Weekend Magic: 1/23-1/25

With a new Standard set and recent Modern and Legacy bannings  and unbannings, this weekend is sure to bring attention to several cards that were previously flying under the radar. We’ll also see old decks coming back again. Let’s take a look at Star City Games: DC to see what the outcome of it all was. In addition, the Super Sunday Series Championship took place. This event can also provide more insight into the direction that Standard will be going since Fate Reforged has been released.

Star City Games: DC – Standard Open (Washington, DC, USA)


Deck Finish Player Deck Finish Player
Sultai Control 1st Gerard Fabiano G/B Constellation 9th Brian Braun-Duin
R/W Aggro 2nd Danny Goldstein Mardu Aggro 10th Benjamin Nikolich
Abzan Aggro 3rd Hunter Nance Temur Ascendancy 11th Mark Toepfner
W/U Heroic 4th Logan Mize Abzan Midrange 12th Jeremy Bowman
Sultai Ramp 5th Ali Aintrazi Jeskai Tokens 13th Tom Ross
Abzan Aggro 6th Andrew Boswell U/B Control 14th Ryan Phraner
Abzan Midrange 7th Dan Musser Abzan Midrange 15th Steve Rubin
Jeskai Aggro 8th Michael Walewski W/R Heroic 16th Zach Jesse

Gerard Fabiano took down the event piloting a Sultai Control list. The deck was focused around planeswalkers and featured two copies of the mighty [card]Ugin, the Spirit Dragon[/card] in the main deck. [card]Garruk, Apex Predator[/card] also made an appearance alongside [card]Kiora, the Crashing Wave[/card] and [card]Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver[/card].

Also present were two [card]Tasigur, the Golden Fang[/card] out of his sideboard. This card has already spiked from its lows of $3 or $4 to upwards of $12 or $13. The current spike is due to the low supply of the card in the market—if you have any extra copies, I would sell now and then buy back in later once the price has lowered a bit. It seems that eternal formats could also be driving the demand of Tasigur and raising the price, since he was seen briefly in Modern. However, he is legendary and many players are opting to play only one or two copies of the card between their main decks and the sideboards.

Next up is Danny Goldstein’s R/W aggro deck, which featured [card]Monestary Mentor[/card], one [card]Soulfire Grand Master[/card], two [card]Outpost Siege[/card], two [card]Collateral Damage[/card], and two [card]Valorous Stance[/card]. [card]Hushwing Gryff[/card] was a two-of in the sideboard as well. Gryff is a notable card in the new format because it can help white decks out against the surge of Sultai that is sure to show up over the coming months due to Tasigur, in addition to the already existing [card]Siege Rhino[/card]s and Abzan cards.

Other notable appearances in the Top 8:

  • Tasigur also appeared as a two-of in the third place Abzan Aggro list.
  • [card]Frontier Siege[/card] appeared as a three-of in the Sultai Ramp list, and Ugin appeared as two-of in this list.
  • Abzan Aggro featured a full playset of [card]Warden of the First Tree[/card] and four [card]Valorous Stance[/card].
  • Abzan Midrange featured one Tasigur and one Ugin.
  • Jeskai Aggro featured two [card]Shaman of the Great Hunt[/card], two [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card] (also one the sideboard), three [card]Abzan Advantage[/card] (also one in sideboard—foils could be a good target here), two [card]Valorous Stance[/card] (also two in the sideboard), and three [card]Wild Slash[/card].

Patrick Chapin made a Twitter comment about the number of Fate Reforged cards that saw play in the Top 8, and he wasn’t kidding! Usually, this many cards from a second set don’t see Standard play. However, Fate Reforged seems to have bucked this trend.

Notable Top 16 cards include:

  • A playset of Frontier Siege in BBD’s G/B Constellation deck.
  • Three [card]Brutal Hordechief[/card] and two Wild Slash in the 10th place Mardu Aggro list.
  • A [card]Temur Ascendancy[/card] combo deck, featuring four [card]Temur Sabertooth[/card] alongside Nykthos and [card]Temur Ascendancy[/card].
  • Three [card]Whisperwood Elemental[/card] in the 12th-place Abzan Midrange deck.
  • Three Monastery Mentor and two Soulfire Grand Master in Tom Ross’ Jeskai Tokens list, with a [card]Citadel Siege[/card] and a [card]Mastery of the Unseen[/card] out of the sideboard
  • One [card]Silumgar, the Drifting Death[/card] and Ugin, along with three [card]Crux of Fate[/card], out of the U/B Control list.
  • Three [card]Temur Battle Strength[/card] out of the W/R Heroic list, which is an interesting spin on the U/W Heroic that is usually seen.

Star City Games: DC – Modern Premier IQ (Washington, DC, USA)


Deck Finish Player Deck Finish Player
Auras 1st David Heilker Burn 9th Gary Nunes
Abzan Midrange 2nd Kevin Vanevery Mefolk 10th Cristo Yanez
Zoo 3rd Pat Cox Jeskai Flash 11th Timothy Taylor
Storm 4th Stan Smith Abzan 12th Oscar Sardinas
G/R Tron 5th Brad Carpenter Temur Twin 13th Allen Norman
Storm 6th Joshua Everly Scapeshift 14th Jonathan Goldman
Jund 7th Karl Delatorre Abzan 15th Chad Kastel
Affinity 8th Lance Hartbarger Zoo 16th Eli Loveman

Auras took down the Modern portion piloted by David Heilker. Looks like this deck is back on the radar now that Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time are banned. Nothing new appeared in this deck—it was a classic Boggles list that was able to win due to the sheer speed of the clock it presents.

Tasigur made an appearance in the Abzan Midrange deck that took second place at the event. Also appearing in the deck were [card]Liliana of the Veil[/card], Stirring Wildwood, and [card]Voice of Resurgence[/card] along with two [card]Creeping Corrosion[/card] and four [card]Fulminator Mage[/card] out of the sideboard.

Rounding out the Top 8 were Zoo, two Storm decks, G/R Tron, Jund, and Affinity. Notables from these decks include Geist of Saint Traft, Pyromancer Ascension, Past in Flames, and Chandra, Pyromaster. Not much innovation from Fate Reforged, so it looks like Modern has gone back to the way it was post-Khans.

Rounding out the Top 8 were Burn, Merfolk, Jeskai Flash, two Abzan decks, Temur Twin, Scapeshift, and Zoo. Notables from these decks include Restoration Angel, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Wanderwine Hub, Seachrome Coast, Gifts Ungiven, Knight of the Reliquary, and Blood Moon.

Star City Games: DC – Legacy Premier IQ (Washington, DC, USA)


Deck Finish Player Deck Finish Player
Show and Tell 1st Daniel Cosiem Miracles 9th Gavin Schober
Lands 2nd David Long Jeskai Stoneblade 10th Kevin Jones
Lands 3rd TJ Martin Temur Delver 11th Daniel Signorini
Abzan Maverick 4th Doug Azzano G/B Midrange 12th David Richardson
Metalworker 5th James Wohlmacher Temur Delver 13th Zack Kanner
Dredge 6th Erik Copenhaver Esper Stoneblade 14th Shaheen Soorani
Temur Delver 7th Myles Housman Shardless Sultai 15th Harlan Firer
Grixis Control 8th Jeff Mcaleer Temur Delver 16th Cody Shoemaker

Show and Tell took down the Legacy portioned piloted by Daniel Cosiem. Dig Through Time managed to avoid the banhammer in Legacy, yet it wasn’t used in the winning Show and Tell list. Lands took second and third place—cards to watch from this deck include Mox Diamond, Gamble, and The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale. Wasteland could also see an uptick in demand since U/R Delver is no longer a deck based on the Top 16 we see here.

Other cards to watch from the Top 8 include Deathrite Shaman, Stoneforge Mystic, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Living Wish, Metalworker, City of Traitors, Grim Monolith, Golgari Grave-Troll, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Nimble Mongoose (which seems to be making a resurgence), Baleful Strix, and Dack Fayden. All of these cards were important pieces of their respective decks in the Top 8 results of the Legacy portion of the weekend.

From the Top 16, G/B Midrange is the rogue deck of the week. Cards to watch from this deck include Obstinate Baloth, Titania, Protector of Argoth, Choke, Green Sun’s Zenith, and Rolling Spoil.

Super Sunday Series Championship


Back to Standard. Luis Salvatto took down the Super Sunday Series Championship by piloting a R/W Midrange list very similar to the R/W Aggro deck that took second place at the SCG Open. Notables from Salvatto’s deck include Chandra, Pyromaster, Brimaz, King of Oreskos, Ashcloud Phoenix, Valorous Stance, and Stormbreath Dragon.

Second place went to Oscar Christensen playing R/G Monsters. Notables from this deck include Boon Satyr, Ashcloud Phoenix, Stormbreath Dragon, two Yasova Dragonclaw, and Crater’s Claws.

Rounding out the Top 8 were two Abzan midrange decks, Jeskai Ascendancy Combo, BG Constellation, Sidisi-Whip and Abzan Aggro. Notables here included three Tasigur and one Torrent Elemental out of Matt Costa’s Sidisi-Whip main deck, along with another Torrent Elemental and Crux of Fate out the sideboard.

Other notables from the Top 8 include Shamanic Revelation out the BG Constellation sideboard, two Monastery Siege out of the Jeskai Ascendancy Combo sideboard, and lots of copies of Nissa, Worldwaker and Drown in Sorrow across multiple sideboards.

Last Thoughts

Modern and Legacy seem to have reverted back to post-Khans, barring any future innovations from Fate Reforged, and Standard appears to have a ton of possibility for the future! There are plenty of cards to watch from Fate Reforged, but current themes suggest that we should watch Tasigur, Ugin, and Monastery Mentor the closest. These three cards seem to be the most powerful from Fate Reforged—so far!

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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