Weekend Magic: 12/12-12/15

Last weekend was a big one. Star City Games provided plenty of action in Seattle, where the Invitational and an Open were held. Legacy at Star City Games is now classified under the Premier IQ umbrella, so we’ll review those results as well. Finally, this weekend also featured Grand Prix Milan, the Modern event that many have been anticipating. Let’s dive in and take a look at the action.

GP Milan – Modern (Milan, IT)


Magnus Lantto took down the event piloting a classic [card]Birthing Pod[/card] list. This just proves that if you’re a great Pod player, [card]Treasure Cruise[/card] decks just don’t matter that much.

The rest of the top eight included another Birthing Pod deck, a Bloom Titan deck, two Jeskai Ascendancy decks, RUG Aggro, Burn, and Affinity.

Cards to watch out for that were showing up in the lists included pieces from:

  • Bloom Titan
    • [card]Gemstone Mine[/card], [card]Primeval Titan[/card], [card]Azusa, Lost but Seeking[/card], [card]Summer Bloom[/card], [card]Amulet of Vigor[/card], [card]Hive Mind[/card]
  • Jeskai Ascendancy
    • [card]Fatestitcher[/card], [card]Jeskai Ascendancy[/card], [card]Gifts Ungiven[/card] out of the sideboard, [card]Glittering Wish[/card]
  • Affinity
    • [card]Contested Warzone[/card], [card]Myr Enforcer[/card], [card]Frogmite[/card], [card]Mox Opal[/card], [card]Welding Jar[/card], [card]Scale of Chiss-Goria[/card], [card]Chalice of the Void[/card]
      • What was interesting about this build is that it was very light on lands, with only 11 played in the deck! It seemed to play a bunch of free artifacts and then lots of affinity-for-artifacts cards in order to quickly kill. Definitely an interesting take on Affinity.

Overall, Milan was very exciting with fewer [card]Treasure Cruise[/card]s than expected coming in the top eight. Modern may have started adapting to this card more quickly than anticipated.

SCG Invitational – Standard, Legacy (Seattle, WA)

The invitational featured both Standard and Legacy lists. Let’s first cover the Standard portion of the tournament.

Finish Deck Player
1st Jeskai Tokens Dylan Donegan
2nd Abzan Midrange Dan Jessup
3rd U/W Control Jim Davis
4th W/U Heroic Caleb Scherer
5th R/W Tokens Sam Black
6th Abzan Reanimator Ryan Fleisher
7th Mardu Tokens Phillip Braverman
8th G/B Constellation Bradley Yoo

This is about as diverse as you’re going to get in Standard. Eight different decks showing up in the top eight is the sign of a healthy environment.

Notable cards include:

  • [card]Chandra, Pyromaster[/card] and Treasure Cruise in Dylan Donegan’s Jeskai Tokens
  • [card]Dig Through Time[/card] in the U/W Control
  • [card]Hero of Iroas[/card] in W/U Heroic
  • [card]Eidolon of Countless Battles[/card], Chandra, Pyromaster, and [card]Chained to the Rocks[/card] in R/W Tokens
  • [card]Soul of Theros[/card] in Abzan Reanimator
  • [card]Butcher of the Horde[/card] and [card]Doomwake Giant[/card] in Mardu Tokens
  • [card]See the Unwritten[/card] and [card]Arbor Colossus[/card] in G/B Constellation

Now let’s check out Legacy.

Finish Deck Player
1st U/R Delver Dylan Donegan
2nd U/R Delver Dan Jessup
3rd Storm Jim Davis
4th Storm Caleb Scherer
5th Jeskai Ascendancy Combo Sam Black
6th Storm Ryan Fleisher
7th Miracles Phillip Braverman
8th Jeskai Stoneblade Bradley Yoo

Surprisingly, the Legacy lists were much less diverse than the Standard. Two U/R Delver and three Storm decks were played, with the only outliers being Jeskai Ascendency Combo, Miracles, and Jeskai Stoneblade.

Notable cards include:

  • [card]Fatestitcher[/card], [card]Wind Zendikon[/card], [card]Gut Shot[/card], [card]Mental Note[/card], and [card]Pact of Negation[/card] in Jeskai Ascendancy Combo.
  • Card to watch that showed up across multiple decks:
    • [card]Lion’s Eye Diamond[/card]
    • [card]Infernal Tutor[/card]
    • [card]Grim Tutor[/card]
    • Dig Through Time

SCG Open: Seattle – Standard (Seattle, WA)

Star City Games also hosted an Open the same weekend as the Invitational. Let’s see the results of the Standard Open.

Finish Deck Player Finish Deck Player
1st Sultai Reanimator Eric English 9th Abzan Aggro Andrew Tenjum
2nd R/W Aggro Erik Pei 10th Abzan Aggro Thea Steele
3rd U/W Heroic Zachary Jesse 11th Jeskai Tokens Michael Boland
4th R/G Monsters John Bolt 12th Abzan Reanimator Mani Davoudi
5th Abzan Reanimator Steve Mann 13th Abzan Midrange Shawn Tabrizi
6th Abzan Reanimator Mike Boyd 14th Jeskai Tokens Dylan Nollen
7th Temur Monsters Jeff Hoogland 15th U/B Control Christopher Gordon
8th Abzan Reanimator Christopher Morris-Lent 16th Jeskai Tokens Terry Steier

Breaking down the top 16, there were two Abzan Aggro, four Abzan reanimator, three Jeskai Tokens, and a mix of other decks.

Sultai Reanimator took down the event piloted by Eric English. Second place went to R/W Aggro, a form of the Jeskai Tempo decks that forgoes blue to instead focus more on the beatdown. This allows the deck to play more color-intensive cards, like [card]Brimaz, King of Oreskos[/card], [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card], [card]Chandra, Pyromaster[/card], and [card]Hordeling Outburst[/card] together. It also helps with being able to reliably cast [card]Chained to the Rocks[/card] since odds are you will have more mountains in play with this deck.

R/G Monsters featured a playset of [card]Fanatic of Xenagos[/card], a card we haven’t seen in a while in a top eight build. [card]Boon Satyr[/card], [card]Crater’s Claws[/card], and Stormbreath Dragon are a few other cards to watch from this deck.

[card]Doomwake Giant[/card] is a card that appears in all of the reanimator lists. [card]Prognostic Sphinx[/card] and [card]Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver[/card] made an appearance in U/B Control. The rest of the Top 16 were cards and strategies that we’ve seen before in the previous weeks.

SCG Premier IQ: Seattle – Legacy (Seattle, WA)

Now the Legacy portion of the SCG Open in Seattle.

Deck Finish Player Deck Finish Player
Miracles 1st Joe Bass Goblins 9th Richard Chembars
Grixis Painter 2nd Jonathan Salem Jeskai Stoneblade 10th Michael Nixon
Maverick 3rd Shawn Yu Miracles 11th Brent Traut
Lands 4th Rob Hunsaker Shardless Sultai 12th Daniell Baker
Storm 5th Jesse Hampton Storm 13th Tyler Lytle
U/R Delver 6th Jeffrey Tang Esper Stoneblade 14th Jordan Short
Omni-Tell 7th Andrew Johnson Temur Delver 15th nick johnson
Elves 8th Daniel Nguyen Miracles 16th Mike Kiesel

Unlike the Invitational, the Premier IQ for Legacy was quite diverse. Some of the notable decks include Grixis Painter, Maverick, Omni-Tell, Goblins, and Shardless Sultai.

Grixis Painter by Jonathan Salem is something I haven’t seen before. The plays a heavy control matchup and then is able to combo off with the [card]Painter’s Servant[/card] and [card]Grindstone[/card] combo when it is ready to win. The deck can also win through sheer attrition with [card]Jace, the Mind Sculptor[/card]. Notable cards from the deck include [card]Baleful Strix[/card], [card]Painter’s Servant[/card], [card]Imperial Recruiter[/card], and a [card]Sensei’s Diving Top[/card] plus [card]Counterbalance[/card] package.

Maverick again did well this week placing third in Seattle. Notables from Maverick include a playset of [card]Aether Vial[/card], three [card]Weathered Wayfarer[/card], two [card]Sylvan Safekeeper[/card], two [card]Scryb Ranger[/card], three [card]Qasali Pridemage[/card], three [card]Gaddock Teeg[/card], and the full playset of both [card]Deathrite Shaman[/card] and [card]Thalia, Guardian of Thraben[/card]. Out of the sideboard, [card]Zealous Persecution[/card] and [card]Containment Priest[/card] are the notable cards.

Omni-Tell is the last outlier that hasn’t been seen in a top eight in quite some time. The notables from Omni-Tell include [card]Omniscience[/card], [card]Dream Halls[/card], [card]Cunning Wish[/card], and [card]Show and Tell[/card].

Goblins made a ninth place appearance with a more traditional list that included [card]Goblin Piledriver[/card] and [card]Goblin Warchief[/card] for hasty goblin beats. [card]Cavern of Souls[/card] is also a notable from this deck to help get your goblins into play without getting countered.

Finally, the Shardless Sultai Deck featured [card]Liliana of the Veil[/card], [card]Thrun, the Last Troll[/card], [card]Pernicious Deed[/card], and [card]Ancestral Vision[/card].

BONUS – SCG Premier IQ: Modern – Legacy (Seattle, WA)

There was more than just GP Milan for Modern action this weekend. SCG also hosted a Modern Premier IQ, so lets see what the results of that tournament yielded.

Deck Finish Player Deck Finish Player
Abzan Midrange 1st Jeff Fung Abzan Midrange 9th Nate Sletteland
U/R Delver 2nd Gerry Thompson U/R Delver 10th Bradley Richmond
Abzan Midrange 3rd Percy Fang Affinity 11th Cody Beamish
Abzan Pod 4th Matthew Tickal U/R Delver 12th Samuel Pardee
Jeskai Flash 5th Nick Watson G/W Auras 13th Julian Burke
Scapeshift 6th Paul Cuillier Jeskai Burn 14th Alec Runyan
Zoo 7th Soren Wellman Abzan Pod 15th Tyler Gardner
G/R Tron 8th Maxwell Sibert U/R Splinter Twin 16th Luke McGrath

The top 16 of the Modern Premier IQ was more diverse than expected. It featured three Abzan Midrange, two Abzan Pod, three U/R Delver, and generous mix of different archetypes.

Abzan Midrange is a deck that has popped up due to the recent surge of Treasure Cruise decks in Modern. Cards to watch out for in this archetype are [card]Scavenging Ooze[/card], [card]Liliana of the Veil[/card], [card]Abrupt Decay[/card], and [card]Dismember[/card]. Sometimes also seen are [card]Fulminator Mage[/card] and [card]Dark Confidant[/card].

Abzan Pod is where the Birthing Pod decks had to shift in order to compete against Treasure Cruise. Notables in this deck include [card]Voice of Resurgence[/card] and Abrupt Decay.

Jeskai Flash continues to do well and is the direction that the U/W/r archetypes had to shift for Treasure Cruise. Notables from this deck include [card]Geist of Saint Traft[/card], [card]Dig Through Time[/card], and a playset of [card]Remand[/card].

Zoo is a deck that I haven’t seen place top eight at a Star City event in some time. Notables from this deck include [card]Knight of the Reliquary[/card] and [card]Wild Nacatl[/card], along with two [card]Domri Rade[/card].

That’s a wrap from this weekend! Plenty of Magic action to go around for all.

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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