Author

About the Author
Jared is a longtime Magic player who has been slinging cardboard since Odyssey block (back when creatures came into play). He was introduced to the financial side of Magic during Return to Ravnica block and hasn't looked back since. He is a resident of the VA area located just outside of DC. His favorite MTG formats include Limited, Legacy, and Commander. Regardless of format, he prefers making creature tokens. You can follow him on Twitter: @gildedgoblin.

Weekend Magic: 12/19-12/21

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)

 

Decklists

 

Finish Deck Player Finish Deck Player
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.

 

Maindeck
Mythic Rare Uncommon
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

 

Sideboard

 

7x Disdainful Stroke
6x Hero’s Downfall
5x Bile Blight
5x Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
4x Read the Bones
4x Negate
4x Kiora, the Crashing Wave
2x Treasure Cruise
2x Thoughtseize
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.

 

Rare Uncommon
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

 

Sideboard
9x Stubborn Denial
7x Glare of Heresy
5x Treasure Cruise
5x Erase
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)

 

Decklists

 

Finish Deck Player Finish Deck Player
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.

Wrapping Up

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.

Weekend Magic: 12/12-12/15

Last weekend was a big one. Star City Games provided plenty of action in Seattle, where the Invitational and an Open were held. Legacy at Star City Games is now classified under the Premier IQ umbrella, so we’ll review those results as well. Finally, this weekend also featured Grand Prix Milan, the Modern event that many have been anticipating. Let’s dive in and take a look at the action.

GP Milan – Modern (Milan, IT)

Decklists

Magnus Lantto took down the event piloting a classic [card]Birthing Pod[/card] list. This just proves that if you’re a great Pod player, [card]Treasure Cruise[/card] decks just don’t matter that much.

The rest of the top eight included another Birthing Pod deck, a Bloom Titan deck, two Jeskai Ascendancy decks, RUG Aggro, Burn, and Affinity.

Cards to watch out for that were showing up in the lists included pieces from:

  • Bloom Titan
    • [card]Gemstone Mine[/card], [card]Primeval Titan[/card], [card]Azusa, Lost but Seeking[/card], [card]Summer Bloom[/card], [card]Amulet of Vigor[/card], [card]Hive Mind[/card]
  • Jeskai Ascendancy
    • [card]Fatestitcher[/card], [card]Jeskai Ascendancy[/card], [card]Gifts Ungiven[/card] out of the sideboard, [card]Glittering Wish[/card]
  • Affinity
    • [card]Contested Warzone[/card], [card]Myr Enforcer[/card], [card]Frogmite[/card], [card]Mox Opal[/card], [card]Welding Jar[/card], [card]Scale of Chiss-Goria[/card], [card]Chalice of the Void[/card]
      • What was interesting about this build is that it was very light on lands, with only 11 played in the deck! It seemed to play a bunch of free artifacts and then lots of affinity-for-artifacts cards in order to quickly kill. Definitely an interesting take on Affinity.

Overall, Milan was very exciting with fewer [card]Treasure Cruise[/card]s than expected coming in the top eight. Modern may have started adapting to this card more quickly than anticipated.

SCG Invitational – Standard, Legacy (Seattle, WA)

The invitational featured both Standard and Legacy lists. Let’s first cover the Standard portion of the tournament.

Finish Deck Player
1st Jeskai Tokens Dylan Donegan
2nd Abzan Midrange Dan Jessup
3rd U/W Control Jim Davis
4th W/U Heroic Caleb Scherer
5th R/W Tokens Sam Black
6th Abzan Reanimator Ryan Fleisher
7th Mardu Tokens Phillip Braverman
8th G/B Constellation Bradley Yoo

This is about as diverse as you’re going to get in Standard. Eight different decks showing up in the top eight is the sign of a healthy environment.

Notable cards include:

  • [card]Chandra, Pyromaster[/card] and Treasure Cruise in Dylan Donegan’s Jeskai Tokens
  • [card]Dig Through Time[/card] in the U/W Control
  • [card]Hero of Iroas[/card] in W/U Heroic
  • [card]Eidolon of Countless Battles[/card], Chandra, Pyromaster, and [card]Chained to the Rocks[/card] in R/W Tokens
  • [card]Soul of Theros[/card] in Abzan Reanimator
  • [card]Butcher of the Horde[/card] and [card]Doomwake Giant[/card] in Mardu Tokens
  • [card]See the Unwritten[/card] and [card]Arbor Colossus[/card] in G/B Constellation

Now let’s check out Legacy.

Finish Deck Player
1st U/R Delver Dylan Donegan
2nd U/R Delver Dan Jessup
3rd Storm Jim Davis
4th Storm Caleb Scherer
5th Jeskai Ascendancy Combo Sam Black
6th Storm Ryan Fleisher
7th Miracles Phillip Braverman
8th Jeskai Stoneblade Bradley Yoo

Surprisingly, the Legacy lists were much less diverse than the Standard. Two U/R Delver and three Storm decks were played, with the only outliers being Jeskai Ascendency Combo, Miracles, and Jeskai Stoneblade.

Notable cards include:

  • [card]Fatestitcher[/card], [card]Wind Zendikon[/card], [card]Gut Shot[/card], [card]Mental Note[/card], and [card]Pact of Negation[/card] in Jeskai Ascendancy Combo.
  • Card to watch that showed up across multiple decks:
    • [card]Lion’s Eye Diamond[/card]
    • [card]Infernal Tutor[/card]
    • [card]Grim Tutor[/card]
    • Dig Through Time

SCG Open: Seattle – Standard (Seattle, WA)

Star City Games also hosted an Open the same weekend as the Invitational. Let’s see the results of the Standard Open.

Finish Deck Player Finish Deck Player
1st Sultai Reanimator Eric English 9th Abzan Aggro Andrew Tenjum
2nd R/W Aggro Erik Pei 10th Abzan Aggro Thea Steele
3rd U/W Heroic Zachary Jesse 11th Jeskai Tokens Michael Boland
4th R/G Monsters John Bolt 12th Abzan Reanimator Mani Davoudi
5th Abzan Reanimator Steve Mann 13th Abzan Midrange Shawn Tabrizi
6th Abzan Reanimator Mike Boyd 14th Jeskai Tokens Dylan Nollen
7th Temur Monsters Jeff Hoogland 15th U/B Control Christopher Gordon
8th Abzan Reanimator Christopher Morris-Lent 16th Jeskai Tokens Terry Steier

Breaking down the top 16, there were two Abzan Aggro, four Abzan reanimator, three Jeskai Tokens, and a mix of other decks.

Sultai Reanimator took down the event piloted by Eric English. Second place went to R/W Aggro, a form of the Jeskai Tempo decks that forgoes blue to instead focus more on the beatdown. This allows the deck to play more color-intensive cards, like [card]Brimaz, King of Oreskos[/card], [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card], [card]Chandra, Pyromaster[/card], and [card]Hordeling Outburst[/card] together. It also helps with being able to reliably cast [card]Chained to the Rocks[/card] since odds are you will have more mountains in play with this deck.

R/G Monsters featured a playset of [card]Fanatic of Xenagos[/card], a card we haven’t seen in a while in a top eight build. [card]Boon Satyr[/card], [card]Crater’s Claws[/card], and Stormbreath Dragon are a few other cards to watch from this deck.

[card]Doomwake Giant[/card] is a card that appears in all of the reanimator lists. [card]Prognostic Sphinx[/card] and [card]Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver[/card] made an appearance in U/B Control. The rest of the Top 16 were cards and strategies that we’ve seen before in the previous weeks.

SCG Premier IQ: Seattle – Legacy (Seattle, WA)

Now the Legacy portion of the SCG Open in Seattle.

Deck Finish Player Deck Finish Player
Miracles 1st Joe Bass Goblins 9th Richard Chembars
Grixis Painter 2nd Jonathan Salem Jeskai Stoneblade 10th Michael Nixon
Maverick 3rd Shawn Yu Miracles 11th Brent Traut
Lands 4th Rob Hunsaker Shardless Sultai 12th Daniell Baker
Storm 5th Jesse Hampton Storm 13th Tyler Lytle
U/R Delver 6th Jeffrey Tang Esper Stoneblade 14th Jordan Short
Omni-Tell 7th Andrew Johnson Temur Delver 15th nick johnson
Elves 8th Daniel Nguyen Miracles 16th Mike Kiesel

Unlike the Invitational, the Premier IQ for Legacy was quite diverse. Some of the notable decks include Grixis Painter, Maverick, Omni-Tell, Goblins, and Shardless Sultai.

Grixis Painter by Jonathan Salem is something I haven’t seen before. The plays a heavy control matchup and then is able to combo off with the [card]Painter’s Servant[/card] and [card]Grindstone[/card] combo when it is ready to win. The deck can also win through sheer attrition with [card]Jace, the Mind Sculptor[/card]. Notable cards from the deck include [card]Baleful Strix[/card], [card]Painter’s Servant[/card], [card]Imperial Recruiter[/card], and a [card]Sensei’s Diving Top[/card] plus [card]Counterbalance[/card] package.

Maverick again did well this week placing third in Seattle. Notables from Maverick include a playset of [card]Aether Vial[/card], three [card]Weathered Wayfarer[/card], two [card]Sylvan Safekeeper[/card], two [card]Scryb Ranger[/card], three [card]Qasali Pridemage[/card], three [card]Gaddock Teeg[/card], and the full playset of both [card]Deathrite Shaman[/card] and [card]Thalia, Guardian of Thraben[/card]. Out of the sideboard, [card]Zealous Persecution[/card] and [card]Containment Priest[/card] are the notable cards.

Omni-Tell is the last outlier that hasn’t been seen in a top eight in quite some time. The notables from Omni-Tell include [card]Omniscience[/card], [card]Dream Halls[/card], [card]Cunning Wish[/card], and [card]Show and Tell[/card].

Goblins made a ninth place appearance with a more traditional list that included [card]Goblin Piledriver[/card] and [card]Goblin Warchief[/card] for hasty goblin beats. [card]Cavern of Souls[/card] is also a notable from this deck to help get your goblins into play without getting countered.

Finally, the Shardless Sultai Deck featured [card]Liliana of the Veil[/card], [card]Thrun, the Last Troll[/card], [card]Pernicious Deed[/card], and [card]Ancestral Vision[/card].

BONUS – SCG Premier IQ: Modern – Legacy (Seattle, WA)

There was more than just GP Milan for Modern action this weekend. SCG also hosted a Modern Premier IQ, so lets see what the results of that tournament yielded.

Deck Finish Player Deck Finish Player
Abzan Midrange 1st Jeff Fung Abzan Midrange 9th Nate Sletteland
U/R Delver 2nd Gerry Thompson U/R Delver 10th Bradley Richmond
Abzan Midrange 3rd Percy Fang Affinity 11th Cody Beamish
Abzan Pod 4th Matthew Tickal U/R Delver 12th Samuel Pardee
Jeskai Flash 5th Nick Watson G/W Auras 13th Julian Burke
Scapeshift 6th Paul Cuillier Jeskai Burn 14th Alec Runyan
Zoo 7th Soren Wellman Abzan Pod 15th Tyler Gardner
G/R Tron 8th Maxwell Sibert U/R Splinter Twin 16th Luke McGrath

The top 16 of the Modern Premier IQ was more diverse than expected. It featured three Abzan Midrange, two Abzan Pod, three U/R Delver, and generous mix of different archetypes.

Abzan Midrange is a deck that has popped up due to the recent surge of Treasure Cruise decks in Modern. Cards to watch out for in this archetype are [card]Scavenging Ooze[/card], [card]Liliana of the Veil[/card], [card]Abrupt Decay[/card], and [card]Dismember[/card]. Sometimes also seen are [card]Fulminator Mage[/card] and [card]Dark Confidant[/card].

Abzan Pod is where the Birthing Pod decks had to shift in order to compete against Treasure Cruise. Notables in this deck include [card]Voice of Resurgence[/card] and Abrupt Decay.

Jeskai Flash continues to do well and is the direction that the U/W/r archetypes had to shift for Treasure Cruise. Notables from this deck include [card]Geist of Saint Traft[/card], [card]Dig Through Time[/card], and a playset of [card]Remand[/card].

Zoo is a deck that I haven’t seen place top eight at a Star City event in some time. Notables from this deck include [card]Knight of the Reliquary[/card] and [card]Wild Nacatl[/card], along with two [card]Domri Rade[/card].

That’s a wrap from this weekend! Plenty of Magic action to go around for all.

Weekend Magic: 12/05-12/07

Cheers to another weekend! This past one featured the Magic World Championship and Magic World Cup, where both a team and single player were dubbed the World Champions! Also featured was Star City Games: Portland. Let’s check out the action.

Magic World Cup (Nice, FR)

Decklists

The Magic World Cup was taken down by Denmark, who were competing with over 70 countries for the title. Team Denmark’s decks were Mardu Midrange, Blue-Black Control, and Abzan Whip. Second place went to Team Greece, which featured Temur, Mardu Midrange, and Sidisi-Whip. Let’s check out some deck numbers from the final decks.

 

Mythic Rare (41) Rare (175) Uncommon (75)

8x Stormbreath Dragon
6x Wingmate Roc
5x Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
4x Sidisi, Brood Tyrant
4x Perilous Vault
4x Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
4x Ashcloud Phoenix
2x Soul of Theros
2x Soul of Innistrad
2x Sorin, Solemn Visitor

8x Llanowar Wastes
8x Goblin Rabblemaster
8x Crackling Doom
8x Courser of Kruphix
8x Butcher of the Horde
8x Bloodstained Mire
7x Sylvan Caryatid
7x Polluted Delta
7x Hero’s Downfall
6x Temple of Triumph
6x Temple of Silence
6x Hornet Queen
6x Chained to the Rocks
6x Battlefield Forge
5x Temple of Malady
5x Caves of Koilos
4x Yavimaya Coast
4x Wooded Foothills
4x Windswept Heath
4x Temple of Deceit
4x Siege Rhino
4x Savage Knuckleblade
4x Rattleclaw Mystic
4x Dig Through Time
4x Crater’s Claws
4x Boon Satyr
3x Whip of Erebos
3x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
3x Thoughtseize
3x Mana Confluence
2x Whip of Erebos
2x Temple of Mystery
2x Temple of Epiphany
2x Shivan Reef
2x Doomwake Giant
1x Utter End
1x Temple of Abandon
1x Silence the Believers
1x AEtherspouts
8x Nomad Outpost
8x Murderous Cut
8x Hordeling Outburst
7x Seeker of the Way
5x Opulent Palace
4x Stoke the Flames
4x Sandsteppe Citadel
4x Heir of the Wilds
4x Frontier Bivouac
4x Dissolve
4x Bile Blight
3x Temur Charm
3x Stubborn Denial
2x Jace’s Ingenuity
2x Drown in Sorrow
2x Despise
2x Banishing Light
1x Sultai Charm

 

Sideboard (90)
7x Disdainful Stroke
7x Anger of the Gods
5x Read the Bones
5x End Hostilities
4x Thoughtseize
4x Magma Spray
4x Glare of Heresy
4x Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
4x Drown in Sorrow
3x Reclamation Sage
3x Negate
3x Hornet Nest
3x Erase
3x Bile Blight
3x Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
3x Arc Lightning
2x Utter End
2x Stormbreath Dragon
2x Prognostic Sphinx
2x Nissa, Worldwaker
2x Doomwake Giant
2x Dig Through Time
2x Chandra, Pyromaster
2x Back to Nature
1x Whip of Erebos
1x Sultai Charm
1x Stubborn Denial
1x Silence the Believers
1x Pharika, God of Affliction
1x Pearl Lake Ancient
1x Duneblast
1x Divination
1x AEtherspouts

Main deck cards that grab my attention are [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card], [card]Crackling Doom[/card], [card]Butcher of the Horde[/card], [card]Murderous Cut[/card], and [card]Hordeling Outburst[/card]. Stormbreath Dragon did very well for itself in the World Cup, which means that once Theros becomes harder to find, Stormbreath could be in for a price increase. Crackling Doom has been very popular lately as well, and I expect that if you want to play Mardu you should pick up your copies sooner rather than later, along with Butcher of the Horde.

Notable mythic rares include [card]Wingmate Roc[/card] (despite its price lowering, the roc should go back up in price over its Standard life once Khans becomes scarce) [card]Sidisi, Brood Tyrant[/card], [card]Perilous Vault[/card], [card]Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver[/card], and two each of [card]Soul of Theros[/card] and [card]Soul of Innistrad[/card]. Clearly the souls are not on the level of titans of yore, but they still see play every once in a while. If you like Souls, picking them up at bulk mythic prices is fine.

Notable rares include eight Bloodstained Mire (which is currently the cheapest fetchland in Khans, by the way—not that now is the time to pick them up, just something to note in case it goes down even further) and six [card]Chained to the Rocks[/card].

For sideboards, popular choices included [card]Anger of the Gods[/card] (which appears to be trending upwards in price) and [card]End Hostilities[/card].

There were certainly small bits of innovation going on in each of the lists, but the card numbers indicate that many of the same established cards, like [card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/card], are still powerful forces in the current format.

Magic World Championship (Nice, FR)

Decklists

Shahar Shenhar took down the World Championships again—the first time this has ever happened two years in a row for a single player! Congratulations to Shahar for performing so well on the world stage. The win was much deserved.

For Khans Standard, Shahar chose to pilot his slightly tweaked version of Sidisi-Whip that featured two Ashioks in the main deck along with a [card]Soul of Innistrad[/card] for some late game reach. Other than this, the list was still running three [card]Hornet Queen[/card], three [card]Whip of Erebos[/card], and four Sidisi, and all the other necessary components from other Sidisi-Whip decks.

Second place went to Patrick Chapin, who like Ari Lax at the Pro Tour, decided to go with Abzan Midrange for his Standard deck choice. Notables from Chapin’s list included two [card]Brimaz, King of Oreskos[/card] and only one [card]Wingmate Roc[/card]. Everything else in the deck was streamlined based on the existing archetype and isn’t anything new we haven’t seen before.

The other Top 4 decks included Yuuya Watanabe’s Jeskai Tokens and Kentaro Yamamoto’s version of Sidisi-Whip. Similar to the deck’s in the Magic World Cup, these decks featured cards like [card]Jeskai Ascendency[/card] and Hornet Queen to bring the beats.

SCG Open: Portland – Standard (Portland, OR)

Decklists

Deck Finish Deck Finish
Abzan Midrange 1st G/B Reanimator 9th
Jeskai Tokens 2nd Esper Control 10th
Abzan Reanimator 3rd Abzan Midrange 11th
Abzan Reanimator 4th Mardu Midrange 12th
Mardu Midrange 5th Jeskai Tokens 13th
Jeskai Tokens 6th W/U Heroic 14th
Sultai Reanimator 7th Temur Monsters 15th
Abzan Midrange 8th U/B Control 16th

The Top 16 in Portland included three Abzan Midrange, two Abzan Reanimator, three Jeskai Tokens, two Mardu Midrange, and five other archetypes.

Sheldon Freerksen took down the Standard portion of the event, beating Brad Nelson’s Jeskai Tokens in the finals. Freerksen’s tech included a maindeck [card]Duneblast[/card] and two Read the Bones while Nelson played four [card]Treasure Cruise[/card] and two [card]Chandra, Pyromaster[/card] to help give himself reach throughout the event. Treasure Cruise is still showing its domination even in Standard, while Jeskai Ascendancy keeps showing its utility in both combo and non-combo decks.

Gerry Thompson placed in the Top 4 of the event playing Abzan Reanimator, which is also the fourth-place deck. Similar to Sidisi-Whip but playing white over blue, these decks utilize the power of Whip of Erebos in order to bring out powerful creatures from the graveyard. Being able to whip up a [card]Siege Rhino[/card] sure provides a ton of value.

The rest of the Top 16 includes decks that have all shown up in one form or another across other recent Standard tournaments. [card]Chandra, Pyromaster[/card] is being played in red decks now to help provide card advantage and unblockability, which is something to note. A few Top 16 decks in Portland were jamming Treasure Cruise into existing builds as well, like many players at the World Championships and World Cup did.

SCG Open: Portland – Legacy (Portland, OR)

Decklists

Deck Finish Deck Finish
Maverick 1st Reanimator 9th
U/R Delver 2nd Jeskai Stoneblade 10th
Burn 3rd Shardless Bant 11th
Elves 4th Temur Delver 12th
U/R Delver 5th U/R Delver 13th
Shardless Sultai 6th Jeskai Ascendancy Combo 14th
Sultai Delver 7th Miracles 15th
Temur Delver 8th U/G Cloudpost 16th

In Legacy, Maverick took down the event piloted by David McDarby. McDarby’s build included a [card]Green Sun’s Zenith[/card] package along with four [card]Knight of the Reliquary[/card], efficient beaters and hate bears, and disruption. Maverick is an interesting choice in a field of Treasure Cruise and Delver, since it can be a very hard deck to pilot if you aren’t familiar with the many intricacies of the deck.

Speaking of Delver, UR Delver came in second, fifth, and thirtheen at Portland. Other notable decks include Burn taking third, Shardless Bant taking eleventh, Jeskai Ascendancy Combo, and UG Cloudpost.

One interesting card choice is three [card]Death’s Shadow[/card] in the seventh place Sultai Delver list. Death’s Shadow is a quirky card that spiked back in April 2013 due to its interaction with [card]Varolz, the Scar Striped[/card] in Modern but has dropped back in price over time since that synergy never surfaced in a well-placing deck. However, it could experience another price upswing due to this inclusion.

Shardless Bant was an interesting deck choice. It included such cards as [card]Thopter Foundry[/card] and [card]Sword of the Meek[/card], along with a mish-mash of artifacts that could be fetched with [card]Enlightened Tutor[/card] and [card]Stoneforge Mystic[/card]. The deck name comes from [card]Shardless Agent[/card] and [card]Ancestral Vision[/card] being in the deck, of course. This deck is so out of left field I’m not sure what to make of it—did Neil Henly just not have the pieces to the other decks and decided to go for whatever was in his binder? Who knows, but I do like the Thopter Foundry and Sword of the Meek synergy in a field full of UR Delver and Burn decks.

Jeskai Ascendancy Combo has made its way into Legacy due to the hype around the World’s Modern decks brewing with it. Legacy players then determined that yes, indeed it is also fine in Legacy. Fatestitcher has already closed its window for financial opportunity—wait for the drop in price, then get in once the hype has died down. [card]Mental Note[/card] is an interesting card choice. Foils of this are still on the cheap at $1 or less if you feel like playing Ascendancy Combo in Legacy.

Wrapping Up

That’s it for this week! Khans certainly is making an impact on every format out there including Vintage! We haven’t seen this much shakeup since [card]Deathrite Shaman[/card] was printed. Keep up the good work, Wizards, with a few more blocks like this, Magic will be diverse for quite some time.

Weekend Magic: 11/28-11/30

This weekend featured Grand Prix San Antonio and Star City Games Open Series: Atlanta. Along with a plateful of turkey, we got a nice heaping side of Magic to go along with it. Let’s see how delicious it was.

Grand Prix San Antonio (TX, USA)

Format: Standard

Decklists

San Antonio was taken down by Ryan Scullin piloting Mardu Midrange. He took down UW Heroic in the finals to claim the win. The notables from his deck included three [card]Chained to the Rocks[/card] and four [card]Crackling Doom[/card], which assisted Ryan in getting rid of threats like [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card], [card]Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker[/card], and [card]Siege Rhino[/card] all weekend.

Orry Swift was piloting UW Heroic. Notables from the deck include four [card]Hero of Iroas[/card], which is a card that has been trending upward from its lows of $1.50 to now $3.50 and climbing. Pick up your copies sooner rather than later if the UW Heroic deck interests you for Standard play.

In third and fourth were Temur and Sultai. Notables from the Temur deck include three [card]Rattleclaw Mystic[/card]s, four [card]Savage Knuckleblade[/card]s, two [card]Ashcloud Phoenix[/card]es, and three [card]Crater’s Claw[/card]s. The Sultai deck featured a [card]Sagu Mauler[/card], two [card]Doomwake Giant[/card]s, and four [card]Sidisi, Brood Tyrant[/card]. Sidisi is down to around $3.30, her lowest since Khans was released. She is definitely powerful in the Sidisi-Whip deck, which continues to place well at major tournaments. She may drop a little bit more, but if you want to play with her in Standard, I think picking up copies for $3 is fine.

Rounding out the Top 8 were two Abzan decks, one Jeskai deck, and another mono-red deck that splashed blue for [card]Treasure Cruise[/card]. Highlights from the Mono-Red Cruise deck included four [card]Fated Conflagration[/card] and four [card]Satyr Firedrinker[/card], along with four [card]Monastery Swiftspear[/card] and three [card]Treasure Cruise[/card]. Looks like UR Delver has come to Standard as well, folks!

SCG Open Atlanta – Standard (GA, USA)

Decklists

Finish Deck Finish Deck
1st Sultai Reanimator 9th Abzan Midrange
2nd Abzan Midrange 10th Mardu Midrange
3rd Abzan Midrange 11th Abzan Midrange
4th Mardu Midrange 12th Esper Control
5th G/R Monsters 13th Mardu Aggro
6th Mardu Midrange 14th Abzan Midrange
7th Mardu Aggro 15th Temur Midrange
8th Abzan Aggro 16th G/B Devotion

John Farrow took down the Standard portion of Atlanta piloting Sultai Reanimator. Similar to GP San Antonio’s Top 4 finish, the deck wins by using self-mill along with graveyard recursion and Sidisi in order to generate advantage against your opponent. The tech in this version included four [card]Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver[/card] out of the sideboard.

Rounding out the rest of the Top 8 were two Abzan Midrange decks, an Abzan Aggro deck, two Mardu Midrange decks, a Mardu Aggro deck, and a GR Monsters deck.

GR Monsters was a unique deck. It featured four Ashcloud Phoenix, four [card]Hornet Nest[/card], four Stormbreath Dragon, four [card]Xenagos, the Reveler[/card], and three [card]Setessan Tactics[/card]. I love imagining Hornet Nests fighting random creatures—so awesome! You can also play another Tactics later to have your deathtouch hornets kill huge guys.

Like last week, Abzan Aggro now features four [card]Bloodsoaked Champion[/card] and four [card]Soldier of the Pantheon[/card] along with three [card]Gather Courage[/card]. Three Anafenza and two [card]Boon Satyr[/card]s also appeared in this list.

The rest of th Top 16 included three Abzan Midrange, Mardu Midrange, Mardu Aggro, Esper Control, Temur Midrange, and GB Devotion.

Esper Control featured four [card]Dig Through Time[/card] and four [card]End Hostilities[/card] are the only outstanding cards to me in the main deck. Out of the sideboard [card]Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver[/card] makes an appearance as a three-of.

Tymaret made an appearance in the 13th place Mardu Aggro deck, three Stubborn denial and four Temur Charm were seen in the Temur Midrange deck, and three Doomwake Giants were seen in the GB Devotion deck as cards to watch.

SCG Open Atlanta – Legacy (GA, USA)

Decklists

Finish Deck Finish Deck
1st U/R Delver 9th Reanimator
2nd Temur Delver 10th Ad Nauseam Tendrils
3rd Reanimator 11th Merfolk
4th Sneak And Show 12th Lands
5th Storm 13th Miracles
6th Elves 14th Miracles
7th Lands 15th Miracles
8th Jeskai Stoneblade 16th Death And Taxes

UR Delver piloted by Will Fleischman took down the event with its brother, Temur Delver, taking second place. Surprisingly, the second-place deck was playing [card]Nimble Mongoose[/card] over Treasure Cruise. It was a throwback to the old Canadian Threshold decks that have been around since Odyssey block. The deck featured a full stock of [card]Stifle[/card], [card]Force of Will[/card], [card]Brainstorm[/card], and [card]Daze[/card] in order to maximize the tempo plan.

The rest of the Top 8 included a diverse slew of decks. Out of the remaining decks, Reanimator played two [card]Hapless Researcher[/card] to help against aggro decks and Lands featured [card]Mox Diamond[/card] and [card]Gamble[/card] to speed up the end game.

The rest of the Top 16 included Merfolk, Miracles, and Death and Taxes. Merfolk hasn’t been seen in a Top 16 for quite a while and has changed much from the [card]Standstill[/card] days of yore. Merfolk gets to play a full playset of [card]True-Name Nemesis[/card] along with [card]Cavern of Souls[/card] in order to have uncounterable TNNs. [card]Phantasmal Image[/card] is another card that is seen as a playset in the deck and does a ton of work, becoming a lord or a copy of the best creature on the field quickly. Three [card]Vapor Snag[/card]s main deck have been added to help Merfolk against Burn and UR Delver. Out of the sideboard, [card]Back to Basics[/card] punishes Lands and other greedy manabases.

* BONUS* SCG Premier IQ Atlanta – Modern (GA, USA)

Decklists

Finish Deck Finish Deck
1st U/R Delver 9th U/R Twin
2nd Temur Twin 10th G/W Hatebears
3rd Jeskai Flash 11th Amulet Combo
4th Temur Delver 12th Abzan Pod
5th Affinity 13th Affinity
6th U/R Delver 14th G/R Tron
7th Scapeshift 15th U/R Delver
8th Temur Delver 16th Burn

UR Delver also took down the Modern portion of SCG Atlanta. This version main decked three Gut Shots. In addition to being totally Legacy playable, Gut Shot has also killed a Delver or two in Modern. I still like foil copies if you can get them for $4 or less. The price seems be rising for foils as time goes on.

Rounding out the rest of the Top 8 were Temur Twin, Jeskai Flash, two Temur Delver Decks, Affinity, another UR Delver, and Scapeshift.

Jeskai Flash is a new take on the Jeskai Midrange decks in Modern. Jeff Hoogland put a spin on the deck by playing an [card]Aven Mindcensor[/card] and [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card] in the main deck along with four [card]Geist of Saint Traft[/card]. Geist seems to come and go in Modern as the format speeds up and slows down. Now that Treasure Cruise has taken over the format, Geist has become much better due to hexproof. He has reached all-time lows of $13.50 and could see an uptick in price if Jeskai Flash continues to place well in the Treasure Cruise metagame. [card]Kor Firewalker[/card] is also a real card out of the sideboard. Foils are still less than $1 and seem like a good pickup to me.

The Top 16 included GW Hatebears, Amulet Combo, Abzan Pod, GR Tron, and Burn.

Hatebears played a ton of creatures: thirty in the main deck! Among these included three Aven Mindcensor, four [card]Leonin Arbiter[/card], four [card]Loxodon Smiter[/card], three [card]Thalia, Guardian of Thraben[/card], and two [card]Thrun, the Last Troll[/card] to provide a constant stream of haterade. Two [card]Sword of War and Peace[/card] were also seen in the deck, a card which is becoming awesome in Modern to help against fast decks like Delver and Burn. Again, Kor Firewalker is seen out of the sideboard.

Amulet Combo also has a ton of unique cards. [card]Primeval Titan[/card], [card]Azusa, Amulet of Vigor[/card], [card]Hive Mind[/card], [card]Summoner’s Pact[/card], and [card]Summer Bloom[/card] are all cards to watch from this deck. Amulet Combo is rather janky, but can put up results if the pilot has lots of experience with the deck.

Abzan Pod seems to be the new version of Birthing Pod decks going forward since Treasure Cruise has entered the format. Four- and five-color pod decks have gone away in favor of this new deck that plays [card]Siege Rhino[/card]. It also plays three [card]Voice of Resurgence[/card], another card I’m targeting now that Return to Ravnica block has rotated.

Burn continues to showcase the power of [card]Eidolon of the Great Revel[/card], along with of course splashing blue for Treasure Cruise and white for [card]Boros Charm[/card] to give the deck even more reach and power.

Wrapping It Up

GP San Antonio and SCG Atlanta—Standard showed us that Sidisi is the real deal. She is still very cheap for a mythic and could easily double up in price once Khans redemption dries up. Other cards to keep an eye out on in Standard include Hero of Iroas, Chained to the Rocks, and Crackling Doom.

The Modern portion of SCG Atlanta showed us that there is still plenty of innovation going on despite Treasure Cruise entering the format (even if that innovation has been created due to the format warping around Treasure Cruise).

Legacy showed us that Merfolk is still a deck. Also, Delver decks can still win without Treasure Cruise, though this game plan probably isn’t recommended. If you decide to go this route, Nimble Mongoose is where you want to be.

Weekend Magic: 11/21-11/23

This past weekend featured Star City Games: Richmond. Let’s take a look at what decks were featured in Standard, Modern, and Legacy.

SCG Open Richmond – Standard (VA, USA)

Decklists

Finish Deck Finish Deck
1st Jeskai Combo 9th U/B Control
2nd Esper Control 10th Abzan Midrange
3rd Abzan Aggro 11th Temur Midrange
4th Jeskai Aggro 12th Mardu Aggro
5th 4-Color Midrange 13th Temur Aggro
6th G/B Constellation 14th W/B Aggro
7th Mardu Midrange 15th Abzan Midrange
8th Mardu Midrange 16th Mardu Midrange

Harlan Firer took down the Standard portion piloting Jeskai Combo. This combo version featured plenty of tokens in order to have a backup game plan in case the infinite combo didn’t work out. A highlight of the deck is four [card]Hordeling Outburst[/card], a card that seems to be seeing play in more and more archetypes as Khans Standard goes on. [card]Stoke the Flames[/card] was also a four-of in Firer’s build. However, I would recommend getting rid of your Stokes since a reprint of the card anywhere is going to completely tank its price (Event Decks!!!).

Other highlights from the Top 8 included:

  • Three copies of [card]Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver[/card] in Shaheen Soorani’s second-place Esper Control.
    • Ashiok has been declining in price since the October highs of $15 TCGplayer median (all prices quoted in the article will be TCGplayer median). Now down to $10, this could be a good time to pick up your copies if you like them for Standard.
  • Four [card]Bloodsoaked Champion[/card]s, four [card]Soldier of the Pantheon[/card]s, and three [card]Gather Courage[/card]s from Aaron Birch’s Abzan Aggro.
    • Champion is still high, but Soldiers and Gather Courages are still pretty cheap.
  • A Four-Color Midrange monstrosity created by Brad Nelson, which featured three [card]Chained to the Rocks[/card] alongside cards such as [card]Siege Rhino[/card], [card]Butcher of the Horde[/card], and [card]Elspeth, Sun’s Champion[/card].
    • Nothing new in the main deck, just a hodge-podge of good stuff. Out of the sideboard, Xenagos was seen but nothing else really jumped out to me.

Highlights from the Top 16 included:

  • Three more Ashioks in the UB control list that placed ninth.
  • Four [card]Ashcloud Phoenix[/card]es in the 11th-place Temur Midrange list.
    • Phoenix is the real deal, but wait until the Khans lowest prices are reached next year to pick them up for value.
  • Four [card]Savage Knuckblade[/card]s in the 13th-place Temur Aggro list, along with two [card]Sagu Mauler[/card]s and two [card]Polymorphist’s Jest[/card]s out of the sideboard.
  • Three Brimaz, King of Oreskos in the 14th-place W/B Aggro list.

SCG Open Richmond – Legacy (VA, USA)

Decklists

Finish Deck Finish Deck
1st Death And Taxes 9th Miracles
2nd Miracles 10th Miracles
3rd U/R Delver 11th Elves
4th Jeskai Stoneblade 12th Sultai Delver
5th Miracles 13th Storm
6th Infect 14th Jeskai Delver
7th Jeskai Stoneblade 15th Dredge
8th Lands 16th Jeskai Stoneblade

Marc Konig took down the even with Death and Taxes, a Legacy standby that continues to place well in the new UR Delver world. [card]Containment Priest[/card] is the new addition to the deck and Konig played one in the main deck and one in the sideboard. Containment Priest works against D&T’s plan slightly by messing with its own [card]Aether Vial[/card]s, but clearly the upsides outweigh this annoyance. Two [card]Gut Shot[/card]s were featured in the sideboard, and Konig mentioned that this card was currently underrated in Legacy. Foils at $4 or less seem like a good pickup.

Other highlights from the Top 8 included:

  • Three [card]Containment Priest[/card]s out of Ben Friedman’s Jeskai Stoneblade sideboard.
    • Also a playset of [card]Flusterstorm[/card] between the main deck and sideboard.
  • Another two [card]Containment Priest[/card]s out of Tomas Vicek’s Miracles sideboard.
  • Ryan Macedo’s Infect build featured two copies of [card]Become Immense[/card] in the main deck. He also mentioned that [card]Hydroblast[/card] worked really well out of his sideboard.
  • Yet another three [card]Containment Priest[/card]s in the sideboard of Fred Edelkamp’s Jeskai Stoneblade build.
  • David Long’s Lands featured four [card]Mox Diamond[/card]s and four [card]Gamble[/card] in the main deck, along with four [card]Krosan Grip[/card]s out of the sideboard

Highlights from the Top 16 included:

  • [card]Keranos, God of Storms[/card] was featured as a one-of in the ninth-place Miracles build
  • [card]Massacre[/card] made an appearance as a two-of in the 13th-place Storm deck
  • [card]Flayer of the Hatebound[/card] was featured in the 15th-place Dredge list

Taking a count across the Top 16, there were nineteen [card]Containment Priest[/card]s across the decks, with an average of two copies per deck (well, per sideboard, really). Priest is making an impact on Legacy but still feels overpriced to me.

SCG Richmond – Modern Premier IQ (VA, USA)

Decklists

Finish Deck Finish Deck
1st Scapeshift 9th Abzan Pod
2nd 4-Color Pod 10th U/R Delver
3rd Jeskai Control 11th G/W Auras
4th Scapeshift 12th Abzan Midrange
5th Temur Twin 13th Abzan Midrange
6th Skred 14th Blue Moon
7th U/R Twin 15th Affinity
8th Affinity 16th Abzan Pod

Modern also provided some interesting decks. The Modern Premier IQ was won by Niklas Kronberger who piloted Scapeshift to victory. Cards to watch from the deck include [card]Remand[/card] and from the sideboard [card]Obstinate Baloth[/card]. Remand has gone down to $12 and could go up from now until MM2. Obstinate Baloth only had one printing in M11 and could also go up if more discard strategies start being used in Modern.

Other highlights from the Top 8 included:

  • Two [card]Siege Rhino[/card]s in Adonys Medrano’s secondnd-place Four-Color Pod deck
    • Watch for foils of this card. If [card]Siege Rhino[/card] becomes a mainstay in Modern, the foil price will eventually reflect this demand.
  • A deck called Skred, which placed sixth. Tyler Forshaw built a deck around Snow-Covered Mountains in order to utilize the deck’s namesake, [card]Skred[/card], as a cheap answer to many of Modern’s creatures.
    • The whole deck uses cards that aren’t seen much in Modern: [card]Boros Reckoner[/card], [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card], [card]Koth of the Hammer[/card], [card]Volanic Fallout[/card], and [card]Pyroclasm[/card] are the main takeaways (along with [card]Skred[/card] and Snow-Covered Mountain of course).
    • Out of the sideboard, three copies of [card]Chalice of the Void[/card] popped out to me. In addition to the Legacy applications, Chalice is also pretty good against the Modern variants of UR Delver. I feel like it is only a matter of time until Chalice’s price goes up to match this demand.
  • Two main-deck [card]Chalice of the Void[/card]s in Erik Aliff’s eighth-place Affinity deck.

Highlights from the Top 16 included:

  • Two Abzan Pod decks, which played five [card]Siege Rhino[/card]s between them.
  • Two Abzan Midrange decks, which played eight [card]Siege Rhino[/card]s between them.
    • Six [card]Scavenging Ooze[/card] were also played across both main decks.
    • The 13th-place Abzan Midrange deck played one [card]Sorin, Solemn Visitor[/card] in the main deck.
  • The 10th-place UR Delver list played an [card]Isochron Scepter[/card] in the main deck.
  • The 15h-place Affinity deck played one [card]Ghostfire Blade[/card] main deck.
    • It also played two [cad]Feed the Clan[/card] out of the sideboard.

That’s all for this week! Richmond showed us that there is still innovation in Standard, Legacy, and Modern. Until next time.

Weekend Magic: 11/14-11/16

Two Grands Prix for the price of one! This weekend featured Grand Prix New Jersey and Grand Prix Madrid. New Jersey featured some sweet Legacy card slinging, where players were either playing [card]Treasure Cruise[/card] or playing around it, and Madrid featured some great Modern action where players were… basically doing the same thing. Let’s see what happened at the events.

Grand Prix New Jersey (NJ, USA)

Format – Legacy

Decklists

BBD took down the event piloting the Jeskai Stoneblade deck. The most obvious innovation in the list is the removal of [card]Delver of Secrets[/card] for [card]Young Pyromancer[/card]. Young Pyromancer foils have already spiked to $40 and I don’t see them moving from there, especially because a deck other than UR Delver featured them. [card]Meddling Mage[/card] is still hovering around $6 TCGplayer mid (all cited prices moving forward will use TCGplayer mid unless otherwise stated) and could continue its upward trend in price since it is so good out of the sideboard in the current Legacy metagame.

Second place went to The Boss, Tom Ross, who as usual was piloting his famous Infect deck. One [card]Become Immense[/card] in the main deck is the takeaway here. Watch out for foils of this card over the coming months. If you can snag them for under $1, I think that is a good pickup.

Rounding out the Top 8, we have Storm, two Miracles, UR Delver, Metalworker, and something called UR Landstill.

[card]Snapcaster Mage[/card] showed up in both Miracles and the UR Landstill lists. Snapcaster Mage seemed to wane in popularity due to [card]Deathrite Shaman[/card]. However, since more players decided to get on the UR Delver bandwagon to play [card]Treasure Cruise[/card], it seems that Snappy is back in action again in Legacy in addition to the Modern play he sees.

There were four copies of [card]Containment Priest[/card] across the sideboards of the Top 8. Sell into the weekend hype, then when more copies of the Forged in Stone mono-white Commander deck hit the market, you can pick up the Priests on the cheap.

[card]Flusterstorm[/card] was a popular card during the weekend. Many players were looking for copies in trades and it will continue to be popular in Legacy. [card]Forked Bolt[/card] was also a popular card at New Jersey, as many vendors seemed to be selling out of them at $5. I would expect this card (which is from the same set as [card]Inquisition of Kozilek[/card]) to maintain that price until a reprint. Another card that that will continue to go up in price is [card]Smash to Smithereens[/card]. This card has hit $4 and will continue to trend upwards since it is a popular option for Burn and UR Delver players both in Modern and Legacy.

[card]Chalice of the Void[/card] could be a potential sleeper. There were four of them in the main deck of the [card]Metalworker deck[/card], and in addition, [card]Blood Moon[/card] decks and even Merfolk lists were main-decking a playset of this card in order to fight through all the cheap cantrips of UR Delver and similar variants. At $6, this could be a very good buy-in point.

Another card out of the Metalworker deck that has been trending is [card]Metalworker[/card] itself (which spiked when it was unbanned from EDH from $13 to $30, but has been trending down to $27 at this point). If you were savvy enough to get in on foils before the unbanning, they are now going for $220—though these results are misleading since there are only three listings.

[card]Kuldotha Forgemaster[/card] foils are up to $20 while regular copies are still below $1. There is a ton of buzz surrounding this card and its exclusion from the Built from Scratch mono-red Commander deck. I think eventually this could affect its price, and $2 or more certainly isn’t out of the question.

Lastly, the UR Landstill deck was the most unique deck of the Top 8 to come out of post-[card]Treasure Cruise[/card] Legacy format. The deck played one copy of the newly infamous spell and instead opted to play three [card]Standstill[/card]s, manlands [card]Mishra’s Factory[/card] and [card]Faerie Conclave[/card], and a control package featuring cards like [card]Spell Snare[/card] and [card]Sudden Shock[/card] in order to control the game until either Jace, Snapcaster Mage, or manlands kill the opponent. The cards to watch from this deck include Standstill and Sudden Shock, especially foils.

Outside of the Top 8, Omni-Tell placed ninth and a Grixis Control deck placed thirteenth. Omniscience is around $8.50 and I think that it could continue to trend upwards because it is also a popular Commander card. Foils are $40 and I could also see this price increasing over time as well. Grixis Control featured two [card]Dack Fayden[/card], which is a card already poised to go up based from casual demand alone. The possibility of it being featured in Legacy will also have price implications for the future.

Grand Prix Madrid – Modern (Madrid, ES)

Format – Modern

Decklists

Immanuel Gerschenson won Grand Prix Madrid piloting a Temur Delver build. Based off the longstanding Canadian Threshold/RUG/Temur Delver lists that have been a staple of Legacy for years, Gerschenson adopted the archetype to Modern with great success. The deck plays playsets of ‘Goyf, [card]Young Pyromancer[/card], and Delvers, along with a ton of one-mana cantrips and disruption/removal spells in order to cast [card]Treasure Cruise[/card] as fast as possible and to keep casting more spells. Highlights from this deck include two [card]Vapor Snag[/card] in the main deck and [card]Dragon’s Claw[/card], [card]Hibernation[/card], and [card]Molten Rain[/card] out of the sideboard. I would be looking to pick up foil copies of these cards since they hadn’t been seeing much play before Treasure Cruise and may continue to see play based on Temur Delver winning the GP.

Second place went to Till Riffert who was piloting Scapeshift. The notable card here was [card]Dig Through Time[/card] (three copies), which seems to have boosted the power of Modern combo decks because it allows you to look seven cards deep. Another Scapeshift deck made the Top 8, but it didn’t have blue cards and instead utilized [card]Through the Breach[/card] as an alternate way to combo off and win with an Emrakul if the Scapeshift plan didn’t work out. Notables from the Breach Scapeshift deck include Through the Breach, three [card]Summoning Trap[/card]s, and three [card]Chalice of the Void[/card]s in the main deck.

Rounding out the Top 8 we have three Birthing Pod decks, Abzan, Martyr Life, and another Scapeshift deck. Martyr Life is the outstanding deck here. Cards to watch from this deck include [card]Serra Ascendent[/card], [card]Ranger of Eos[/card], [card]Proclamation of Rebirth[/card], and [card]Ghostly Prison[/card]. [card]Flagstones of Trokir[/card] also appeared as a playset. These cards could see an uptick in price based on the results.

What a weekend! Plenty of cards seem like great opportunities based on the shaken up Modern and Legacy formats. Until next week!

Weekend Magic: 11/07-11/09

Magic coverage this week includes highlights from Star City Games Columbus. As usual, the Open this week includes Standard and Legacy, with a side of Modern in the form of a Premier Invitational Qualifier. Let’s see what results came out of the weekend.

SCG Open Columbus – Standard (OH, USA)

Decklists

Steve Rubin took down the Standard portion piloting Abzan Midrange, a familiar deck that we’ve all seen before. Two copies of [card]Brimaz, King of Oreskos[/card] in the main deck is the only thing that pops out to me from his list. Everything else is your stock Abzan Midrange build.

Second place was a Mardu Aggro deck piloted by Andy Ferguson. Notables out of this deck included four [card]Bloodsoaked Champion[/card]s and four [card]Thoughtseize[/card]s in the main deck, as well as three [card]Hushwing Gryff[/card]s out of the side. Hushwing Gryff is a card that many players are keeping their eye on because it’s from M15 and is a great card in the right metagame. It’s pretty cheap if you can pick copies up for $2.50 or less. The TCGplayer mid price is getting pretty close to the Star City Games listing at $3, which is a sign to me that this card could see some upward price mobility in the near future.

Third place went to UW Heroic, a deck we’ve seen in a Pro Tour Khans deck tech video but haven’t seen since (barring the Jeskai Ascendency combo version of the deck that took down the Star City Games Open in Oakland last weekend). These results have made [card]Hero of Iroas[/card] a card of interest and have taken it out of the $1 range into $2 and beyond.. Another card to look out for is Eidolon of Countless Battles, which was a two-of in the deck and hasn’t put up any results until now. All in all, it is a very budget friendly deck since Hero and Eidolon are the only rares outside of the manabase.

UB Control resurfaced again to put up another Top 8 Result. [card]Pearl Lake Ancient[/card] has gone down significantly since spiking after Pro Tour Khans. However, as long as the UB Control deck remains alive, the card will continue to see play throughout its life in Standard. [card]Perilous Vault[/card] was a playset in the deck and could continue to trend upward if UB control remains a metagame regular due to scarce M15 supply.

SCG Open Columbus – Legacy (OH, USA)

Decklists

Jeskai Stoneblade took down the event, piloted by Rudy Briksza. Instead of three [card]Treasure Cruise[/card]s, Rudy chose instead to include two of the old standby, [card]Jace, the Mind Sculptor[/card], and only one Cruise. He also put in a [card]Snapcaster Mage[/card] to help him recast such classics as [card]Brainstorm[/card], [card]Pyroblast[/card], [card]Counterspell[/card], and [card]Swords to Plowshares[/card] among others. This is a much more controlling version of other Jeskai Legacy builds I’ve seen. It is a strange deck in a sense, because it plays like a Jeskai Miracles deck without the Miracles pieces. I think Briksza opted not to play a Miracles build of Jeskai because there are so many [card]Cavern of Souls[/card] running around in Legacy these days. The land nerfs Jeskai Miracles pretty hard if they don’t have an answer for it.

We also got our first glimpse at [card]Containment Priest[/card] this weekend. Instead of the loud fanfare that [card]True-Name Nemesis[/card] got when it was printed and became Legacy-legal upon its release, [card]Containment Priest[/card] has immediately been relegated to the sideboard in Briksza’s build. The 12th-place Maverick deck also played [card]Containment Priest[/card], and even it couldn’t find two spots in the main deck for the creature among its motley cast of characters (such as one [card]Mirran Crusader[/card], one [card]Brimaz, King of Oreskos[/card], three [card]Judge’s Familiar[/card]s, and two [card]Flickerwisp[/card]s). Unless you’re planning on playing a deck with white mana at Grand Prix New Jersey, I would stay far away from [card]Containment Priest[/card] at $15 to $20. Commander 2014 is going to be printed into oblivion just like the previous Commander 2013 release. You don’t want to get stuck holding the bag, especially if the white and red deck are released in greater numbers due to casual demand.

Of [card]Dualcaster Mage[/card], the other $15 card from the Commander 2014 series, we have seen nothing so far. Now would be the time to dump these as well, since the price can only go down from here as more Commander 2014 product is opened.

Going back to the tournament results, Elves came in second place along with UR Delver at both third and fourth places. The only thing of note here is that some red decks are opting to play [card]Electrickery[/card] out of the sideboard to fight against UR Delver. Foils are less than $1 and seem like a good pickup to me. I thought [card]Mizzium Skin[/card] out of Jared Rice’s board was a nice, “Gotcha!” card for targeted removal, but I think [card]Electrickery[/card] is a better foil target.

The rest of the Top 8 included Sneak and Show, a deck called Mono-Red Moggcatcher, Miracles, and another UR Delver deck. Brad Nelson decided to main deck two [card]Overmaster[/card] in his Sneak and Show build for the tournament. This is a neat way to get around counter magic. I’m not going to go deep on regular copies, since it is from Odyssey block and could be reprinted at some point in the future. However, picking up foil copies is certainly an option. The foils also have Commander appeal since the card also works in that format to get around pesky counterspells.

Mono-Red Moggcatcher is an interesting deck. A spin on the old mono red Dragon Stompy decks, Marshall Arthurs decided to take it into… experimental territory. The deck seems to be based around a toolbox package of [card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/card], [card]Murderous Redcap[/card], [card]Siege-Gang Commander[/card], [card]Tuktuk Scrapper[/card], and [card]Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker[/card], along with four [card]Imperial Recruiter[/card]s and four [card]Moggcatcher[/card]s to get them out. [card]Simian Spirit Guide[/card], [card]Chrome Mox[/card], [card]Ancient Tomb[/card], and [card]City of Traitors[/card] help with speeding up the clock, and at the same time, [card]Chalice of the Void[/card], [card]Trinispshere[/card], [card]Magus of the Moon[/card], and [card]Blood Moon[/card] are slowing the clock down for opponents. [card]Koth of the Hammer[/card] seems to be a nice finisher if the goblins can’t get the job done.

If you like the deck, I would pick up pieces before GP New Jersey happens and some cards have a chance to spike. [card]Moggcatcher[/card] is a pretty random card that is poised to have the most significant spike if the deck also makes waves at New Jersey. This deck could also take [card]City of Traitors[/card] into the $100 range, and could also randomly make [card]Gemstone Cavern[/card]s spike, since it is below $2 TCG Mid and is a two-of in Arthur’s sideboard.

Outside of the Top 8, Mono-Black Pox made an appearance along with Maverick and ANT. Maverick and ANT were basically standard lists, barring some of the cards I mentioned before for Maverick. Pox is an interesting deck that came out of nowhere and seems pretty good in the format. The end game of Pox is [card]Cursed Scroll[/card], [card]Nether Spirit[/card], and [card]Mishra’s Factory[/card], along with discard spells, land destruction, and sacrifice effects to control the game until the win conditions come online. Surprisingly, the deck doesn’t play its namesake Pox from Ice Age and the only pox in the deck was [card]Smallpox[/card]. Smallpox is played in Modern as well, so picking up foil copies of the card seems good to me. This deck is definitely a pet deck for now, though [card]Cursed Scroll[/card] could also see a spike if it places well at New Jersey.

SCG Premier IQ Columbus – Modern (OH, USA)

Decklists

Three copies of UR Delver made the Top 8, along with Jeskai Ascendancy Combo, UR Twin, RG Urzatron, Jeskai Control,and Mono-Red Burn.

There were four [card]Dragon’s Claw[/card]s in the winning deck’s sideboard. Foils of this card are generally under $1, which could be a good pickup due to the rise of Burn and UR Delver in Modern.

[card]Forked Bolt[/card] has spiked recently, going from $0.50 to $4 with foils going for $25. Be on the lookout for [card]Forked Bolt[/card]s, since they will be used heavily in Modern and Legacy (as long as [card]Treasure Cruise[/card] remains in the format). I also like [card]Gut Shot[/card] in the post-Khans Modern format as well. This was a $4 uncommon during its time in Standard, and I think there is a good chance it could be adopted in Modern if Delver starts taking over the format. Foils of this card are around $3, which I think is a great price point for long-term gains.

Jeskai Ascendancy Combo came in second and looks to be a combo deck that is going to stick around. The combo is disruptable, but it can win very fast with the correct hand. The card [card]Jeskai Ascendency[/card] seems to be on a downward trend, and I will be looking to pick them up at the floor based on the results the deck has put up.

Summary

Standard

  • [card]Bloodsoaked Champion[/card] and [card]Hushwing Gryff[/card] are cards to watch from Mardu Aggro.
  • [card]Hero of Iroas[/card] and [card]Eidolon of Countless Battles[/card] are cards to watch from UW Heroic.
  • [card]Pearl Lake Ancient[/card] and [card]Perilous Vault[/card] are cards to watch from UB Control

Legacy

  • [card]Containment Priest[/card] seems to be sideboard only at this point. Sell into the hype, and buy in later once she bottoms outs.
  • [card]Dualcaster Mage[/card] didn’t even show. Sell into the hype here as well.
  • Foil [card]Electrickery[/card] is a sideboard card to watch.
  • Foil [card]Overmaster[/card] is a good pickup if you like the card.
  • Two innovative archetypes did well, Mono-Red Moggcatcher and Pox.
    • [card]Moggcatcher[/card] is pretty cheap. However, the cost of the deck mostly goes into [card]Imperial Recruiter[/card]s and [card]City of Traitors[/card]. Still should keep an eye on Moggcatchers for future results.
    • [card]Cursed Scroll[/card] is the card to watch from Pox, along with foil [card]Smallpox[/card] since it also has Modern appeal

Modern

  • Tools to fight UR Delver are cards to watch currently. They include [card]Forked Bolt[/card], [card]Gut Shot[/card], [card]Smallpox[/card], and [card]Dragon’s Claw[/card]s—especially foils of these cards.
  • Look to pick up [card]Jeskai Ascendency[/card] once it bottoms out due to the Modern appeal of the Ascendency combo deck.

See you next week!

Weekend Magic: 10/31-11/02

We’ve got some more Magic coverage for you from this weekend! Last weekend was Grand Prix Santiago and Star City Games: Oakland. Let’s see what happened.

GP Santiago (Santiago, CHI)

Decklists

Two Abzan Midrange decks battled it out in the finals, and Eduardo dos Santos Vieira was the top dog in the end. The two decks are significantly different. The winning deck included three copies of [card]Soul of Theros[/card], the somewhat forgotten about M15 mythic rare that dominated M15 Limited but as of yet has put up no results in Standard to talk about. Well, that time is over. Soul of Theros is a real card and could be expected to show up in future Abzan lists based on these results.

The winning deck seemed to be a cross between the GB constellation decks that used [card]Whip of Erebos[/card] to put out a [card]Hornet Queen[/card] and Ari Lax’s Pro Tour Khans winning list. Vieira even included two [card]Doomwake Giants[/card] and an [card]Eidolon of Blossoms[/card] in the main deck to provide some constellation action, along with a playset of [card]Satyr Wayfinder[/card]s and two [card]Commune with the Gods[/card] to have a self-mill plan. The deck is definitely stranger than most Abzan lists we’ve seen so far, but only proves that Abzan is a deep clan that can take many different directions based on the metagame.

The second place Abzan deck resembled the previous Abzan Aggro decks we’ve seen in the past. Three [card]Anafenza, the Foremost[/card]s were in the main deck along with [card]Rakshasa Deathdealer[/card] and [card]Fleeceman Lion[/card]. The sideboard of the runner up is quite a trip—almost every single card is a one-of and resembles something you might see from a Legacy High Tide or old Survival side board.

Rounding out the Top 8, we have another Abzan Midrange deck, three Temur Aggro decks, Red Deck Wins, and the Sidisi-Whip deck.

There were eleven copies of [card]Boon Satyr[/card] across all three Temur Aggro decks—definitely something to keep in mind if you plan on playing Temur Aggro in Standard. I like picking up Boom Boom Satyr at less than $1 in anticipation of future Standard play in this archetype.

Twelve of each of [card]Rattleclaw Mystic[/card] and [card]Savage Knuckleblade[/card] is also noteworthy. These guys might dip below $3 as more Khans is opened, but I’m not sure how much lower they can get. Rattleclaw is definitely going to be played during the post-Khans Standard, there is no question about that. Finally, eight [card]Ashcloud Phoenix[/card]es showing up continues to showcase the Phoenix’s power. There is room for the Phoenix to drop, and I like picking them up for post-Theros Standard play once that happens.

In terms of Sidisi-Whip, keep an eye on [card]Sidisi, Brood Tyrant[/card]. She is pretty strong but the deck doesn’t seem to be putting up consistent results. I think there is still room to drop but she could shine eventually.

SCG Open: Oakland, CA (USA) – Standard

Decklists

We have a new type of deck that was able to take down the Standard portion of the weekend by playing a unique combo strategy that isn’t the typical Jeskai Ascendency combo build. Ivan Jen took down the tournament piloting a deck called Jeskai Heroic Combo, which utilizes the power of the [card]Jeskai Ascendency[/card] enchantment to target your own creatures, which have heroic and prowess, and win based off targeting them several times in a turn and then attacking with huge creatures or lots of soldier tokens. This isn’t an infinite combo deck, but it still provides a turn where the player “goes off” so to speak and can get a huge creature and a bunch of soldier tokens that the opponent is unable to deal with.

Cards that defined this deck included the creatures ([card]Lagonna-Band Trailblazer[/card], whatt!?), [card]Jeskai Ascendency[/card], and lots of cheap cantrips paired with [card]Retraction Helix[/card] and [card]Gods Willing[/card]. Lands included a playset of both [card]Battlefield Forge[/card] and [card]Temple of Triumph[/card], along with three [card]Mana Confluence[/card]s. In the sideboard, three [card]Chasm Skulker[/card] are seen, which can help in the Abzan and other matches that play a large amount of creature removal.

More results need to be seen, but to me, this looks like a quirky combo deck that needs to be playtested quite a lot in order to know the optimal plays. I don’t think any cards in the deck are going to spike in the near future from these results. On the plus side, it is a cheap deck to build. Only the lands and Jeskai Ascendency are rares in the main deck, and Chasm Skulker is the only rare in the sideboard.

Rounding out the rest of the Top 8 were two Abzan Midrange decks, three GB Constellation decks, Jeskai Aggro, and Temur Monsters.

The second place Abzan Midrange piloted by Justin Porchas was much more straightforward than the fourth place deck that Alexander Lien built. Lien was trying to do what dos Santos Vieira did in Chile, while Porchas’s build was more controlling and opted to toe the line with the previously well-placing Abzan builds.

Joshua Velasco’s GB Constellation build was unique. The eighth-place list had a playset of [card]Genesis Hydra[/card] in the deck and was a fully stocked creature build that focused on ramping up quickly to deploy an early Polukranos to fight some guys. The other GB Constellation builds were very similar, playing the self-mill strategy to [card]Whip of Erebos[/card] out a threat in addition to ramping up to deploy [card]Doomwake Giant[/card] or [card]Hornet Queen[/card]. Noticeably absent from all three of these builds was [card]See the Unwritten[/card], the green mythic rare sorcery from Khans that many players were salivating over after Jon Finkel was seen playing it during the PT. It looks like See the Unwritten isn’t quite as good as players initially thought, so until more support is printed for the card, I don’t think we’ll be seeing players cast it for a while in Standard.

SCG Open: Oakland, CA (USA) – Legacy

Decklists

The story of this tournament is Dredge, which put three people into the Top 16 of the event and was the deck that took down the tournament. Joseph Moreno opted to play a land-light main deck that focused solely on the [card]Bridge from Below[/card] plan of generating tons of zombies. He only played one [card]Dread Return[/card] in the main deck without any reanimation targets like [card]Griselbrand[/card] or [card]Flame-Kin Zealot[/card]. Sometimes a huge [card]Golgari Grave-Troll[/card] gets there. His sideboard only made his deck faster by having three [card]Lotus Petal[/card]s to speed up his clock. I liked that he included three [card]Abrupt Decay[/card] as a catch-all to get rid of any hate that his opponent would sideboard in. He had a backup [card]Dread Return[/card] plan for Iona out of the board, though it was interesting he did not include a Dread Return game plan in the main deck.

Two of the Dredge decks had a full playset of [card]Mana Confluence[/card[ in the main deck. This bodes well for its foil price long-term. Currently foils are around $30, which is high, but I don’t think they are going to go lower than this. It is a third-set rare, which means regular copies are already harder to come by than usual. Foils will be even harder to find as time goes on. I’m assuming that this will be reprinted at some point. However, if you pick up foil copies, I don’t think you’re going to lose when the reprint happens.

ANT, Goblins, and Lands all made the Top 8 of this tournament as well. These decks are all very good in Legacy but I wasn’t sure if they would be able to go toe-to-toe with [card]Treasure Cruise[/card] and all of the U/R Delver that is flying around in Legacy right now. Looks like they were able to beat their fair share throughout the day.

ANT was a fairly typical build that Randolph Gille piloted to a third-place finish. He made a comment that black discard is really good in Legacy right now, as it helps stop a Treasure Cruise before it happens. He main decked three [card]Cabal Therapy[/card]s in a creatureless deck to back up this statement. Looks like it helped him that day, because even though he didn’t win, he still managed to get third place.

Goblins is something we haven’t seen in a while. Richard Liu preferred to draw four cards and have a 2/2 with haste rather than delving for Treasure Cruise and three cards. A main deck [card]Goblin Settler[/card] was an interesting choice. This random Starter 1999 uncommon is worth $45 TCGplayer mid, which is quite the hefty price tag. The card certainly isn’t [card]Grim Tutor[/card], but wow, did Starter 1999 really put upward pressure on some of the better cards.

Kiki-Jiki also made an appearance in this deck. Even though there weren’t any [card]Siege-Gang Commander[/card]s to copy, there were definitely some juicy targets in [card]Tuktuk Scrapper[/card], [card]Stingscourger[/card], [card]Mogg War Marshal[/card], [card]Goblin Ringleader[/card], and [card]Goblin Matron[/card]. Four copies of [card]Cavern of Souls[/card] is pretty much the only way this deck even has game against Miracles, but I thought including the two [card]Pendelhaven[/card] main deck was also pretty cute. Also, three [card]Pyrokinesis[/card] and two [card]Tarfire[/card] main deck were great tools to help fight against Delver. The sideboard had the white cards that Plateau can play, [card]Rest in Peace[/card] and [card]Thalia, Guardian of Thraben[/card], to help in difficult matchups.

The version of Lands that made the Top 8 was very grindy. It included such wonders as [card]Zuran Orb[/card], [card]Crucible of Worlds[/card], and [card]Engineered Explosives[/card] in the main deck, which along with [card]Punishing Fire[/card] and [card]Grove of the Burnwillows[/card] ensured that nothing with toughness two or less survived very long. Zack Wong opted to play many different one-of lands in the deck, such as [card]Academy Ruins[/card], [card]Bojuka Bog[/card], [card]Glacial Chasm[/card], and even [card]Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth[/card] to help lands that don’t make mana start making it. I bet this worked great with the [card]Intuition[/card]s to help him out in various situations.

The kill, of course, was [card]Thespian’s Stage[/card] and [card]Dark Depths[/card], but it seems like without [card]Crop Rotation[/card] it would take quite a while to get there. [card]Notion Thief[/card] out of the sideboard is pretty funny—guess I’ll draw those three cards off [card]Treasure Cruise[/card] instead of you. [card]Nephalia Drownyard[/card] is an interesting sideboard choice as well. It probably came in for the mirror match or against other control decks as an additional clock for victory.

Tin Fins made the Top 16 of the tournament. This deck relies on [card]Children of Korlis[/card] in order to assist [card]Griselbrand[/card] in drawing you cards so that eventually the deck can kill you with [card]Trendrils of Agony[/card]. This feels like a bad mashup of Sneak and Show and Storm but if you’ve never seen the deck than it could be pretty hard to fight against it. The deck plays four [card]Shallow Grave[/card]s, which spiked a while back to $25, but has now come back down to earth and settled at $8.50 TCGplayer mid. If you want to play the deck, I would pick up [card]Shallow Grave[/card]s before they go back to more than $10 if the deck puts up good results at GP New Jersey.

BONUS – SCG Premier IQ Oakland, CA (USA) – Modern

Decklists

At Oakland, Star City Games also hosted a Modern Invitational Qualifier and I’m interested in seeing the results of that. It has been a while since I’ve covered Modern and it would be helpful to see how Khans has impacted the format.

First place was taken by Alan Marling piloting Affinity. Affinity has been one of the mainstays of the Modern format since its inception. These days, Affinity is playing [card]Ensoul Artifact[/card] to help speed up the clock on the aggro plan. Marling’s deck also plays two copies of [card]Spell Pierce[/card] in the main deck, which I’m guessing is used to help fight the influx of [card]Treasure Cruise[/card] in Modern. I also noticed a playset of [card]Spellskite[/card]s in the main deck. It is pretty unusual to see a playset of Spellskite in any deck, but with Affinity I can understand this, due to it being an artifact and helping draw all of the removal away from cards like [card]Memnite[/card], [card]Ornithopter[/card], and [card]Signal Pest[/card]. Other than these additions, the list contains all the usual suspects like [card]Mox Opal[/card], [card]Cranial Plating[/card], [card]Steel Overseer[/card], and [card]Vault Skirge[/card].

Second place went to a Temur Midrange deck, which played everything but the Splinter Twin combo. This deck was a pure control deck, playing tons of spells and adding [card]Dig Through Time[/card] in order to pick the best spell for a particular situation. [card]Vedalken Shackles[/card] in the main deck is an interesting choice that probably surprised some folks, considering that this a three-color deck. There are nine islands in the deck, so on average, only about three to four them were on the field at any given time. However, Shackles worked well for Yiwen Song, who was able to take the deck to the finals.

Third place went to R/U Burn, an existing Burn archetype that got even better now that [card]Treasure Cruise[/card] has been added to the format. Based on the Burn deck that splashed white for [card]Boros Charm[/card] to take down GP Kobe, burn decks these days are adding blue as well in order to cast Cruise. So they’ve become these R/w/u monstrosities that are able to kill very quickly if you are not prepared for it.

Rounding out the rest of the Top 8 were WG Hexproof, Infect, another Burn deck, UR Twin, and another Affinity build. [card]Become Immense[/card] was a two-of in the Infect deck, which means that you should be on the lookout for it in Infect moving forward. The card is very powerful in the deck, but only two copies were played because if you get too many over the course of a game, eventually they will be uncastable.

Summary

Plenty of interesting results this weekend. Here’s some highlights:

  • Standard
    • [card]Soul of Theros[/card] looks to be a real card in Abzan. It’s still only $1.50 on TCGPlayer, which is pretty cheap for a backbreaking mythic rare that probably has plenty of casual appeal as well. I’ll be picking up a few copies because it is still essentially a bulk mythic rare at this price.
    • Anafenza is showing up in Abzan Aggro lists. She has some room to drop but I will be on the lookout for copies once they get to $3 or less.
    • Temur Aggro will be a deck moving forward. Keep an eye on [card]Rattleclaw Mystic[/card], [card]Savage Knuckleblade[/card], [card]Ashcloud Phoenix[/card], and especially [card]Boon Satyr[/card].
    • Like Anafenza, Sidisi has room to drop as well without more results. At $1.50 or less she gets more appealing to me.
    • Don’t fret too much over the Jeskai Heroic Combo deck. There isn’t much opportunity in the deck and it seems like a very hard deck to play once people start boarding in hate to deal with it. The only noteworthy rare is [card]Chasm Skulker[/card] out of the sideboard, but I feel like the boat has already passed for it at $2.
    • [card]See the Unwritten[/card] is less played than initially thought. Don’t expect much from this card financially until it reappears in a Top 8 deck sometime in the future.
  • Modern
    • [card]Spellskite[/card] has started rising again. It is $19 on TCGPlayer and could continue to go up until it sees a reprint. If Affinity starts adopting the playset in the main deck, it could continue to go up.
    • [card]Dig Through Time[/card] is also appearing in Modern alongside of [card]Treasure Cruise[/card]. At $7 TCGplayer mid, there is room to drop. Once this rare gets down to $3.50 or less, it will be time to move in and start picking up copies.
    • [card]Become Immense[/card] has made its way into Modern Infect builds. I would target foils accordingly at $1 or less.
  • Legacy
    • Foil [card]Mana Confluence[/card] looks good since Dredge has easily adopted this land over [card]City of Brass[/card], at least in main decks.
    • [card]Goblin Settler[/card] is $45 and hard to find. I don’t think these results are going to increase the card’s price by themselves, but if Goblins places well at GP New Jersey playing this card, you can definitely expect some increased interest in it.
    • [card]Shallow Grave[/card] has gotten more affordable lately. It could certainly spike if Tin Fins does well. I don’t like buying them at $8.50, but I would trade for them at that price.
    • C14 [card]Daretti, Scrap Savant[/card] could spur interest in the mono-red Painter decks. [card]Grindstone[/card], [card]Painter’s Servant[/card], and [card]Imperial Recruiter[/card] may become financially relevant if Painter starts showing up more.

Weekend Magic: 10/24 – 10/26

We continue to dive deeper into the Standard metagame this week with three Standard tournaments. This weekend there was a Star City Games Open in Minneapolis, MN, in addition to Grand Prix Stockholm. We can’t discount the Legacy being played on Sunday at the Star City Open, so I will cover that as well. In addition, this weekend also featured the TCGPlayer MaxPoint Series $50,000 Championship tournament, which gives us even more data on the new Standard format.

Finally, this weekend also included an event called Eternal Weekend. This is a series of tournaments that is hosted once per year in Philadelphia, PA, that has both a Legacy Championship and Vintage Championship tournament back to back on Saturday and Sunday. Keep in mind, the Vintage Championships is sanctioned, so all players are playing with real Moxen, [card]Black Lotus[/card]es, [card]Time Walk[/card]s, and [card]Ancestral Recall[/card]s, which I think is pretty insane.

That’s a lot of information to cover! Let’s start with GP Stockholm.

Grand Prix Stockholm – Stockholm, SE

Format – Standard

Decklists

Since the format is so wide open for Standard at this point, I don’t think there is much difference between the European and American metagames just yet—I think many of the Standard lists are going to be similar to what we’ve seen already over the past month.

That being said, the winner of the tournament was a Jeskai list piloted by Matej Zatlkaj, which was based on Sean McLaren’s build at Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir—but with a few twists. Still included in the deck are your [card]Seeker of the Way[/card], [card]Mantis Rider[/card], and [card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/card], along with the burn package of [card]Magma Jet[/card], [card]Lightning Strike[/card], [card]Jeskai Charm[/card], and [card]Stoke the Flames[/card]. Different cards include [card]Brimaz, King of Orekos[/card], [card]Ashcloud Phoenix[/card], and a lack of [card]Dig Through Time[/card] (only one was in the decklist). Instead, there are one-ofs, [card]Gods Willing[/card] and [card]Banishing Light[/card], which seemed like they helped, since Zatlkaj won the tournament.

Good picks from this list include [card]Temple of Triumph[/card], which was found as a playset and is worth $4.75 (all prices cited in this article are based on TCGplayer mid). [card]Temple of Epiphany[/card] is worth $11.30 and is also a playset in the deck. There are probably more Triumphs than Epiphanys out there, given that Ephiphany is from Journey, but Temple of Triumph still seems like a good pickup to me if you can get copies for $4 or less. I think Temple of Triumph only has room to grow over the next few months with Jeskai being a very popular deck.

The second place deck was Temur Aggro, which is something to note because we haven’t really seen many Temur decks do that well at large-scale events yet. This Temur Aggro deck had playsets of [card]Savage Knuckblade[/card], [card]Polukranos, World Eater[/card], [card]Rattleclaw Mystic[/card], and [card]Boon Satyr[/card]. Boon Satyr is less than $1 right now, which means that it could be a good speculation target going into the winter, especially if Temur Aggro starts getting more popular. [card]Savage Knuckleblade[/card] is also an appealing pickup if you can get copies for less than $3. I believe that [card]Rattleclaw Mystic[/card] doesn’t have much room to climb, so wait until the market is flooded before you move on the Mystic. [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card] and [card]Crater’s Claws[/card] have shown up in the deck similar to previous lists. I think you should get in on these cards before they start moving up in price.

The rest of the Top 8 included Abzan Midrange, two Golgari Constellation (BG Devotion) decks, another copy of Jeskai Tempo, Red Deck Wins, and Sultai Aggro.

The BG Devotion decks were slightly different in build. Lukas Blohon opted to go with a more consistent list that did not include [card]See the Unwritten[/card], while Matteo Cirigliano opted to cut a few creatures in order to include three See the Unwritten and an additional copy of [card]Whip of Erebos[/card]. Cirigliano was also more focused on the [card]Doomwake Giant[/card] endgame, since Blohon only included two Doomwake Giants and instead tried out [card]Brain Maggot[/card] and Pharika in the main deck. I’m not sure which version is better, but [card]See the Unwritten[/card] still looks good to me at $4 or less because the B/G devotion decks are trying to make it work, and with some success.

Sultai Aggro, also known as the “Sidisi-Whip” deck, since it included playsets of both [card]Sidisi, Brood Tyrant[/card] and [card]Whip of Erebos[/card], tries to get more advantage from a longer game and pseudo-dredge attrition. It looks like the Sidisi-Whip deck is finally a real deck, so Whip of Erebos could be worth picking up at less than $2 if it continues to do well. [card]Sagu Mauler[/card] also appeared in this deck, with two copies in the main deck and one in the sideboard. This seems like a great casual card in addition to being tournament playable. I think getting Maulers for $1 or less is a good pickup.

Star City Games: Minneapolis, MN (USA) – Standard

Format – Standard

Decklists

Next we have the SCG Open in Minneapolis, another Standard event that happened the past weekend. The winner of this tournament was Andrew Johnson, piloting Jeskai Aggro. Another win for Jeskai! His version was more control-oriented, so the aggro part of the name is somewhat of a misnomer. His only creatures were four [card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/card], four [card]Mantis Rider[/card], and two [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card]. He was also main-decking two [card]Anger of the Gods[/card] with one in the board. He opted to play [card]Banishing Light[/card], similar to Matej Zatlkaj in Stockholm. There isn’t much financially relevant info based on the deck that hasn’t been mentioned before.

Second place went to Jeremy Bylander, who was piloting UW Control, a new archetype that we haven’t seen in a Top 8 list yet. Things to note in this deck are four main-deck [card]End Hostilities[/card], which has usually been a sideboard card in decks where we’ve seen it. However, the UW Control list wants to play it main deck to ensure the ability to wipe the board. [card]Prognostic Sphinx[/card] and [card]Elspeth, Sun’s Champion[/card] are the win conditions, but unfortunately, there is not a lot financially relevant there. If Prognostic Sphinx does go up in price, I don’t think it will go beyond $3. [card]Devouring Light[/card] is a card used in the deck that hasn’t been seen yet.

This UW Control deck used a lot of commons and uncommons so I wanted to know the price of the deck as a whole. If you want to play this deck, it will set you back $345. Pretty cheap for a Standard control deck right now.

The other decks rounding out the Top 8 include two copies of Abzan Midrange, GR Monsters, Mardu Midrange, another copy of Jeskai Aggro, and Temur Monsters. Abzan and Jeskai have been beaten to death at this point, so let’s take a look at the other decks.

Xenagos appeared in the GR Monsters list, which means he is still relevant in Standard. [card]Butcher of the Horde[/card] and [card]Sorin, Solemn Visitor[/card] appeared as three-ofs in Mardu Midrange, in addition to three [card]Chained to the Rocks[/card], which is looking like it will be played in the Mardu decks throughout Theros Standard. [card]Hordeling Outburst[/card] was a playset in this deck, which means that your Butchers can continue to be fed and your Goblin Rabblemaster will be extra pumped. Finally, Temur Monsters played the full playset of [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card] and [card]Savage Knuckblade[/card], which to me signals that they will continue to see Standard play throughout their lifetimes. Also, [card]Crater’s Claws[/card] appeared in both the G/R list and Temur Monsters list. That makes me even more excited to pick up copies at $1 or less.

TCGPlayer Maxpoint Series $50,000 Championship (Indianapolis, IN – USA)

Format – Standard

Decklists

Yet another Standard tournament, the TCGPlayer Maxpoint Series $50,000 Championship was taken down by Mardu Midrange. You know, I really am disappointed that some form of Jeskai couldn’t pull a hat trick this weekend and take down all three large Standard tournaments. Guess Jeskai can’t have it all.

Not only did the winning deck, which was piloted by Andrew Baeckstrom, take down the tournament but second place was also a Mardu Midrange list, in addition to a third placing in the Top 8. Let’s take a look at the numbers of cards these decks played.

[deck title=Number of Copies Among Three Mardu Midrange Decks]
[Mythic Rare]
7 Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
6 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
4 Wingmate Roc
3 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
[/mythic rare]
[Rare]
12 Bloodstained Mire
12 Butcher of the Horde
12 Crackling Doom
12 Goblin Rabblemaster
9 Battlefield Forge
9 Chained to the Rocks
9 Temple of Triumph
6 Caves of Koilos
6 Temple of Silence
[/rare]
[Uncommon]
12 Hordeling Outburst
12 Nomad Outpost
11 Seeker of the Way
3 Murderous Cut
2 Magma Jet
[/uncommon]
[Common]
12 Lightning Strike
[/common]
[/deck]

Apparently Brad Nelson was right: [card]Hordeling Outburst[/card] is indeed a card. If this token maker, along with the other pieces of the Mardu Midrange deck, was able to put three people into the Top 8 of a tournament, then Mardu is something I definitely want to keep an eye on moving into the future. Twelve copies of [card]Butcher of the Horde[/card] were played across all three decks, combining with Rabblemaster and Butcher to create some great game states for the Mardu player.

[card]Wingmate Roc[/card] isn’t played as much in these decks as it is in Abzan which is ironic since it has a Mardu watermark. Again, [card]Chained to the Rocks[/card] keeps showing up in these Mardu lists, so if you think you are going to play Mardu, you should pick up some of these for bulk since it will only get rarer once Theros stops getting printed.

Outside of Mardu, we have RG Midrange, Temur Midrange, and [card]Jeskai Ascendency[/card] Combo showing up in the Top 8, along with (of course) two Abzan Midrange decks. Again let’s talk about the non-Abzan decks.

The RG Midrange deck was interesting. It played four [card]Chord of Calling[/card] in addition to three [card]Setessan Tactics[/card] in the main deck, both of which combo with the four [card]Hornet Nest[/card]s the deck played. It was certainly an interesting build based on the surprise factor, since I’m sure not many people saw the Nest / Tactics combo coming. However, this can easily be played around if you’re aware of it. I don’t think either of these cards is going to see a substantial increase from the results, unless of course this combo is the real deal and I’m just not seeing it. Also present were two copies of [card]Nissa, Worldwaker[/card] in the main deck—she hasn’t been forgotten about yet, even though her results in Standard decks have been dwindling. Still, she hasn’t budged from around $35 regardless of the amount of play she has been seeing. Hold your copies for now, since I think she could still see play from time to time in Standard over her life.

The different part of this Temur build was that it was playing four [card]Ashcloud Phoenix[/card]es in the main deck, which is something to note if you like the card. Ashcloud has room to drop, but in the Standard of next year it could be quite the bomb. I will be targeting this card once the Khans lull hits us in anticipation of its play next Standard season. For now, pick them up if you want to play with them. However, I would not go too deep on the card.

Lastly, I want to mention the Jeskai Ascendency combo deck. There’s nothing new to note here, it is pretty much the list from the Pro Tour, however Jeskai Ascendency itself has taken a real dive from the $10 Pro Tour spike it experienced. It is back around $3, I guess because people have anticipated its banning in Modern for some reason? Either that or they know how to play well against it in order to beat it in Modern? Not sure, but I would stay away from Jeskai Ascendency for a while. Wait for more copies to hit the market and the price to stabilize a bit more.

Star City Games: Minneapolis, MN (USA) – Legacy

Format – Legacy

Decklists

Alright, we’ve finally gotten to the Legacy parts of the weekend. First up is the SCG Legacy Open in Minneapolis. Jeskai Delver (which, if you don’t know, is just the new name for what was previously American Delver), piloted by Anthony Leen, took down the event. Again, the only new thing is [card]Treasure Cruise[/card], which showed up as a three-of in the deck. Another thing to note is that [card]Meddling Mage[/card] was in the deck’s sideboard as a playset and is currently around $6. The Meddler seems to be popping up more and more in Legacy lists these days, and has gone from $2 to $6 over the last year, but it still has room to grow as long as it is not reprinted. The Modern implications are also present, but I feel like it can die much easier in that format.

Second place went to Miracles, which isn’t really that shocking. What is interesting is that this Miracles build played the [card]Helm of Obedience[/card]/[card]Rest in Peace[/card] combo in the main deck to kill people in one shot (essentially one shot—they would still have an untap step the following turn). Another interesting observation is that the deck played three copies of [card]Geist of Saint Traft[/card] in the sideboard. Both inclusions are not something you see in every Miracles build.

Third and fourth place were quite interesting. These spots went to Lands and Slivers respectively. Lands is definitely a pet deck, so even though cards like [card]Mox Diamond[/card] made an appearance again, I’m not sure if they are financially relevant quite yet. The win for Lands includes the [card]Thespian’s Stage[/card]/[card]Dark Depths[/card] combo while using the [card]Grove of the Burnwillows[/card]/[card]Punishing Fire[/card] synergy to help out with controlling the board until you get a Marit Lage token.

Slivers was the spiciest deck of this tournament. This version was a spin on the classic Counter Slivers strategy, playing [card]Force of Will[/card] and [card]Daze[/card] in addition to [card]Aether Vial[/card] and a ton of cheap slivers for value. It’s essentially another version of Merfolk, but with cheaper lords and better lord effects like [card]Crystalline Sliver[/card]’s “All slivers have shroud” or [card]Hibernation Sliver[/card]’s ability to save any of your slivers from death or exile at the cost of two life per sliver.

[card]Cavern of Souls[/card] and [card]Sliver Hive[/card] really make this four-color sliver deck’s mana smooth—the deck doesn’t even play any [card]City of Brass[/card] or [card]Mana Confluence[/card]! The four-color deck even played four [card]Mutavault[/card]s, which appears to be super greedy. The only financially relevant item from this deck is foil [card]Sliver Hive[/card], which can be had for $10 from TCGplayer. I think that is a fine buy-in price for foils of this land. I only see Sliver Hive gaining popularity in the future from casuals and potential Legacy enthusiasts that have a Slivers pet deck.

The rest of the Top 8 included U/R Painter, Storm, Reanimator, and U/R Delver—all decks that have been in the recent metagame in some form or another. Nothing much financially relevant in any of these decks right now.

Eternal Weekend – Legacy Championship (Philadelphia, PA – USA)

Format – Legacy

Decklists

The Eternal Weekend Legacy Championship also happened this weekend. U/R Delver took down the event, piloted by Kevin Jones. Nothing new financially relevant here, except that maybe [card]Treasure Cruise[/card] could be banned during the next update. I’m not saying it should or shouldn’t, but I can’t discount the rumors that have been floating around pertaining to its ban. If banned, it obviously has implications for the foil price.

Two Jeskai Aggro lists made the Top 8, along with Maverick, BUG Threshold, Canadian Threshold, Tez Control, and another U/R Delver list.

If Maverick makes a comeback in Legacy, expect [card]Knight of the Reliquary[/card] to see an uptick in price. Also expect [card]Green Sun’s Zenith[/card] to start seeing upward mobility. However, I think Maverick has been relegated to the pet deck category at this point, and I don’t think any cards in the deck are financially relevant outside Knight and Zenith.

Looking at Tez Control, we can see that there are plenty of Stax components to the deck, like [card]Chalice of the Void[/card] and [card]Trinisphere[/card]. However, the deck also plays four main-deck [card]Leyline of the Void[/card] along with two main-deck [card]Ensnaring Bridge[/card]. The deck also plays the [card]Thopter Foundry[/card]/[card]Sword of the Meek[/card] combo, which can be brought out with [card]Transmute Artifact[/card]. Unfortunately, Transmute Artifact already spiked once this deck started making waves in Legacy, so I don’t think there is opportunity there. The deck’s namesake, [card]Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas[/card], is around $17 and could continue climbing without a reprint if Tez Control garners a few more players amongst the Legacy crowd.

Eternal Weekend – Vintage Championship (Philadelphia, PA – USA)

Format – Vintage

Decklists

Mark Tocco took down the event playing [card]Oath of Druids[/card], with [card]Griselbrand[/card] and [card]Jace, the Mind Sculptor[/card] as win conditions. Griselbrand is seeing Legacy play as well, but unfortunately, he is next year’s GP Promo, so that will stabilize his price for at least the next year as more copies enter the market.

There isn’t much financially relevant in Vintage except for [card]Treasure Cruise[/card] making waves in this format too. Randy Buehler was extolling the virtues of the card all weekend and commented that he believes during the next B/R announcement that Cruise should be restricted in Vintage along with [card]Chalice of the Void[/card] (because I guess apparently Stax, the artifact prison deck, is getting out of hand in the format). UR Delver has become quite insane in Vintage due to Treasure Cruise. [card]Young Pyromancer[/card] and friends were nicking away at players’ life totals the entire tournament.

Another note to be made is that [card]Dack Fayden[/card] is quite nuts in Vintage due to all these Stax variants floating around. Foils have already climbed up to $280 and haven’t budged from there. Non-foils are around $20 now, about a third of the release price of $60. I think the time to pick up non-foil Dacks is approaching, especially since Conspiracy wasn’t opened nearly as much as people thought it was going to be. You also have to consider that Dack is a sweet planeswalker and is going to continue being a casual hit in the long run.

Summary

Wow, there were so many tournaments this weekend! Some of the highlights include:

  • Standard
    • Mardu is starting to do quite well for itself. Cards to watch out for include [card]Butcher of the Horde[/card], [card]Crackling Doom[/card], and [card]Chained to the Rocks[/card].
    • Temur is starting to appear in Top 8 lists. [card]Savage Knuckleblade[/card] should be on your radar in addition to [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card] and [card]Boon Satyr[/card].
    • BG Devotion is still putting up results. [card]Whip of Erebos[/card] is a good pickup since it sees play in BG Devotion and the Sultai Aggro (Sidisi-Whip) deck.
    • [card]Sagu Mauler[/card] is a good spec if you can get copies for $1 or less
    • [card]Ashcloud Phoenix[/card] appears across multiple archetypes, though not as a playset. Definitely something to watch closely, but the price really shouldn’t spike until Standard season of next year since it is not included consistently in any one deck as a playset.
    • [card]Jeskai Ascendency[/card] has tanked in price. If you want to play the Standard combo deck, the card is quite cheap right now. However, if you want to speculate on it for Modern, I would wait a bit more until more copies enter the market to get the lowest price.
    • [card]Hornet Nest[/card] could be a decent spec if you can out them to casual players. Otherwise, I would avoid it for other cards.
  • Legacy
    • [card]Treasure Cruise[/card] is still doing quite well. Talk of a ban has been rumored but if it doesn’t get banned at the next B/R announcement, then I would suggest picking up foils.
    • If Maverick turns out to be more than a pet deck, then [card]Knight of the Reliquary[/card] could be a good pickup.
    • [card]Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas[/card] isn’t getting any cheaper without a reprint. Pick this guy up if you like him in anticipation for GP New Jersey.
    • Foils of [card]Sliver Hive[/card] look good to me for mostly reasons outside Legacy (Commander and casual appeal).
  • Vintage
    • Not much financially relevant here, except again watch out for foil [card]Treasure Cruise[/card] and both foils and non-foils of [card]Dack Fayden[/card].
    • Griselbrand would have been a good pickup if not for the GP Promo. Stay away until the market becomes saturated to get a good price.

Weekend Magic: 10/17-10/20

As Khans of Tarkir continues to showcase itself across all of Standard, more results keep coming in that will solidify the decks we will continue to see over the next year. Last weekend Star City Games: Worcester (MA) and Grand Prix Los Angeles added more excitement to Standard by showcasing the power of new decks and twists on existing archetypes. In addition, results at the Legacy Open at Worcester will show how [card]Treasure Cruise[/card] and [card]Monastery Swiftspear[/card] have shaken up Legacy. Let’s go!

Grand Prix Los Angeles, US (GP LA)

Format – Standard

Decklists

Not surprising was that Abzan decks were dominating the Top 8 of the tournament. However, the finals were a match between G/R Devotion and Rabble Red. Something notably absent from all the lists? The color blue! Does this mean that blue is dead? Certainly not, as we’ve seen that players at the Pro Tour are able to do quite well with Jeskai. At this particular event, the linear strategies seemed to be key in pushing through 1700+ players in order to launch players into day two of the tournament and ultimately the Top 8.

The winner of the event was Daniel Scheid playing G/R Devotion. Included in the deck were four copies of [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card]—a card that I claimed was undervalued last week after I wrote about what happened at PT Khans. Stormbreath is the real deal, and with Jeskai Tempo and Abzan still running rampant everywhere (and Mardu popping up from time to time), it only stands to gain as the winter months go on.

stormbreathdragon

Other cards to watch from the winning deck include [card]Crater’s Claws[/card], [card]Xenagos, the Reveler[/card], and [card]Temple of Abandon[/card]. Based on comments from Emostarcraft on the /r/spikes subreddit, the deck has real power:

“In playtesting, we had what seemed to be a 70% win rate against abzan, 55% against jeskai, and control was just a joke (you have to try to lose). The only somewhat difficult matchup is ascendancy combo.”

The format is still pretty open and the dominant decks will slowly show themselves over the next few months. Based on this win, it looks like G/R Devotion could be one of those top decks. More results will need to come in before any conclusions can be made, but if you want to play G/R Devotion, you should pick up your Theros and M15 needs sooner rather than later, including [card]Hornet Queen[/card] and [card]Genesis Hydra[/card]. Even [card]Anger of the Gods[/card] is looking pretty good right now, as Star City Games is sold out at $5 and the buy list price on the card seems to be going up.

The second-place deck was Rabble Red, which as everyone knows is this Standard rotation’s version of mono-red aggro. The one thing I noticed about this deck is the land count—I play more than 17 lands in my Legacy decks, yikes! Guess it was fine, though, since Dennis Ulanov got second place and all. Nothing financially relevant here barring [card]Eidolon of the Great Revel[/card], which has creeped up to $8 per copy on TCGplayer. If you want copies on the cheap, you are going to have to wait until rotation next year for them to go down.

You wouldn’t know this from my first paragraph in this section, but the Abzan decks were split into two camps—Abzan Aggro and Abzan Midrange. Both decks might seem similar at first glance if you just read the posted deck names, but looking at the lists tells a different story. Midrange does what Ari’s deck did to win the Pro Tour, which is to grind out the games long enough to drop a critical mass of planeswalkers to overwhelm the opponent. The aggro list runs cards like [card]Anafenza, the Foremost[/card], [card]Rakshasa Deathdealer[/card], and [card]Herald of Torment[/card] in order to establish a faster clock while casting [card]Siege Rhino[/card] as the upper end of the curve.

rakshasadeathdealer

Both types of Abzan lists shared three copies of [card]Sorin, Solemn Visitor[/card] across both the main decks and sideboards, which means that he seems to be the real deal for Abzan players. Based on these results, I’m not sure how far he is going to drop, but I can’t imagine he will be below $20 again if he continues to be included in the Abzan decks.

Finally, another Rabble Red deck and Mardu Midrange deck rounded out the Top 8. Brad Nelson’s version of Mardu Midrange included four [card]Butcher of the Horde[/card], which means that Butcher is certainly powerful. However, Mardu is unfortunately in an archetype that seems to be trailing Abzan, Jeskai, and Temur in terms of popularity. I’ve heard that Sidisi showed up the at the GP, though like Mardu, the Sultai don’t seem to be putting up an impressive showing—at least not yet. The format is in the process of being solved and Butcher could still shine as more cards are added to the Standard card pool.

Star City Games: Worcester, MA (USA) – Standard

Format – Standard

Decklists

If you check out the #SCGWOR Twitter feed you will see that the finals of this tournament are quite controversial. The winner, Trevor Humphries, allegedly cheated on camera by shuffling nonland cards to the top of his opponent’s library. Players believe he never changed the top ten cards of the deck and forced his opponent to mulligan to five cards on game one to play one land off the top in the second game. See this reddit post for more details. I’m not here to comment either way, I just wanted to point out that ultimately the result of this situation could be a change in the tournament results.

Anyways, back to the cards—the “winning” deck was Jeskai aggro, which also placed fourth in the tournament getting two of them to the Top 8. What’s the difference between Jeskai Aggro and Jeskai Tempo? I’m not sure, but besides [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card] and [card]Narset, Enlightened Master[/card] appearing, [card]Brimaz, King of Oreskos[/card] appeared as a 3-of in the “winning” deck, which will further stabilize his price for now (with future increases down the line if he continues to show up in top Standard lists).

brimaz

Again, we have three Abzan midrange decks that don’t really offer any insights besides that [card]Ajani, Mentor of Heroes[/card] is still looking pretty good to me right now.

Some different additions to the Top 8 include G/B devotion and Temur Midrange. G/B devotion plays a strategy that revolves around [card]Doomwake Giant[/card], [card]Eidolon of Blossoms[/card], and [card]Courser of Kruphix[/card] in order to constantly kill [card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/card] tokens and other annoying creatures turn after turn. The deck also featured a playset of [card]See the Unwritten[/card], which was a card that spiked during PT Khans due to the camera time it saw when Finkel was playing with it. [card]See the Unwritten[/card] could still do some work going into the Standard season, so watch out for it.

Temur Midrange featured all kinds of interesting cards, including a playset of both [card]Savage Knuckleblade[/card] and [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card]. Two copies of Kiora is also something to note, as she hasn’t budged from $20 (even without a lick of Standard play!). I don’t think this one Temur deck getting eighth place at an SCG Open is going to change that price, but if you’re thinking of playing Temur Midrange and including her, you may want to trade for your copies. Xenagos also appeared here, meaning his $15 price isn’t going down.

kiorathecrashingwave

Star City Games: Worcester, MA (USA) – Legacy

Format – Legacy

Decklists

Ben Glancy took down the Legacy portion of the SCG Open piloting Esper Deathblade, a spin on the popular Stoneblade variants. His version opted to play three copies of [card]Treasure Cruise[/card] in the main deck, which got me thinking—how many Treasure Cruises are there in this Top 8? My count was fourteen copies, which is plenty. However, this also means that not every blue deck opted to play [card]Treasure Cruise[/card]. What I’m trying to figure out is if the $20 foil price tag of the card is worth it right now. It appears that many decks don’t bother running it and seem to do okay, but the results of the last few major Legacy tournaments have indicated that decks that run Treasure Cruise seem to take down the event. We haven’t had many results to confirm this yet, as Khans has just come out, but right now it looks like Treasure Cruise has added power to Legacy that hasn’t been seen before. Still though, Delver foils were $5 for the longest time and are still less than Treasure Cruise foils at $15—and this is with a deck named after the card. Common sense tells me to stay away from Treasure Cruise foils for a while until the release hype dies down.

treasurecruise

Counting up [card]Monastery Swiftspear[/card], there were eight copies in the Top 8—certainly a card that is powerful, though not format-defining. For now, it is restricted to U/R Delver solely. The other Delver variants opted to play [card]True-Name Nemesis[/card], [card]Deathrite Shaman[/card], and other more established cards over it. She is certainly making waves, but not totally dominating yet.

Elves is still putting up results, with two people getting into the Top 8 of this tournament with the deck. Nothing new was offered from either version, so if anything goes up due to these results, it will be long-standing staples like [card]Gaea’s Cradle[/card], [card]Glimpse of Nature[/card], and [card]Natural Order[/card]. I don’t expect any to spike overnight, though as I’ve mentioned in previous articles, Elves seems to be really popular right now, and with GP New Jersey coming up in a month, it will be a great time to liquidate any Legacy staples you have.

Along with Delver variants and Elves, Miracles rounds out our Top 8—because hey, it wouldn’t be a Legacy tournament without the most popular control deck placing well in addition to the aggro and combo decks. No [card]Treasure Cruise[/card]s to be seen here, just a solid build based on the existing archetype.

counterbalance

Something to note is that Reanimator is still popular, as it got second place at SCG Edison and placed 10th, 12th, and 15th at Worcester. [card]Entomb[/card] could be something to look out for since it is one of the backbones of the deck and is around $25 now. With a win at GP New Jersey, that could easily spike.

Summary

For Standard, cards that are stabilizing in price include [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card] and [card]Brimaz, King of Oreskos[/card]. These are mythic rares that are starting to see play now that Theros block is the majority of the card pool in Standard and should become better as the format stabilizes. Speculations right now include [card]Butcher of the Horde[/card], [card]Doomwake Giant[/card], and [card]Rakshasha Deathdealer[/card] (if Abzan Aggro becomes more played than Abzan Midrange).

In terms of Legacy, I will give you the advice I’ve peddled in the past: go for Elves pieces. Many have stabilized in price without budging for basically the entire past year. Eventually, if the deck becomes popular enough, I believe one of them is bound to spike as we approach GP New Jersey.

Thanks for reading!

Weekend Magic: 10/10-10/12 (Pro Tour KTK Edition)

Welcome back, guys! I have some very exciting things to share with you today thanks to Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir happening last weekend. Many Magic players believe that the Pro Tour solidifies the decks that we will be seeing until the end of January, so based on the results, cards that were previously undervalued spike during and shortly after the weekend. I will analyze the top eight decks, what cards have already spiked from the results, and what cards I think are still undervalued even after the weekend. Let’s go!

Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir – Top 8 Decklists Data

Decklists

Results:

1st – Ari Lax (Abzan Midrange)

2nd – Shaun McLaren (Jeskai Wins)

3rd – Thiago Saporito (Abzan Midrange)

4th – Mike Sigrist (Abzan Aggro)

5th – Ivan Floch (Blue-Black Control)

6th – Ondrej Strasky (Jeskai Wins)

7th – Yuuya Watanabe (Jeskai Wins)

8th – Lee Shi Tian (Jeskai Ascendancy Combo)

 siege-rhino

[deck title=Main Deck Cards by the Numbers]
[Mythic Rare]
7x Sorin, Solemn Visitor
6x Wingmate Roc
5x Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
4x Anafenza, the Foremost
3x Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
3x Brimaz, King of Oreskos
3x Ashcloud Phoenix
2x Stormbreath Dragon
2x Ajani, Mentor of Heroes
1x Nissa, Worldwaker
[/mythic rare]
[Rare]
15x Hero’s Downfall
14x Flooded Strand
12x Windswept Heath
12x Sylvan Caryatid
12x Siege Rhino
12x Mantis Rider
11x Thoughtseize
11x Temple of Triumph
11x Dig Through Time
10x Temple of Malady
8x Shivan Reef
8x Llanowar Wastes
8x Goblin Rabblemaster
8x Fleecemane Lion
8x Courser of Kruphix
7x Battlefield Forge
6x Temple of Silence
6x Temple of Epiphany
6x Mana Confluence
6x Caves of Koilos
5x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4x Temple of Deceit
4x Rattleclaw Mystic
4x Rakshasa Deathdealer
4x Prognostic Sphinx
4x Polluted Delta
4x Jeskai Ascendancy
4x Hushwing Gryff
4x Herald of Torment
3x Temple of Plenty
3x Temple of Mystery
2x Yavimaya Coast
2x Wooded Foothills
2x Utter End
2x Twinflame
2x Temple of Abandon
2x Silence the Believers
2x Bloodstained Mire
2x Anger of the Gods
1x Whip of Erebos
[/rare]
[Uncommon]
12x Stoke the Flames
12x Sandsteppe Citadel
12x Mystic Monastery
12x Magma Jet
12x Jeskai Charm
10x Abzan Charm
9x Seeker of the Way
5x Bile Blight
5x Banishing Light
4x Dissolve
4x Despise
4x Frontier Bivouac
3x Kiora’s Follower
3x Drown in Sorrow
2x Heir of the Wilds
2x Briber’s Purse
1x Ulcerate
[/uncommon]
[/deck]

[deck title=Sideboard Cards by the Numbers]

8x Drown in Sorrow
7x Suspension Field
7x End Hostilities
7x Disdainful Stroke
7x Bile Blight
6x Magma Spray
5x Prognostic Sphinx
5x Erase
4x Thoughtseize
4x Savage Knuckleblade
4x Negate
4x Anger of the Gods
3x Swan Song
3x Lightning Strike
3x Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
3x Dissolve
3x Clever Impersonator
3x Arc Lightning
2x Wingmate Roc
2x Silence the Believers
2x Returned Phalanx
2x Polukranos, World Eater
2x Nissa, Worldwaker
2x Murderous Cut
2x Keranos, God of Storms
2x Despise
1x Whip of Erebos
1x Utter End
1x Unravel the Æther
1x Stain the Mind
1x Set Adrift
1x Phyrexian Revoker
1x Pharika’s Cure
1x Pearl Lake Ancient
1x Mass Calcify
1x Liliana Vess
1x Gods Willing
1x Gainsay
1x Duneblast
1x Chandra, Pyromaster
1x Back to Nature
1x Anafenza, the Foremost
1x Ajani, Mentor of Heroes
1x Agent of Erebos
[/deck]

Cards that Have Spiked

Cards that have spiked from the weekend’s results include:

  • [card]Pearl Lake Ancient[/card]
  • [card]Dig Through Time[/card]
  • [card]Perilous Vault[/card]
  • [card]Rakshasa Deathdealer[/card]
  • [card]Siege Rhino[/card]
  • [card]See the Unwritten[/card]
  • [card]Jeskai Ascendancy[/card]

pearllakeancient

For all the above mentioned cards, if you have extra copies you will want to trade them or sell them over the next few weeks since many of these prices are driven by hype. The prices for many of these cards are going to be going down or stabilizing over the next few months, so by trading or selling extra copies you will be in a position of profit due to the PT results. As Corbin likes to say, “Leave the last ten percent for the next guy.” Many of the above cards are rares that are going to hit the market en masse, which will heavily stabilize their prices or even decrease them. The only exception I may make here is [card]Perilous Vault[/card], since it is from M15—yet no copies were in the top eight, so even this might go down.

Cards that have increased in price based on speculated play that also were not seen in the top eight include [card]Hornet Queen[/card] and [card]Genesis Hydra[/card]. Hornet Queen has see the most upward momentum since M15 was released, going from $1 or less to $5.50 or more retail. Genesis Hydra is also included in the Mono-Green Devotion deck. However, the price is still relatively stable at $3.50, only going up $1 from its low of $2.50.

I believe the [card]Hornet Queen[/card] window has passed for now, since the triple-green casting cost prohibits it from being in many different decks and the buy-in point is too high to make a profit (that is, I don’t think it is going to $11 or more in the near future). I think the window has also passed on Hydra as well. At $2.50 I was a buyer, but at $3.50 or more, I don’t think there is a ton of room for growth. If you plan on playing green devotion in the new Standard, you will want to pick up your copies of both cards now. I don’t think they are going below their respective new prices while still in Standard. However, I don’t think this is where you are going to want to speculate since I believe the risk outweighs the reward.

hornet queen

Current Stabilized Staples

Cards that appeared in top eight lists that have stabilized for now or will be slow gainers through the next few months include:

  • [card]Elspeth, Sun’s Champion[/card]
  • [card]Brimaz, King of Oreskos[/card]
  • [card]Hero’s Downfall[/card]
  • [card]Sylvan Caryatid[/card]
  • [card]Thoughtseize[/card]
  • [card]Temples (all of ‘em)
  • [card]Painlands[/card]
  • [card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/card]
  • [card]Courser of Kruphix[/card]
  • [card]Mana Confluence[/card]
  • [card]Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth[/card]

These are the cards that won’t be changing much in price, if at all, over the next few months. They only stand to increase with more visibility at SCG Opens or GPs, so if you don’t have your copies for Standard, you will want to pick them up soon.

In terms of speculation, all of these cards are from Theros or M15, so holding onto them for now and waiting for the beginning of next year will be important to maximize profits. Getting out too soon will prevent you from realizing some of the higher prices that a few of these cards might reach if they start dominating Standard over the next few months.

All are too expensive to speculate on, though any copies you might have should be kept in anticipation of future price increases.

Looking at the uncommons, the trilands—particularly [card]Mystic Monastery[/card], [card]Sandsteppe Citadel[/card], and [card]Frontier Bivouac[/card]—are now the frontrunners for maintaining a price of $1 or more for their time in Standard. Start packing away as many copies of these lands as possible for future gains over the next year.

mysticmonastery

Potentially Undervalued

The first card that pops up to me as potentially undervalued is [card]Ajani, Mentor of Heroes[/card]. Three copies across the main deck and sideboard were included in Ari Lax’s winning Abzan deck. Even though this was the only place Ajani appeared in the top eight, he was doing a ton of work on camera and enabled Lax to win against McLaren and Saporito in his final two matches. Not only does Ajani have the PT win going for him, he also has casual appeal as a planeswalker (especially being the first GW walker) and will maintain a large amount of value from that. Heck, Kiora has gone up to $21.50 retail without any results from these top eight decks!

The next card on my list is [card]Anafenza, the Foremost[/card] in foil. She appeared five times across main decks and ‘boards in the top eight, and has real Vintage and Commander playability. I especially like foils if you can get them for $14 or cheaper. I would avoid regular copies for a while since more Khans is soon to hit the market. However, at $2-$3 I would start picking her up for anticipated Standard play in the future.

Another card could be [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card]—even the pros still aren’t sure whether Stormbreath is necessarily better than [card]Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker[/card]. It has already started slowly going up from its lows of $13 to $19 and could continue to $20 and beyond once Theros becomes hard to find next spring, especially after Fate Reforged has been released. We’re not going to see [card]Thundermaw Hellkite[/card] prices of $40 or more, since Stormbreath is from heavily opened Theros, but $30 is a real possibility since he dodges all the white removal of the currently popular Jeskai and Abzan decks (and even future Mardu decks). I would not go deep here, but if you plan on playing red in the new Standard, you will want to pick up your Stombreaths soon.

Lastly, [card]Fleecemane Lion[/card] could start doing more work if the Abzan aggro deck starts catching on. At $4 or less, this could be a great pickup in anticipation of winter and spring play.

Final Thoughts

Even though Sorin, Sarkhan, and [card]Wingmate Roc[/card] were the most popular mythics in main decks by the numbers, there is still a good chance that all of them will drop over the next few months leading into January. More Khans product will be opened, which will increase the amount of copies out there. A good case study here is [card]Master of Waves[/card] and [card]Thassa, God of the Sea[/card]. Both were seen in huge numbers at Pro Tour Theros, spiked hugely after the PT, but then went down and even past their preorder prices once Theros saturated the market over the next year. When was the best time to get out at their highest price? The weeks following the PT. One caveat here is that planeswalkers can buck this trend due to overwhelming casual demand in addition to tournament playability. Again, though, you have to consider risk versus reward—do you want to wait and find out if they’re still good three months from now or do you want to capitalize on what you know was a recent spike in price?

In terms of rares, even though [card]Siege Rhino[/card], [card]Mantis Rider[/card], and [card]Dig Through Time[/card] will be staples throughout their entire lives in Standard, I also have a hard time seeing them maintain their current prices. Like the mythic rares mentioned above, their prices are really going to be hit hard by the continued printing of Khans over the next year. Since they are rares, there is a real possibility that they could be printed in an event deck or similar supplemental product, further dissuading me from wanting to target them at this point. The risks outweigh the benefits here for the top rares from Khans as well.

There is still opportunity in Theros and M15 cards, since print runs are starting to come to a close for these sets and many of the hot staples are stabilizing in price. Any card that you feel is underutilized could be a good pickup if it hasn’t already spiked from the PT results. Slow gainers should still go up slowly, at least until the end of January.

Finally, cards like the fetch lands should be dropped like hot potatoes. All are bound to go down in price over the next few months. Where they will finally end up I can’t tell, you but there is no way that expected value of Khans boxes will continue to be more than $180 over the next few months and next year. Higher priced rares are almost all going to drop and reduce this EV to less than the cost of a box, ultimately fulfilling the laws of supply and demand.

Have any questions or comments on this article or tech we saw at the PT? Let me know in the comments.

Weekend Magic: 9/26-9/28

Welcome back, guys! Khans of Tarkir has now had a chance to show what it can do in Constructed formats, and there are two Standard and Legacy tournaments to talk about today, both hosted by Star City Games. In New Jersey and Indiana, there was plenty of action, so let’s dive right in.

SCG Standard Open Edison, NJ (US)

Decklists

On the east coast, a brand new archetype emerged victorious, dubbed Jeskai Tempo. The new hotness to come out of the deck piloted by Kevin Jones were four [card]Mantis Rider[/card], three [card]Seeker of the Way[/card], two [card]Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker[/card], two [card]Dig Through Time[/card], four [card]Jeskai Charm[/card], and two [card]Steam Augury[/card]. In the sideboard, things to note are [card]Ashcloud Phoenix[/card], [card]Disdainful Stroke[/card], and a single copy of [card]Narset, Enlightened Master[/card].

Of the cards mentioned, Mantis Rider has seen a huge increase in retail price, going from around $1.50 TCGplayer mid to about $5. The new price is derived from the hype of Kevin’s win and the lack of supply in the market. If you have any Mantis Riders, offload them now before the price dips as more are opened throughout the next few months.

[card]Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker[/card] also continues his climb from $22 to $29 TCGplayer mid based on this weekend’s results. To give you a more accurate picture of how many Sarkhans were played across all the top eiht decks, in both New Jersey and Indiana, Reddit user SaffronOlive made a fantastic post over on the mtgfinance subreddit that has a breakdown of all the Khans cards that were featured in the Standard top eight decklists. Please check out this list for yourself if you want a quick reference for the top-played cards of the weekend. Circling back to Sarkhan, if we refer to SaffronOlive’s list, we can see that 16 Sarkhans were played in main decks and one in a sideboard. He was the third-most-popular card from Khans played this weekend. I mentioned him before in my PAX review and it looks like the excitement around Sarkhan is starting to show. He is good in both midrange and control strategies, so I imagine we are only going to see more of him in the future. It’s true that $30 is a high buyin for a mythic, but I see this price sticking and eventually going up if we continue to see Sarkhan across several Standard archetypes.

sarkhan

Of Theros block and M14, we see that Temples made a solid showing in this deck along with [card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/card] (seriously, what deck isn’t this guy good in?) and two [card]Steam Augury[/card]s, as well as two [card]Banishing Light[/card]s. Steam Augury is still near bulk, so this could be a good pickup moving forward if you can trade for them or buy them at bulk. Two [card]Anger of the Gods[/card] in the sideboard is a good indication it will see future play.

Lastly, I want to mention that [card]Stoke the Flames[/card] is now a solid $4 uncommon. This is the premier burn spell of the new Standard, so if you don’t have your copies yet, I would pick them up now because I don’t see this price budging until close to rotation next year.

Second place went to Jon Goss with Mardu Midrange. Notable new hotness here includes four [card]Butcher of the Horde[/card], two [card]Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker[/card], two [card]Sorin, Solemn Visitor[/card], and four [card]Crackling Doom[/card]. Out of the sideboard, we have [card]Suspension Field[/card] as a two-of. Butcher of the Horde and Crackling Doom have gone up since their release, yet they were only featured in this deck, which so far limits how much they could continue to go up. However, if you like Mardu, those two cards are very solid in the new format and I would recommend picking them up now before they potentially spike if should they be featured in a high-ranking Pro Tour Khans deck. Sorin is a solid card, but right now his price is more hype than anything. Hold any copies you have and wait for results. We’ll know if he is the real deal once Pro Tour Khans comes and goes.

 sorinsolemnv

To finish up the rest of the top eight, we saw four green deck variants: G/R Monsters, G/B Devotion, G/R Devotion, and Mono-Green Devotion. There was also another Jeskai Tempo Deck and a R/W Control deck. Notable new hotness cards from these decks include [card]Crater’s Claws[/card], [card]Rattleclaw Mystic[/card], and [card]Hooded Hydra[/card]. [card]Crater’s Claws[/card] is only around $1, which is pretty low for a rare [card]Fireball[/card]-like effect that can win the game on the spot with a ton of mana.

G/B Devotion had a playset of [card]Doomwake Giant[/card] in it, which I thought was cool since the card is around $0.40 and was one of the main reasons Ross Merriam did so well that day. It was featured on camera doing some pretty devastating things to a token deck, so I think [card]Doomwake Giant[/card] has potential in the future. I also saw several copies of Brimaz across these lists, though at $27 retail, the price is quite high to buy in. However, if he turns out to be a really solid creature in the new Standard, he could easily go past $30.

SCG Standard Open Indianapolis, IN (US)

Decklists

Abzan ruled the midwest this weekend, with two Abzan midrange decks getting both the top two spots. Before I get into the decks, though, let me mention that every single Top 8 deck in Indianapolis was playing green this weekend. Green made a huge showing in the midwest and I cannot state the importance of this enough. Mana fixing is important in an unknown format and green does it best—for now, anyway.

Courser of Kruphix

Though this skews the results in green’s favor more for this particular weekend, also keep in mind the PT will likely shake things up and we may or may not see less green. Make sure to pick up your copies of [card]Sylvan Caryatid[/card] and [card]Courser of Kruphix[/card] if you haven’t already. Also keep in mind that there is plenty of opportunity for non-green decks to also do well.

Back to the results, Samuel Valentine beat the mirror match of William Comminos in the finals to take down the tournament. Though the decks have the same name, they went in completely different directions.

Valentine opted for a reanimator/delve build, which included graveyard self-mill cards like [card]Satyr Wayfinder[/card], [card]Nyx Weaver[/card], and [card]Commune with the Gods[/card] in order to dump cards into his graveyard to either [card]Whip of Erebos[/card] in [card]Hornet Queen[/card] or [card]Ashen Rider[/card], or to easily cast [card]Necropolis Fiend[/card] and go to town on his opponent’s creatures. [card]Empty the Pits[/card] also wins games, I hear. Four [card]Muderous Cut[/card] is pretty sweet in this build, as I imagine that killing anything for one black mana feels pretty good.

Comminos opted to go for a more classic Rock-style Abzan build, essentially playing the best removal and most mid-rangy creatures in the format, hoping to overpower his opponents through sheer attrition. Notables out of Comminos’ deck include [card]Wingmate Rock[/card], [card]Abzan Charm[/card], [card]Utter End[/card], and [card]Anafenza, the Foremost[/card] out of the sideboard. [card]Wingmate Roc[/card], while a rather boring mythic in my opinion, is probably the next card on the list to go up in value if it starts seeing more play, and especially if it is featured in a Pro Tour Khans deck. Pick up your copies now if you plan on playing it, because $9 for a mythic of this power level is a pretty good entry price. Theros staples that appeared included a playset of [card]Elspeth, Sun’s Champion[/card], which is so much Elspeth it hurts, Brimaz, [card]Fleecemane Lion[/card], and a playset of [card]Drown in Sorrow[/card] out of the sideboard. I believe that Elspeth is still the strongest walker from Theros and I think that she will continue to see plenty of play after rotation.

Both decks shared a playset of [card]Siege Rhino[/card] and [card]Sylvan Caryatid[/card], which are both good pickups in my opinion. Siege Rhino provides so much value for four mana that I am not surprised that both players decided to play four of them in their main decks. $5 is a pretty high entry point for a rare, though, so I would wait for more product to be opened before going deep on Siege Rhino. Surprisingly, [card]Courser of Kruphix[/card] was absent from these green lists, which for now indicates that Abzan doesn’t need it. This could change once we get Pro Tour results in, however.

siege fhino

Rounding out the rest of the top eight, there were some more R/G variants, along with Mono-Green Devotion, Jund Monsters, just plain old Mono-Green, and Naya Midrange. [card]Reverent Hunter[/card] popped up in the Mono-Green Devotion list, which is something to note. [card]Genesis Hydra[/card] seemed to be an auto-include in all the Green-based devotion lists because it provides so much value. Polukranos is pretty nuts too, since he is all upside on top of being a four-mana 5/5. Finally, [card]Chord of Calling[/card] is pretty great in green heavy decks so pick up your copies accordingly. I don’t think it is budging from $8 and can only go up from here on out based on tournament results over the next month.

[card]Strombreath Dragon[/card] made a showing as a nice complement to Sarkhan, providing a ton of value against Abzan, Jeskai, and Mardu strategies. At $15, this is cheap for a strong mythic dragon, especially considering that [card]Thundermaw Hellkite[/card] was close to $50 during its peak in Standard. I would pick up some copies at $15 in anticipation of future Standard play.

Nissa didn’t appear quite as often as we would have thought, since she was an auto-include in all green decks prior to rotation and now only appears where she is truly needed. Something to note for the future, since her price is still around $43. Again, don’t discount her until we see the Pro Tour Khans results.

M15-Booster-Nissa

Xenagos is still showing up, so I believe that his new price will continue to stick since he provides mana ramp for all the new X spells that have entered the format.

Overall Thoughts for Standard

Green seems pretty good right now, especially in light of the Indiana results. Temples appeared in vast quantities across all decks, so those are also going to be gaining value in the coming months since Theros is no longer going to be opened. Avoid getting extra fetch lands for now—yes, they are played, but they will continue to drop in price since tons of players and vendors are going to crack product to get at them. Keep any wedge tri lands you draft or crack, since they seem to be used in Standard and will always maintain value from casuals regardless. Let me mention again to check out SaffronOlive’s Khans metrics for the weekend because tthat is some very useful information!

SCG Legacy Open Edison, NJ (US)

Decklists

I’ve got two words for you to sum up this tournament: [card]Treasure Cruise[/card]. Well OK, here’s another two words: [card]Monastery Swiftspear[/card].

treasurecruise

U/R Delver was already a popular archetype, and with the addition of Treasure Cruise, the deck became so much more consistent that it took down the entire tournament! Bob Huang was the pilot of this build, and in addition to Treasure Cruise he also experimented with Monastery Swiftspear to totally alter the look of U/R Delver. Looks like his modifications worked, given that he won. I believe foils of both these cards will be good pickups for the future, since they also have Modern appeal even if they don’t see Standard play. Wait a bit for foil prices to drop though, as I believe Treasure Cruise and Monastery Swiftspear’s foil prices are mainly driven by hype and lack of supply.

Reanimator got second place piloted by Jake Muldowsky. He opted not to play Treasure Cruise, which is probably why he lost. Just kidding—his build is pretty standard because that is how this deck wins. [card]Sire of Insanity[/card] made an appearance in the main deck, which thinking about it is pretty insane in Legacy against certain matchups, especially combo and control decks. Miracles is still pretty popular and Sire can really help in that matchup. Foils of Sire are $2.50, so if it becomes a reanimator mainstay (as opposed to just a metagame choice), that seems like a great buy-in price to me.

sireofinsanity

Sultai Delver played by Stephen Mann had a copy of [card]Sultai Charm[/card] in the main deck. Foils of this are starting to look better. Gerard Fabiano included a copy of [card]Dig Through Time[/card] in his Sultai Delver list. Dig Through Time already has appeal in Modern in addition to Legacy, and foils of this are $20 right now. I think this is hype and lack of supply in the market. Wait a bit and if the price decides to drop pick them up once more enter the market.

The rest of the top eight was rounded out by two Dredge decks (one manaless and one regular), Miracles, and Sneak and Show. The only deck that offered anything new to the scene was Manaless Dredge, which included [card]Blightsteel Colossus[/card], [card]Balustrade Spy[/card], [card]Flayer of the Hatebound[/card], and [card]Mishra’s Bauble[/card] as the new flavors of the moment. No reason outside the normal to target these cards. I think Dredge is more of a pet deck that is easily hated out once it gets popular enough.

SCG Legacy Open Indianapolis, IN (US)

Decklists

So… Elves! Elves, elves, elves! Said that four times because the entire Top 4 were elf combo decks… get it?

The main decks had their slight differences, but each were set up pretty much the same: play elves, cast [card]Glimpse of Nature[/card], play more elves, and repeat until you hit [card]Craterhoof Behemoth[/card]. Targets for price corrections in the deck include Glimpse of Nature, [card]Natural Order[/card], Craterhoof Behemoth, and [card]Heritage Druid[/card]. Pick up copies accordingly if you want to play this deck. I hear GP New Jersey is coming up.

glimpseofnature

One notable from all these Elves decks is that the second place deck had three of a card called [card]Energy Storm[/card] in its sideboard. Go ahead, I’ll give you a minute to read that card. Okay, now that you have, isn’t it quite interesting? It’s a rare from Ice Age that is below $1 and is really good against U/R Delver and also Storm decks. I’m not saying that this is going to spike to $10 overnight, yet it can’t hurt to pick up a few copies, right? It seems good against the right metagame. Cumulative upkeep is bad, I’ll grant you. However, with elves it does give you a few extra turns to go ahead and just win.

Maverick made an appearance at fifth place. That was a good meta call, since it appears like Elves went crazy at this particular tournament. Maverick plays a ton of one- and two-ofs, and most of them are already Legacy staples, so not much to see here except for maybe [card]Knight of the Reliquary[/card].

knightofthereliquary

Rounding out the top eight is Reanimator, Sneak and Show, and Burn. All are standard lists, more or less. Sneak and Show played two [card]Dig Through Time[/card], which should be noted. Dig Through Time looks like it is good across more than one Legacy deck, which helps to bolster its utility.

Final Thoughts

There’s a ton of information to digest this week across two Standard tournaments and two Legacy tournaments, both of which were affected by new Khans cards. It looks like Khans has Standard, Modern, and Legacy appeal.

In terms of Standard, you can’t go wrong with playing green, it seems. Anything with green that appeared across more than one deck is probably going to be pretty decent moving forward. We’ll need to wait until the PT to see final results. However, I still think we’re going to see some green there, too.

In terms of Legacy, as I’ve mentioned previously on Brainstorm Brewery, Elves is really popular and it is only a matter of time before the core staples go up. Get your copies of staples if you plan on playing Elves in Legacy. The new version of U/R Delver also looks awesome, so pick up some Treasure Cruises and Monastery Swiftspears if you like that deck. Dig Through Time has also demonstrated its Legacy potential, so pick up a copy or two if you’re a Sneak and Show or Sultai player.

Weekend Magic: 9/12-9/15

Hey, everyone! This weekend, Star City Games hosted an Open Series in Atlanta and Channel Fireball hosted the Weekend #3 World Magic Cup Qualifier. Unfortunately, Channel Fireball isn’t as good at getting its results posted as Star City so results from the WMCQ haven’t made their way from the tournament floor to a deck database yet. This means I will be focusing solely on Star City to see what types of decks placed in Standard, Legacy, and Modern in Atlanta this weekend.

SCG Standard Open Atlanta, GA (US)

Decklists

Yet again, [card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/card] steals the limelight with a Mono-Red Rabble win by Manuel Orellana. There’s no real innovation in the list, just a ton of burn and tight play by Orellana to take down the tournament. At the time of this writing, [card]Satyr Firedrinker[/card] is out of stock on Star City Games at $1. There could be some demand for the Firedrinker from aggro decks upon rotation. However, the card is very risky to play with since it could potentially deal a ton of damage to its controller. I’m thinking, though, that if Rabblemaster continues to put up amazingly good results, players will continue to jam the previous Standard’s list as close as they possibly can. This means [card]Firedrinker Satyr[/card] could see a short-lived spike in demand upon rotation. If you decide to get in now, I wouldn’t wait too long after rotation to trade or sell them. Aggro cards usually have a short shelf life once the control decks start popping up, and Firedrinker is even riskier than many other aggro cards that could see play.

satyrfiredrinker

Three Jund decks rounded out the rest of the top four. Xenagos was present as a playset in all three decks which means that his future looks promising if Jund is still a deck after rotation. Wedges could totally throw off the landscape of Standard and diminish the number of shard-based decks that show up. Also, Xenagos has already seen a price spike from $8 to $17.50 TCGplayer mid, so if you did not pick him up before the spike, you missed the boat. I would avoid getting in at this point for profit, regardless of the results, because to me the risk is greater than the reward in this scenario—it would take a lot for Xenagos to go to $30 or more.

I’ve noticed that [card]Mistcutter Hydra[/card] is starting to trend upwards, so if you like the card you should pick them up soon. I think they will still be a sideboard card even after rotation. [card]Polukranos, World Eater[/card] also seems to be trending upwards as we reach rotation and fits well with the Temur mechanic of ferocious. Nissa was included in all the Jund lists, but making a profit off of her is very hard at $40. However, she is such a strong planeswalker in her own right that I would expect her to continue seeing play going into rotation. I would recommend that you only pick up copies for decks since the buy-in is so steep. Breaking $50 is not out of the question but still up in the air at this point.

[card]Anger of the Gods[/card] saw sideboard play in two Jund lists in Atlanta. I think it is going to be one of the premier main-deck removal spells after rotation, as we don’t have a wrath effect at four mana. It is still pretty cheap at $2.50. I could see it hitting $4 or more moving forward.

Unfortunately, the Naya and Mono-Black Devotion decks that rounded out the top eight, have many pieces from RTR block, so the decks don’t really indicate anything we don’t already know.

SCG Modern Premier IQ Atlanta, GA (US)

 Decklists

Infect won the Modern IQ, but not piloted by the usual suspect, The Boss. Instead, Aaron Barich was able to defeat [card]Ad Nauseum[/card] in the finals to take down the tournament. I’ve talked about Infect in Legacy quite extensively in a previous piece. The differences between Modern and Legacy Infect mainly involve substituting an aggro-control build in Legacy for a more comboish, quick-kill build in Modern. Since Modern lacks [card]Force of Will[/card] and [card]Daze[/card], the Modern Infect deck instead focuses on having 18 spells dedicated to pumping up infect creatures to kill opponents as fast as possible without worrying about major disruption.

mightofoldkrosa

Three [card]Might of Old Krosa[/card]s were present in the Modern list. This is probably the uncommon that stands to gain the most from these results, since it wasn’t reprinted in Modern Masters and is from a fairly old set. [card]Inkmoth Nexus[/card] could also see a slight bump in price, since Affinity also plays the land to maximize the amount of artifacts they have in play as well as having an alternative path to victory. Could [card]Noble Hierarch[/card] possibly reach a higher price than it is at now? It is already a sickeningly high $72 TCGplayer mid for what is essentially a mana dork plus upside. It may go higher, but it is a horrible time to buy in unless you plan on playing Infect or a variation of a Pod deck over the next six months. This card is probably on the list of top five cards getting a Modern Masters 2 reprint, so stay far away from Hierarch in cash and only trade into them if you need them for a Modern deck.

Second place went to Ad Nauseum, which is a deck that put two pro players into the top sixteen of Pro Tour Born of the Gods earlier this year. It is basically the same build as the PT decks with some modifications to the sideboard to adjust for the metagame. The cards to watch for in this deck include [card]Gemstone Mine[/card], [card]Lotus Bloom[/card], [card]Phyrexian Unlife[/card], [card]Ad Nauseam[/card], [card]Pact of Negation[/card], [card]Simian Spirit Guide[/card], and foils of those cards. Phyrexian Unlife experienced a spike earlier this year due to the pro tour, yet it seems to have dropped back down to around $1 TCGplayer mid. I feel nonfoils of this card stand to gain the most if the Atlanta results garner more interest from Modern players. A caveat with picking up pieces of this deck is that Wizards is known to hate combo strategies and could potentially ban any piece of the combo in the future (Ad Nauseam, Lotus Bloom, etc.).

Other than the top two, the rest of the top eight was diverse but not innovative. [card]Vexing Devil[/card] appeared as a playset in the burn deck that got sixth place… *sigh*. [card]Huntmaster of the Fells[/card] also sees play in Tarmo-Twin and has experienced a drop in price this week, which means that it could be a good time to get in on the card if you want to play it [card]Keranos, God of Storms[/card] made an appearance in the UWR Control list, which continues to showcase his eternal playability on top of his Standard playability.

SCG Legacy Open Atlanta, GA (US)

 Decklists

UWR Miracles took down the tournament piloted by Chi Hoy Yim. It’s pretty much your standard Miracles list, so there’s not a whole lot to report here. Keranos made an appearance in the sideboard, again showing eternal playability beyond even Modern. Yim played two [card]Council’s Judgment[/card] across the main deck and sideboard, so that could be another card to keep an eye on moving forward.

councilsjudgment

Infect continues to make waves in Legacy, putting three people into the top eight of the Legacy Open. Looks like Infect is starting to make its way up the chain from pet deck to established Legacy archetype. Each player put his own spin on the deck; however, the backbone of each list was the same—land an infect creature, pump it up as often as possible, and disrupt whatever your opponent is trying to do while you do it. [card]Berserk[/card] is looking more and more like a great pickup based on these results. Even [card]Pendelhaven[/card] may start seeing some upward mobility regardless of four printings, since you can get it out with [card]Crop Rotation[/card] and it is only around $4 TCGplayer mid for the Timeshifted versions. Foils of [card]Glistener Elf[/card] and [card]Blighted Agent[/card] could also be good pickups.

Elves continues to do well and High Tide even made an appearance in the top eight piloted by Feline Longmore. Keep in mind that Longmore is pretty much the grand master of High Tide pilots. Getting sixth place with the deck is great, but if you’re considering playing it, remember that High Tide is an extremely hard deck to pilot well. It is quite unforgiving which is why I expect we see it less and less these days in Legacy top eights. I believe the last time High Tide placed highly was back in April, so I think it is more of a pet deck these days.

Shardless BUG and Burn round out the final two decks of the top eight. These are pretty much your standard lists, barring a single copy of [card]Vexing Devil[/card] played in Burn, which I’m not sure if I find funny or sad. Guess it’s time to start buying Devils up en masse, everybody.

Final Thoughts

Not much innovation was going on in Atlanta for Standard, so we’ll need to wait until Khans of Tarkir is released to start seeing some brand new archetypes emerge. Hold on to current nonrotating staples now in the top-performing decks. Decide to sell out later if they start to dwindle in performance.

Infect made its presence known, both in Modern and Legacy.  If you’re interested in Legacy Infect pieces, I think now is the time to pick them up. Three Infect decks making the top eight is a solid showing that is sure to spur more interest in the deck. Even in Modern, for the most part the deck is fairly cheap to put together especially because of fetch land reprints.

The core cards from Infect (both Legacy and Modern) and Ad Nauseum have the best chance of seeing a price increase in the future based on last weekend’s results. Make moves accordingly.

Weekend Magic: 8/29-8/31

Welcome back! No time for formalities—let’s get to the events:

SCG Invitational Somerset, NJ (US)

Decklists

For those of you who don’t know how the SCG Invitational works (and who might be confused as to why a Standard and Legacy deck could both win the tournament), please refer to this link for the specific details about the tournament.

The Invitational can be summed up as follows. According to Star City, the invitational happens four times per year and includes those players who are able to qualify for the event. You can qualify by getting in the Top 8 of an Open Series event or by getting in the Top 16 of the previous Invitational. You could also get first or second at an invitational qualifier (IQ), or become the SCG state champion of your state. Finally, you could also grind your way to a seat at this tournament by earning 15 Open Series points between Invitationals.

Once you receive an illustrious seat at an Invitational, you needed to prepare yourself for four rounds each of Standard and Legacy on Friday, four rounds each of Standard and Legacy on Saturday, and finally, if you made the Top 8, on Sunday you are invited to compete for the Invitational championship title by playing another four rounds of Legacy. Sounds like a mini pro tour to me, since it takes place across three days. There are $50,000 in prizes on the line and a large chunk of that goes to the top finishers. Pretty cool for an event that happens four times a year.

Tom “The Boss” Ross took down the Invitational again! My hat’s off to Tom, it was a win well deserved. He decided to play U/G Infect  again for Legacy (his choice that got him first at the previous Invitational back in June) and went with Rabble Red as his Standard option. I talked about Rabble Red a bit in last week’s article, so I’m going to focus on his Legacy deck choice of U/G Infect.

U/G Infect is an up-and-coming Legacy deck that I believe will become more popular over time, especially since Tom has taken down two Invitationals back to back using the deck over the past three months. I have been hearing a lot of good things about U/G Infect and it seems that it can go toe to toe with the likes of U/W/R Miracles, BUG Delver, and Sneak and Show, among other decks in the field. I think more people will start to realize the power this deck offers players in Legacy and I bet we will see much more it once we come to GP New Jersey.

[card]Berserk[/card] is the card, if any, that might experience a price bump based on these results. The rest of the cards have either spiked due to demand from other formats ([card]Noble Hierarch[/card]), are already Legacy staples ([card]Force of Will[/card], [card]Tropical Island[/card], etc.), or are commons and uncommons that aren’t going to explode in price any time soon. The deck plays only two [card]Berserk[/card]s, but the problem is that the only printing the card has seen since Unlimited is the FTV foiled version, which not many players favor. Regardless, I feel that if you want to play this deck, you will need Berserk in one way or another, so pick up your copies before they start climbing up. You can get HP-MP Unlimited Berserks for around $35 to $40 now, which I think is pretty good, especially since U/G Infect seems to be in the limelight every time we get to one of these SCG Invitationals. FTV copies aren’t too bad at $50 either.

berserk

Keep in mind that Tom is an expert with this deck. He plays it in both Legacy and Modern, so in both formats he knows how to play the Infect game and play it as perfectly as he can. I imagine that this deck would be very hard for someone that is new to Infect to pilot to so many wins in tournaments. Clearly, the deck has power and will put up results for those who know how to pilot it. In the past I would consider the deck a pet deck, but Tom’s results could easily push it into an established Legacy archetype.

SCG Standard Open Somerset, NJ (US)

Decklists

Moving on to the Standard Open at Somerset, we’re looking at more of the same from the previous week’s DC Open. Chris VanMeter won the Standard Open on the back of Jund Monsters. This deck differs slightly from Jund Walkers in that he opted to play [card]Domri Rade[/card] (backed with a bunch of creatures) and [card]Xenagos, the Reveler[/card] in favor of [card]Chandra, Pyromaster[/card] and [card]Nissa, Worldwaker[/card] that Michael Sammut used to secure a Top 8 finish in the same tournament. This version of Jund Monsters, however, did contain [card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/card], so it appears that the rabble rouser is able to help bolster the midrange decks in addition to Rabble Red and other aggro builds. Last week I commented on on how this card may not be able to reach $8 or more after rotation, but these results bolster the argument that Rabblemaster could do well for itself going into the future. Definitely something to keep an eye on as we go into September. [card]Mistcutter Hydra[/card] coming out of VanMeter’s board is something to take note of moving forward as well especially in lieu of Wedge colors.

Another cool deck was Mono-Black Aggro that placed seventh, piloted by Richard Nguyen. This list contained playsets of [card]Herald of Torment[/card], [card]Gnarled Scarhide[/card], [card]Spiteful Returned[/card], [card]Tormented Hero[/card], [card]Pain Seer[/card], and [card]Mogis’s Marauder[/card]. Pay close attention to this list, folks—this is probably what we’re going to see from mono-black moving into September after rotation. Apparently, [card]Boon of Erebos[/card] is a thing, too. Who knew? I expect we’ll see something very similar to this list once rotation hits. It looks like [card]Herald of Torment[/card] has the most to gain from being included in the deck.

heraldoftorment

Other notables from across the Top 8 lists include [card]Sunblade Elf[/card], [card]Ajani Steadfast[/card], [card]Banishing Light[/card], and [card]Stoke the Flames[/card].

Speaking to Standard in general, the Onslaught fetch lands being spoiled for Khans means that [card]Courser of Kruphix[/card] is only going to get even better since it interacts so well with fetches. It already spiked Sunday night to $18 retail from the previous $12 due to the announcement, and I only see it continuing to maintain this price due to fetch land snyergy.

SCG Legacy Open Somerset, NJ (US)

Decklists

Next we have the Legacy Open at Somerset. Reid Duke couldn’t take down the Invitational with Miracles, but Dan Musser was able to fill Reid’s shoes and take down the Legacy Open piloting the deck. Second place went to Elves, piloted by Ross Merriam. I’ve been a fan of several pieces of the Elves deck for quite some time (it is the third most popular combo deck in Legacy behind Storm and Sneak and Show), and several pieces of the deck feel undervalued to me. [card]Glimpse of Nature[/card] and [card]Natural Order[/card] stand to gain the most from Elves doing well, and both are around $30 retail now. If you want to play Elves, I suggest you pick up these pieces before diving into anything else in the deck. [card]Gaea’s Cradle[/card] is pretty expensive and could spike from casual demand, yet I feel like it has stabilized for the time being. Not to say that it won’t spike again, especially if Elves continue to put up great results, however, I think that Glimpse and Order will experience the biggest percentage increases, since both cards have slowly gone up over time without seeing a huge overnight spike. [card]Heritage Druid[/card] is another good target since it was only printed once as an uncommon in Morningtide. $6 feels low for this girl to me.

heritagedrui

The remaining decks were mostly unique barring the Delver variants. Not much innovation in the lists except the random Koth in the Painter sideboard. Legacy seems to be as diverse as ever.

PAX Party

Plenty of cards were spoiled from Khans during the past weekend, and they will make their marks on Standard, with Sarkhan and the fetch lands being the most exciting.

sarkhan

[card]Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker[/card] is the red planeswalker that players have wanted for years. It offers you either a 4/4 red flying, indestructible, hasty dragon or a [card]Flametongue Kavu[/card] the first turn you play it. His ultimate also offers red something that Wizards has been trying to push: pseudo card advantage. Sure, you have to discard your hand every turn, but you are drawing two additional cards, which is insane for red. The downside even has interaction with delve, which is fantastic. But even better is that mono-red usually plays tons of cheap cards, so playing all of them in a turn is a real possibility. Suffice to say, I am excited for Sarkhan to make his impact on Standard.

Completing the cycle of tri-lands will also be good for mana bases. Pick up as many copies of these tri-lands as you can and hold onto them. They will always be worth at least $1 in trade due to casual demand. Going forward into the future, they only stand to gain value until Wizards decides to reprint them again.

sultaicharm

[card]Sultai Charm is juicy and I expect its charm brethren to be just as awesome. Pick up tons of these along the way as well. Just like the tri-lands, they will always maintain value due to casual demand and at least a few of them should see Standard play.

Sorin could be cool, though I don’t think he quite hit the mark this time. He seems so similar to another planeswalker I’ve seen in the past. Gideon? Elspeth? Hmm, I just don’t know. There will always be casual demand at least.

 sorinsolemnv

At first I thought Sidisi would be awesome for Legacy Dredge, but then I realized that you need to actually cast her before your self-milling can produce creatures for you. Maybe there is a fast way to reanimate her and then start dredging? Only the future will tell. In the meantime, she will make a fantastic commander alongside Narset. These two are the commanders that we’ve been anticipating since Wizards announced Khans would focus on wedges, and so far I am quite happy. They are exceptionally powerful Commander generals and I expect players to start brewing with them very soon.

Final Thoughts

Yet another exciting weekend in Magic! Star City Games threw a great series of tournaments in NJ and we got a ton of sneak previews of what Khans is going to offer. Spoiler season is under way and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the new block.

 

Weekend Magic: 8/22-8/24

Hello, all! If you don’t recognize me, my name is Jared Yost and I am an active member of the Magic finance community. I graciously received my first weekly column over at MTGPrice.com and have been writing for those folks over the past year. Now I have been added on to the great team here at Brainstorm Brewery and have been given another weekly column. I look forward to bringing you my new weekly article series which will cover the decks played over the previous weekend and what effects, if any, they will have in the market moving forward. If any of you are familiar with Jason’s Alticle, the now-discontinued series of free articles from Quiet Speculation, this article format will follow in the same vein. Lastly, my Twitter handle is @gildedgoblin, so if you like what I write, follow me.

Okay, with introductions out of the way, let’s dive in and check out the events from last weekend.

GP Kobe

Format: Modern

Decklists

Analysis:

Haters gonna hate. We all have to acknowledge that, yes, [card]Vexing Devil[/card] is indeed a card. I can’t believe I actually wrote that, but there you have it. I’m sure it is a hard pill for many to swallow to see that it was featured as a playset in the winning deck of the GP. I can’t tell you how many Reddit threads I’ve seen defending and bashing this card since it’s release. Teruya Kakumae finally gave the ultimate fuel to the defender camp fire by taking down the GP with a Burn deck featuring it. He also proved by doing this that Burn is probably a tier-one strategy in Modern, especially since another Burn deck made Top 8 in Kobe. We’ll have to review the results over the next few months to be sure, but after putting two people into the Top 8 of a GP, I think we’ll be seeing a lot more Burn in the future.

vexingdevil

The winning deck was unexpected. However, I also think it was expected in a way—if you follow the Japanese Magic scene. My own thoughts on the matter are that Japanese Magic players are what I like to call “avant-garde.” What I mean by this is that the Japanese prefer to be as unique as possible with their Magic playing rather than just copy what the current best decks are in a format. The definition of avant-garde specifically mentions the utilization of unorthodox methodologies and experimentation. I think we can all agree that exhibit one for evidence here is [card]Vexing Devil[/card] in the winning deck. It worked in Kobe, but Devil may not catch on now that people know to expect it and thus can fight better against it. You can do well without it, as evidenced by the inclusion of another Burn deck in the Top 8 that did not run Devil. It was an experiment that worked for the winning Burn player in Kobe, but might have much less success in other tournaments.

Looking at Devil specifically: in the past we’ve seen that [card]Vexing Devil[/card] has maintained its price based on casual demand. There will continue to be demand for the card in the future from casuals. The tournament results only continue to boost desirability. I won’t say to stay away, yet I don’t think Devil is going to $15 or more any time soon. The cost of entry is too high to make a profit at this point, especially since I could easily see it being included in a Duel Deck or other product as a reprint. If you want to play Burn in Modern, pick them up, but don’t expect to make a killing profit-wise on these any time soon.

Other notables from the deck include [card]Goblin Guide[/card] (which just experienced a huge spike), [card]Eidolon of the Great Revel[/card], and the tech of [card]Leyline of Sanctity[/card] coming out of the board to deal with the Burn mirror match. Leyline is already pretty pricey at $20 per copy—could it go higher from here? Without a reprint, I’m afraid it might. But again, like Devil, the ceiling on Leyline of Sanctity is very close to being reached. I don’t see how it could ever go to $40 or beyond.

leylineofsanctity

Exhibit two for avant-garde deckbuilding evidence would be trying to throw [card]Tarmogoyf[/card] into an Affinity build in the second place deck and taking out…[card]Arcbound Ravager[/card]!? Sacrilege, I tell you! What’s next, are we going to see Goyf-Pod? Wait a sec, that actually sounds pretty kickass…

It was clearly a good call for Affinity because the deck did very well for itself by getting second place. It seems [card]Ensoul Artifact[/card] is also making waves across the ocean because a full playset was included in the second-place build. It looks like [card]Ensoul Artifact[/card] is the real deal. Trading for foils around $15 seems fine. Also note that [card]Mana Confluence[/card] was used to help smooth out mana in the deck. With the potential Modern and Legacy demand for Confluence, I can only say to get your copies sooner rather than later.

SCG Open Washington, DC

Format: Standard

Decklists

Analysis:

The winner here was Steve Rubin with BU Devotion. Not a huge surprise, since this is the deck to beat in Standard and has been for quite some time. With the introduction of M15, however, many new brews have appeared on the scene—the most notable being GW Aggro, Jund Walkers (which put two people in the Top 8 here), and a close ninth and tenth place finish for Mono-Red Aggro and Rabble Red, respectively. After reviewing the numbers of the decks in the Top 8, the following cards that will not be rotating once Khans of Tarkir releases appeared in the numbers noted . I noted cards with more than four copies, since this means that a card was definitely played in more than one deck in the Top 8.

13 [card]Thoughtseize[/card]
12 [card]Gray Merchant of Asphodel[/card]
12 [card]Hero’s Downfall[/card]
11 [card]Temple of Deceit[/card]
8 [card]Courser of Kruphix[/card]
8 [card]Elvish Mystic[/card]
8 [card]Sylvan Caryatid[/card]
8 [card]Temple of Abandon[/card]
8 [card]Temple of Malice[/card]
7 [card]Llanowar Wastes[/card]
6 [card]Bile Blight[/card]
6 [card]Nissa, Worldwaker[/card]
6 [card]Xenagos, the Reveler[/card]

Including ninth- and tenth-place mono-red strategies:

8 [card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/card]
8 [card]Stoke the Flames[/card]

Unfortunately, for the currently existing mono-red strategies, most of the deck will rotate come September. To me, this doesn’t bode well for the current price of Rabblemaster at $4. Unless we have goblin strategies thrown in with the wedge set dynamics, I don’t see a strong case for mono-red unless people start main decking [card]Eidolon of the Great Revel[/card]. Red will most likely be paired with at least one other color for the upcoming rotation’s aggro decks.

goblinrabblemaster

Things are looking good for Nissa and Xenagos based on these results. The SGC commentators couldn’t stop talking about how good Nissa is whenever she had screentime. They said that the untap ability is irrelevant most of the time, but permanently turning your land into a 4/4 with trample is the key ability since she can target any land. A similar planeswalker is Koth, and he was great in Standard. I think Nissa’s price has a good chance of sticking if she continues to see play. She has already gone up to $36 on TCGplayer and I don’t see that changing much unless we have a super large paradigm shift in September.

Xenagos is also a solid walker and has already seen a double up in price from players picking up copies for the new Standard. I don’t see him moving much from the current price for some time. Trade for copies, but do not buy in. Xenagos has room to grow a bit more, but it is not worth buying in cash at this point.

xenagosthereveler

SCG Open Washington, DC

Format: Legacy

Decklists

Analysis:

Shardless BUG took home the win here with a range of tempo decks based on similar strategies (tempo/control) taking up the rest of the Top 4. [card]Council’s Judgment[/card] made an appearance in Todd Anderson’s deck (along with [card]Zealous Persecution[/card] tech in the sideboard, which I think this is a good pickup at $0.50 or lower) but other than this, there wasn’t much innovation in the lists.

zealouspersecution

Dredge made a decent showing, putting two copies in the Top 8. Surprisingly, only one version played the full playset of [card]Mana Confluence[/card]. Eric Copenhaver opted to play a full playset of [card]Cephalid Coliseum[/card] and an extra [card]Gemstone Mine[/card] instead of a playset of Confluence. Regardless, this confirms what many of us predicted—Confluence made waves in Legacy in addition to Standard and Modern, because it provides Dredge extra copies of [card]City of Brass[/card] for better color fixing. Outside of Confluence, the lists were pretty similar—no Griselbrand or anything like that, just a straight Dredge build of classic components that opts to win with with [card]Ichorid[/card] and [card]Bridge from Below[/card] and to speed up that win with [card]Lion’s Eye Diamond[/card] and [card]Faithless Looting[/card].

[card]Metalworker[/card] was able to come in a decent fifth place here. White’s is a classic [card]Metalworker[/card] list that is pretty similar to ones we’ve seen in the past. I noticed that there were a combination of two [card]Mox Opal[/card]s and two [card]Mox Diamond[/card]s in the list, which combo well with [card]Goblin Welder[/card] later in the game if your artifacts are countered or destroyed. I’ve been an advocate of [card]Goblin Welder[/card] for quite some time and I really like the card at the current $7.50 price it is sitting at on TCGPlayer. The only issue is that Metalworker is what I consider a pet deck, i.e. it is a deck that doesn’t usually do very well at tournaments but it sometimes makes a Top 8 due to the huge amount of variance in Legacy. It can be hated out pretty easily, which dissuades a lot of people from playing it. However, similar to Modern, Legacy is a format that rewards someone for knowing their deck really well. If you pick a deck, play with it a lot, and know the various outs your deck has to other decks in the format, you can usually do pretty well with it regardless of of the hate. I think you have to really know the Metalworker deck well in order to pilot it to the Top 8.

goblinwelder

Final Thoughts

It sure was an action-packed weekend, with Standard, Modern, Legacy, and even Sealed Deck being played at GP Sydney. It seems the popularity of Magic knows no bounds. The biggest shakeups included some Modern innovations from the Japanese, which I appreciate since they seem to be the only group of Magic players that likes to shake things up on a consistent basis, even in a format like Modern, which everybody assumed was solved. Hopefully next weekend will be just as exciting.