Last weekend brought us Grand Prix: Singapore, Grand Prix: Buenos Aires, and the Star City Games Open: Baltimore. Singapore featured Modern as the format, while Buenos Aires and Baltimore gave us the usual dose of Standard action. Let’s take a look at the results.
Grand Prix: Singapore
Format – Modern
Masaaki took down Singapore piloting Affinity, which he also had to beat in a mirror match finals. Key parts of the affinity deck include the usual suspects [card]Arcbound Ravager[/card], [card]Etched Champion[/card], [card]Steel Overseer[/card], and [card]Memnite[/card], however Masaaki opted to play two [card]Spellskite[/card]s in the main deck in order to help combat the onslaught of targeted removal and Splinter Twin lists that are running rampant in Modern. Definitely expect to see Affinity after these results!
Rouding out the Top 8 were two Jund, Abzan Midrange, Temur Twin, 4-Color Company, and Temur Delver.
Jund is also still a force to be reckoned with. Duke opted to play more planeswalkers main deck by including a full playset of [card]Liliana of the Veil[/card] and one [card]Chandra, Pyromaster[/card]. Kawasaki included cards like [card]Night of Souls Betrayal[/card] and [card]Damnation[/card] in the sideboard in order to better combat creature based strategies, which Jund is fairly good against already but can make themselves even more devastating games two and three by using those cards.
4-Color Company is reminiscent of the Birthing Pod lists of yore, featuring [card]Voice of Resurgence[/card], [card]Fauna Shaman[/card] (as a [card]Birthing Pod[/card] replacement), [card]Kitchen Finks[/card], and a scattering of one-of’s like [card]Restoration Angel[/card] and [card]Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker[/card] for grabbing with [card]Chord of Calling[/card] and [card]Collected Company[/card]. All in all, it’s a pretty interesting deck that plays similarly to the old Birthing Pod lists yet operates totally differently due to the addition of [card]Fauna Shaman[/card] to the deck.
[card]Sigarda, Host of Herons[/card] and [card]Abzan Charm[/card] are interesting additions to the Abzan strategy. By giving the deck more reach and versatility main deck, it allowed Wee to overcome some weaknesses that usually aren’t addressed until post-board against certain matchups.
Grand Prix: Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Format – Standard
Pascal Maynard, not one to shy away from the limelight through events like the #GoyfGate incident, it appears that without crazy limited opportunities to make him stumble that he just goes ahead and wins the whole event. Nice!
Maynard was on Abzan Megamorph Control, the Standard brew that focuses on [card]Elspeth, Sun’s Champion[/card] along with [card]Den Protector[/card] and [card]Deathmist Raptor[/card] in order to keep the megamorphing continuing throughout the tournament. We’ve seen this type of build before – there hasn’t been much innovation for this particular GP with the deck.
R/G Devotion took second place, which isn’t surprising seeing as it has been dominating Standard tables for the past few weeks. De Jesus’ build included key cards [card]Xenagos, the Reveler[/card], [card]Whisperwood Elemental[/card], [card]Dragonlord Atarka[/card], and [card]Rattleclaw Mystic[/card]. [card]Genesis Hydra[/card] is also a nice mana sink when you generate massive amounts of mana off of [card]Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx[/card].
Rounding out the Top 8 were two Mardu Dragons, Esper Dragons, two Abzan Aggro, and Abzan Control. Nothing new in the way of Standard here.
Mardu Dragons is going heavy on the [card]Soulfire Grand Master[/card]s these days and Ancelmo was even playing two [card]Hidden Dragonslayer[/card] and three [card]Hordeling Outburst[/card] main deck. Both Mardu strategies were a packing a full playset of [card]Crackling Doom[/card] and [card]Draconic Roar[/card].
Star City Games Open: Standard (Baltimore, MD, USA)
|Abzan Aggro||1st||Andrew Boswell||Atarka Red||9th||Martin Worsham|
|G/R Devotion||2nd||Chris Andersen||Abzan Megamorph||10th||Dan Jessup|
|Bant Megamorph||3rd||Brad Nelson||G/R Dragons||11th||Chris VanMeter|
|Jeskai Aggro||4th||Kevin Jones||Mardu Dragons||12th||Evan Appleton|
|G/R Megamorph||5th||Scott Robins||Mono-Black Aggro||13th||Brett Krodel|
|Mono-Red Goblins||6th||Bobby Birmingham||Abzan Aggro||14th||Dennis Weinbrecht|
|Mono-Red Devotion||7th||Dylan Hysen||Mardu Dragons||15th||Chris Pioth|
|G/R Devotion||8th||Al Spielman||Jeskai Aggro||16th||Harlan Firer|
Boswell took down the Standard portion of the SCG Open in Baltimore piloting Abzan Aggro. Key features of Boswell’s aggro version of Abzan are [card]Fleecemane Lion[/card], [card]Rakshasa Deathdealer[/card], [card]Siege Rhino[/card], [card]Warden of the First Tree[/card], [card]Anafenza, the Foremost[/card], [card]Brimaz, King of Oreskos[/card], and [card]Dromoka’s Command[/card].
Second place went to Chirst Andersen, piloting G/R Devotion. I’ve covered this deck already so we’ll move on the rest of the Top 8. These included Bant Megamorph, Jeskia Aggro, G/R Megamorph, Mono-Red Goblin, Mono-Red Devotion, and G/R Devotion.
Bant Megamorph features [card]Deathmist Raptor[/card] alongside [card]Fleecemane Lion[/card] and [card]Dragonlord Ojutai[/card]. [card]Disdainful Stroke[/card] is also included, and [card]Ajani Steadfast[/card] helps to create endgame. [card]Mastery of the Unseen[/card] is relegated to the sideboard to help more against control strategies.
Jeskai Aggro features [card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/card], [card]Mantis Rider[/card], [card]Soulfire Grand Master[/card], [card]Stratus Dancer[/card], and [card]Dragonlord Ojutai[/card] along with [card]Dig Through Time[/card], [card]Ojutai’s Command[/card], and gold old [card]Stoke the Flames[/card]. This makes me wonder if [card]Ojutai’s Command[/card] will be a real card in the fall, when it becomes a four ability blue command that is Standard legal and only costs four mana.
Speaking of which, the reveal of [card]Goblin Piledriver[/card] has got to have made Bobby Birmingham very happy. I mean, he just Top 8’ed an SCG Open playing Goblins in Standard without Piledriver! Imagine this deck’s burst once it becomes a factor. Already, [card]Foundry Street Denizen[/card], [card]Frenzied Goblin[/card], [card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/card], [card]Obelisk of Urd[/card], [card]Dragon Fodder[/card], and [card]Hordeling Outburst[/card] are an awesome start to the deck.
Also, Mono-Red Devotion is a deck we haven’t seen do well in a while. Here, we have [card]Dragon Whisperer[/card],, [card]Fanatic of Mogis[/card], [card]Flamewake Phoenix[/card], and [card]Eidolon of the Great Revel[/card] along with [card]Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx[/card] to generate absurd amounts of mana and [card]Crater’s Claws[/card] as a nice finisher for the deck.
Rounding out the Top 16 were Atarka Red, Abzan Megamorph, G/R Dragons, two Mardu Dragons, Mono-Black Aggro, Abzan Aggro, and Jeskai Aggro. Of these, Mono-Black Aggro differentiates itself from the rest of the pack. Key cards to this build include [card]Blood-Chin Rager[/card], [card]Bloodsoaked Champion[/card], [card]Mardu Shadowspear[/card], [card]Mardu Strike Leader[/card], [card]Mogis’s Marauder[/card], and [card]Pain Seer[/card]. [card]Sign in Blood[/card] also helps the deck keep drawing cards and playing more dudes. All in all, this is a solid aggro deck that has proven that it can do well at a large event.
Star City Games Premier IQ: Modern (Baltimore, MD, USA)
|Naya Company||1st||Steven Borakove||Grixis Twin||9th||Jamal Greenidge|
|Grixis Twin||2nd||Jeff Folinus||Infect||10th||Nan Johnson|
|Jund||3rd||Ted Felicetti||UW Merfolk||11th||Neel Sangal|
|Infect||4th||Bryan Henning||Ad Nauseam||12th||Daniel Will|
|R/W Burn||5th||Lucas Kiefer||Goryo’s Vengeance||13th||Alex Majlaton|
|Infect||6th||Jason Collins||Jeskai Twin||14th||Ryan Wanamaker|
|Grixis Delver||7th||Phil Pratt||Grixis Delver||15th||James Fitzpatrick|
|U/R Twin||8th||Benjamin Nikolich||Naya CoCo||16th||Michael Kochis|
Looking to Modern, we see that Naya Company has taken down the Modern IQ piloted by Steven Borakove. Key cards in this Collected Company build include [card]Knight of the Reliquary[/card], [card]Loxodon Smiter[/card], [card]Noble Hierarch[/card], and [card]Wild Nacatl[/card].
The runner up was Grixis Twin, which is a Modern standby at this point and has been covered extensively over the past few weeks. Rounding out the rest of the Top 8 included Jund, two Infect, R/W Burn, Grixis Delver, and U/R Twin. Nothing new or noteworthy to report from the rest of the Top 8.
In the Top 16, the only deck that stood out was Jeskai Twin, which really only splashed white for three [card]Path to Exile[/card] main deck and white sideboard options [card]Leyline of Sanctity[/card], [card]Rest in Peace[/card], [card]Celestial Purge[/card], [card]Wear / Tear[/card], and [card]Geist of Saint Traft[/card].
Star City Games Premier IQ: Legacy (Baltimore, MD, USA)
|Sultai Delver||1st||Bob Marshall||Lands||9th||David Long|
|Death and Taxes||2nd||Travis Cowley||Miracles||10th||Brian Braun-Duin|
|Dredge||3rd||Eric Copenhaver||Jeskai Stoneblade||11th||Jermol Jupiter|
|4-Color Delver||4th||Ben Rivello||Lands||12th||John Gatza|
|Miracles||5th||Christopher Hawker||Show and Tell||13th||Jeremy Bowman|
|Miracles||6th||Bernard Liberati||U/R Delver||14th||Matthew Long|
|Miracles||7th||Rob Long||Infect||15th||TJ Martin|
|Grixis Delver||8th||Jonathan Sukenik||Temur Delver||16th||Mitchell Anderson|
At the Legacy IQ, Bob Marshall took down the event piloting Sultai Delver. The rest of the Top 8 included Death and Taxes, Dredge, 4-Color Delver, three Miracles, and Grixis Delver.
Death and Taxes was packing three main deck [card]Magus of the Moon[/card], which is pretty unexpected and I’m sure surprised plenty of people when it was dropped off an [card]Aether Vial[/card]. It also featured two [card]Imperial Recruiter[/card], which not only helped get [card]Magus of the Moon[/card] in opportune moments but can also fetch up any particular piece of hate that the D&T player needed at that time. Splashing red also allowed the deck to play three [card]Sudden Demise[/card] in the sideboard as a great removal option against non-white creature based strategies.
The Top 16 included two Lands, Miracles, Jeskai Stoneblade, Show and Tell, U/R Delver, Infect, and Temur Delver. Nothing new to report here.
That’s it for last weekend’s coverage! As always, thanks for reading.