PROTRADER: PT Shadows Prep

Hey, happy Pro Tour Weekend! There is a lot to be really excited about going into this event- a new Standard format, a promising draft environment, and, because it’s in Spain, players will get an hour nap break in between formats!


In reality, this weekend is actually a bigger deal than you might even think. This is our first Standard Pro Tour in the new Standard system that touches on 3 separate blocks (although the Fall 2016 set1 will be the first one to cleanly incorporate the new structure, as DTK and Khans will be gone).Even though we have already had two Standard weekends courtesy of SCG, this format feels largely undefined. Standard right now is a lot like the American presidential election- people are over-valuing the recent performance of aggressive white humans.

There is lots of price information to suggest that there are other decks likely to see play at the event, but it’s important to explain WHY white is unlikely to perform as it has in the past. First, the Pro Tour and any Star City event (including the Invitational) have a starkly diverse player base- the range in individual player quality is higher at a Pro Tour, but that’s largely because the Invitational is comprised mostly of players in the middle of the quality spectrum. The Pro Tour attendees, particularly after being weighted by Day Two participation, tend to skew towards much stronger, more experienced players. Strong players, especially ones with long resumes, are often more likely to slot into the control role, because that is the best way to leverage play skill against weaker opponents. At a Pro Tour, you are more likely to see control decks, even if they are a smaller percentage of the format as a whole, because this event is not comprised of Magic players as a wholly random sample.

For this reason, it’s difficult to discern what is actionable information for the future of the standard format, and what is just good for this weekend. On a granular level, some things that don’t really impact Magic finance are likely to fit into this category- I’d be much more comfortable having maindeck Duress at a Pro Tour than at an Open or an FNM, although Duress is unlikely to have a serious price change if it turns out to be a highly played card this weekend.

Let’s talk about some cards that ARE getting hyped going into this weekend:

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7 thoughts on “PROTRADER: PT Shadows Prep”

  1. I’m surprised there was no mention of Tireless Tracker. Being the second most expensive rare that isn’t a double faced card.

    1. I’ve had it in and out of the list, but right now I’m downplaying the Demon (he WAS at 4x), and by the time I’m rebuying Traverse I usually have it. Also, Hangarback Walker alone buys you two types, and maxing out on Oaths helps too.

  2. I don’t really understand what you were going for in the “Bonus Content” section of this article. Is this an attempt at a joke or what? Lost in translation? Seriously though… What the hell are you even saying? I currently have a cold and am a bit drugged up so maybe I’m just operating at half capacity… but still… Are you even talking about Standard? I don’t get it…

    I kind of wish you would have talked about your own deck more and how it is positioned in the meta. It would have been a great opportunity to give us some examples of how each card matches up with other archetypes in the format. You did one sentence on GDD and a paragraph on your sideboard and then… that bonus content stuff?

    Not trying to be a hater but… Your bonus content should have been some real details about your decklist and the financial upside/downside of each card in your list don’t you think? I would have been interested in what made you decide to run 1x, 2x, 3x or 4x of a card and why. That is directly correlated to the financial side of the game right? It would have also been interesting if you had an idea of how this deck could change/evolve depending on the meta and what changes you might have been thinking about already depending on what we see from the PT.

    1. Yes, the bonus content was meant to be a joke. It’s a very funny one, but, like you said, the cough medicine made you delirious. 😛

      I’m happy to make an addendum to answer questions about the deck or just talk about it in the comments 🙂

      I really like it against the field as a whole, although I’ve been playing on Cockatrice and its to the point where I’m playing WAY too many Sphinx’s Tutelage decks to be an accurate representation.

    2. Haven’t made any changes to the list because of the PT yet, I’m waiting to see what the weighted Standard results are on Sunday when they cut to Top 8. If one deck is obviously best a la Eldrazi at the last event (which doesn’t seem to be the case in this format), then I’ll adapt to that. Otherwise, I plan to just look for any tech I can steal from similar lists and then I’ll test it out over the next few weeks.

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