Weekend Magic: 11/28-11/30

This weekend featured Grand Prix San Antonio and Star City Games Open Series: Atlanta. Along with a plateful of turkey, we got a nice heaping side of Magic to go along with it. Let’s see how delicious it was.

Grand Prix San Antonio (TX, USA)

Format: Standard


San Antonio was taken down by Ryan Scullin piloting Mardu Midrange. He took down UW Heroic in the finals to claim the win. The notables from his deck included three [card]Chained to the Rocks[/card] and four [card]Crackling Doom[/card], which assisted Ryan in getting rid of threats like [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card], [card]Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker[/card], and [card]Siege Rhino[/card] all weekend.

Orry Swift was piloting UW Heroic. Notables from the deck include four [card]Hero of Iroas[/card], which is a card that has been trending upward from its lows of $1.50 to now $3.50 and climbing. Pick up your copies sooner rather than later if the UW Heroic deck interests you for Standard play.

In third and fourth were Temur and Sultai. Notables from the Temur deck include three [card]Rattleclaw Mystic[/card]s, four [card]Savage Knuckleblade[/card]s, two [card]Ashcloud Phoenix[/card]es, and three [card]Crater’s Claw[/card]s. The Sultai deck featured a [card]Sagu Mauler[/card], two [card]Doomwake Giant[/card]s, and four [card]Sidisi, Brood Tyrant[/card]. Sidisi is down to around $3.30, her lowest since Khans was released. She is definitely powerful in the Sidisi-Whip deck, which continues to place well at major tournaments. She may drop a little bit more, but if you want to play with her in Standard, I think picking up copies for $3 is fine.

Rounding out the Top 8 were two Abzan decks, one Jeskai deck, and another mono-red deck that splashed blue for [card]Treasure Cruise[/card]. Highlights from the Mono-Red Cruise deck included four [card]Fated Conflagration[/card] and four [card]Satyr Firedrinker[/card], along with four [card]Monastery Swiftspear[/card] and three [card]Treasure Cruise[/card]. Looks like UR Delver has come to Standard as well, folks!

SCG Open Atlanta – Standard (GA, USA)


Finish Deck Finish Deck
1st Sultai Reanimator 9th Abzan Midrange
2nd Abzan Midrange 10th Mardu Midrange
3rd Abzan Midrange 11th Abzan Midrange
4th Mardu Midrange 12th Esper Control
5th G/R Monsters 13th Mardu Aggro
6th Mardu Midrange 14th Abzan Midrange
7th Mardu Aggro 15th Temur Midrange
8th Abzan Aggro 16th G/B Devotion

John Farrow took down the Standard portion of Atlanta piloting Sultai Reanimator. Similar to GP San Antonio’s Top 4 finish, the deck wins by using self-mill along with graveyard recursion and Sidisi in order to generate advantage against your opponent. The tech in this version included four [card]Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver[/card] out of the sideboard.

Rounding out the rest of the Top 8 were two Abzan Midrange decks, an Abzan Aggro deck, two Mardu Midrange decks, a Mardu Aggro deck, and a GR Monsters deck.

GR Monsters was a unique deck. It featured four Ashcloud Phoenix, four [card]Hornet Nest[/card], four Stormbreath Dragon, four [card]Xenagos, the Reveler[/card], and three [card]Setessan Tactics[/card]. I love imagining Hornet Nests fighting random creatures—so awesome! You can also play another Tactics later to have your deathtouch hornets kill huge guys.

Like last week, Abzan Aggro now features four [card]Bloodsoaked Champion[/card] and four [card]Soldier of the Pantheon[/card] along with three [card]Gather Courage[/card]. Three Anafenza and two [card]Boon Satyr[/card]s also appeared in this list.

The rest of th Top 16 included three Abzan Midrange, Mardu Midrange, Mardu Aggro, Esper Control, Temur Midrange, and GB Devotion.

Esper Control featured four [card]Dig Through Time[/card] and four [card]End Hostilities[/card] are the only outstanding cards to me in the main deck. Out of the sideboard [card]Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver[/card] makes an appearance as a three-of.

Tymaret made an appearance in the 13th place Mardu Aggro deck, three Stubborn denial and four Temur Charm were seen in the Temur Midrange deck, and three Doomwake Giants were seen in the GB Devotion deck as cards to watch.

SCG Open Atlanta – Legacy (GA, USA)


Finish Deck Finish Deck
1st U/R Delver 9th Reanimator
2nd Temur Delver 10th Ad Nauseam Tendrils
3rd Reanimator 11th Merfolk
4th Sneak And Show 12th Lands
5th Storm 13th Miracles
6th Elves 14th Miracles
7th Lands 15th Miracles
8th Jeskai Stoneblade 16th Death And Taxes

UR Delver piloted by Will Fleischman took down the event with its brother, Temur Delver, taking second place. Surprisingly, the second-place deck was playing [card]Nimble Mongoose[/card] over Treasure Cruise. It was a throwback to the old Canadian Threshold decks that have been around since Odyssey block. The deck featured a full stock of [card]Stifle[/card], [card]Force of Will[/card], [card]Brainstorm[/card], and [card]Daze[/card] in order to maximize the tempo plan.

The rest of the Top 8 included a diverse slew of decks. Out of the remaining decks, Reanimator played two [card]Hapless Researcher[/card] to help against aggro decks and Lands featured [card]Mox Diamond[/card] and [card]Gamble[/card] to speed up the end game.

The rest of the Top 16 included Merfolk, Miracles, and Death and Taxes. Merfolk hasn’t been seen in a Top 16 for quite a while and has changed much from the [card]Standstill[/card] days of yore. Merfolk gets to play a full playset of [card]True-Name Nemesis[/card] along with [card]Cavern of Souls[/card] in order to have uncounterable TNNs. [card]Phantasmal Image[/card] is another card that is seen as a playset in the deck and does a ton of work, becoming a lord or a copy of the best creature on the field quickly. Three [card]Vapor Snag[/card]s main deck have been added to help Merfolk against Burn and UR Delver. Out of the sideboard, [card]Back to Basics[/card] punishes Lands and other greedy manabases.

* BONUS* SCG Premier IQ Atlanta – Modern (GA, USA)


Finish Deck Finish Deck
1st U/R Delver 9th U/R Twin
2nd Temur Twin 10th G/W Hatebears
3rd Jeskai Flash 11th Amulet Combo
4th Temur Delver 12th Abzan Pod
5th Affinity 13th Affinity
6th U/R Delver 14th G/R Tron
7th Scapeshift 15th U/R Delver
8th Temur Delver 16th Burn

UR Delver also took down the Modern portion of SCG Atlanta. This version main decked three Gut Shots. In addition to being totally Legacy playable, Gut Shot has also killed a Delver or two in Modern. I still like foil copies if you can get them for $4 or less. The price seems be rising for foils as time goes on.

Rounding out the rest of the Top 8 were Temur Twin, Jeskai Flash, two Temur Delver Decks, Affinity, another UR Delver, and Scapeshift.

Jeskai Flash is a new take on the Jeskai Midrange decks in Modern. Jeff Hoogland put a spin on the deck by playing an [card]Aven Mindcensor[/card] and [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card] in the main deck along with four [card]Geist of Saint Traft[/card]. Geist seems to come and go in Modern as the format speeds up and slows down. Now that Treasure Cruise has taken over the format, Geist has become much better due to hexproof. He has reached all-time lows of $13.50 and could see an uptick in price if Jeskai Flash continues to place well in the Treasure Cruise metagame. [card]Kor Firewalker[/card] is also a real card out of the sideboard. Foils are still less than $1 and seem like a good pickup to me.

The Top 16 included GW Hatebears, Amulet Combo, Abzan Pod, GR Tron, and Burn.

Hatebears played a ton of creatures: thirty in the main deck! Among these included three Aven Mindcensor, four [card]Leonin Arbiter[/card], four [card]Loxodon Smiter[/card], three [card]Thalia, Guardian of Thraben[/card], and two [card]Thrun, the Last Troll[/card] to provide a constant stream of haterade. Two [card]Sword of War and Peace[/card] were also seen in the deck, a card which is becoming awesome in Modern to help against fast decks like Delver and Burn. Again, Kor Firewalker is seen out of the sideboard.

Amulet Combo also has a ton of unique cards. [card]Primeval Titan[/card], [card]Azusa, Amulet of Vigor[/card], [card]Hive Mind[/card], [card]Summoner’s Pact[/card], and [card]Summer Bloom[/card] are all cards to watch from this deck. Amulet Combo is rather janky, but can put up results if the pilot has lots of experience with the deck.

Abzan Pod seems to be the new version of Birthing Pod decks going forward since Treasure Cruise has entered the format. Four- and five-color pod decks have gone away in favor of this new deck that plays [card]Siege Rhino[/card]. It also plays three [card]Voice of Resurgence[/card], another card I’m targeting now that Return to Ravnica block has rotated.

Burn continues to showcase the power of [card]Eidolon of the Great Revel[/card], along with of course splashing blue for Treasure Cruise and white for [card]Boros Charm[/card] to give the deck even more reach and power.

Wrapping It Up

GP San Antonio and SCG Atlanta—Standard showed us that Sidisi is the real deal. She is still very cheap for a mythic and could easily double up in price once Khans redemption dries up. Other cards to keep an eye out on in Standard include Hero of Iroas, Chained to the Rocks, and Crackling Doom.

The Modern portion of SCG Atlanta showed us that there is still plenty of innovation going on despite Treasure Cruise entering the format (even if that innovation has been created due to the format warping around Treasure Cruise).

Legacy showed us that Merfolk is still a deck. Also, Delver decks can still win without Treasure Cruise, though this game plan probably isn’t recommended. If you decide to go this route, Nimble Mongoose is where you want to be.

About the Author
Jared is a longtime Magic player who has been slinging cardboard since Odyssey block (back when creatures came into play). He was introduced to the financial side of Magic during Return to Ravnica block and hasn't looked back since. He is a resident of the VA area located just outside of DC. His favorite MTG formats include Limited, Legacy, and Commander. Regardless of format, he prefers making creature tokens. You can follow him on Twitter: @gildedgoblin.

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