Category Archives: Pro Tour Coverage

Pro-Trader Ixalan: MTGFinance Live Blog (Day 2)

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So what did we learn on Day 1 of Pro Tour Ixalan?

So far, the weekend looks pretty quiet on the financial front. None of the major teams seem to have broken this format, showing up with a deck that was capable of dominating the meta across the board. Rather we have seen a smattering of rogue decks rolling forward shoulder to shoulder with the established staple decks of this season: Temur/4C Energy and Ramunap Red.

As a refresher, here is what people brought into the tournament:

From the perspective of Standard management, this result has to be seen as problematic for Wizards of the Coast as the various energy decks combined for almost 50% of the metagame. Clearly the energy mechanic provides too much bonus value when stapled to otherwise normally costed cards and printed in enough depth to support multiple configurations. Because many of the cards in those decks are in common or uncommon, and have been known quantities for a while now, there hasn’t been much in the way of fresh action from the financial angle. It’s tough to make money on Attune With Aether but at least this format has been a bit cheaper than some previous seasons.

The Amonkhet block has provided the backbone of a couple of additional shells, including Ramunap Red (still good) and the constantly evolving God-Pharoah’s Gift decks. The decks heavy on cards from the block make up about 35% of the field. Angel of Invention was a mythic card from the Gift decks that also showed up in B/W tokens and put in some work on camera Friday, but has yet to show any price momentum. This seems correct unless multiple decks running the card push into Top 8 and/or win the tourney.

Thus far, the only truly interesting new shell this weekend was found in the hands of Wilson Hunter, who brought a mono-white vampire aggro deck that helped him get to 7-1 on Day 1. Financially, Legion’s Landing, Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle and Metallic Mimic are likely the cards to watch here. Landing is already close to $5, so you’d be preying for $10+ to justify targeting play sets. Metallic Mimic is closer to $10 already, and feels like a definite sell almost regardless of what happens with this deck. Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle is currently under $1, so that might be the right move if Wilson makes Top 8.

Vraska, Relic Seeker Setting up for $30?
One of the only cards to generate notable price movement Friday was Vraska, Relic Seeker. Closer to the release of Ixalan it was widely assumed that Vraska, as a six-mana planeswalker, would likely be relegated to the role of a single copy late game plan in some mid-range decks. Instead, we’ve seen versions of Abzan Tokens running a robust three copies in the main, occasionally leaning on the anti-enchantment capabilities of the pirate captain to clear out problematic God-Pharoah’s Gifts and Anointed Processions. In combination with one main/one sideboard demand from Sultai Energy, this has lead to an overnight 15-20% increase on the card, now sitting just over $20. Look for a potential jump toward $30 if the card features prominently in the latter half of the weekend as online inventory is already looking low as speculators wonder whether Vraska might be the next Gideon, Ally of Zendikar or Elspeth, Sun’s Champion.

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Hazoret the Fervent

Hazoret, the Fervent continues to show up in both Ramunap Red and the BR Aggro decks that make for a combined 25% of the tournament. The card can currently still be found for $16-18 and might be more deserving of a push to $30 than Vraska. Inventory seems stable so far, but if the Day 1 undefeated Yam Wing Chun pushes deep into Day 2 on the deck, then consider paying closer attention.

Heading into the five final rounds of Standard this afternoon, our financial radar should be tuned to whether the smattering of fresh decks have converted into Day 2 runs at a higher % than the more established decks and whether the rebel decks push deep and challenge for Top 8.

Follow along with us this afternoon as we keep pace with the pros to help you guys make and save some money.

Round 12 (Standard)

We get to see Matignon (Jeskai Approach) and Maynard (UW Gift) going at it, but this is not a good matchup for Maynard, as Matignon counters both God-Pharaoh’s Gift and Refurbish every time over two games.

Baral, Chief of Compliance is a spicy addition to the control deck, doing everything you’d want early and late. Search for Azcanta looks great in this matchup too, but Baral has already enabled Storm in Modern. It would take a bit more play, or a lot more camera time, for the wizard to spike.

We are told that four Settle the Wreckage are in Matignon’s deck, and at only $5, that is tempting to deal with both Hazoret and The Scarab God.

Maynard has a couple of Hostile Desert in the deck, as a way to get use out of the lands shoveled into his yard, but I doubt it’ll get any traction this weekend.

The side match between PVDDR and Turtenwald highlight some variations in energy lists, notably a black splash for Glint-Sleeve Siphoner, a card that can really run away with a game.

Round 13 (Standard)

Matignon is back on camera and the deck performs flawlessly, casting Approach on successive turns to look unstoppable.

The sideboarded games are another matter, and just a couple of Spell Pierces and Negates are good enough to get Mike Sigrist the match win. Notably, Matignon got Search down turn two in the game he won and didn’t see it either of the other games.

If Search gets down to $10 when we are done with Ixalan drafting, it’ll be a solid pick to bump up to $15 or $20 at this point next year. The casual demand for the card is leeching a lot of supply.

The secondary match is the delightful mono-White Vampires list, and a second deck using Angel of Invention might be enough to move this card.

Shaheen Sorani on a deck tech sings the praises of Supreme Will and Censor, and also has two Hour of Devastation, a sweeper not seeing much play currently. The one-of Field of Ruin is a bold choice!

Day 2 Metagame Breakdown!


The breakdown shows how badly the Vampires deck and the UW Approach deck surprised the field. Five players are on the white deck and they all made Day 2! Mr. Fein, your spike is calling!

Round 14 (Standard)

This is Matignon’s third round straight on camera, and he’s against Seth Manfield this time, playing a Sultai build of the energy deck.

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On Friday, I highlighted Glint-Sleeve Siphoner as a card I loved going into the weekend, and it’s nice to see it providing a steady stream of cards for the 11th ranked player.

Settle the Wreckage looks terrible here, as those extra basics become fuel for Walking Ballista and Manfield takes the opener. Not a lot of decks are set up to use the extra mana, but this cashes in big. If this is all that we see from that card, then it won’t bump above its current $5-$6.

Winding Constrictor and Longtusk Cub win game two for Manfield, who didn’t even need the Blossoming Defense in hand.

Lots of these decks are running Nissa, Steward of Elements as a sideboard card, and the amount of camera time she’s getting will likely bump her to above $10 by next weekend.

 

Deck Tech: Patrick Chapin’s RW Approach

Only 3 Approach of the Second Sun

4 Gideon of the Trials
4 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
3 Fumigate
2 Sweltering Suns
2 Ixalan’s Binding
3 Settle the Wreckage
2 Treasure Map
3 Sunbird’s Invocation

“The Innovator” showed up with the instant-win combo of Sunbird’s Invocation and Approach of the Second Sun. As he pointed out, if the Invocation is out and you cast Approach, then reveal a second Approach, the one you cast first will win you the game.

The rest is removal, and if the Vampires deck takes off, Sweltering Suns seems extremely well positioned to see a lot of play and spike in price.

Round 15

Owen Turtenwald (Temur Energy) vs. Pascal Maynard (UW Gift)

Angel of Invention is putting on a clinic, and if Maynard gets the Top 8 berth then the Angel might jump over $10 soon. Game one to the man who picked the foil Goyf at the GP Vegas 2015 Top 8 draft.

Game two, Maynard hits Replenish on turn four and cheats the Gift into play, but can’t force the game to go long, and Turtenwald runs rampant.

Game three is extremely swingy, and some extremely difficult decisions from each player. God-Pharaoh’s Gift is a very powerful strategy that doesn’t play four of its namesake card. It’s not even legendary, but if it was a four-of then it would have potential financially.

Wilson Hunter is one round away from making Mavren Fein a $5 card. It’ll be hard to buy in the $1 range now and turn it around for a profit, so your play is to take all the bulk copies you have handy and dump them in trades or buylists when they spike. The profit you’re going to get otherwise just isn’t worth it.

Round 16

Kentaro Yamamoto is on Ramunap Red, and he’s playing Owen Turtenwald. This is one of the defining matchups of current Standard, and it’s exciting to watch, even if not terribly financially relevant.

Yamamoto wins in three games, and the only card of interest was a Harsh Mentor showing up from Yamamoto which didn’t do much damage. The card seems good against the Cub/Hydra/Virtuoso abilities in Temur though. It’s rather niche, but it’s got potential if that’s widely adopted as sideboard tech.

The last feature match has Reid Duke with Temur energy (again!) against Samuel Ihlenfeldt who’s playing a Mardu Vehicles build, and after a billion Rogue Refiners today, it’s sort of nice to see Toolcraft Exemplar again!

Ihlenfeldt has some Dusk // Dawn action and it is a super solid card in this deck, so if he makes top 8 that’s got strong takeoff potential as an answer to much of the Temur deck. He also uses the Dawn side to return two Walking Ballista to his hand, and that ends up winning him the match.

Clearly Dusk // Dawn is the financial winner from his deck, and at $1.50 it’s got a lot of room to grow. Let’s see if he makes top 8, and get ready to sell into the hype if it lands!

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Pro-Trader Ixalan: MTGFinance Live Blog

The battles rage on at Pro Tour Ixalan. The players have now completed the first three rounds of draft, and we are now facing the five rounds of Standard that will help define the evolving Standard metagame leading into the holiday season.

Follow along this weekend as we live blog relevant details as they appear!

3:49pm EST: Coverage desk calls out the following cards as likely to be pivotal this weekend:

  • Hazoret, the Fervant: Ramunap Red + BR Aggro
  • Fatal Push: Multi-Shell Removal Staple
  • Longtusk Cub: Key threat in the energy decks
  • Approach of the Second Sun: Control win condition
  • Anointed Procession: key deck at US Nationals, vulnerable to specific hate cards
  • The Scarab God: format defining finisher that the meta pivots around in multiple shells
  • Ramunap Ruins: card of the weekend at Pro Tour Hour of Devestation, deck is still good
  • Gate to the Afterlife: defined a new archetype, though a fringe one
  • Glorybringer: Major Temur Energy threat

Round 4 (Standard Round 1): Josh Utter-Leyton (4C Energy) vs. Yuki Matsumoto (4C Tokens)

Josh is running multiple copies of Vraska. He also has Nissa, Steward out of the sideboard. They players split the first two games one a piece. Game 3 turns into a late game duel between The Scarab God on Josh’s side and Anointed Procession shenanigans for Matsumoto. A Hostage Taker swings the tide and Yuki takes the match to go to 4-0.

Round 4 (Standard Round 1): Marc Tobiasch (4C Energy) vs. ???

Riddleform and Enigma Drake making an appearance in a spicy energy brew from Niels Noorlander.

Round 4 (Standard Round 1): Xiao Han (4C Energy) vs. Michael Maurici (Oketra’s Monument)

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Michael is running Trial of Solidarity in this Monument brew but he loses the match to fall to 3-1.

Deck Tech #1: Phillip Braverman on Mono-White Vampires

Phillip outlines that he feels the deck is favored against major decks in the format including Ramunap Red and Temur Energy. Angel of Invention used here to gum up the board and build the army. Tons of exile effects to deal with the multiple threats in the format that need that handling. Phillip has only won his first Standard match with the deck so far.

  • 4x Adanto Vanguard
  • 2x Duskborne Skymarcher
  • 3x Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle
  • 4x Metallic Mimic
  • 4x Legion Conquistador
  • 4x Legion’s Landing
  • 3x Angel of Invention
  • 4x Aviary Mechanic
  • 4x Oketra’s Monument
  • 3x Scavenger Gounds
  • 2x Cast Out
  • 1x Thopter Arrest
  • 3x Ixalan’s Binding
  • 15x Plains
  • 4x Shefet Dunes

Day 1 Metagame

Metagame breakdown for Game 1 seems to indicate that the major pro team were unable to do more than tweak the existing archetypes for this Pro Tour. While there are certainly a small number of rogue decks, they do not seem to be in position to break the tournament and shift the meta in significant fashion.

Round 5: Jeskai Approach (Guillaume Matignon) vs. Temur Energy (Paul Reistzl)

Matignon is playing an updated version of U/W control with Approach of the Second Sun and Harnessed Lightning. Matignon takes Game 1 after stabilizing at six life and setting up the Approach of the Second Sun clock with Paul stuck holding irrelevant cards.

On a back table in a match between Wilson Hunter and Scott Lipp, a crazy board state emerges that revolves around God-Pharoah’s Gift, Angel of Invention, Hostage Taker and Oketra’s Monument. Paul Cheon mentions that the lower number of Abrade in the format turns on the higher potential for artifacts.

Round 5: White Vampires (Wilson Hunter) vs. Scott Lipp (Esper God=Phraoah’s Gift)

These players split their first two games off camera. In Game 3, Metallic Mimic does some good work on camera for Hunter, in coordination with a flipped Legion’s Landing. Hunter takes the match to advance to 4-1.

Metallic MimicAdanto, the First Fort

Dech Tech #2: Gerrard Fabiano (Sultai Pummeler)

Gerrard is on a new Sultai build of the Electrostatic Pummeler decks we saw earlier this year. He outlined that his team was doing very well with the deck on Magic Online so they decided to see if they could surprise the field.

Graphic by MTGGoldfish.com

Round 6: WB Tokens (Pascal Vieren) vs. UW God-Pharoah’s Gift (Pascal Maynard)

Both of these players come into the round at 4-1. The first game goes super long, with Marnard ending up with a stacked board but just two cards left in his deck. Vieren saves the day with a Fumigate and takes the first one. In Game 2 Maynard seems to be on his heels, when he manages to establish a hasty flying board presence via Angel of Invention that allows him to even things up. The third game goes to a one minute time extension and the downsides to playing super grindy decks in the mirror comes to forefront as the players draw.

Dech Tech #3: Temur Riddleform

This deck looks to set up shop by controlling the game tempo, forcing players to hold up mana rather than committing threats in the face of incoming flying threats. Sharing several elements with more traditional Temur builds may throw some opponents off.

RiddleformEnigma Drake

Round 7: PVD (4C Energy) vs. Gabriel Nassif (Esper God-Pharoah’s Gift)

PVD takes this one in extra turns after Nassif receives a slow play warning.

Dech Tech #4: Adam Jensen on Mono Black Aggro

This deck is similar to the BR Aggro decks, but without Hazoret and Lightning Strike to run faster and smooth mana handling. Adam says the Temur match up is good.

Round 8: Xiao Han (4C Energy) vs. Yam Wing Chun (Ramunap Red)

Both of these players came into this round at 7-0. In Game 1, 4C Energy withstands the early onslaught from Chun and takes over the game with Chun stuck on three lands. Game 1 to Han. In Game 2 Chun is able to apply a ton of early pressure, force some bad blocks from Han, and even things up. Chun takes the third game as well and puts red aggro at 8-0 on the day.

White vampires deck is now sitting at 6-1 facing BBD, with the first two games split already. Wilson manages to get to 7-1 and set up a potentially great weekend for a new deck.

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Pro-Trader Ixalan: Financial Preview

Welcome to Pro Tour Ixalan weekend! The 1st Pro Tour of the new 2017-2018 season and the final major individual event of the 2017 calendar is all set to explore the meta  anew over in Alberquerque, New Mexico this weekend.

Heading into the event the primary question from a financial perspective is whether the pros have managed to make use of the extra five weeks from the release of Ixalan to the Pro Tour to break out of the relatively settled metagame and set up shop with a fresh deck that can consistently prey upon the expected meta.

As per usual the best players in the world have been posted up in their respective testing zones for the last week or two, all seeking to locate the testing edge that will help them succeed on the game’s biggest stage.

With $250,000 USD on the line, and  $40,000 for the champ, players looking to Top 8 need to display both skill and luck to win through.

Negate
The most played card in Standard via Magic Online at present.

Taking a look at the results from the last major StarCityGames Tour Standard tournament, the Top 8 field features mostly familiar elements from the Sultai/Temur Energy, Ramunap Red, Control meta that we seem to be living in this fall. Here was the Top 8 from SCG Open Dallas, Sep 30th.

  1. Sultai Energy
  2. Ramunap Red
  3. Sultai Energy
  4. U/W Approach
  5. U/W Approach
  6. Four-Color Energy
  7. Four-Color Energy
  8. Esper Gift

The most notable deck in that list is the Esper Gift list that featured four copies each of Angel of Invention and Champion of Wits and two copies of God-Pharoah’s Gift.

Meanwhile over on Magic Online, the meta seems to be featuring variations on the following decks:

Looking over those Magic Online results, the decks most likely to generate price momentum would most likely come from Mardu Vehicles, Abzan Tokens or B/R Aggro, since those decks have been mostly under the radar in recent weeks.

For us finance types, this weekend is not an ideal hunting ground. If Standard stays settled, it will limit the price movement of the key cards, many of which are already riding high.  Even key cards in some of the tier two decks like Abzan Tokens are already quite high. Anointed Processon for instance is an Amonkhet rare sitting close to $10. Format design is also contributing to the limited financial opportunities, with nine of the ten most played cards being commons or uncommons, and Glorybringer being the only rare or mythic to make that list. Also of relevance is our temporal position vs. the holiday season with many Magic players limiting their spending in anticipation of purchasing gifts. This can easily put a damper on buylist and retail card values in Standard players trade in cards to cover their bills. Countering these factors is the absence of Masterpieces in Ixalan, as well as the relatively shallow pool of Standard playable mythics in the set, which combines to leave room for key rares to float closer to $10 than the $3-5 we’ve been used to from popular rares in the last few sets.

Glorybringer
Is this the most undervalued staple in Standard?

All of this adds up to an event that is likely to generate the usual number of hype spikes, but may not be able to sustain those prices heading into next week unless a truly dominant strategy emerges.

As per usual, it is worth noting that the Pro Tour currently requires that players succeed in a mixed schedule of booster draft (IXL/IXL/IXL) and Standard play with 3 rounds of draft Friday afternoon , followed by 5 rounds of Standard starting around 4pm EST/1pm PST.

Will any of the teams find a way to unlock a hot new deck with solid game against the entire field? Will a fringe deck from the early weeks of the format suddenly end up perfectly positioned to take off? Will there be a chance to get in on a must-have card that shows early promise or will the hype train leave the bandwagon speculators out in the cold without enough buyers come Monday morning? Follow along as we explore Pro Tour Ixalan all weekend!

Editor’s Note: We will not be providing round by round coverage this weekend, but will provide relevant notes as the weekend progresses. 

Cards to Watch

Heading into this Pro Tour stop, many of the most obvious specs have already played out and plenty of advance speculation has been going down. The potential for further spikes is still on deck, but so is the strong likelihood that some of these specs will collapse when they inevitably fail to join the central meta narrative of the weekend.

Here are a few of the interesting cards that seem like they should be on our radar this weekend:

Walking Ballista: Jack of All Trades

Walking Ballista

Walking Ballista sees three or four of play in both Esper Gift and Sultai Energy so it’s value in the format largely depends on whether it can make it to Sunday in one or both decks. With additional play in Vintage, Modern and Legacy, supply is currently at a moderate level with an already high rare price tag of $14. At that price the risk of stagnation likely outweighs the potential to top $20 coming out of this weekend, but I still like the $20 foils longer term.

Current Price: $14
Predicted Price Monday: $16-18 (on 8+ copies Top 8)
Odds to Top 8: 3 to 2

Angel Esper Gift: Tuned to Succeed?

Angel of InventionGod-Pharaoh's Gift

We talked about this deck at the last Pro Tour, but it didn’t really get there. Basically the plan here is to get a bunch of good creatures in your yard and then start overwhelming your opponent by bringing them back more often than they can find removal or good blocks to deal with them. Just like last time, I won’t be surprised if this pairing of cards makes the Top 8, but I will be surprised if they dominate the tournament. Gate is an uncommon in plentiful supply, and Gift is a two-of in the deck, so those aren’t the targets here. Angel of Invention is the most noatable mythic in the list, and is run as a four-of, so a deep run this weekend could potentially move its’ price from $4 to something closer to $10.

Current Price: $4
Predicted Price Monday: $8-10 (on Top 8)
Odds to Top 8: 6 to 1

Grey Confidant: Multi-Deck Staple?

Glint-Sleeve Siphoner

This could quietly be setting up as one of the more undervalued cards in the format.  This poor man’s Dark Confidant is a typical four-of in both BR Aggro and Sultai Energy builds and both of those decks have a solid shot at running deep in this tournament. If 12+ copies of this card land in the Top 8 it isn’t a tremendous stretch to imagine that the relatively low supply could get attached, resulting in a spike over $5.

Current Price: $2
Predicted Price Monday: $5-6 (On multiple deck Top 8s)
Odds to Top 8: 1 to 1

Hazoret, the Fervant: Top Tier Mythic

Hazoret the Fervent

Mono-red aggro decks have made up 10%+ of the online meta for months, and there is little sign that anyone has figured out how to tame their more aggressive draws consistently. Hazoret was much more interesting around $8, so the potential to push up to a new plateau from the current price of 15-$18 depends almost entirely on how engaged the Magic player base stays in Standard heading out of this event. Current versions of the Ramunap Red deck tend to run the full complement of four copies of Hazoret in the main, so increased interest in the deck this winter could result in Hazoret peaking over $30. Additional demand from an emerging BR aggro deck could also help this along. Personally I don’t have enough confidence in format participation to take a stab at a $30/playset profit, but do as you will given that current online inventory is relatively modest.

Current Price: $18
Predicted Price Monday: $22
Odds to Top 8: 1 to 1

Anointed Procession: Tokens In Position?

Anointed Procession

Abzan Tokens has been making  inroads on Magic Online lately, with a list that features three copies of mythic Vraska, Relic Seeker, as well as four copies of Legion’s Landing, Fumigate and Anointed Procession as notable rares. This deck has the capability to generate a ton of life and a ton of tokens, and a good showing deep in this event might be enough to put a bunch of players on it for FNM usage. In that case Anointed Procession, already buoyed a bit by casual and EDH demand, could gain some ground and Legion’s Landing would also have a shot at hitting a value closer to $10 than $5.

Current Price: $10
Predicted Price Monday: $14+ (on Top 8)
Odds to Top 8: 2 to 1

Heart of Kiran: Fresh Attack From Above?

Heart of Kiran

Mardu Vehicles was a dominant presence in the first half of last season, but has fallen off heading into the fall tournament cycle. Just lately, versions of the deck running essentially zero cards from Ixalan have been putting up solid results yet again, both online and in paper. These builds still run the full four copies of Heart of Kiran, and as a $5 mythic, the potential is there for a strong spike if the deck shows up in force, puts up good Day 2 conversion rates, and lands a copy in the Top 8. On the other hand, none of the other decks run this card, so if Mardu doesn’t get there, you can expect it to stagnate.

Current Price: $5
Predicted Price Monday: $10+ (on Top 8)
Odds to Top 8: 1 to 1

Stay tuned for our MTGFinance coverage of Pro Tour: Ixalan throughout the weekend!

James Chillcott is the CEO of ShelfLife.net, The Future of Collecting, Senior Partner at Advoca, a designer, adventurer, toy fanatic and an avid Magic player and collector since 1994.

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Hour of Devastation Pro Tour Coverage: Day 1 Lessons/Day 2

Welcome back. Day 1 of Pro Tour Hour of Devastation in Kyoto, Japan is now in the books and it’s time to take stock of what we’ve learned and see if there’s still any fresh money to be made or saved.

Heading into this tournament there was plenty of chatter on social media suggesting that ramp or UW God-Pharoah’s Gift or Vizier of the Menagerie might be the top secret tech for the tournament. With that in mind, let’s review how the meta actually shaped up at the start of Day 1:

The first point worth making is that many of the best pros clearly came out of their testing regiments believing that aggressive Ramunap Red decks were even better positioned than they had seemed heading into last week. Whereas the deck was already a significant 10% of the online meta (as best as anyone could tell), at the Pro Tour we see a whopping 25% of the players on the punishing, low slung red deck that attacks opponents from multiple angles.

Now just because the red deck was set up for success, didn’t mean it was going to plow through the field. In the last few Pro Tour stops decks that showed up in even larger quantities ended up butting up against the wall of fresh tech only to fail out of Day 2. This time however, at the end of eight rounds of play (including five rounds of Standard) the top tables were showcasing an even higher percentage of red decks than the Round 1 meta count would have suggested. Paul Cheon went so far as to name Ramunap Ruins as the card of the day, citing the reach that a nearly unanswerable late game damage source gives the red decks.

Ramunap Ruins

So where did all the cool combo/control decks go that were being heralded as approaching dooms? Day 2 coverage is now up and running, and control decks are being called out tonight as being largely relegated to the lower tables. With nearly 60% of the players on aggro decks at this tournament, the odds were already low that the rogue decks were going to find their footing and drive deep, but a day later we can now clearly see that many of the fancier brews just weren’t ready for prime time.

Instead, our top tables are largely crimson, with occasional sightings of zombies decks. Financially speaking, the likely dominance of red and black aggro decks doesn’t leave us with many targets since many of the zombie cards have already spiked and the red decks are running relatively few relevant mythics and rares. I have noticed that Falkenrath Gorger inventory is draining, and at $2 this has a solid shot at $5-6 if red fills up the Top 8 overnight. Hazoret the Fervent has inched up closer to $7 than $5, but many of the red pilots aren’t running enough copies to make clear this is even a valid target to accelerate.

Falkenrath Gorger

Champion of Wits, Gate to the Afterlife, Angel of Sanctions and Cataclysmic Gearhulk seem very unlikely to earn some price action this weekend, but keep an eye out for a rogue deck to navigate the aggro gauntlet and excite some purchasing power Saturday morning. The tournament location and timing is also likely to dampen financial speculation this weekend, since by the time many interested parties see something sexy happen over their breakfast cereal tomorrow morning, they will be able to reality check their ideas.

So far this tournament looks like a washout for specs, but I’ll be posting notes of interest through the night to flag any changes to that evaluation.

10PM EST: Donald Smith of Team Lingering Souls calls out Hazoret as the card that allows mono red to plow past the meta. Started testing three copies, moved up to the full four. Spec might not be dead.

1am: Cheon just ran us through the baseline lists for the most prevalent archetypes at the tournament:

 

Paul spent some time detailing that Abrade & Ramunap Ruins are the two cards that ultimately moved a quarter of the field away from some of the other Tier 1/2 options.

5am: We are facing a murder’s row in the Top 8 with PVDDR making his 12th (!) Pro Tour T8, and Sam Black, Sam Pardee, and Seth Manfield along for the ride. Five of the eight decks are Ramunap Red, and there’s one RB deck as well, all with a total of 20 copies of Hazoret, the Fervant. There are also 24 copies each of Falkenrath Gorger. Earthshaker Kenra (coverage Day 2 Card of the Day) and Bomat Courier so may see some some action on those rares, though Kenra has already spiked.

Here is the Top 8 participant list:

1st Place – Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa – Ramunap Red
2nd Place – Sam Pardee – BG Constrictor
3rd Place – Sam Black – Ramunap Red
4th Place – Wing Chun Yam – Ramunap Red
5th Place – Shintaro Kurata – BR Aggro
6th Place – Felix Leong – Ramunap Red
7th Place – Yusuke Sasabe – Mono B Zombies
8th Place – Seth Manfield – Ramunap Red

6am: The single B/G Constrictor deck in the Top 8 is pretty stock at unlikely to move much on the finance side. Ditto the single instance of mono black zombies. Might be time to start thinking about the control cards that address this meta appropriately.

7am: Overnight hype has pushed Hazoret, the Fervant copies very close to $10. Will be interested to see if they can push for $15 this week or whether the meta will immediately react by trying to hate RDW out of the format.

James Chillcott is the CEO of ShelfLife.net, The Future of Collecting, Senior Partner at Advoca, a designer, adventurer, toy fanatic and an avid Magic player and collector since 1994.

 

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