After two days, six rounds of Standard, six rounds of Dominaria Draft, a lot of cookies, some broken sleeves and some lost dice we have crowned a Canadian National champion.
Micah Hewer defeated Adam Ragsdale in the R/B Aggro mirror to become our 2018 Canadian National Champion. Randall Barber defeated Edgar Magalhaes in the match for third place to make himself the alternate for the Magic World Cup team. Ragsdale and Hewer earned their spots, and the third will got to the Canadian pro points leader — currently Alexander Hayne.
The entire Top 8 was filled with close matches and big names. Magalhaes has been running hot on the pro circuit as of late, and Ragsdale has been a mainstay at the top of the standings in Canadian Magic for a while now. Hewer is relatively new to the biggest stages in Magic, but he certainly showed that he has what it takes to shine over the past weekend.
As for the metagame, it was about what you would have expected. There were A LOT of B/R Aggro decks featuring Goblin Chainwhirler and a smattering of U/W Control decks, a couple green decks and some U/B Midrange. If there was any takeaway from what happened over the weekend it’s that U/B Midrange has become a real part of the metagame. A lot of top players between both Canadian and American Nationals chose to sling some Scarab Gods this past weekend.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the loan brewer in our Top 8 — Alex Boyd and his U/B Improvise deck. Karn, Scion of Urza is an obviously powerful card, and this deck enables it’s full power. Boyd proved this weekend that even in the most solved of formats, you can still innovate with a little work.
Another deck that popped up at Canadian Nats was Mono-Red Flame of Keld. Lucas Siow and a few others played the very all-in aggro strategy as a way to thwart black-red. For a detailed look at the metagame, check out our breakdown:
In addition to the above information, I’d also point out that despite their being only 16 total copies of U/W Gift in the tournament, a lot seemed to be near the top of the tables while I was battling on Day 2. Maybe that’s a deck we should be paying attention to in Standard going forward.
Just looking at the decklists, I think it’s pretty easy to see how Hewer had so much success in this Top 8 filled with red decks. He decided to sport multiple copies of Rekindling Phoenix in his maindeck, the single best card in the red mirror. His opponents largely had them in their sideboard, and this certainly gave him the edge he needed to take down the title.
As for Dominaria Draft I heard two things all weekend long:
- It’s virtually impossible to be aggressive
- U/R Wizards is the best deck by a lot
Everyone who came up to me and said the 3-0’d their draft seemed to be in U/R. Other than that busted archetype, I also saw a lot of winning decks playing green ramp cards and splashing removal spells like Fight with Fire.
Dominaria has certainly been a blast to draft, and this event wasn’t an exception. There’s just something great about a format where Divination is a top common.
Face to Face Games would like to thank everyone who came out to spend their Canada Day weekend with us at Canadian Nationals. Between crowning a new National champ, sold out our Modern Open+, Legacy Showdown and tons of other events, we had a blast with you all! Congratulations to the entire Top 8 and make sure to check out their decklists below if you’re looking to level-up your Standard game.
First Place, Micah Hewer – B/R Aggro
Second Place, Adam Ragsdale – B/R Aggro
Third Place, Randall Barber – B/R Aggro
Fourth Place, Edgar Magalhaes – B/R Aggro
Fifth Place, Robert Anderson – U/W Control
Sixth Place, Alex Boyd – U/B Improvise
Seventh Place, Daniel He – U/B Midrange
First Place, Matthew Stein – U/B Midrange