The only event that happened last weekend was the Star City Games Players’ Championship, an event exclusively dedicated to sixteen incredible players that have done exceptionally well at Star City Games events across the country. There are sixteen Standard and sixteen Legacy decks that come out of the event, so lets see how well the decks did against each other when only the pro’s were around to pilot them.
SCG Players’ Championship – Standard (Roanoke, VA)
|1st||Sultai Reanimator||Brad Nelson||9th||Mardu Midrange||Kent Ketter|
|2nd||Sultai Reanimator||Gerard Fabiano||10th||Jeskai Tokens||Chris VanMeter|
|3rd||Sultai Reanimator||Reid Duke||11th||Jeskai Tokens||Dylan Donegan|
|4th||Abzan Aggro||Brian Braun-Duin||12th||R/G Monsters||Logan Mize|
|5th||W/U Heroic||Tom Ross||13th||Jeskai Tokens||Kevin Jones|
|6th||Jeskai Tokens||Ross Merriam||14th||Temur Midrange||Jeff Hoogland|
|7th||W/U Heroic||Joe Lossett||15th||U/W Control||Jim Davis|
|8th||W/U Heroic||Steve Mann||16th||Abzan Reanimator||Derrick Sheets|
Wow: three Sultai Reanimator decks taking the top three spots of the Standard portion really speaks to the power of the deck. Even in a field of excellent players, the Sultai Reanimator deck reigns supreme. Lets take a look at which cards were included across those decks.
|6x Pharika, God of Affliction||12x Whip of Erebos||15x Murderous Cut|
|4x Sidisi, Brood Tyrant||12x Thoughtseize||12x Opulent Palace|
|1x Soul of Innistrad||12x Sylvan Caryatid||7x Sultai Charm|
|12x Courser of Kruphix||2x Reclamation Sage|
|10x Llanowar Wastes|
|8x Temple of Malady|
|8x Eidolon of Blossoms|
|8x Doomwake Giant|
|6x Yavimaya Coast|
|6x Hornet Queen|
|4x Temple of Deceit|
|4x Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx|
|3x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth|
|3x Hero’s Downfall|
|2x Windswept Heath|
|2x Polluted Delta|
|1x Temple of Mystery|
|1x Mana Confluence|
|7x Disdainful Stroke|
|6x Hero’s Downfall|
|5x Bile Blight|
|5x Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver|
|4x Read the Bones|
|4x Kiora, the Crashing Wave|
|2x Treasure Cruise|
|2x Sultai Charm|
|2x Silence the Believers|
|1x Reclamation Sage|
|1x Drown in Sorrow|
OK, so the first thing that pops out to me is the lack of [card]Sidisi, Brood Tyrant[/card]. Yes, Brad Nelson did play them and he won the overall Players’ Championship with the help of his particular build. However, with two other competitors Gerard Fabiano and Reid Duke opting not to play them it is quite clear that the Sultai Brood doesn’t need the tyrant in order to still place well. What is important are the [card]Whip of Erebos[/card], [card]Thoughtseize[/card], and [card]Sylvan Caryatid[/card]s found across the decks. Other notables include eight [card]Eidolon of Blossoms[/card], eight [card]Doomwake Giant[/card]s, six [card]Pharika, God of Affliction[/card]. These are all cards that could be potentially undervalued going into the new year based on the results here.
Let’s also analyze U/W Heroic, as this deck appeared three times in the Top 8 along with Sultai Reanimator.
|12x Hero of Iroas||12x Ordeal of Thassa|
|8x Temple of Enlightenment||12x Favored Hoplite|
|8x Flooded Strand||12x Battlewise Hoplite|
|3x Mana Confluence||7x Seeker of the Way|
|1x Eidolon of Countless Battles||5x Ordeal of Heliod|
|3x Stubborn Denial|
|2x Triton Tactics|
|9x Stubborn Denial|
|7x Glare of Heresy|
|5x Treasure Cruise|
|4x Ordeal of Heliod|
|4x Ajani’s Presence|
|3x Lagonna-Band Trailblazer|
|2x Mortal’s Ardor|
|2x Mortal Obstinacy|
|2x Aqueous Form|
|1x Triton Tactics|
|1x Dig Through Time|
The deck is very straightforward in order to stay on the aggro tempo plan based on the linear numbers and lack of mythics. The most important cards include [card]Hero of Iroas[/card], [card]Ordeal of Thassa[/card], [card]Favored Hoplite[/card], and [card]Battlewise Hoplite[/card]. [card[Flooded Strand[/card] has been trending upwards over the past few weeks on the success of this deck. Many of the fetchlands have stabilized in price for now, so keep the ones that you’ve already acquired. The low point for fetches will come starting next spring and going into the summer, so I would only recommend picking up Flooded Strand and the rest if you plan on playing with them until then.
Four players opted to play Jeskai Tokens at the Championships, and while it only put one player into the Top 8, the deck still remains a competitive choice for players. Notables from Jeskai Tokens include [card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/card], [card]Jeskai Ascendency[/card], and [card]Hordeling Outburst[/card].
Only one player decided to play Mardu Midrange despite its recent successes. I don’t think this means it is going to be the end of the deck but unfortunately it means that there isn’t much analysis on what higher level players would play in their Mardu Midrange builds. [card]Bloodstained Mire[/card] and [card]Wooded Foothills[/card] are still the cheapest fetchlands, and if B/R/G decks prove popular next year we can expect these fetchlands to start climbing like [card]Flooded Strand[/card] has.
SCG Players’ Championship – Legacy (Roanoke, VA)
|1st||Sneak and Show||Brad Nelson||9th||Reanimator||Kent Ketter|
|2nd||Sultai Control||Gerard Fabiano||10th||Reanimator||Chris VanMeter|
|3rd||Miracles||Reid Duke||11th||U/R Delver||Dylan Donegan|
|4th||Jeskai Stoneblade||Brian Braun-Duin||12th||Omni-Tell||Logan Mize|
|5th||Infect||Tom Ross||13th||Grixis Control||Kevin Jones|
|6th||Elves||Ross Merriam||14th||Death and Taxes||Jeff Hoogland|
|7th||Reanimator||Joe Lossett||15th||Storm||Jim Davis|
|8th||Temur Delver||Steve Mann||16th||Deathblade||Derrick Sheets|
Just like many SCG Legacy Opens that we’ve seen in the past, the Top 8 of the Legacy portion also reflects the diversity of Legacy’s metagame compared to formats like Standard. Brad Nelson’s Legacy go-to choice is Sneak and Show. Two main deck [card]Overmaster[/card] are the notable cards from this build. Everything else reflects the typical Sneak and Show decks but with the addition of three main deck [card]Flusterstorm[/card] in anticipation of Storm and Delver builds. One card with a surprising price is [card]Boseiju, Who Shelters All[/card] which is $9.50 TCG Median. This card just got a reprint in the FTV series, so I would not expect Boseiju’s price to move for quite some time.
Sultai Control is a spin on the old Team America decks, which is focused on controlling your opponent until you can drop a game-ending threat and win from there. Fabiano’s take on the deck includes two [card]Sensei’s Divining Top[/card] and two [card]Counterbalance[/card] to help against faster decks while also playing Legacy staples such as [card]Abrupt Decay[/card], [card]Treasure Cruise[/card], [card]Tarmogoyf[/card], and [card]Thoughtseize[/card].
The players’ decks reflected what they were most comfortable with, which makes sense give Legacy’s extremely diverse format. However, Reanimator was the most popular choice with three players piloting the deck. Kent Ketter and Joe Lossett were both playing four [card]Gemstone Cavern[/card]s main, which is a land that if you’re not playing first you can begin the game with the land in play with a luck counter on it by exiling a card from your hand (if you have it in your opener). The luck counter allows the land to tap for any color rather than colorless, which means that you are essentially playing a pseudo-[card]Chrome Mox[/card] on your first turn. This allowed them to have faster clocks on the draw; sometimes the difference between a win and a loss in a format like Legacy. Non-foil Caverns are $2 while foils are $10, so if this version of Reanimator continues to show up at Legacy events I would expect non-foils to rise in price since it only has one printing.
Keter and Lossett also both played two [card]Firestorm[/card] main deck. This could mean upward mobility for the card’s price, since it is now seeing additional play outside of Dredge.
Other notables from Legacy include four Overmaster between the main deck and sideboard of Omni-Tell, two [card]Dack Fayden[/card] in Grixis Control, and three [card]Knight of the Reliquary[/card] in Deathbalde.
That’s all for this weekend! Players and spectators had high hopes for the SCG Players’ Championship and Star City certainly delivered on them. We got plenty of great Magic action along with some interesting deck choices that could ultimately spell changes financially for select cards that played important roles in the decks.