The major events of last weekend included Grand Prix: Providence, Grand Prix: Copenhagen, and Star City Games: Indianapolis. GP Providence and SCG Indianapolis focused on Standard while GP Copenhagen was Modern. Of course, SCG Indianapolis also had Modern in addition to Legacy results. Let’s dive in and see what happened.
Grand Prix: Providence (USA)
Format – Standard
R/G Devotion took down the field at Providence piloted by Sky Mason. R/G seems to be the top deck these days, with it also putting two more people into the Top 8 as well. Key cards in this strategy included Genesis Hydra, Hornet Queen, Whisperwood Elemental, and Dragonlord Atarka. Pretty much just ramp out into a win condition and take it down from there. Green decks are very solid in Standard these days so expect to see them until the format is shaken up a bit more.
Rounding out the Top 8 were an interesting smattering of decks, two of which were based on four or more colors. Four-Color Whip was playing green as the main color but splashing for cards like Torrent Elemental and Dragonlord Atarka. You need three colors to play [card]Sidisi, Brood Tyrant already so splashing one more color in this Standard environment doesn’t seem like a big deal especially in lieu of the Five-Color Dragons deck appearing.
Yes, the Five-Color Dragons deck is based around mostly green and black spells however every color of dragon is included in the deck, as it packs two Dragonlord Atarka, two Dragonlord Dromoka, three Dragonlord Ojutai, and one Dragonlord Silumgar. Using green’s color fixing Sylvan Caryatid and Satyr Wayfinder, you can easily find the colors you need to cast these dragon lords. Also, the deck packs four Haven of the Spirit Dragon for fixing and to get dragons in the graveyard back to the hand. Talk about maximizing potential! The deck is definitely an interesting way to make use of all the new dragon lords.
Grand Prix: Copenhagen (Denmark)
Format – Modern
Looking at Copenhagen, Merfolk took down the Modern GP. Key components of the deck included Mutavault, Aether Vial, Master of the Pearl Trident / Lord of Atlantis, and Master of Waves. Protection from red in field full of Burn and Grixis seems support important, and Master of Waves provides that alongside of a team of creatures that it summons upon entering the battlefield. Hibernation seems like a great sideboard choice as it can completely wreck green decks out of nowhere.
The runner up Hatto was playing Scapeshift, which isn’t unexpected but seemed poorly positioned in a field fuller of faster Griselbrand fueled combo decks. However, I’m sure Hatto was an expert Scapeshift pilot and so was able to do exceptionally well with the deck even on Day 2 of the GP. Key components of Scapeshift include of course Scapeshift, Cryptic Command, Sakura-Tribe Elder, Search for Tomorrow, and Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle.
Rounding out the Top 8 were Jund, Mono White Death & Taxes, another Merfolk, Grixis Control, Grixis Twin, and Grixis Delver – lots of Grixis decks in other words.
Mono White Death & Taxes was interesting deck choice. It include cards such as Dryad Militant, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Leonin Arbiter, Serra Avenger, Flickerwisp, Blade Splicer, as well as two main decked Spellskites and four Ghost Quarter and three Tectonic Edge. Quite a punishing deck for the unprepared!
Star City Games Open: Standard (Indianapolis, IN, USA)
|G/R Dragons||1st||Eric Rill||G/R Devotion||9th||Michael Gould|
|Mardu Dragons||2nd||Jamie Kelly||Mardu Dragons||10th||Matthew Longville|
|Abzan Midrange||3rd||Raja Sulaiman||Temur Dragons||11th||Andy Ferguson|
|G/B Dragons||4th||Kent Ketter||R/G Aggro||12th||Jessy Hefner|
|Bant Heroic||5th||Ziang Chen||G/R Devotion||13th||Jacob Baugh|
|G/R Devotion||6th||Chris Andersen||Esper Dragons||14th||Daniel Unger|
|G/W Devotion||7th||Corey Castelli||Abzan Megamorph||15th||Boris Pan|
|Mardu Dragons||8th||Derek Monk||Mardu Dragons||16th||Marty Williams|
In Indianapolis, R/G also ruled the day in the form of G/R Dragons piloted by Eric Rill. Key components of the strategy included Deathmist Raptor, Goblin Rabblemaster, Rattleclaw Mystic, Stormbreath Dragon, and Thunderbreak Regent. Planeswalkers were left out of the main deck and relegated to the sideboard, but they did include one Chandra, Pyromaster, two Nissa, Worldwaker, and two Xenagos, the Reveler.
Mardu Dragons was the runner up, which featured Goblin Rabblemaster, Stormbreath Dragon, and Thunderbreak Regent as the main creatures. Similar to the G/R dragons deck, Stormbreath and Thunderbreak seem to be the best red dragons to include in Standard decks. With Mardu, you also get Crackling Doom and access to Foul-Tongue Invocation and Thoughtseize which is nice.
Rounding out the rest of the Top 8 were Abzan Midrange, G/B Dragons, Bant Heroic, another G/R Devotion, G/W Devotion, and another Mardu Dragons deck.
G/B Dragons seems like it is something new and exciting however the name is kind of misnomer. It’s the same Five-Color Dragons as talked about before from GP Providence.
Looking at the Top 16 we have two more G/R Devotion, two more Mardu Dragons, Temur Dragons, R/G Aggro, Esper Dragons, and Abzan Megamorph. Temur Dragons made good use of Savage Knuckleblade alongside Stubborn Denial. It’s also nice to see Esper Dragons still in the picture without being too dominating.
Star City Games Premier IQ: Modern (Indianapolis, IN, USA)
|Grixis Delver||1st||Mat Bimonte||U/R Twin||9th||Lauren Nolen|
|Jund||2nd||Mitch Blankespoor||Grixis Control||10th||Hayden Passarelli|
|scapeshift||3rd||CJ Steele||Burn||11th||Jackson Smith|
|Grixis Control||4th||Jeremy Bush||Grixis Control||12th||Cody Murray|
|Jund||5th||Keir Haley||Grixis Twin||13th||Tony Hess|
|Zoo||6th||Matt Ayers||Temur Delver||14th||Brett Bennett|
|Bant Hexproof||7th||Austin Bates||Zoo||15th||Derek Madlem|
|Affinity||8th||Tracy Loeffler||Infect||16th||Noah Strasler|
Looking at Modern, we see that Grixis Delver took down the IQ. Gurmag Angler seems to be the Delve creature of choice along with Tasigur, the Golden Fang in the U/R decks that can quickly amass a ton of cheap instants and sorceries in their graveyard. Shadow of Doubt is also a nice trick to include these days as it can hose a wide variety of strategies such as Tron and Scapeshift, and can even blank a fetchland in a pinch.
Jund was the runner up and was packing Dark Confidant and Tarmogoyf as always, but no Olivia Voldaren. Two Huntmaster of the Fells were present across the main deck and sideboard, and Blankespoor even opted to play two Fulminator Mage main deck in order to have a better matchup against Tron and other nonbasic land strategies.
Rounding out the Top 8 were Scapeshift, Grixis Control, another Jund, Zoo, Bant Hexproof (aka Bogles), and Affinity. I think it was interesting that Grixis Control played four Cryptic Commands. Zoo is now packing Geist of Saint Traft along with Tasigur, the Golden Fang, Siege Rhino, Ghor-Clan Rampager, and Tribal Flames in order to maximize the total amount of damage.
Rounding out the Top 16 were U/R Twin, two more Grixis Control, Burn,Grixis Twin, Temur Delver, another Zoo, and Infect. Temur Delver is still packing Hooting Mandrills and Disrupting Shoal main deck, and makes good use of Mana Leak and Stubborn Denial to help control the game – even Tarfire was seen as a two-of in the main deck to help Tarmogoyf out! The second Zoo list was very different than the Top 8 list. Madlem elected to go with the Burning-Tree Emissary, Kird Ape, Loam Lion, and Wild Nacatl plan and not play any spells costing more than two mana in the main deck – in the sideboard, Dromoka’s Command seems interesting as a way to help counter spell damage removal as well as provide your own removal spell with a creature in play.
Star City Games Premier IQ: Legacy (Indianapolis, IN, USA)
|Burn||1st||Adam Minniear||Omni-Tell||9th||Zachary Byrd|
|Death and Taxes||2nd||Evan Smith||Elves||10th||James Hess|
|Ad Nauseam||3rd||Caleb Scherer||Temur Delver||11th||Jesse Pick|
|Temur Delver||4th||Ben Wienburg||Ad Nauseam||12th||Benjamin Ball|
|Manaless Dredge||5th||Dan Lashbrooke||U/W Stoneblade||13th||Bernie Wen|
|Omni-Tell||6th||Chris VanMeter||Infect||14th||Joe Ehrman|
|U/W Control||7th||Jacob Coffey||Sultai Delver||15th||Justin Brickman|
|Jund||8th||Dan Mercer||Temur Delver||16th||Andrew Shrout|
Burn took down the Legacy portion of Indianapolis piloted by Adam Minniear. A force to still be reckoned with in Legacy, Burn can still quite well in Legacy thanks to the printing of Eidolon of the Great Revel. Sulfuric Vortex and Price of Progress are components that Legacy Burn players love to sling since they can amass tons of damage over a few turns very quickly.
Rounding out the Top 8 were Ad Nauseam, Temur Delver, Manaless Dredge, Omni-Tell, U/W Control, and Jund (which is also similar to the archetype Nic Fit). Key cards from Manaless Dredge include Bloodghast, Phantasmagorian, and River Kelpie which distinguish it specifically from regular Dredge builds. Jund / Nic Fit key components include Veteran Explorer to ramp up into cards such as Huntmaster of the Fells, Primeval Titan, and Thragtusk – also, cards like Sensei’s Divining Top, Pernicious Deed, and Grove of the Burnwillows / Punishing Fire synergy work well at controlling the board until you drop a huge dude.
Rounding out the Top 16 were another Omni-Tell, Elves, two Temur Delver, another Ad Nauseam, U/W Stoneblade, Infect, and Sultai Delver. All of these decks have had extensive Legacy coverage previously so no new updates here.
That’s it for this week! As always, thanks for reading.