Weekend Magic: 4/24-4/26

This past weekend brought us Star City Games: Cleveland. The main event was Standard, with of course a side of Modern and Legacy. Let’s take a look at the results and see what happened.

Star City Games Open – Standard (Cleveland, OH, USA)


Deck Finish Player Deck Finish Player
Bant Heroic 1st Ross Merriam Jeskai Aggro 9th Harlan Firer
G/R Dragons 2nd Brad Fallen Esper Dragons 10th Zachary Helfer
Abzan Aggro 3rd Kyle Boggemes Mardu Midrange 11th Joshua Taylor
Esper Dragons 4th Gerard Fabiano Esper Dragons 12th Andrew Maine
Bant Midrange 5th Collins Mullen Atarka Red 13th Matt Ratajceak
Jeskai Tokens 6th Alex Zurawski Abzan Megamorph 14th Jim Davis
Esper Dragons 7th Kenta Hiroki Abzan Aggro 15th Andrew Boswell
Abzan Aggro 8th Connor Bowman Bant Midrange 16th Chris Andersen

Ross Merriam took down the Standard portion piloting Bant Heroic. Key players in this deck are [card]Favored Hoplite[/card], [card]Hero of Iroas[/card], [card]Seeker of the Way[/card], and [card]Dromoka’s Command[/card] to bring home the versatility. I’m sure that [card]Dromoka’s Command[/card] contributed a great deal to Merriam’s success and is definitely a card to watch out for the in future, in Bant Heroic and other decks. Other notable cards in the list are two [card]Monastery Mentor[/card] main deck and three [card]Encase in Ice[/card] out of the sideboard. In this deck we see some interesting innovations in the typical Heroic list that enabled it to come out top dog of the weekend.

The runner up was G/R Dragons, another deck we’ve seen cement itself in the metagame since Dragons of Tarkir was released. This deck was playing [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card] and [card]Thunderbreak Regent[/card] as the main dragons, with [card]Dragonlord Atarka[/card] backup in case the game goes long. [card]Xenagos, the Reveler[/card] continues to show up in these lists in order to help generate massive amounts of mana in order to cast the heavier dragons like Atarka or even monstrifying a [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card] for massive amounts of damage.

Rounding out the Top 8, decks of note include two Abzan Aggro decks and Bant Midrange. Boggemes’ list resembled past lists by featuring solid choices like [card]Abzan Charm[/card] and [card]Hero’s Downfall[/card]. Bowman’s list featured a playset of [card]Collected Company[/card] and main decked two [card]Grim Haruspex[/card] as a way to generate card advantage through a “surprise” [card]Collected Company[/card] during the combat phase. Another interesting choice was a full playset of [card]Herald of Torment[/card] and [card]Warden of the First Tree[/card], again to get the most out of those CC plays. Certainly an interesting list that could pick up more steam over time as more creatures that cost three mana or less are added to the Standard card pool. Finally, Bant Midrange features the best of the Heroic and G/W Midrange decks by playing [card]Dragonlord Ojutai[/card] along with beatstick [card]Surrak, the Hunt Caller[/card], [card]Deathmist Raptor[/card], [card]Fleecemane Lion[/card], and [card]Mastery of the Unseen[/card]. All in all just a solid deck choice that has pretty decent matchups against most of the field (though not quite at the level of Esper Dragons).

Rouding out the Top 16, decks of note include Mardu Midrange and Abzan Megamorph. Notable cards in Mardu Midrange are [card]Brimaz, King of Oreskos[/card], [card]Outpost Siege[/card], [card]Crackling Doom[/card], and [card]Mardu Charm[/card]. Notable cards in Abzan Megamorph are [card]Deathmist Raptor[/card], [card]Den Protector[/card], [card]Abzan Charm[/card], and [card]Mastery of the Unseen[/card] out of the sideboard.

Star City Games Premier IQ – Modern (Cleveland, OH, USA)


Deck Finish Player Deck Finish Player
Sultai Control 1st Matthew Tickal Abzan Collected Company 9th Bobby Colegrove
Amulet Bloom 2nd James McCoury Affinity 10th Leonard Wernette-Leff
G/W Trap 3rd Nicholas Montaquila Abzan 11th Jacob Lee
Grixis Twin 4th Kevin Jones Abzan Collected Company 12th James Moffitt
Burn 5th Cody Alexander Ad Nauseam 13th Bill Ragle
Abzan Aggro 6th Joseph Nowell Jund 14th Adam Vincik
Affinity 7th Steven Baker Storm 15th Travis Limbert
Affinity 8th Andrew Eales Amulet Bloom 16th Eric Rill

Moving on to Modern, Sultai Control took down the Premier IQ piloted by Matthew Tickal. Similar to the list first introducted by Gerrard Fabiano, again we see [card]Thragtusk[/card], [card]Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver[/card], and [card]Jace, Architect of Thought[/card] battling alongside of [card]Snapcaster Mage[/card], [card]Tarmogoyf[/card], and other notable Modern staples. Second place went to Amulet Bloom, a deck that was featured at the Pro Tour and is widely known in Modern at this point. McCoury’s deck featured [card]Grave Titan[/card] as another way to win in addition to [card]Primeval Titan[/card] and the [card]Hive Mind[/card] / Pact combo.

Looking at the rest of the Top 8, G/W Trap seems to be a new brew featuring cards such as [card]Knight of the Reliquary[/card], [card]Lotus Cobra[/card], [card]Nest Invader[/card], [card]Primeval Titan[/card], and [card]Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[/card] along with [card]Summoning Trap[/card] and [card]Mosswort Bridge[/card] in order to cheat an Emrakul into play without paying the mana cost. We also see a black splash for [card]Lingering Souls[/card] in the main deck, to help delay the game until Emrakul can come online or to help finish a game that seems stalled. Certainly an interesting build – I’m not sure how good it is on a large scale however it is certainly something to keep an eye on moving forward. The Affinity decks also featured some tech in the form of [card]Temur Battle Rage[/card] and and [card]Ghostfire Blade[/card].

Looking at the rest of the Top 16, Abzan Collected Company continues to showcase its strength and even Jund and Storm showed up to make the Top 16 in Cleveland. Nothing really new or innovative here.

Star City Games Premier IQ – Legacy (Cleveland, OH, USA)


Deck Finish Player Deck Finish Player
Grixis Control 1st Jason Smith Miracles 9th Dan Musser
Miracles 2nd Sitharthan Sriharan Lands 10th Nick Byrd
Miracles 3rd Joe Lossett Tezzerator 11th Cameron Wisniewski
Miracles 4th Sean O’Neal Grixis Pyro 12th Chris Stagno
Omni-Tell 5th Zechariah Szoke Sultai Delver 13th John Wiley
Death and Taxes 6th Adam Johnson Miracles 14th Marcus Perez
Jeskai Stoneblade 7th Steven McGrew Metalworker 15th Stephen Seliskar
Metalworker 8th Sean Logie Merfolk 16th Scott Muir

With results from GP Kyoto in, it looks like it has changed the face of Legacy. Again we see Miracles and Omni-Tell in the Top 8 however Grixis Control piloted by Jason Smith took down the event. Notable cards here include [card]Baleful Strix[/card], [card]Young Pyromancer[/card], [card]Dack Fayden[/card], and four copies of [card]Dig Through Time[/card].

Moving on to Miracles, key components of the deck include the [card]Counterbalance[/card] / [card]Sensei’s Diving Top[/card] package, [card]Terminus[/card], [card]Entreat the Angels[/card], [card]Snapcaster Mage[/card], and [card]Jace, the Mind Sculptor[/card]. Nothing innovate going on with Top 8 Miracles lists.

Omni-Tell shows up again, featuring a playset of [card]Omniscience[/card] and [card]Cunning Wish[/card]. Metalworker is playing two [card]Ugin, the Spirit Dragon[/card] these days which is cool. I’m surprised that it makes the cut over [card]Karn Liberated[/card] but it appears that a one-sided [card]Pernicious Deed[/card] with exile is superior [card]Vindicate[/card] with exile.

Rounding out the Top 16, Tezzerator makes an appearance in 11th place and Merfolk makes an appearance in 16th place. Notable cards from Tezzerator include [card]Baleful Strix[/card], [card]Dack Fayden[/card], [card]Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas[/card], [card]Chalice of the Void[/card], [card]Mox Diamond[/card], [card]Sword of the Meek[/card] / [card]Thopter Foundry[/card], and [card]Transmute Artifact[/card]. Notable cards from Merfolk include [card]True-Name Nemesis[/card], [card]Phantasmal Image[/card], a single [card]Mishra’s Factory[/card], a single [card]Thassa, God of the Sea[/card], and [card]Vapor Snag[/card].

That’s all from Cleveland! See you next time.

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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