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)

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

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.