Let’s take a look at another weekend of Magic action. This weekend featured two constructed events, Grand Prix: Omaha and Star City Games: Philadelphia. The Grand Prix was Modern so we will be able to add more Modern data to our analysis of the format before the new banned and restricted announcements are revealed. The SCG Open featured Legacy as the main event, which is exciting because Legacy events are becoming rarer and rarer every day. Time to get down into the Magic.
Grand Prix: Omaha (NE, USA)
Pod took down the tournament piloted by Erik Peters. Despite the success of U/R Delver in Modern from the one and only Treasure Cruise, Pod still seems to be taking Modern by storm. LSV and others still tote it as one of the most popular decks in Modern, and the power of Birthing Pod can’t be denied even in a field full of fast, aggressive decks. Highlights from Peters’ deck include Voice of Resurgence and Siege Rhino (foils are a good target now). Siege Rhino has quickly made itself a mainstay of Modern, at least in the current format, and foils are good target both for Standard applications and the the predicted usability of the card in Modern moving forward.
Second place went to Amulet Combo, a deck that is notoriously hard to pilot but does great in a field full of fast, aggressive decks since it can kill your opponent quicker than an aggro deck if the proper sequence of plays are executed correctly. Such were the skills of Stephen Speck that he was able to place in the finals of a Grand Prix with such a deck. Cards to look out for in the deck include [card]Primeval Titan[/card], [card]Amulet of Vigor[/card], [card]Summer Bloom[/card], and [card]Hive Mind[/card]—all cards essential to the deck’s operation.
Rounding out the Top 8 were a diverse listing of decks which included R/G Tron, Merfolk, two U/R Delver lists, Four-Color Zoo, and something called R/G Breachscape. Let’s take a look more closely at Merfolk, Zoo, and Breachscape since the other lists are Modern mainstays that have been documented extensively in past articles.
- Merfolk – Many pieces of Merfolk have already stabilized in price over time due to the success of this deck in Modern. This means that some have a high chance of being in Modern Masters 2, like Cursecatcher and Silvergill Adept. Others like Master of the Pearl Trident have already increased in price due to Merfolk also popping up from time to time in Legacy, further increasing demand for the core components. Even Cavern of Souls and Aether Vial keep going up over time, since they are casual favorites in addition to being key parts of the deck. Mutavault is probably the most undervalued card of the deck due to the recent M14 printing.
- Four-Color Zoo – Cards to look out for here include [card]Anafenza, the Foremost[/card], [card]Siege Rhino[/card] (again!?), [card]Loxodon Smiter[/card], [card]Lightning Helix[/card], and [card]Path to Exile[/card].
- Breachscape – Cards to keep an eye on in this deck are Chalice of the Void (which just experienced another buy out and spike in price), Obstinate Baloth, Anger of the Gods, Summoning Trap, and Through the Breach.
All in all, GP Omaha was very exciting for Modern as it showcased seven different archetypes that have done well since Khans of Tarkir was printed. However, as some pros were quick to point out, there were two common trends amongst the decks – you either played [card]Treasure Cruise[/card] or played [card]Chalice of the Void[/card] main deck or sideboard to deal with TC decks (unless you’re Zoo, obviously).
Star City Games: Philadelphia – Legacy (PA, USA)
|Temur Delver||1st||Daryl Ayers||Elves||9th||Bobby Colegrove|
|Storm||2nd||Ross Merriam||Sultai Control||10th||Gerard Fabiano|
|Sneak And Show||3rd||Peter Johnson||Shardless Sultai||11th||Joseph Herrera|
|Lands||4th||David Long||Dredge||12th||Eric Copenhaver|
|Temur Delver||5th||Ralph Betesh||Shardless Sultai||13th||Rudy Briksza|
|Grixis Control||6th||Ed Demicco||Jeskai Stoneblade||14th||James Pogue|
|Omnitell||7th||Nick Cummings||Temur Delver||15th||Kemper Pogue|
|Elves||8th||Ross Prajzner||Ad Nauseam||16th||Nick Eldering|
The Legacy Open this weekend featured some very interesting finishes. I see that Ross Merriam decided to ditch Elves this weekend in favor of Storm – what a chump, if he just would have played Elves he would have won! I mean, the guy that won was playing Kird Ape in his main deck! That hasn’t happened since like 1995. All joking aside, let’s take a look at the outliers here.
Besides [card]Kird Ape[/card] in Daryl Ayers’ winning list there wasn’t anything financially relevant in the Top 4. Storm is pretty straightforward, as is Sneak and Show. Lands also didn’t give us anything new.
Grixis Control again featured [card]Dack Fayden[/card], a trend that should be noted. Also, Omnitell featured a full playset of [card]Dig Through Time[/card] rather than just the usual one-of or two-of that is normally seen.
Two Shardless Sultai decks made the Top 16, along with Dredge and Sultai Control. Standouts from these decks include Shardless Agent, Ancestral Vision (especially if it is unbanned in Modern like some are predicting), Toxic Deluge, and.. Courser of Kruphix!? Yes, that’s right folks Courser has now moved into Legacy along with Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise. Neat. Dredge again had Mana Confluence as a playset and Sultai Control showed how a bunch of one-of and two-of’s along side Counterbalance seems to work out nicely.
Star City Games: Philadelphia – Standard (PA, USA)
|Mardu Midrange||1st||William Grogan||Abzan Reanimator||9th||Bradley Robinson|
|Jeskai Aggro||2nd||Noah Walker||Abzan Midrange||10th||Jon Goss|
|Abzan Aggro||3rd||Kellen Pastoore||Abzan Midrange||11th||Andrew Boswell|
|Abzan Midrange||4th||Spencer Assiff||R/W Aggro||12th||Lonny Warner|
|W/R Aggro||5th||Robert Sabol||Jeskai Heroic||13th||Chase Petersen|
|Abzan Reanimator||6th||Randy Ball||G/R Aggro||14th||Richard Anderson|
|W/U Heroic||7th||Joe Lossett||R/W Aggro||15th||Ben Schoenbrun|
|Abzan Aggro||8th||Phil Pratt||Abzan Midrange||16th||Joshua Halmagyi|
Not a whole lot of news from this front, with the approach of Fate Reforged and all. Here are some notable cards to keep in mind moving forward:
- [card]Butcher of the Horde[/card] – Pretty cheap at $1.50 or less, and a lot of upside going into the new format with the new tool Monastery Mentor.
- [card]Chained to the Rocks[/card] – Solid removal and still around $1, definitely room to move up.
- [card]Hushwing Gryff[/card] – Seen in many white sideboards and only around $2.50. Looks undervalued to me.
- [card]Eidolon of Countless Battles[/card] – Seems like a good target if it continues to see play in W/R Aggro decks that have been placing well lately. Definitely a card to watch.
- [card]See the Unwritten[/card] – Showed up in Abzan Reanimator and is a cheap mythic with a lot of upside later this year.
Star City Games: Philadelphia – Modern (PA, USA)
|R/G Tron||1st||Thomas Riker||Temur Control||9th||Luis Alfonso|
|Abzan Midrange||2nd||Erik Smith||4-Color Zoo||10th||Jessy Hefner|
|Temur Delver||3rd||Cody Shoemaker||Melira Pod||11th||Anthony Lebron|
|Jeskai Control||4th||Robet Seder||Ascendancy Combo||12th||Jarvis Yu|
|Affinity||5th||Joe Fasano||Affinity||13th||Thomas Conmy|
|Scapeshift||6th||Andrew Vorel||Abzan Pod||14th||Robert Pompa|
|Scapeshift||7th||Michael Mapson||Abzan Pod||15th||Vincent Pau|
|Abzan Pod||8th||Yi Min Wang||U/R Delver||16th||Charles Hagaman|
Here’s some more Modern action for you courtesy Star City Games. R/G Tron took down the event with Abzan Midrange coming in second. The rest of the Top 8 included a decent mixing of decks. Notables include:
- [card]Scavenging Ooze[/card] in Abzan Midrange. Copies are still floating around $5-$6, which is cheap for this important Modern role player.
- [card]Geist of Saint Traft[/card] in Jeskai Control. A full playset was played in this build, showcasing the power of the card.
- [card]Courser of Kruphix[/card] out of Michael Mapson’s Scapeshift list. The time to target Coursers will be upon Theros block rotation.
Out of the Top 16, other notables include:
- [card]Keranos, God of Storms[/card] out of Temur Control
- [card]Geist of Saint Traft[/card] and [card]Arc Trail[/card] out of 4-Color Zoo
- [card]Fatestitcher[/card], [card]Jeskai Ascendancy[/card], and[card] Dig Through Time[/card] out of the Jeskai Ascendancy combo deck
That’s it for this week! Fate Reforged is coming out shortly so more coverage will be arriving next week based on those results. Until next time.