Last weekend brought us Star City Games: Syracuse. This Open featured Standard as the main event with a side of Modern and Legacy. Let’s see what the results were and note any trending cards amongst the lists.
Star City Games Open – Standard (Syracuse, USA)
|G/R Aggro||1st||Chris VanMeter||Jund Midrange||9th||Gerard Fabiano|
|Abzan Aggro||2nd||Jesse Grogan||R/G Aggro||10th||Aaron Garitillo|
|Temur Aggro||3rd||Andrew Nacci||Jeskai Tokens||11th||Todd Anderson|
|Mono-Red Aggro||4th||Michael Egolf||Abzan Aggro||12th||John Davison|
|R/g Aggro||5th||Ryan Sandrin||R/g Aggro||13th||Chris Thomas|
|G/R Aggro||6th||Stephen Rice||G/R Aggro||14th||Xavier Biron|
|Bant Heroic||7th||Tom Ross||G/R Aggro||15th||Brandon Pascal|
|G/R Aggro||8th||Van Nguyen||Abzan Aggro||16th||Max Mitchell|
Chris VanMeter took down the event piloting G/R Aggro, which also put three other people into the Top 8 and another four into the Top 16 (basically half the top 16 was G/R, though there were differing archetypes among these decks which I’ll get to later). This has been an established Standard archetype ever since Xenagos, the Reveler was introduced to Standard with Theros block but it definitely looks like Dragons of Tarkir has given this deck some tools to make it really strong. Chris is playing three Xenagos along with some new additions from Dragons of Tarkir. The deck featured a playset of Thunderbreak Regent, two Dragonlord Atarka, a playset of Draconic Roar, and two Roast. Last week, we saw that Roast is one of the most played uncommons in Standard at the moment, because five damage for two mana is extremely efficient. The deck also played three copies of Haven of the Spirit Dragon, which I’m sure was nice to recur killed Atarka’s for value. Even getting back Thunderbreak Regent and Strombreath Dragon is pretty nice too, especially if you can play them on curve the turn that you sacrifice the land to return them to your hand. In the sideboard, there is another Roast along with Seismic Rupture from Dragons.
G/R Aggro Decks in general were playing the following cards from Dragons:
- Midrange Version
- True Aggro Version
The second place deck, Abzan Aggro, featured a playset of Dromoka’s Command across the main deck and sideboard. Other notable cards included were a playset of Siege Rhino, Rakshasa Deathdealer, and three Anafenza, the Foremost.
Notables from the rest of the Top 8:
- Three Frostwalker, four Savage Knuckleblade, three Thunderbreak Regent, and two Surrak, the Hunt Caller in Temur Aggro
- Four Lightning Berserker and three Zurgo Bellstriker in Mono-Red Aggro
- Four Dromoka’s Command in Bant Heroic
Notables from the rest of the Top 16:
- One Dragonlord Atarka and two Sidisi, Undead Vizier from Jund Midrange. This deck is pretty interesting as we’ve never seen a deck before that’s tried to combine Outpost Siege into a G/B deck build but as we’ve seen over the past several months we should just learn to expect as much from Fabiano!
- One Dragonlord Ojutai, three Anticipate, and two Secure the Wastes in Jeskai Tokens
- Three Dromoka’s Command in Davison’s Abzan Aggro, along with three Ultimate Price out of the sideboard
- Two Surrak, the Hunt Caller and two Dromoka’s Command in Mitchell’s Abzan Aggro
Though it would appear that G/R or R/g strategies dominated this Standard Open, there was still plenty of innovation going on even in established lists like U/W/x Heroic.
Star City Games Premier IQ – Modern (Syracuse, USA)
|Affinity||1st||James Harrod||Hatebears||9th||David Gree|
|G/W Hate Bears||2nd||Kyle Dauch||Abzan Midrange||10th||John Boccardo`|
|Jund Midrange||3rd||Andrew Boswell||Abzan Collected Company||11th||Max Brown|
|Abzan||4th||Jacob Lee||Abzan Midrange||12th||Kevin Florio|
|U/R Twin||5th||Nick Kent||G/R Tron||13th||Taylor Stovenson|
|Affinity||6th||Andrew Skorik||UR Delver||14th||Edgar Bustos|
|Jund Midrange||7th||Rudy Briskza||Grixis Twin||15th||Dan Jessup|
|Abzan Midrange||8th||MIchael Derzco||Affinity||16th||Randy Belcher|
Affinity took down the Modern portion of the event, with another copy of Affinity, two Abzan, and two Jund decks also placing in the Top 8. The second place deck was G/W Hatebears, which is a deck that can do well at Modern events if they are packing the right type of hate. Key cards from Dauch’s deck included four Aven Mindcensor, four Leonin Arbiter, four Noble Hierarch, three Scavenging Ooze, and three Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. The deck was strangely packing many 1-of’s without any way to tutor for them, which is interesting but allows easier sideboard decisions I guess. Horizon Canopy also helps filter through the deck, so maybe that was the reason he didn’t want to play more than one Gaddock Teeg or Linvala, Keeper of Silence. Either way, the deck did well and will continue to put up results in Legacy as Wizards continue to print more “hate” creatures in green and white.
Who says Dark Confidant is irrelevant in Modern? Boswell’s Jund Midrange was packing a full playset of Bob and he seemed to do pretty well at this event coming in third. Though it should be noted that the other Top 8 Jund Midrange did not play any copies of Bob and also reached about the same level of success. We even have our first Dragons of Tarkir card featured in this deck, one Kolaghan’s Command out of the sideboard. Speaking of which, looking at Briskza’s list he was playing two copies of Kolaghan’s Command, one in the main deck and one in the sideboard. Another card featured in the decks was Huntmaster of the Fells, with one version opting to play two copies main deck and the other version playing two copies in the sideboard.
Rounding out the rest of the Top 16, another copy of Hatebears appears along with a new deck called Abzan Collected Company. Featuring four Dragons of Tarkir Collected Company, the deck also utilizes Congregation at Dawn in order to setup some pretty C.C situations where you’re going to get a ton of value. Is this the new direction that the old Birthing Pod deck are going to go? I’m not sure if its good enough to play at larger events but the build is so unique that I would love to see it continue to see more results. It even plays Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit for value with Melira, Sylvok Outcast!
Star City Games Premier IQ – Modern (Legacy, USA)
|Jeskai Stoneblade||1st||David Melendez||Death and Taxes||9th||Adam Quinlon|
|Deadguy Ale||2nd||Wilkin Chau||Deadguy Ale||10th||Aaron Webster|
|Miracles||3rd||Drew Brantner||Elves||11th||Erik Burger|
|Grixis Control||4th||Jason Smith||Storm||12th||Bryant Cook|
|Miracles||5th||Ronald Mackenzie||Dark Maverick||13th||Jesse Adams|
|Shardless Sultai||6th||Ted McCulskie||Burn||14th||Nicholas Herbs|
|Mono-Red Burn||7th||Jacob Shannon||Jund||15th||Douglas Wilson|
|Sultai Delver||8th||Elliot Wolchesky||Sultai Delver||16th||Paulo Cesari|
Deadguy Ale is the story of this Legacy event, which put two people into the Top 16. A deck that hasn’t put up any results in quite some time, Deadguy Ale is pretty much your classic B/W discard heavy deck that plays efficient threats while tearing the opponent’s hand apart. More recently, the deck has been called Pikula since Chris Pikula brought it back as an Abzan-based deck, however the original name hearkens back to the days when it was only black and white.
Hymn to Tourach is usually seen, but not always. In this case, Chau’s opted to play Hymn while Webster chose to splash green for Tarmogoyf and Abrupt Decay. Chau’s deck stuck to a main deck of black/white only spells with a splash of green for sideboard answers like Engineered Explosives and Gaddock Teeg. Chrome Mox is an interesting addition to the deck, which allows it to play Lingering Souls, Vindicate, or Liliana of the Veil a turn earlier than expected. You could even have a turn one Dark Confidant or Stoneforge Mystic! Certainly an interesting deck to say the least.
Dark Maverick is also a more unique deck. Notables included four Knight of the Reliquary, four Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, and four Green Sun’s Zenith. Dark refers to playing black for Abrupt Decay and some choice sideboard cards. Sigarda, Host of Herons also showed up in this build as a nice GSZ target against Liliana of the Veil.
Rounding out the rest of the Top 16 is pretty much your average Legacy metagame these days. Nothing really innovative or exciting in the rest of the lists.
That’s all for this week! Keep checking back for more weekend Magic results.