Magic: The Gathering can be a real lesson-granting sort of game. You win some games, and you lose some games. But the games one plays in a casual setting are far different than what one would find in a competitive setting, especially if it's within a newly-developing metagame. This is no less true on Magic: The Gathering: Arena, Wizards of the Coast's digital interface fo Magic. This weekend the interface is hosting a "Win Every Card Challenge", in which players are encouraged to make use of any and all cards in Standard to try and rack up twelve wins before they can lose two matches.
Statistically, this is pretty improbable. I've heard of a literal couple of people (yes, just two) who claim to have done it, but when I tried it with one of the two best decks in the current meta (or so I've been told), I managed exactly one win before losing twice. I wouldn't necessarily chalk it up to my opponents getting lucky draws or having better decks, or me getting mana screwed. That wasn't a factor at all. These players are all immensely skilled and have likely practiced against the various matchups on other interfaces.
However, another thing to consider is that players have been reporting far and wide that they've been on the back-foot every game, being forced to go second each game they end up losing. Maybe that's poor sportsmanship in the wake of a coincidence on their part, but I'll be honest – I experienced the same phenomenon.
Anyway, I was running a Simic Food deck, which was taken from an article on MTGAZone that has lists for various archetypes within this Standard format. I found good fortune in using Questing Beast as a finisher, as well as Once Upon a Time as a great, working support piece.
I lost my first game, a sign that today wasn't going to go as well as I'd've liked, to mono-green Stompy, which beat my face in using cards like Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig, Voracious Hydra, and Nullhide Ferox (which seems to be a breakout success in this meta). Despite playing cards like Hydroid Krasis and a slew of other critters (including a Voracious Hydra of my own), I was overcome by the green creatures in full. Even a late-game Oko, Thief of Crowns wouldn't cut it.
The second game I played, against Rakdos Knights, I won – Questing Beast was my big hit here. This card was destroyed on turn four but I literally topdecked a second copy on my following turn and proceeded to win through the second one swinging in each turn. Additionally, my opponent got a bit greedy by playing Stormfist Crusader, and, as they were at a lower life total than I was, was greatly disadvantaged by this.
The third and final game – the one which effectively shot me out of the event, was against Knights as well. I couldn't be sure if it was Mardu or Rakdos because my opponent didn't play any white spells – we never got that far – but did play a Tournament Grounds early on (so there was potential for white spells). He beat me through a mixture of two Stormfist Crusaders (unlike last game, I never had a higher life total than they did), a Foulmire Knight, and a Fervent Champion all putting me to four life before finishing me off with Curry Favor, the Adventure spell off of Smitten Swordmaster.
That ended my run as a contender for this event. Simic Food was rather unwieldy but I can see it having potential in a meta without Knights (in essence that means it's going to be stifled indefinitely, though). Here's hoping that the next time this kind of event could possibly happen, there's a fair rank-pairing system, if only because I'm not nearly as familiar with Standard as I'd like. That, or I could get better at Standard. We can dream!
Anyhow, this event runs until 8AM tomorrow. Even if you don't win a single game you get a rare card from Throne of Eldraine, so it's worth it regardless to sign up. Have fun, and don't get smitten!