Last weekend brought us Grand Prix: Paris, a look into the Standard environment of Europe. Interestingly, no Esper Dragons decks made the Top 8 of Paris. Let’s take a look at the Top 8 and see how the dragons met their downfall.
Grand Prix: Paris
Abzan Midrange piloted by Amand Dosimont closed out the tournament. Based on the three other Abzan Midrange decks in the Top 8 we can clearly see that Abzan has plenty of tools in order to keep the deck in Tier 1 status. Notable cards in Dosimont’s list include [card]Rakshasa Deathdealer[/card], [card]Anafenza, the Foremost[/card], [card]Siege Rhino[/card], and [card]Fleecemane Lion[/card]. [card]Warden of the First Tree[/card] was also included as a two-of, in order to make the most out of the late game if the game continued to drag towards the later stages. [card]Sorin, Solemn Visitor[/card] is still a great roleplayer in the deck by both giving it reach and a better board presence depending on the situation. Interestingly, the [card]Den Protector[/card]’s were in the sideboard for this particular deck – even with two of the other decks playing them main deck. [card]Elspeth, Sun’s Champion[/card] was also relegated to the sideboard since the metagame has started speeding up due to the presence of so many faster decks. Aggro makes up 75% of the format now!
Let’s take a look at some of the themes amongst the Abzan Aggro decks:
- [card]Den Protector[/card] – Either in the main deck or sideboard, this card did a ton of work for all players that made the Top 8 in Paris last weekend
- [card]Fleecemane Lion[/card] – Still the best two drop around for the Abzan Aggro and Midrange builds
- [card]Siege Rhino[/card] – If you’re playing Abzan, this is the reason why.
- [card]Abzan Charm[/card] – Another great reason to play Abzan, both the charm and Rhino provide a ton of reach against opponents
- [card]Hero’s Downfall[/card] – Still one of the best removal spells in the format
- [card]Dromoka’s Command[/card] – Another recent addition, I expect that this card will fall out of favor once Theros block rotates but you never know. Charms are just so versatile, and this one costs only two mana, so it could just as easily see play post Theros as it is seeing now depending on what the metagame looks like.
Rounding out the rest of the Top 8 were Selesnya Aggro, two Red Deck Wins, and Devotion to Green.
Selesnya Aggro was certainly an interesting build. By going heavy on [card]Collected Company[/card], the deck tried to make the most out of its low cost creatures by including ones such as [card]Hidden Dragonslayer[/card]so that in addition to Megamorphing them they could also get them into play off with a [card]Collected Company[/card]. I’m sure it felt bad to only get a single [card]Elvish Mystic[/card] off the top every once in a while yet when [card]Collected Company[/card] hits it can hit really well. By including [card]Mastery of the Unseen[/card] as well as [card]Deathmist Raptor[/card], the deck gains a bit of additional reach by being able to Manifest creatures continually off the top of the deck and continuing the onslaught. [card]Whisperwood Elemental[/card] has been relegated to the sideboard here and [card]Hornet Nest[/card] is a nasty surprise that can be turned face up with [card]Mastery of the Unseen[/card] or be put into play with [card]Collected Company[/card]. Overall, a really fun deck that is able to compete well in the current environment.
Red Deck Wins is looking the same as ever. Notable cards include [card]Monastery Swiftspear[/card], [card]Eidolon of the Great Revel[/card], [card]Zurgo Bellstriker[/card], [card]Stoke the Flames[/card], [card]Lightning Strike[/card], and [card]Wild Slash[/card]. Kim opted to play four [card]Thunderbreak Regent[/card]s and three [card]Flamewake Phoenix[/card]’s as a way to fly over opposing creatures (pumping them up with [card]Titan’s Strength[/card]), while Polzl choose to play the faster goblins in the form of [card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/card] and [card]Goblin Heelcutter[/card] in order to finish off opponents with more burst attacks.
Finally, Devotion to Green is a deck we haven’t seen in a while but is still very good in the format. Though the deck is mainly devoted to green, there are of course splashes of red in there for cards [card]Dragonlord Atarka[/card] and [card]Xenagos, the Reveler[/card]. Other notable cards include [card]Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx[/card], [card]Whisperwood Elemental[/card], [card]Rattleclaw Mystic[/card], and [card]Genesis Hydra[/card]. This deck can be insanely fast and can generate an absurd amount of mana very quickly if left unchecked or undisrupted.
Outside of the Top 8, one other interesting deck that went undefeated Day 1 was a four color [card]Collected Company[/card] deck piloted by Yohan Dudognon. This deck featured such cards as [card]Savage Knuckleblade[/card], [card]Mantis Rider[/card], [card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/card], and [card]Fleecemane Lion[/card] all in the same deck! Talk about getting the most out of your Collected Companies! Even [card]Ojutai’s Command[/card] made an appearance as a way to get back cheaper creatures that died like [card]Seeker of the Way[/card] and [card]Rattleclaw Mystic[/card].
So there we have it, the only non-Limited event of the previous weekend! Each weekend continues to bring us something more exciting whether it is Standard or beyond.