Hey, everyone! This weekend, Star City Games hosted an Open Series in Atlanta and Channel Fireball hosted the Weekend #3 World Magic Cup Qualifier. Unfortunately, Channel Fireball isn’t as good at getting its results posted as Star City so results from the WMCQ haven’t made their way from the tournament floor to a deck database yet. This means I will be focusing solely on Star City to see what types of decks placed in Standard, Legacy, and Modern in Atlanta this weekend.
SCG Standard Open Atlanta, GA (US)
Yet again, Goblin Rabblemaster steals the limelight with a Mono-Red Rabble win by Manuel Orellana. There’s no real innovation in the list, just a ton of burn and tight play by Orellana to take down the tournament. At the time of this writing, Satyr Firedrinker is out of stock on Star City Games at $1. There could be some demand for the Firedrinker from aggro decks upon rotation. However, the card is very risky to play with since it could potentially deal a ton of damage to its controller. I’m thinking, though, that if Rabblemaster continues to put up amazingly good results, players will continue to jam the previous Standard’s list as close as they possibly can. This means Firedrinker Satyr could see a short-lived spike in demand upon rotation. If you decide to get in now, I wouldn’t wait too long after rotation to trade or sell them. Aggro cards usually have a short shelf life once the control decks start popping up, and Firedrinker is even riskier than many other aggro cards that could see play.
Three Jund decks rounded out the rest of the top four. Xenagos was present as a playset in all three decks which means that his future looks promising if Jund is still a deck after rotation. Wedges could totally throw off the landscape of Standard and diminish the number of shard-based decks that show up. Also, Xenagos has already seen a price spike from $8 to $17.50 TCGplayer mid, so if you did not pick him up before the spike, you missed the boat. I would avoid getting in at this point for profit, regardless of the results, because to me the risk is greater than the reward in this scenario—it would take a lot for Xenagos to go to $30 or more.
I’ve noticed that Mistcutter Hydra is starting to trend upwards, so if you like the card you should pick them up soon. I think they will still be a sideboard card even after rotation. Polukranos, World Eater also seems to be trending upwards as we reach rotation and fits well with the Temur mechanic of ferocious. Nissa was included in all the Jund lists, but making a profit off of her is very hard at $40. However, she is such a strong planeswalker in her own right that I would expect her to continue seeing play going into rotation. I would recommend that you only pick up copies for decks since the buy-in is so steep. Breaking $50 is not out of the question but still up in the air at this point.
Anger of the Gods saw sideboard play in two Jund lists in Atlanta. I think it is going to be one of the premier main-deck removal spells after rotation, as we don’t have a wrath effect at four mana. It is still pretty cheap at $2.50. I could see it hitting $4 or more moving forward.
Unfortunately, the Naya and Mono-Black Devotion decks that rounded out the top eight, have many pieces from RTR block, so the decks don’t really indicate anything we don’t already know.
SCG Modern Premier IQ Atlanta, GA (US)
Infect won the Modern IQ, but not piloted by the usual suspect, The Boss. Instead, Aaron Barich was able to defeat Ad Nauseum in the finals to take down the tournament. I’ve talked about Infect in Legacy quite extensively in a previous piece. The differences between Modern and Legacy Infect mainly involve substituting an aggro-control build in Legacy for a more comboish, quick-kill build in Modern. Since Modern lacks Force of Will and Daze, the Modern Infect deck instead focuses on having 18 spells dedicated to pumping up infect creatures to kill opponents as fast as possible without worrying about major disruption.
Three Might of Old Krosas were present in the Modern list. This is probably the uncommon that stands to gain the most from these results, since it wasn’t reprinted in Modern Masters and is from a fairly old set. Inkmoth Nexus could also see a slight bump in price, since Affinity also plays the land to maximize the amount of artifacts they have in play as well as having an alternative path to victory. Could Noble Hierarch possibly reach a higher price than it is at now? It is already a sickeningly high $72 TCGplayer mid for what is essentially a mana dork plus upside. It may go higher, but it is a horrible time to buy in unless you plan on playing Infect or a variation of a Pod deck over the next six months. This card is probably on the list of top five cards getting a Modern Masters 2 reprint, so stay far away from Hierarch in cash and only trade into them if you need them for a Modern deck.
Second place went to Ad Nauseum, which is a deck that put two pro players into the top sixteen of Pro Tour Born of the Gods earlier this year. It is basically the same build as the PT decks with some modifications to the sideboard to adjust for the metagame. The cards to watch for in this deck include Gemstone Mine, Lotus Bloom, Phyrexian Unlife, Ad Nauseam, Pact of Negation, Simian Spirit Guide, and foils of those cards. Phyrexian Unlife experienced a spike earlier this year due to the pro tour, yet it seems to have dropped back down to around $1 TCGplayer mid. I feel nonfoils of this card stand to gain the most if the Atlanta results garner more interest from Modern players. A caveat with picking up pieces of this deck is that Wizards is known to hate combo strategies and could potentially ban any piece of the combo in the future (Ad Nauseam, Lotus Bloom, etc.).
Other than the top two, the rest of the top eight was diverse but not innovative. Vexing Devil appeared as a playset in the burn deck that got sixth place… *sigh*. Huntmaster of the Fells also sees play in Tarmo-Twin and has experienced a drop in price this week, which means that it could be a good time to get in on the card if you want to play it Keranos, God of Storms made an appearance in the UWR Control list, which continues to showcase his eternal playability on top of his Standard playability.
SCG Legacy Open Atlanta, GA (US)
UWR Miracles took down the tournament piloted by Chi Hoy Yim. It’s pretty much your standard Miracles list, so there’s not a whole lot to report here. Keranos made an appearance in the sideboard, again showing eternal playability beyond even Modern. Yim played two Council’s Judgment across the main deck and sideboard, so that could be another card to keep an eye on moving forward.
Infect continues to make waves in Legacy, putting three people into the top eight of the Legacy Open. Looks like Infect is starting to make its way up the chain from pet deck to established Legacy archetype. Each player put his own spin on the deck; however, the backbone of each list was the same—land an infect creature, pump it up as often as possible, and disrupt whatever your opponent is trying to do while you do it. Berserk is looking more and more like a great pickup based on these results. Even Pendelhaven may start seeing some upward mobility regardless of four printings, since you can get it out with Crop Rotation and it is only around $4 TCGplayer mid for the Timeshifted versions. Foils of Glistener Elf and Blighted Agent could also be good pickups.
Elves continues to do well and High Tide even made an appearance in the top eight piloted by Feline Longmore. Keep in mind that Longmore is pretty much the grand master of High Tide pilots. Getting sixth place with the deck is great, but if you’re considering playing it, remember that High Tide is an extremely hard deck to pilot well. It is quite unforgiving which is why I expect we see it less and less these days in Legacy top eights. I believe the last time High Tide placed highly was back in April, so I think it is more of a pet deck these days.
Shardless BUG and Burn round out the final two decks of the top eight. These are pretty much your standard lists, barring a single copy of Vexing Devil played in Burn, which I’m not sure if I find funny or sad. Guess it’s time to start buying Devils up en masse, everybody.
Not much innovation was going on in Atlanta for Standard, so we’ll need to wait until Khans of Tarkir is released to start seeing some brand new archetypes emerge. Hold on to current nonrotating staples now in the top-performing decks. Decide to sell out later if they start to dwindle in performance.
Infect made its presence known, both in Modern and Legacy. If you’re interested in Legacy Infect pieces, I think now is the time to pick them up. Three Infect decks making the top eight is a solid showing that is sure to spur more interest in the deck. Even in Modern, for the most part the deck is fairly cheap to put together especially because of fetch land reprints.
The core cards from Infect (both Legacy and Modern) and Ad Nauseum have the best chance of seeing a price increase in the future based on last weekend’s results. Make moves accordingly.