This week brings us Grand Prix Krakow, Grand Prix Kyoto, and Star City Games: Providence. That’s a ton of information to cover so let’s get down to business.
GP Krakow (Poland)
Top 8 Decklists
Top 16 Decklists
Format – Standard
Standard is still all about dragons in Europe yet the Top 8 seemed to prefer the blue, white, and black dragons more than the classic red color. [card]Dragonlord Ojutai[/card] was the key player in many of the Top 8 decks and has thereby cemented itself as a powerhouse in Standard based on the results. No less than five Esper Dragons decks placed in the Top 8, with six total appearances in the Top 16. Let’s take a closer look at this deck for other key players besides Dragonlord Ojutai.
- [card]Silumgar, the Drifting Death[/card] – A notable threat all weekend, Silumgar keeps opposing armies in check until the control deck can stabilize and finish the opponent off.
- [card]Crux of Fate[/card] – I hear one sided [card]Wrath of God[/card] is pretty nice, of course a Dragons control deck is going to run it!
- [card]Dig Through Time[/card] – Needed for card selection and a Standard staple in almost any blue deck.
- [card]Silumgar’s Scorn[/card] – [card]Counterspell[/card] is nuts, and while you won’t always have Counterspell dragons in your hand available you can still cast it at the opportune moment to disrupt your opponent’s game plan. Just a solid card all around.
- [card]Foul-Tongue Invocation[/card] – One of the new premier removal spells, this card reminds us of [card]Devour Flesh[/card] but is so much better. Expect to continue seeing it over its Standard life.
Other decks in the Top 8 included Blue / Black dragons (might as well be Esper), Jeskai Tokens, and Ojutai Bant. Notables from Jeskai Tokens includes [card]Secure the Wastes[/card] and [card]Jeskai Ascendancy[/card]. Notables from Ojutai Bant include [card]Den Protector[/card], [card]Deathmist Raptor[/card], [card]Dragonlord Ojutai[/card], and [card]Surrak, the Hunt Caller[/card].
Looking outside of the Top 8, the field becomes much more diverse. Bant Heroic, Red-Green Dragons, Abzan Whip, another Esper Dragons, Green-White Aggro, Green Devotion, Abzan Midrange, and Abzan Control were all represented here. Notables from the decks include:
- [card]Hero of Iroas[/card] and [card]Dromoka’s Command[/card] in Bant Heroic
- [card]Thunderbreak Regent[/card] in Red-Green Dragons
- [card]Wingmate Roc[/card] and [card]Sidisi, Undead Vizier[/card] in Abzan Whip
- [card]Avatar of the Resolute[/card], [card]Reverent Hunter[/card], [card]Den Protector[/card], [card]Collected Company[/card], and [card]Dromoka’s Command[/card] in Green-White Aggro
- [card]Rattleclaw Mystic[/card], [card]Whisperwood Elemental[/card], [card]Dragonlord Atarka[/card], and [card]See the Unwritten[/card] in Green Devotion
- [card]Den Protector[/card] in Abzan Control
Looking at the Top 8 doesn’t show many diverse results, however the Top 16 saw plenty of variety in the way that Standard decks can be built.
GP Kyoto (Japan)
Format – Legacy
U/W Miracles took down the event with Stoneblade in a close second. [card]Monastery Mentor[/card] made an appearance as a playset in Murakami’s Stoneblade list. Looks like Mentor has broken into Legacy formats and might be another threat along with [card]Young Pyromancer[/card] that will keep churning out tokens for years to come.
[card]Omniscience[/card] was an important player in Kyoto, with two Omni-Show decks making it into the Top 8. Other key cards in Omni-Show include [card]Show and Tell[/card], [card]Cunning Wish[/card], and [card]Dig Through Time[/card]. Along with Sneak and Show, Omni-Show is another deck that you need to look out for due its explosive combo nature.
Not a ton of innovation here outside of Omni-Tell (which has been around in Legacy, but has become better positioned since Dragons of Tarkir has been released) just solid deck pilots that were able to sweep through the preliminary rounds with decks like Storm.
Star City Games Open – Standard (Providence, USA)
|Abzan Reanimator||1st||Oliver Tomajko||Abzan Control||9th||Thomas Roth|
|Mono-Red Aggro||2nd||Peter Nguyen||Temur Dragons||10th||Brian Dolan|
|Sultai Reanimator||3rd||Dustin Taylor||Jeskai Aggro||11th||Kei Rong|
|Abzan Control||4th||Robert Vaughn||Jeskai Aggro||12th||Nick Allain|
|Abzan Aggro||5th||Andrew Boswell||Abzan Control||13th||Dan Jessup|
|Abzan Control||6th||Kyle Shane||Abzan Aggro||14th||Robert Elias|
|Jeskai Aggro||7th||Noah Walker||Mono-Red Aggro||15th||Michael Ray|
|Abzan Control||8th||Ben Feingersh||Esper Dragons||16th||Zachary Kiihne|
With Esper Dragons barely making the Top 16, Providence instead featured plenty of Abzan action. Between Abzan Aggro, Control, and Reanimator decks taking five spots in the Top 8, there were also three copies in the Top 16. Cards in Abzan strategies that are notable include:
- [card]Siege Rhino[/card] – If you were Abzan, you were packing four copies of the Rhino in your deck.
- [card]Den Protector[/card] showed up again across a few lists
- [card]Fleecemane Lion[/card] was an important role player in both Control and Aggro lists
- [card]Warden of the First Tree[/card] and [card]Anafenza, the Foremost[/card] in Abzan Aggro
- [card]Deathmist Raptor[/card] was featured in Vaughn’s contro list
Not a whole lot of new tech from Dragons was featured in Abzan decks.
Rounding out the rest of the Top 8 were Mono-Red Aggro, Sultai Reanimator, and Jeskai Aggro. Notable cards from these decks include [card]Dragonlord Atarka[/card] and [card]Sidisi, Undead Vizier[/card] in Sultai Reanimator and [card]Thunderbreak Regent[/card] in Jeskai Aggro.
Rounding out the rest of the Top 16, Temur Dragons is the only unique deck. This deck featured four [card]Savage Knuckleblade[/card], four [card]Thunderbreak Regent[/card], three [card]Whisperwood Elemental[/card], and four [card]Stubborn Denial[/card]. Though it is named Dragons, it doesn’t run any of the Dragon enabled spells like [card]Draconic Roar[/card].
Star City Games Premier IQ – Modern (Providence, USA)
|Abzan||1st||Caupolican Lopez Yapor||G/R Tron||9th||Alexander Oliveira|
|Abzan||2nd||Nick Giordano||Abzan||10th||Greg Gentile|
|U/R Twin||3rd||Michael McKena||Jeskai||11th||Nicholas Heal|
|Burn||4th||Ben Kazhdan||Grixis Pyro||12th||Luis Alfonso|
|U/B Faeries||5th||Anthony Huynh||Burn||13th||Jonathan Delano|
|Affinity||6th||Ian Hacker||Burn||14th||Alfoso Krivickas|
|Affinity||7th||Griffin Kadar||Affinity||15th||Rachel Dillon|
|Esper Tokens||8th||Zane Knapp||Grixis Delver||16th||Michael Deidolori|
Moving on to Modern, Abzan and Affinity took four of the Top 8 spots along with U/R Twin, Burn, U/B Faeries, and Esper Tokens. Abzan seems to be adopting one [card]Dromoka’s Command[/card] main deck, so look out for this card in Modern moving forward as well as Standard.
Looking at U/B Faeries, the deck featured [card]Mistbind Clique[/card], [card]Scion of Oona[/card], four [card]Spellstutter Sprite[/card], and four [card]Bitterblossom[/card]. [card]Countersquall[/card] out of the sideboard is also an interesting choice, as it isn’t seen very often but can be a nice card in the right metagame.
In Esper Tokens we find four [card]Monastery Mentor[/card], [card]Sorin, Solemn Visitor[/card], [card]Slaughter Pact[/card], and [card]Lingering Souls[/card]. [card]Curse of Death’s Hold[/card] out of the sideboard is also notable, since token decks seem to be making waves in Modern as more people experiment with [card]Monastery Mentor[/card].
Rounding out the rest of the Top 16, notable decks include Grixis Pyro and Grixis Delver. Grixis Pyro featured [card]Young Pyromancer[/card], [card]Tasigur, the Golden Fang[/card], and [card]Kolaghan’s Command[/card]. Grixis Delver also had Young Pyromancer and experimented with [card]Gurmag Angler[/card]. Jeskai also made an appearance in the Top 16 playing [card]Geist of Saint Traft[/card] and [card]Restoration Angel[/card], so UWR isn’t quite out of the running in Modern either even if we haven’t seen consistent results in a while.
Star City Games Premier IQ – Legacy (Providence, USA)
|Omni-Tell||1st||Adam Brennan||Miracles||9th||Bradley Berk|
|Temur Delver||2nd||Tanner Parente||Grixis Pyro||10th||Matthew Smith|
|Miracles||3rd||Christopher Stitson||Elves||11th||Samuel Blau|
|Sneak and Show||4th||Jason Grigely||MUD||12th||Hunter Prendergast|
|12-Post||5th||Aaron Gazzaniga||Abzan Deathblade||13th||John-Paul Phelan|
|Omni-Tell||6th||Daniel Hall||Omni-Tell||14th||Brandon Jones|
|Death and Taxes||7th||Jake Bartlett||Omni-Tell||15th||Kevin Saunders|
|Omni-Tell||8th||Cory Abrams||Elves||16th||Nicholas Malatesta|
Finally, we had some Legacy action in Providence too and Omni-Tell was the story of this tournament. Not only did the deck take down the event but it also put four other people into the Top 16. In Legacy, a format as diverse as you can possibly get, this doesn’t happen very often and should be a sign that Omni-Tell is going to be a force in the format going forward. As mentioned in the Kyoto section, cards like Omniscience are key components of the deck that allow it play a very unfair game if left unchecked.
12-Post making the Top 8 hasn’t happened in a while. Key cards in that deck include [card]Oracle of Mul Daya[/card], [card]Primeval Titan[/card], [card]Ugin, the Spirit Dragon[/card], [card]Candelabra of Tawnos[/card], [card]Crop Rotation[/card], and [card]Ancient Stirrings[/card] with of course the twelve posts ([card]Cloudpost[/card], [card]Glimmerpost[/card], and [card]Vesuva[/card]). The deck is resilient thanks to the land [card]Eye of Ugin[/card] and can come out of nowhere with a surprise win if you’re not expecting it. Though hard to build due to Candelabra being so rare, if your local tournament allows proxies for Legacy this could be an interesting choice to bring to the event if you’re looking for a combo deck that is unique and fun to play.
Grixis Pyro also appeared in Legacy, with notables being [card]True-Name Nemesis[/card], [card]Dack Fayden[/card], [card]Dig Through Time[/card], and [card]Cabal Therapy[/card]. Similar to the Modern version, this deck aims to take a more controlling path to victory.
Abzan Deathblade seems like a new deck archetype that appeared, but its really just a rename of Pikula with the [card]Stoneforge Mystic[/card] package. [card]Hymn to Tourach[/card] is a feature in the deck but otherwise it just plays Abzan goodstuff in Legacy.
That’s a wrap for this week! See you next time.