How to win the Golos mirror

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Dear Diary,

I Just got back from SCG Philly. Standard almost everywhere. Golos almost everywhere. Hehe. Oh diary, what a week. I won a lot in Standard. I don’t know if it’s going to go anywhere. Edgar was very specific that this is not going anywhere, that it was a one time fluke. But I won six times so you tell me. I am definitely feeling very eerie.

More tomorrow, xoxoxo, Pete.

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Standard is evolving rapidly and it’s clear that Golos is the deck to beat. Just take a look at this weekend’s Mythic Championship lists — which are more than 40 per cent Golos decks. So if Golos is the best deck, then it would lead us to the fact that beating the mirror is key. The mirror comes down to a few things:

Game one is going to be a flat out race to who can get faster mana and zombies in play. Assemble your Field of the Deads as fast as possible.

Many players have begun to play trump cards to get a little bit of an edge. But what’s the best trump card?

Well, three weeks ago this answer would have been Fae of Wishes. Brad Nelson started out with this technology to get Jace, Wielder of Mysteries to win the mirror. However, at SCG Philly there was some new technology that was brought to the tables: Kenrith, the Returned King. Kenrith easily wins games by giving your creatures haste and trample in conjunction with a mass of zombies and Beanstalk Giants.

You can even reanimate Golos in the same turn if you have enough mana to amass even more zombies. Kenrith is the new trump and Fae of Wishes is so five minutes ago. Kenrith is so impactful that I would consider playing two copies maindeck going forward.

Another thing that you can do to impact the mirror in your main deck is playing some number of Agent of Treachery. Normally, this is a three-of in stock sideboards, but since the mirror is so prevalent, I like having one or two in my maindeck now. This card allows you to steal opposing Field of the Deads, which is what you want to be doing the vast majority of the time to ensure you can amass the bigger board.

The last thing that you can do to your maindeck is play a mixture of Oko, Thief of Crowns alongside Teferi, Time Raveler. Oko allows you to steal opposing Golos, Tireless Pilgrim and also turns Beanstalk Giant into a measly 3/3 Elk. Teferi is also quite good in the mirror, especially in post board games, so I wouldn’t want to stop playing that card either. These cheap planeswalkers can provide the sort of incremental advantage necessary to snowball a game in the mirror.

So with all that said, here is what my deck would currently look like:


The sideboard is another part of your gameplan that is going to hugely impact your performance in the mirror. Right now the way the sideboard is configured it would go like this:

+2 Agent of Treachery
+1 Veil of Summer
+1 Teferi, Time Raveler
+2 Deputy of Detention
+2 Disdainful Stroke
-2 Arboreal Grazer
-4 Once Upon A Time
-2 Realm-Cloaked Giant (Leave in if you don’t see opposing Beanstalk Giant)

We’re going up to near max of Agent of Treachery because of how devastating it can be in the mirror. Veil is a cheap answer to opposing Agent of Treachery and can also get something through a counter. Deputy of Detention is the real MVP and is going to allow you to win off the back of clearing your opponents zombies out of the way and attacking for a bunch of damage.

This of course makes our Teferi’s better as well so we can rebuy our Deputy’s and our Agents. Deputy can also answer an opposing Teferi in a pinch. Finally, we have Disdainful Stroke which while bad against Teferi, is insane against Circuitous Route, Golos and Agent of Treachery. The way these mirrors play out a key counter can swing the entire game, so I think Stroke is key.

I highly recommend you test out the mirror with your friends as it’s going to be extremely important in Standard going forward. My best tips are to not get bogged down by the insane board states and always have a plan. Always be asking yourself, how am I going to win this game?

Also, it is very important to not burn your Fabled Passages and Routes early in spots where it’s simply putting some extra lands in play for a few zombies. SAVE THEM for when you can max out the most zombies or go for a win with Kenrith! I have seen so many of my opponents just cast a Route to thin out their deck and I jump for joy when this happens because I know I’m going to probably win as a result.

The Golos mirror is very skill intensive and there is a lot to be gained in the matchup.  Hopefully this little primer is enough to put you over the top at your next Standard event!