By: Travis Allen
Originally I had planned on attending Grand Prix Detroit. I love Modern, I had a place to stay, and it’s only a four hour drive. Howsever, as it became clear that the format would be overrun by Eldrazi, I ended up deciding to bow out. I haven’t played against the deck once yet, and without a clear idea of what I wanted to bring myself, it simply wasn’t worth the time investment. I didn’t want to play Eldrazi, and I didn’t know what to bring that would beat Eldrazi, so what was the point?
If you didn’t catch it, during the top 8 they got Aaron Forsythe on camera and BDM asked some surprisingly pointed questions about the Eldrazi. Aaron, for all intents and purposes (not intensive purposes!), confirmed that something would be banned at the next B&R update. It sounds like they’re not sure what they want to get rid of yet, but he did make a point of saying that he doesn’t want to get rid of the deck entirely. It is, after all, just an efficient creature deck, something which doesn’t really exist in the format otherwise right now. That sounds to me like they’re going to hit either Eye of Ugin or Eldrazi Temple, but not both, and if I had to pick which one would be better at controlling the menace, it would be Temple. Eye can make a lot of mana very quickly, but the drawbacks are real. Temple is a land with absolutely no drawbacks that is just a straight sol land for Eldrazi spells. Eye still leads to the double Eldrazi Mimics on turn one, but without Temple, you can’t get the turn two Thought-Knot Seer or Reality Smasher.
Anyways, had I known there was going to be an Innistrad-themed puzzle room, I may have reconsidered. It’s a shame Wizards hadn’t made that known ahead of time, because that definitely would have pushed me back into the “it’s worth going” camp, and I bet it would have changed the minds of others that decided to hang back as well.
Puzzle rooms at each GP acted as a vehicle for spoiling new cards. We got some spicy ones, such as Relentless Dead and Archangel Avacyn/Avacyn the Purifier. I’m not going to get into those today, even though they’re clearly both intended to be constructed playable.
What I want to look at today is not what we’re gaining, but what we’re losing. It’s a short four weeks until Shadows Over Innistrad lands. It’s easy to overlook with all the other excitement in Magic right now, but this is the first new block of it’s kind. SOI is the first block to launch in the spring, rather than the fall, and it brings with it the first non-fall rotation. Given how unintuitive this is at this point, I expect it to catch a lot of people with their pants down. Standard will be dramatically impacted. Are you ready?