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.

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.

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