Weekend Magic: 2/20-2/22

This certainly wasn’t a weekend to miss. Two grands prix, along with Star City Games Open Series in Los Angeles, means there is a ton of information for us to digest. Let’s dig in and see the results.

Grand Prix: Memphis (Memphis, TN – USA)

Format – Standard

Top 8 Decklists

Jack Fogle took down the event piloting Sultai Control. Notables from the deck included two [card]Ugin, the Spirit Dragon[/card], four [card]Dig Through Time[/card], two [card]Crux of Fate[/card], and three [card]Sultai Charm[/card]. Temples also made a strong showing alongside [card]Opulent Palace[/card] in the deck; however, many temples have failed to go above $4 even this late into the Standard season. I expect that Theros supplies will be drying up soon, so if you have any extra temples the upcoming months will be the time to move them to maximize your value.

Ben Stark was the runner-up, piloting R/W Aggro. His list featured a full playset of [card]Outpost Siege[/card] (which has already reached $3 and will continue to climb in price if it is featured as a mainstay in red decks from now on) along with four [card]Soulfire Grand Master[/card]s, four [card]Hordeling Outburst[/card]s, four [card]Wild Slash[/card]es, and four [card]Chained to the Rocks[/card]. Also notable are three copies of [card]Valorous Stance[/card] across the main deck and sideboard. Could Soulfire Grand Master be the real deal? Its price has halved since the preorder phase of Fate Reforged. However, Ben Stark’s finish could generate interest toward the card and a higher price.

The rest of the Top 8 wasn’t so diverse. Five Abzan Control decks and another R/W Aggro list rounded out the top tables. Let’s first talk about trends among the Abzan Control decks.

  • [card]Elspeth, Sun’s Champion[/card] – The play here is to dump your copies as soon as possible due to the impending Duel Deck reprint. Her price will crash hard once this deck is released en masse.
  • [card]Thoughtseize[/card] – Hovering around $20 TCGplayer median, Thoughtseize has room to grow before the summer as Theros dries up. I don’t expect it to fall below $17 ever again, so if you can pick them up at or near this price, I think it will be a good move. This is a great card for the long term as Modern and Legacy will drive demand for years.
  • [card]Siege Rhino[/card] – Rhino has been trending upwards on the backs of both Standard and Modern demand. It’s $8 TCGplayer median, which is on the higher side for large set rares. I don’t expect Rhino to fall, but I doubt it is going to reach $16 or more any time soon. Pick up your copies if you need them for Standard or Modern, but otherwise avoid Rhino as a financial speculation target.
  • [card]Tasigur, the Golden Fang[/card] – With a price driven by both low supply and hype due to results, Tasigur is now around $9, down three dollars from the $12 Pro Tour DC hype. I expect Tasigur to maintain a price of $6 to $9 moving forward through his Standard life. Cheap foils are where you want to look if you want extra copies. Even foils for $25 seem good since Tasigur sees both Modern and Legacy play.
  • [card]Sandsteppe Citadel[/card] – Wedge tap lands are very cheap right now. If you can buy them in large quantities for $0.40 or cheaper, its a no brainer. The shards tap lands have had multiple printings and today are at least $1.50. Wedge lands should follow a similar pattern in the future. Make room in a bulk box, collect and fill, wait a while, and see results.

Finally, the other R/W Aggro deck that made the Top 8 included four [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card], two [card]Outpost Siege[/card], and two [card]Brimaz, King of Oreskos[/card]. Brimaz and Stormbreath have passed their peak and will decrease in price upon rotation. Outpost Siege has potential but at $3 it is a high buy-in price. I fear the window has passed for making large profits on Outpost Siege, since the odds of it hitting $6 or higher seem slim to me.

Grand Prix: Vancouver (Vancouver, CA)

Format – Modern

Top 8 Decklists

Dan Lanthier won the Vancouver GP piloting Blue-Red Twin, further cementing the deck’s presence in the Modern metagame. Second place went to Affinity, another respectable deck that continues to put up good results.

Notables from the Twin deck include two [card]Grim Lavamancer[/card]s in the main deck, along with two [card]Keranos, God of Storms[/card] out of the sideboard. Lavamancer has been trending upwards and has passed $5 due to the recent success of two-toughness creatures in the format. Picking up a few copies seems like a good play if you can trade for them. On a side note, Torment foils are $93 and higher! On the other hand, Keranos will soon rotate from Standard. However, his price is mainly driven by Modern demand (perceived or otherwise). Keranos could drop upon Theros rotation, and if he does, that will be the time to get in.

Nothing notable from Affinity, barring cards that could see a MM2 reprint. [card]Mox Opal[/card] and [card]Steel Overseer[/card] are at the top of the list, and with the incoming reprint of [card]Etched Champion[/card], there could certainly be other reprints from the deck. Trade or buylist any extra Affinity pieces you have since they will most likely continue to drop through the summer.

Rounding out the rest of the Top 8, the decks included Infect, Bogles, two Abzan, and two Amulet Bloom decks. Infect, Abzan, and Amulet Bloom have been covered pretty extensively since the pro tour, so I will limit my discussion to Bogles to see where the deck is heading.

Truth be told, Bogles could become a very cheap deck once MM2 is released. The most expensive pieces of the deck are [card]Spellskite[/card], [card]Daybreak Coronet[/card], and [card]Horizon Canopy[/card]. Thankfully, [card]Kor Spiritdancer[/card] has already had a reprint, which is keeping its price in check around $6. However, players have been howling for reprints for all three of the other cards I’ve mentioned. If reprinted, their prices would crash considerably, and then Bogles would be a very cheap deck to pick up. Bogles tends to be hit or miss—either it does really well, or you can mulligan to four regularly with it and just shrug when you lose. If reprinted, pieces of the deck will gain in value over time, but the gains will be much slower. If you have Spellskite, Daybreak Coronet, and Horizon Canopy and aren’t playing Bogles, I urge you to consider whether the risk of reprint is worth holding onto the cards at this point.

SCG Open: Los Angeles (USA) – Standard


Deck Finish Player Deck Finish Player
R/W Aggro 1st Chad White Abzan Midrange 9th Vidianto Wijaya
Naya Midrange 2nd David Moline Jeskai Aggro 10th Joey Nguyen
Abzan Midrange 3rd Qian Shen Jeskai Tokens 11th Michael Boland
G/R Devotion 4th William Miller G/R Devotion 12th Simon Sung
R/W Aggro 5th Nick Gil Temur Midrange 13th Yurien Seyssel
W/U Heroic 6th Nicholas Allen Jeskai Aggro 14th Kelvin Young
Mono-Red Aggro 7th Gary Quach Mono-Red Aggro 15th Juan Hernandez
Jeskai Heroic 8th Zach Scales W/U Heroic 16th Michael Nunez

R/W Aggro took down the Standard portion. Again, [card]Outpost Siege[/card] should be noted and watched closely moving forward.

Naya Midrange took second place. This deck featured a full playset of [card]Whisperwood Elemental[/card]s, two [card]Shaman of the Great Hunt[/card], two [card]Purphoros, God of the Forge[/card], two [card]Mastery of the Unseen[/card], and a single [card]Shamanic Revelation[/card]. Whisperwood Elemental seems to be picking up steam, as the price has doubled since Fate Reforged was released. I’m not sure how much more room it has to grow, but if midrange strategies like this Naya version start popping up again, you can expect another increase in Whisperwood’s price.

Notable cards from the rest of the Top 8 include:

  • Four [card]Whisperwood Elemental[/card]s and three [card]Shamanic Revelation[/card] in G/R Devotion
  • Four [card]Mardu Scout[/card]s, three [card]Outpost Siege[/card]s, and four [card]Wild Slash[/card]s in Mono-Red Aggro
  • Four [card]Temur Battle Rage[/card] in Jeskai Heroic

Notables cards from the Top 16 include:

  • Two [card]Soulfire Grand Master[/card] in Nguyen’s Jeskai Aggro
  • Four [card]Rattleclaw Mystic[/card], three [card]Genesis Hydra[/card], four [card]Shaman of the Great Hunt[/card], and four [card]Whisperwood Elemental[/card] in Sung’s G/R Devotion
  • Four [card]Ashcloud Phoenix[/card], four [card]Rattleclaw Mystic[/card], four [card]Savage Knuckleblade[/card], three [card]Shaman of the Great Hunt[/card], three [card]Stubbon Denial[/card], and four [card]Crater’s Claws[/card] out of Temur Midrange
  • Four [card]Soulfire Grand Master[/card], four [card]Monastery Mentor[/card], and four [card]Wild Slash[/card] in Young’s Jeskai Aggro

SCG Premier IQ: Los Angeles (USA) – Modern


Deck Finish Player Deck Finish Player
U/R Delver 1st Calvin Kim Abzan Midrange 9th Chris Blair
Abzan Midrange 2nd Shaun Hughes Affinity 10th Bryan De La Torre
Scapeshift 3rd Paul Cuillier 4-Color Gifts 11th Francis Cellona
R/W Burn 4th Rick Chong Merfolk 12th Sam Green
Storm 5th Derk Chad U/W Tron 13th Levi McNeese
R/W Burn 6th Seung Han R/W Aggro 14th Steven Cotera
B/W Tokens 7th Michael Terasaki Affinity 15th Alex To
Abzan Midrange 8th Chang Han Jeskai Control 16th Nicholas Chapman

U/R Delver took down the Modern IQ in LA. It appears that [card]Young Pyromancer[/card] is still crushing it, despite the [card]Treasure Cruise[/card] banning. Foils are still commanding a solid $40 and I don’t see them moving from there any time soon. Also, [card]Snapcaster Mage[/card] is on the rise and is over $40 TCGplayer median. I see this continuing to increase with the recent success of U/R Twin and Delver in Modern. However, [card]Remand[/card] and [card]Serum Visions[/card] are due for a big price drop if they are reprinted in MM2, and I expect that these cards are near the top of someone’s list at Wizards for a reprint.

Scapeshift, Storm, and B/W Tokens made an impressive showing in the Top 8. Cards to watch from these decks include:

  • Scapeshift
    • [card]Cryptic Command[/card] – Again, I sense the MM2 reprint on the horizon due to the huge price tag of this card regardless of a reprint already in the first MM set.
    • [card]Scapeshift[/card] – The deck’s namesake card is also pretty expensive at $20 and due for a reprint.
    • Again, [card]Remand[/card] and [card]Serum Visions[/card] reprints should help lower the cost of this deck.
  • Storm
    • More of a pet deck than anything, but cards to watch from this deck include [card]Lotus Bloom[/card], [card]Gemstone Mine[/card] (also due to Amulet Bloom success), [card]Ad Nauseum[/card], [card]Angel’s Grace[/card], and [card]Pact of Negation[/card]. Also, [card]Favor of the Mighty[/card] out of the sideboard is good tech against U/R Twin and Bogles!
  • B/W Tokens
    • Cards to watch from this deck include [card]Hero of Bladehold[/card], [card]Elspeth Tirel[/card], [card]Angelic Destiny[/card], [card]Intangible Virtue[/card] (FOIL), [card]Midnight Haunting[/card] (FOIL), [card]Gather the Townsfolk[/card] (FOIL), [card]Lingering Souls[/card], and [card]Timely Reinforcements[/card].
      • On a side note, check out the manabase – two [card]Scoured Barrens[/card]!? And three [card]Inkmoth Nexus[/card], to get that sweet three turn clock with [card]Elspeth, Knight-Errant[/card]!

4-Color Gifts, Merfolk, and U/W Tron made the Top 16. Cards to watch from these decks include:

  • 4-Color Gifts
    • [card]Gifts Ungiven[/card], [card]Tasigur, the Golden Fang[/card], [card]Liliana of the Veil[/card], and [card]Lingering Souls[/card]
  • Merfolk
    • [card]Mutavault[/card], [card]Cavern of Souls[/card], [card]Master of Waves[/card], and [card]Aether Vial[/card]
  • U/W Tron
    • [card]Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[/card], [card]Krark-Clan Ironworks[/card], [card]Thopter Foundry[/card], [card]Mox Opal[/card], [card]Open the Vaults[/card]
      • Definitely not your traditional Tron list! More like a re-envisioning of Eggs.

SCG Premier IQ: Los Angeles (USA) – Legacy


Deck Finish Player Deck Finish Player
Bant Stoneblade 1st Alex Gellerman Dredge 9th Joseph Moreno
Sultai Delver 2nd Jeffrey Simpson Jeskai Stoneblade 10th Mitchell Nguyen
Infect 3rd Michael Nguyen Infect 11th Brett Jensen
Storm 4th Thomas Kainz Sneak and Show 12th David Nguyen
Grixis Delver 5th Mathew Chung MUD 13th Jake Weinmann
MUD 6th Grant Gutierrez Storm 14th Caleb Scherer
Sultai Delver 7th Tannon Grace Punishing Naya 15th Chris Arebalo
Jeskai Stoneblade 8th Fred Chen Jund 16th Corey Armstrong

Bant Stoneblade took down the Legacy portion. Highlights from this deck include [card]Knight of the Reliquary[/card] (which is yet to be seen in Modern, though it may have its day), [card]Stoneforge Mystic[/card], and [card]Green Sun’s Zenith[/card]. Like [card]Snapcaster Mage[/card], Stoneforge Mystic has also been climbing in price recently. It currently sits at $35 and will continue to trend upwards since we can reasonably assume it won’t be in MM2 due to its banning in Modern. Green Sun’s Zenith is in the same boat: a low chance of a reprint and lots of Legacy play means that it too will trend upwards as time goes on.

Other notables from the Top 8 include [card]Tasigur, the Golden Fang[/card] in Simpson’s Sultai Delver and Chung’s Grixis Delver as well as [card]Kuldotha Forgemaster[/card] (which recently saw a price increase to $5), [card]Metalworker[/card], and [card]Grim Monolith[/card] in MUD.

Jund and Punishing Naya were the other outlier decks of the Top 16. Cards to watch from Punishing Naya include [card]Domri Rade[/card] and all other cards mentioned for Bant Stoneblade. Cards to watch from Jund include [card]Bloodbraid Elf[/card] (especially if it is unbanned in Modern eventually), [card]Scavenging Ooze[/card], [card]Sylvan Library[/card] (especially Commander’s Arsenal foils, which recently spiked in price), and [card]Grove of the Burnwillows[/card] (for price decline due to impending MM2 reprint).

Last Thoughts

There was a ton of action last weekend, especially with some of the camera matches. Who can forget the board full of manifest creatures and the confusion resulting from them? Will we still complain about the crap quality of WOTC’s streaming? It’s hard to say, but hopefully they’ve gotten the point now that SCG is way better at streaming than they are.

Regardless of any technical difficulties, last weekend gave us a ton of data to see the direction of Stand, Modern, and Legacy. The trick is putting it to use in figuring out which cards are the most financially impacted.

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.

One comment on “Weekend Magic: 2/20-2/22

  1. Jason Alt says:

    This was really good

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