Last weekend Star City Games brought us two major events: the Invitational and SCG Richmond. The Invitational featured Standard and Legacy action while Richmond featured Standard as the main event with a side of Modern and Legacy. Let’s take a look and see how Dragons of Tarkir has shaken up the format.
Star City Games Invitational (Richmond, USA)
Format – Standard, Legacy
Standard Top 8 Decklists
|Abzan Control||1st||Jacob Wilson|
|Sultai Reanimator||2nd||Reid Duke|
|Abzan Aggro||3rd||Jason Coleman|
|G/W Devotion||4th||Chris Andersen|
|Mono-Red Aggro||5th||Michael Braverman|
|Jeskai Tokens||6th||Todd Anderson|
|Abzan Control||7th||Joe Bass|
|R/G Aggro||8th||Ross Merriam|
Legacy Top 8 Decklists
|Temur Delver||1st||Jacob Wilson|
|Esper Thopter Foundry||4th||Chris Andersen|
|Shardless Sultai||5th||Michael Braverman|
|Sultai Delver||8th||Ross Merriam|
Jacob Wilson’s Standard deck featured two Sidisi, Undead Vizier main deck. This new Sidisi seems pretty good in a control build. In Abzan, she can exploit Elspeth tokens and Satyr Wayfinders in order to find the particular card that the deck’s pilot needs at that moment. Also being a 4/6 with deathtouch means that she is really hard to deal with. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of Sidisi in Standard over the next few months, along with the all the action she is sure to see at the Commander tables.
Reid Duke’s Standard deck also featured two undead versions of Sidisi along with a single copy of Dragonlord Silumgar in the main deck. Sidisi, Brood Tyrant was one of the deck’s main card advantage engines and was a key component to Reid’s Standard success that weekend. Some other interesting cards from the deck included one Torrent Elemental and one Silumgar, the Drifting Death.
Rounding out the rest of the Standard decks, some cards to to prepare to play against in future tournaments include:
- Dromoka’s Command, which appeared in Abzan Aggro and G/W Devotion. This was the only command from Dragons of Tarkir to appear in the Top 8 decks.
- Deathmist Raptor, which of course slotted nicely as a full playset into the G/W Devotion deck based around Mastery of the Unseen
- Zurgo Bellstriker, which was featured a playset in Mono-Red Aggro despite being legendary.
- Eidolon of the Great Revel also made a Standard appearance in this deck as a playset.
- I also didn’t think Lightning Striker would get played, but the Dash ability on the creature can’t be underestimated. I’m sure there were plenty of random blowouts that happened when Berserker came down and stomped face.
- Anticipate saw play in Jeskai Tokens, to help the deck find Jeskai Ascendancy faster
- ThunderBreak Regent and Surrak, the Hunt Caller slotted nicely into R/G Aggro. Crater’s Claws is still being played as a playset in this deck, and the two copies of Draconic Roar can do a ton of work if you’re still holding dragons in your hand as you cast it.
Dragons of Tarkir didn’t quite have the impact it made on Standard. In fact, there weren’t any cards from Dragons in the Legacy results. Dig Through Time is now seeing plenty of play without Treasure Cruise in the format anymore.
Temur Delve and Miracles are run-of-the-mill decks at this point, and Wilson’s and Duke’s lists aren’t innovative in any way. Dig Through Time is now a three-of in Miracles in order to help sift through the deck faster to get the lockdown pieces.
Moving onto Lands, it is a unique deck but doesn’t have much in the way of innovation either. Some of the key cards to the deck include the Thespian’s Stage / Dark Depths combo and the Grove the Burnwillows / Punishing Fire synergy in order to control the board while you’re setting up the more deadly finisher.
Esper Thopter Foundry is a deck that has been seen before but hasn’t put up results in a while. Now that the format has slowed down a bit more after the post Cruise banning, more decks that can really take advantage of the card selection Dig Through Time offers are popping up. This deck features a full playset of Dig Through Time and plays enablers like Mental Note and Thought Scour to help cast the Dig’s quicker. At it’s heart, this deck is a control deck and wins by using the Sword of the Meek / Thopter Foundry combo to generate tons of 1/1 flyers and gain enough life survive until they can kill you. Certainly an interesting deck that harkens back to the old Vampire Hexmage / Dark Depths / Thopter Foundry / Sword of the Meek / Gifts Ungiven extended deck.
The rest of the Legacy Top 8 doesn’t offer us anything new to the format. We still see Tasigur, the Golden Fang making an appearance here and there in order to generate card advantage but nothing else of note.
Star City Games Open – Standard (Richmond, USA)
|Jeskai Heroic||1st||Joe Lossett||R/G Aggro||9th||Ryan Macedo|
|Abzan Aggro||2nd||Hunter Nance||Abzan Aggro||10th||Drew Cranfill|
|R/G Aggro||3rd||Dan Jessup||G/R Devotion||11th||Joseph Eckert|
|G/R Monsters||4th||Chas Tanner||Jeskai Tokens||12th||Patrick Tierney|
|G/W Devotion||5th||David Fulk||Ascendancy Combo||13th||Zach Jesse|
|Jeskai Tokens||6th||Alex Bianchi||G/W Devotion||14th||Scott Robins|
|Jeskai Aggro||7th||Noah Walker||Jeskai Aggro||15th||Derek Campbell|
|R/G Aggro||8th||Trevor Bumgardner||Mono-Red Aggro||16th||Sean Handy|
The Standard Open at Richmond continues to offer us insight into the new format. I’ve crunched the numbers from the Top 16 to see which cards, by rarity, are seeing the most play (at least at this event).
|Mythic Rare12 Whisperwood Elemental
5 Deathmist Raptor***
2 Dragonlord Atarka***
|Rare28 Goblin Rabblemaster
13 Boon Satyr
12 Shivan Reef
8 Thunderbreak Regent***
8 Dromoka’s Command***
8 Atarka’s Command***
7 Zurgo Bellstriker***
5 Den Protector***
3 Secure the Wastes***
2 Collected Company***
1 Hidden Dragonslayer***
|Uncommon28 Stoke the Flames
21 Wild Slash
4 Draconic Roar***
2 Ultimate Price***
2 Lightning Berserker***
|Common20 Lightning Strike
12 Dragon Fodder***
3 Center Soul***
|Sideboard15 Glare of Heresy
5 Magmatic Chasm***
4 Seismic Rupture***
3 Rending Volley***
3 Ojutai Exemplars***
3 Dragonlord Ojutai***
3 Display of Dominance***
2 Ultimate Price***
2 Ainok Survivalist***
1 Dromoka’s Command***
1 Den Protector***
As you can see, there are numerous cards that have taken up homes in Standard decks at this event. Deathmist Raptor and Dragonlord Atarka were the only mythics to be seen at the Top 16 in the main decks, while Dragonlord Ojutai and Ojutai’s Exemplars were mythics that were played in sideboards.
Looking at the rares, the most played new rares from the set include Thunderbreak Regent, Surrak, the Hunt Caller, Dromoka’s Command, and Atarka’s Command. Zurgo Bellstriker was seen in mono-red decks, and Den Protector and Secure the Wastes had brief appearances. Someone tried to make Collected Company work marginally by including two copies in a deck but there was no breakout Collected Company deck totally centered around the card.
Roast was the breakout uncommon of the set, with sixteen copies appearing across main decks and sideboards. Anticipate and Dragon Fodder were the breakout commons, as was probably expected since they are both efficient cards for their mana cost.
All in all, there were definitely some shakeups but nothing too crazy. No new archetypes were formed. However, existing ones got a few boosts from the new cards.
Star City Games Premier IQ – Modern (Richmond, USA)
|Affinity||1st||Joseph Greer||Abzan Midrange||9th||Patrick Older|
|Infect||2nd||Michael Allen||Jund||10th||Van Nguyen|
|U/W Tron||3rd||Mike Kenney||U/R Twin||11th||Will Benton|
|Grixis Control||4th||Dave Shiels||U/R Twin||12th||Jason Bennett|
|Jeskai Control||5th||Travis Perlee||Abzan Midrange||13th||Michael Derczo|
|Merfolk||6th||John Taylor||Affinity||14th||Betrix Ryan|
|Merfolk||7th||Brandon Frey||Esper Control||15th||Christopher Mahaffey|
|Zoo||8th||Jeff Szablak||Jund||16th||Joseph Herrera|
Things seem have to shaken up in Modern, at least in Richmond. Outside of the finalists, the decks are ones that usually don’t see Top 8 appearances.
U/W Tron is one that seems to breaking out recently. Notable cards from the deck include one Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, four Azorius Signet, four Gifts Ungiven, and four Thirst for Knowledge. This deck is interesting in that you can win with Celestial Colonnade but also have a Gifts package to get whatever is needed at the moment. My suspicion is that this is a deck that you need to be intimately familiar with in order to pilot to success – there are several lines of play that this deck can go down, and knowing all of them takes a lot of practice. It’s good to see control being better in Modern, where just a month ago it seems that aggro, midrange, and combo were the only decks.
Speaking of which, another two control decks were in the Top 8. Grixis Control featured three Tasigur, the Golden Fang, two Go for the Throat, and a package of other counterspells and burn in order to control the game until you get a Blood Moon or Vedalken Shackles online. Jeskai Control featured Gideon Jura as a wind condition along with Anticipate from Dragons of Tarkir, a single Logic Knot, and splashing black for Lingering Souls / Mystical Teachings flashback.
Also, two Merfolk lists made the Top 8! Notables from Merfolk included Master of Waves, Tidebinder Mage, Mutavault, Aether Vial, and Monastery Siege from Fate Reforged. Looks like Merfolk has really made ahem a splash in Modern now and we’ll be seeing it for some time to come since it is a pretty easy to pilot aggro/tempo deck.
Finally, Collected Company made a nice debut in Modern Zoo, with the 8th place deck playing a full twenty-seven creatures and three Collected Company to back them up. Knight of the Reliquary is back in business folks and it’s pretty sick to rip that and, say, Tarmogoyf off the top of your deck at instant speed. Kessig Wolf Run is a cute addition too, as it allows you to completely blow someone out if they’re not expecting it. Bonfire of the Damned out of the sideboard is an interesting choice, I guess it helps against token strategies?
Rounding out the rest of the Top 16 were some run of the mill decks like Jund, Twin, and Abzan Midrange. Esper Control was the only outlier here. This deck had a full playset of Monastery Mentor, along with Murderous Cut, Slaughter Pact, Thought Scour, and Tasigur in order to help recur spells back. Creeping Tar Pit is also a nice finisher in the deck. Despite both Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time being banned in Modern, Delve still seems to be a thing.
Star City Games Premier IQ – Legacy (Richmond, USA)
|Reanimator||1st||Nick Patnode||Temur Delver||9th||Zack Kanner|
|Infect||2nd||Tom Ross||Lands||10th||Micah Greenbaum|
|Miracles||3rd||Shawn French||Death and Taxes||11th||Christopher Calhoun|
|Miracles||4th||Brian Braun-Duin||Dredge||12th||Andrew Shrout|
|Death & Taxes||5th||Jessie Butler||Temur Delver||13th||Stephen Mann|
|Elves||6th||Ryan Hare||Omni-Tell||14th||Collins Mullen|
|Jeskai Delver||7th||Thomas Trovato||Lands||15th||Brandon Dempsey|
|Shardless Sultai||8th||Chi Hoi Yim||Death & Taxes||16th||Jacob Eckert|
Like I’ve mentioned in the Invitational section, Legacy hasn’t been shaken up much from the Dragons of Tarkir release. Elves is playing Ruric Thar, the Unbowed as a nice finisher against control decks. That’s about all the innovation I see in the lists here. Legacy is still pretty much Legacy, even after Dragons has hit the shelves.
Whew, guess that’s it for this week. Keep checking back weekly for all the action that happened the previous weekend that you may have missed!