News Brief: Core Set 2020, Mythic Championship III and GP Seattle

A Core Set and a Mythic Champion. This is your week in Magic news.

Core Set 2020 

Even though it feels like we just ended Modern Horizons spoiler season, the reveal of Core Set 2020 has already begun. On Monday we learned from Mark Rosewater that the set is built around wedges–that is a color and its two enemies–with each wedge having a theme for Limited. Each wedge will also have an associated legendary creature (all of which have been officially revealed).

The themes are:

● Jeskai (blue-red-white): Flyers

● Temur (green-blue-red): Elementals

● Abzan (white-black-green): Go-Wide

● Mardu (red-white-black): Aggro

● Sultai (black-green-blue): Enters-the-Battlefield

The packaging and promotional cards for the set have been revealed as well, including the new Buy-a-Box Promo: Rienne, Angel of Rebirth. Core 2020 will also feature a redesign of the Token card frame. Monday, June 24 will be the final day of previews for Core 2020. Prereleases will be held July 5, 6, and 7. The set will officially release on July 12.

Grand Prix Seattle

Modern Horizons Limited was the name of the game at Grand Prix Seattle. The tournament featured a unique structure: there were two Day Ones (on Friday and Saturday) that fed a unified Day Two. 1,006 players came to game on Friday and 1,184 tried their luck on Saturday. All told, there were seven 9-0 records across both Day Ones and 42 players managed to qualify for Day Two twice.

At the end of Sunday, however, it was Matt Sikkink Johnson who stood with the trophy. The Minneapolis player used a suite of powerful rares to rampage through the Top 8. In game one of his finals match against Mythic Championship I finalist Yoshihiko Ikawa, Deep Forest Hermit, Crashing Footfalls, and Hexdrinker all showed up. Then in game two, a resolved Serra, the Benevolent elicited a scoop from Ikawa, and Sikkink Johnson was able to hoist the trophy.

Matias Leveratto wins Mythic Championship III

Players took to Las Vegas to battle on Arena in the first Mythic Championship on the platform. All decklists for the event were published on Wednesday and the field was well and truly set. 64 players did battle on Friday while Rei Sato, Ken Yukuhiro, Brian Braun-Duin, and Brad Nelson waited in the wings of the Top 16. The four members of the Magic Pro League had earned a bye to the second day of competition by virtue of winning their division during the Spark Split.

Only 12 players would make join these four Saturday. At the end of Friday’s play, these 12 players remained standing:

● Raphael Levy

● Greg Orange

● Jean Emmanuel Depraz

● Kai Budde

● Shahar Shenhar

● Marcio Carvalho

● Simon Gortzen

● Matias Leveratto

● Lee Shi Tian

● Shota Yasooka

● Kentaro Yamamoto

● John Rolf

After a double elimination bracket, four players stood poised to make history: Brad Nelson, Kai Budde, Shahar Shenhar, and Matias Leveratto.

Each player had a story to tell. Shenhar has won the World Championship twice and continues to add to his legacy. Budde is widely considered to be one of the best players of all time with an impressive 7 wins at the Pro Tour/Mythic Championship level. Leveratto came back to Magic through Arena after a break from competitive play and won a spot via the Qualifier Weekend. Brad Nelson had never lost a match in Magic Pro League play.

The Top 4 was a true double-elimination bracket. Shenhar fell to Leveratto, placing him in the Lower Bracket. Budde and Nelson squared off in a rematch from Budde’s last Pro Tour Top 8 appearance in Amsterdam. The result was the same, with Nelson emerging victorious. The final Upper Bracket match had Leveratto taking out Nelson and securing his spot in the Grand Finals.

In the Lower Bracket, Shenhar fell to Budde, which set up a rematch of the rematch. And again, the results were the same. That meant Nelson would have to defeat Leveratto twice to claim the title.

Nelson got the first match. That set up a third battle for the two players on Sunday alone. Nelson went up a game and had a strong position in Game 2 only for Leveratto to find Nexus of Fate at the exact moment needed to survive and win. Then in the third and game of the Championship Leveratto secured victory and his place in Magic history.

Matias Leveratto’s Simic Nexus

3 Memorial to Genius
5 Island (335)
4 Breeding Pool
4 Hinterland Harbor
5 Forest (347)
3 Blast Zone
1 Mobilized District
1 Simic Guildgate
3 Tamiyo, Collector of Tales
1 Nissa, Who Shakes the World
2 Narset, Parter of Veils
1 Callous Dismissal
1 Blink of an Eye
4 Growth Spiral
3 Chemister's Insight
4 Nexus of Fate - Foil - Buy-a-Box Promo
4 Root Snare
3 Search for Azcanta/Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin
4 Wilderness Reclamation
4 Opt

Sideboard
1 Nissa, Who Shakes the World
2 Crushing Canopy
3 Negate
4 Paradise Druid
3 Biogenic Ooze
2 Bond of Flourishing

Looking Forward

We get the rest of the Core 2020 card list this week. Then this weekend, the MagicFest circuit travels to Dallas-Fort Worth where ChannelFireball will be bringing you video coverage of the Modern Constructed Grand Prix.

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