Weekend Magic: 12/19-12/21

The only event that happened last weekend was the Star City Games Players’ Championship, an event exclusively dedicated to sixteen incredible players that have done exceptionally well at Star City Games events across the country. There are sixteen Standard and sixteen Legacy decks that come out of the event, so lets see how well the decks did against each other when only the pro’s were around to pilot them.

SCG Players’ Championship – Standard (Roanoke, VA)




Finish Deck Player Finish Deck Player
1st Sultai Reanimator Brad Nelson 9th Mardu Midrange Kent Ketter
2nd Sultai Reanimator Gerard Fabiano 10th Jeskai Tokens Chris VanMeter
3rd Sultai Reanimator Reid Duke 11th Jeskai Tokens Dylan Donegan
4th Abzan Aggro Brian Braun-Duin 12th R/G Monsters Logan Mize
5th W/U Heroic Tom Ross 13th Jeskai Tokens Kevin Jones
6th Jeskai Tokens Ross Merriam 14th Temur Midrange Jeff Hoogland
7th W/U Heroic Joe Lossett 15th U/W Control Jim Davis
8th W/U Heroic Steve Mann 16th Abzan Reanimator Derrick Sheets


Wow: three Sultai Reanimator decks taking the top three spots of the Standard portion really speaks to the power of the deck. Even in a field of excellent players, the Sultai Reanimator deck reigns supreme. Lets take a look at which cards were included across those decks.


Mythic Rare Uncommon
6x Pharika, God of Affliction 12x Whip of Erebos 15x Murderous Cut
4x Sidisi, Brood Tyrant 12x Thoughtseize 12x Opulent Palace
1x Soul of Innistrad 12x Sylvan Caryatid 7x Sultai Charm
12x Courser of Kruphix 2x Reclamation Sage
10x Llanowar Wastes
8x Temple of Malady
8x Eidolon of Blossoms
8x Doomwake Giant
6x Yavimaya Coast
6x Hornet Queen
4x Temple of Deceit
4x Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
3x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
3x Hero’s Downfall
2x Windswept Heath
2x Polluted Delta
1x Temple of Mystery
1x Mana Confluence




7x Disdainful Stroke
6x Hero’s Downfall
5x Bile Blight
5x Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
4x Read the Bones
4x Negate
4x Kiora, the Crashing Wave
2x Treasure Cruise
2x Thoughtseize
2x Sultai Charm
2x Silence the Believers
1x Reclamation Sage
1x Drown in Sorrow


OK, so the first thing that pops out to me is the lack of [card]Sidisi, Brood Tyrant[/card]. Yes, Brad Nelson did play them and he won the overall Players’ Championship with the help of his particular build. However, with two other competitors Gerard Fabiano and Reid Duke opting not to play them it is quite clear that the Sultai Brood doesn’t need the tyrant in order to still place well. What is important are the [card]Whip of Erebos[/card], [card]Thoughtseize[/card], and [card]Sylvan Caryatid[/card]s found across the decks. Other notables include eight [card]Eidolon of Blossoms[/card], eight [card]Doomwake Giant[/card]s, six [card]Pharika, God of Affliction[/card]. These are all cards that could be potentially undervalued going into the new year based on the results here.

Let’s also analyze U/W Heroic, as this deck appeared three times in the Top 8 along with Sultai Reanimator.


Rare Uncommon
12x Hero of Iroas 12x Ordeal of Thassa
8x Temple of Enlightenment 12x Favored Hoplite
8x Flooded Strand 12x Battlewise Hoplite
3x Mana Confluence 7x Seeker of the Way
1x Eidolon of Countless Battles 5x Ordeal of Heliod
3x Stubborn Denial
2x Triton Tactics


9x Stubborn Denial
7x Glare of Heresy
5x Treasure Cruise
5x Erase
4x Ordeal of Heliod
4x Ajani’s Presence
3x Lagonna-Band Trailblazer
2x Mortal’s Ardor
2x Mortal Obstinacy
2x Aqueous Form
1x Triton Tactics
1x Dig Through Time


The deck is very straightforward in order to stay on the aggro tempo plan based on the linear numbers and lack of mythics. The most important cards include [card]Hero of Iroas[/card], [card]Ordeal of Thassa[/card], [card]Favored Hoplite[/card], and [card]Battlewise Hoplite[/card]. [card[Flooded Strand[/card] has been trending upwards over the past few weeks on the success of this deck. Many of the fetchlands have stabilized in price for now, so keep the ones that you’ve already acquired. The low point for fetches will come starting next spring and going into the summer, so I would only recommend picking up Flooded Strand and the rest if you plan on playing with them until then.

Four players opted to play Jeskai Tokens at the Championships, and while it only put one player into the Top 8, the deck still remains a competitive choice for players. Notables from Jeskai Tokens include [card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/card], [card]Jeskai Ascendency[/card], and [card]Hordeling Outburst[/card].

Only one player decided to play Mardu Midrange despite its recent successes. I don’t think this means it is going to be the end of the deck but unfortunately it means that there isn’t much analysis on what higher level players would play in their Mardu Midrange builds. [card]Bloodstained Mire[/card] and [card]Wooded Foothills[/card] are still the cheapest fetchlands, and if B/R/G decks prove popular next year we can expect these fetchlands to start climbing like [card]Flooded Strand[/card] has.


SCG Players’ Championship – Legacy (Roanoke, VA)




Finish Deck Player Finish Deck Player
1st Sneak and Show Brad Nelson 9th Reanimator Kent Ketter
2nd Sultai Control Gerard Fabiano 10th Reanimator Chris VanMeter
3rd Miracles Reid Duke 11th U/R Delver Dylan Donegan
4th Jeskai Stoneblade Brian Braun-Duin 12th Omni-Tell Logan Mize
5th Infect Tom Ross 13th Grixis Control Kevin Jones
6th Elves Ross Merriam 14th Death and Taxes Jeff Hoogland
7th Reanimator Joe Lossett 15th Storm Jim Davis
8th Temur Delver Steve Mann 16th Deathblade Derrick Sheets


Just like many SCG Legacy Opens that we’ve seen in the past, the Top 8 of the Legacy portion also reflects the diversity of Legacy’s metagame compared to formats like Standard. Brad Nelson’s Legacy go-to choice is Sneak and Show. Two main deck [card]Overmaster[/card] are the notable cards from this build. Everything else reflects the typical Sneak and Show decks but with the addition of three main deck [card]Flusterstorm[/card] in anticipation of Storm and Delver builds. One card with a surprising price is [card]Boseiju, Who Shelters All[/card] which is $9.50 TCG Median. This card just got a reprint in the FTV series, so I would not expect Boseiju’s price to move for quite some time.

Sultai Control is a spin on the old Team America decks, which is focused on controlling your opponent until you can drop a game-ending threat and win from there. Fabiano’s take on the deck includes two [card]Sensei’s Divining Top[/card] and two [card]Counterbalance[/card] to help against faster decks while also playing Legacy staples such as [card]Abrupt Decay[/card], [card]Treasure Cruise[/card], [card]Tarmogoyf[/card], and [card]Thoughtseize[/card].

The players’ decks reflected what they were most comfortable with, which makes sense give Legacy’s extremely diverse format. However, Reanimator was the most popular choice with three players piloting the deck. Kent Ketter and Joe Lossett were both playing four [card]Gemstone Cavern[/card]s main, which is a land that if you’re not playing first you can begin the game with the land in play with a luck counter on it by exiling a card from your hand (if you have it in your opener). The luck counter allows the land to tap for any color rather than colorless, which means that you are essentially playing a pseudo-[card]Chrome Mox[/card] on your first turn. This allowed them to have faster clocks on the draw; sometimes the difference between a win and a loss in a format like Legacy. Non-foil Caverns are $2 while foils are $10, so if this version of Reanimator continues to show up at Legacy events I would expect non-foils to rise in price since it only has one printing.

Keter and Lossett also both played two [card]Firestorm[/card] main deck. This could mean upward mobility for the card’s price, since it is now seeing additional play outside of Dredge.

Other notables from Legacy include four Overmaster between the main deck and sideboard of Omni-Tell, two [card]Dack Fayden[/card] in Grixis Control, and three [card]Knight of the Reliquary[/card] in Deathbalde.

Wrapping Up

That’s all for this weekend! Players and spectators had high hopes for the SCG Players’ Championship and Star City certainly delivered on them. We got plenty of great Magic action along with some interesting deck choices that could ultimately spell changes financially for select cards that played important roles in the decks.

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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