this deck is that your opponent never knows how much damage will be coming their way. Any play can drastically change an opponent’s game plan and can even spell death for them. The main changes I made to this deck from the original list are as follows:

Dauntless Escort - With the format moving toward control, protection from global sweepers is absolutely necessary, and even in the Aggro matchups, having a Dauntless Escort trade with a Doom Blade or Terminate instead of your Baneslayer Angel does so much more than the life gain from Rhox War Monk ever could. War Monk to the Sideboard, Escort goes to the main.

Sejiri SteppeThis card just has a lot of utility, especially after you board in Deprive and Vapor Snare. Keeping an opponent off a land is nowhere near as good as being able to swing through with unblockable creatures, and having a second Sejiri Steppe that no one expects when you untap with Knight of the Reliquary.

My Sideboard Choices were as follows:

Kor Firewalker - I was expecting a good amount of Devastating Red and Jund, so these guys are always All-Stars. Unfortunately, I didn’t have to board him in a single time.

Qasali Pridemage - These guys are awesome against Time Sieve and Blue/White Control. Being able to kill Open the Vaults‘ Turn 1 land or being able to return your Planeswalker back from Oblivion is invaluable. If I could go back, I’d cut one Firewalker for a third.

Rhox War Monk - In the matchups they’re good, they’re really good. Against Jund or Blightning, they just wreck your opponent’s face. Unfortunately, I had no need to board them in.

Vapor Snare – Get your bomb, AND give it protection from your dudes every turn? Sign me up.

Negate - Standard issue here. We play Blue and Control/Combo is good. Four are mandatory.

Deprive - Did I say “four negate are mandatory?” I meant “five negate are mandatory.” This gives us our fifth, and has nifty interactions with Lotus Cobra and Sejiri Steppe. Also, it hits Baneslayer Angel in a pinch.

If I had perfect knowledge of the metagame, I would have been a little more prepared to play against Polymorph three times by putting Telemin Performance in the sideboard over Rhox War Monk.

Sculpting the Matchups.

So after a bunch of last minute rushing to get the cards I needed (I literally wrote out my decklist at the tournament center two minutes before the deadline while still searching for the last card I needed – frantically. Oh, the joys of the audible), I was ready to crush face all day and take what was mine – a spot on the Pro Tour. I just had a potential seven opponents during Swiss rounds PLUS three more potential opponents in Top 8 who wanted it just as bad as I did, if not more.

Round 1 – U/G Polymorph

Game 1, the first plays were his Turn 3 Awakening Zone to my Turn 3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor. He plays out a couple of rules cards with dice on them to represent Eldrazi Spawn, and I, being the nice and humble guy that I am, calmly reach into my bag, and hand him my stack of Spawn tokens. I don’t know if I’m playing Jace right in this matchup, or at all, but I simply Brainstorm into a ton more gas, and the threat of Jace being able to bounce his win condition back to his hand leaves him unable to really progress until I land Sovereigns of Lost Alara. Once I get the “threat” of a Birds of Paradise on board, my opponent realizes he can’t do anything and scoops.

Sideboard: -4 Dauntless Escort -1 Glacial Fortress, +4 Negate +1 Deprive

Game 2, the game pretty much progressed as normal. I mulligan to 5 and keep a hand of Birds of Paradise, Birds of Paradise, Island, Forest, and Jace. I play my Turn 3 Jace and immediately start to Brainstorm. By Turn 6, I have Brainstormed into a second Jace, and a Gideon. Once he gets to eight lands, he Polymorphs a Plant Token and Into the Roils my Jace, without Kicker. By this point, I can read him for a Negate, so during my turn, with eight mana in play, I play a Jace, walking right into his Negate, and play my second Jace. He simply says “Nice” and sits back while I force him to scoop up his cards. I wish him luck in the rest of the tourney, and hand him some of my Eldrazi Tokens to use for the rest of the tournament. We shake hands and go our separate ways.


Round 2 – U/G Polymorph

I don’t remember much about this match at all, except just Jace doing his thing. Many of the games in this Matchup come down to fighting over Jace, and I just ended up winning the fights. Polymorph can’t win if Jace is online, so just keep him online and you win. The best part of this match was Game 2, when I played a Jace, and he Negates it. I Negate his Negate. He Cancels my Negate, and I Negate his Cancel. This was actually enough interaction to get a judge interested in our game. I thought I was committing infractions, but the Judge simply says “There’s a counter war in Standard. You have my attention.” I win 2-0


Round 3 – G/W Vengevine

Game 1 was not even a game. I win the die roll and have the nuts. Turn 1 Noble Hierarch. Turn 2, Lotus Cobra and Misty Rainforest net me a Dauntless Escort. Turn 3, a Verdant Catacombs gets me mana to play Sovereigns of Lost Alara and swing with a 14/13 Lotus Cobra. My opponent realizes his options only get smaller after this turn, thanks to annihilator, and scoops up.

Sideboard: -2 Sovereigns of Lost Alara -1 Eldrazi Conscription -1 Glacial Fortress. +2 Vapor Snare +2 Qasali Pridemage.

Game 2 was a little more hectic. He gets a Turn 2 Stoneforge Mystic and grabs Behemoth Sledge. I land a Turn 3 Baneslayer, and get lifelink going. He gets Vengevine, and we trade life totals for a few turns, thanks to exalted from Noble Hierarch. He sandbags Kor Skyfisher all game as a way to return Vengevine when he needs to, and my Dauntless Escorts make his Day of Judgments dead cards. I finally get to a point where I’m chaining Jaces and finally get to my boarded in Vapor Snare. I snare his Vengevine and return Sejiri Steppe every turn, using Jace to keep a full grip the entire game. By this point, he knows playing off the top will do nothing against my overwhelming board position, and he picks up his cards.


Round 4 – Time Sieve

Game 1 was not interesting at all. He couldn’t get enough Angelsongs to deal with my overwhelming attacks, and we end this game in about seven minutes.

Game 2 was my first loss all day. He gets out Tezzeret the Seeker and Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Brainstorms a few times before finally comboing out. After the game, I inform him that with Tezzeret at 4, and me tapped out aside from a Baneslayer and Qasali Pridemage, he could have ended the game about 15 minutes earlier by Unsummoning my Baneslayer and using March of the Machines to kill me. I also told him that the only reason I didn’t scoop up earlier was because he overextended with Time Sieve and I was waiting for him to draw Open the Vaults at that point.

Game 3, with 5 minutes left to play out our game, I go for broke. Again, he doesn’t have enough Angelsongs to deal with me and extends the hand.


Round 5 – Jund

Game 1, my opponent plays a Turn 2 Purtid Leech and pumps with it every turn until he gets to 14 with the help of fetchlands, at which point he taps out for Blightning. With no blockers or tricks, I play Sovereigns of Lost Alara and swing with a double exalted Lotus Cobra for exactsies. Good Game.

Game 2 wasn’t even a game. My opponent mulligans to five and is forced to keep a one-lander. He has three bolts for my early plays, but my board keeps progressing while he gets stuck on two lands. I beat him in relatively short order.



At this point, I talk with the other undefeated players and find that there are four undefeated, so we all agree to draw into the Top 8. Having eaten nothing all day, me and the rest of Team Raisin Bran (Two Scoops, et cetera) decide to check out the Asian culture festival in the concession area of the Convention Center. Best food I’ve had in a while.

After about two hours of eating and watching my less fortunate friends in their side-drafts, many people have cleared out, and the Top 8 is ready to start. I submit my deck for the courtesy deck check, collect my pin, and get ready to live the dream.

Quarterfinals – U/G Polymorph

As much as I hate to see it, my first Top 8 match was another 5-0-2 in Swiss, but I haven’t lost a game to this matchup all day, so I’m a bit happy with my matchup.

Game 1, He lands a Polymorph and gets out Emrakul. I play Sovereigns of Lost Alara and swing with Baneslayer Angel, where he realizes he has to chump block with Emrakul to not die. I win shortly after.

Game 2, he gets out a turn 8 Emrakul while I have nothing to stop it. I try to use Gideon to stem the bleeding, but losing 6 permanents to a swing is too much, and I lose.

Game 3 was the most exciting game I played all night. We fought over Jaces multiple times, and he Polymorphs once, just to be answered by my Jace the next turn. He Mind Controls my Baneslayer and I topdeck Gideon to force it to swing and then Deathstroke it the next turn. He tries to Into the Roil his Mind Control in response, but I have the negate backup. I play Jace a few turns later, and he kills my Jace and plays his own, hoping to Brainstorm back into a win condition. I animate my Celestial Colonnade and swing into Jace, and he has the Fog to last one more turn. We finally go to time, and he tries to reality spasm all of my lands and creatures, but I animate my Celestial Colonnade in response and tap Knight of the Reliquary to give the land protection from Blue. I kill his Jace and land my own again. With him playing off the top, and me at 14 life to his four, he can’t get my life total down below his before Turn 5, and on Turn 5, instead of passing and winning anyway, I swing with Colonnade to finish him off, like a boss.

Semifinals – Time Sieve

I again face the opponent I faced in Round 4, however, he doesn’t get very lucky and has to try to combo out when I have lethal on board, which he can’t. I win this match in pretty short order.

Finals – Boss Naya

I’m going to preface this report with a quick aside. The person who I faced in the finals was someone from my hometown, who had the same idea I did when building a new Naya deck that takes advantage of Ranger of Eos and Bloodbraid Elf‘s ability to create tons of Vengevine reloads, and came up with a list incredibly similar to my final list. Here’s the list that took him to the finals.

Vengevine Naya Click the arrow to download the above deck in .txt format

(To load a .txt deck into Magic: Online’s Deck Editor, click “Load”, select “Local Text Deck”, find the location of the downloaded deck file and double-click the deck.)

Though the match felt more like an FNM finals than a PTQ, with everyone involved and in the audience being from my crew in Virginia Beach, the match wasn’t very intense. Game 1 involved me landing a Turn 4 Sovereigns and just winning. Game 2, I kept an awkward hand, and didn’t get to play spells, and Game 3, he kept a six card hand without Red mana, relying on his deck to give him the land he needed. When he went to chump block my exalted Stirring Wildwood, I Path to Exile before the damage step for the Mountain he needed, I had the Negate ready, and beat him down with Lotus Cobras until I was able to secure my envelope. I think the deck is very solidly positioned in the current metagame, and is worth a shot at your next PTQ. Then again, I’d never steer you wrong in a deck choice I thought was garbage!

I’d like to give a big thumbs up to:

  • Team Raisin Bran and the Virginia Beach crew in general. Thanks for being there for me to cheer me on. I hope I still have your support in September.
  • MTGOacademy and Marin, for giving me a place to stroke my ego every other week. God knows, I don’t need more of that.
  • Patrick Dickman and Zvi Mowshowitz, for building the best archetype in the format.
  • You, for being cool enough to read the feces I spew onto your computer screen twice a month.

So that’s it for this week. Always be on your game, and until next time…

…See you in Washington!


  1. Love the choice for the graphic at the top of the article, Travis.

    Thanks for making my articles just that much more awesome.

  2. Congrats on the win. I’m suprised there wasn’t more U/W in the field, or did it all lose/draw earlier? Do you think the Time Seive deck actually stands a chance vs you?

  3. I mostly just got lucky with my Matchups. My buddy Shaheen Soorani was playing UW counterspell control and got beat in the Quarterfinals by Time Sieve, and Calosso Fuentes was playing Super Friends and lost in the Semi-finals to Naya. Having to play against combo and aggro all day was mostly a stroke of luck more than it was a representation of the field.

    The person playing Time Sieve said he played against Mythic for 5 of the 6 rounds of Swiss he actually played, and I was the only person who beat him. (Though I did beat him twice). I don’t think his iteration of Time Sieve was a good Matchup for him so much as I think he was playing against sub-par players. However, if he had put Executioner’s Capsules in the sideboard, it would definitely be a tougher win, unless I get all my Dauntless Escorts against him, which I kind of did, anyway.

  4. Congrats man! I was looking forward to an epic tale of grinding, but this will do :) Next step is to break the Pro Tour.

  5. Yeah. Totally didn’t think I’d get Q’d on my first try. Well, at least my first try in a year and a half.

    Stranger things have happened.

  6. Best time to qualify is when the metagame is still underdeveloped fecal matter. Four weeks from now maybe every deck in the field will be trying to hardcast Emrakul by turn 6.

  7. Congrats on the finish!
    What made you decide to play 4 Dautless Escorts? Obviously it is good against Day of Judgment, but I am curious the reasoning behind the “changes” you made to Dickmann’s list. For instance, what are your thoughts on Matt Sperling’s build of Mythic Conscription? It seems odd to go to such lengths to credit Dickmann and Zvi (for building the best archetype in the format…), but to not credit Sperling if his list was in fact the list used to inspire this build. For reference, his list is 59/60 the same main and 13/15 the same in the sb, which he used to win a ptq two weeks ago and subsequently write an article about. If this is merely a coincidence (which certainly happens in Magic, no question) it would be interesting to understand the author’s thought process as it compares to Mr. Sperling’s who arrived at nearly the exact same conclusions in every way, as great minds think alike. If the author is familiar with Mr. Sperling’s thoughts on the matter, it would be interesting to hear his opinions on them, as it was surely an oversight to neglect to mention Mr. Sperling after using his list to qualify for the Pro Tour (assuming of course the author actually did copy the list, as it appears, rather than just independently reach all the same choices, save a land maindeck and 2 Vaporsnares in the sb). Congrats again. Is it safe to say that you anticipate all of the top finishing Bant decks in DC to have adopted the Conscription package? Suggestions for next week’s meta?

  8. That is definitely an oversight on my part. The original version of this Tournament Report (which ended up becoming corrupted, forcing me to write this version in a relatively hasty manner) did give credit to Matt Sperling for inspiration for the list. After reading Sperling’s report, however, I don’t agree with his assertion that Elspeth is not good. There was no time that I was ever unhappy to see her in my opener, or at all during the game. She has a ridiculous amount of utility that I just cannot see getting rid of.

    I had started running Main-Deck escorts in some other Aggro builds sporting Green and White before I saw his build, and I completely agree with this metagame call because, as noted before, Escort isn’t just for protection against Wrath effects. If you swing with any creature after you resolve Sovereigns, only Path to Exile can get rid of the creature that turn. People have been forgetting lately that Dauntless Escort can trade for 1-for-1 removal to keep your relevant threats alive. Once Escort resolves, suddenly, your opponent has to be holding two terminates to kill Baneslayer Angel.

    I think that at least 90% of Bant decks that win PTQs will be running the conscription package. Since Mythic has nothing that can give it’s creatures Trample (aside from a 1-of Thornling out of the board), it just can’t deal with chump-blockers like Eldrazi Conscription can.

    I think the meta for National Qualifiers and DC are going to be pretty close to how they have been, unless any new tech comes out. I strongly suggest packing Telemin Performance as a two-of in the board, because Polymorph is getting pretty big, in spite of its fragiity. UW control as well as Super Friends are becoming a driving force in the current Standard, further convincing me that any deck running Green and White needs Main Deck Escorts, even as a 2-of, with the rest of the set in the Sideboard.

  9. Awesome article and awesome result, well done.
    Love the deck and how it runs, suprised there wasn’t more Jund about but you seemed to smash everyone else so it’s not like it mattered.

  10. October 30, 2009 at 12:42 pm“Yeah, the Wings could have been better devensifely, but they were good enough.”Are you freaking kidding me? There wasn’t a defender to be seen anywhere near an Edmonton player on the first 2 goals. I mean 3 different Oilers were wide open in point blank range for the first goal. Howard didn’t start well, but to say it was all on him is a complete joke. The Wings playerd zero defense in the entire first period, and they really didn’t look like they were trying to. I don’t think Jimmy is the answer either, but to say it’s all his fault is masking what’s really wrong with this team, the fact that they can’t get themselves to play an entire game for the last 2 years.We started out the year playing well early in games and then falling apart in the 3rd, now we start like crap and turn it on in the third. Can we try to put it all together for once? Why is it that this team can never seem to figure out that when they are attacking, the opposing team can do nothing to stop them. It’s when they sit back and play cautious that they get burned. They had no energy in the first period at all.As for Fil being out, that sucks, but IMO that’s the one position that doesn’t kill us, we have Centers. This just means the twins get split up, and maybe Helm will FINALLY get to play on the 3rd line, where he belongs. I’m thinking:Holmstrom/Datsyuk/Bertuzzi (I thought Pav and Bert showed great chemistry last night)Cleary/Zetterberg/Williams (Cleary finally looked like playoff Cleary in the 3rd last night)Leino/Helm/Eaves (I say we give Eaves a shot at some real minutes, this line combo has me excited if they would do it)Maltby/Draper/MayAbdelkader subing in when needed.I know our first line has 2 RW on it, but we don’t really have enough LW to go around with Hank and Pav both playing C. Reply