Category Archives: Pro Tour Coverage

Pro Tour Dominaria: Financial Preview

ADVERTISEMENT:


Pro Tour Dominaria, the second Pro Tour of 2018 got rolling this morning in Richmond, VA, USA.

As per usual the world’s best players have been holed up in east coast hotels and rented homes for the last week or two, all seeking to answer the only query that matters: is there a fresh deck or reconfiguration of existing archetypes out there that will allow them to catch the field off balance while offering consistent play against the known quantities in the field?

With $250,000 USD on the line, and  $50,000 for the winner, players looking to Top 8 will have to tap into both luck and skill to secure the victory.

Six weeks after the release of the ultra-popular Dominaria set, we find ourselves well entrenched in one of the better Standard formats in recent memory.  With a relative dearth of major Standard tournaments over the last few weeks due to significant Modern and Team Trios representation, our hard data on the best decks of paper Standard is more scarce than usual. Perhaps the most relevant recent result can be drawn from the Standard decks of the Team Trios results from GP Toronto, two weeks ago, where the following decks made Top 4:

  1. BW Vehicles
  2. UW Control
  3. BR Aggro
  4. UW Control

Entering into this weekend, the online meta would suggest that the top decks sync up with what we saw at the recent IRL team tourneys:

  • RB Aggro (12%)
  • UW Control (7%)
  • GB Constrictor (5%)
  • Red Aggro (5%)
  • UB Mid-Range (4%)
  • WB Vehicles (4%)
  • Green Aggro (4%)
  • UB Control (4%)

By any standard that is a fairly diverse and healthy looking field.

It is worth noting that the Pro Tour currently requires that players succeed in a mixed schedule of booster draft (DOM/DOM/DOM) and constructed play with 3 rounds of draft this morning at 9am , followed by 5 rounds of Standard starting around 1pm EST/11am PST, Friday.

For we finance types, this is going to be a tricky tournament to make or save money on, given the various factors in play. Firstly, Dominaria’s popularity has resulted in demand exceeding supply on the first wave or product allocations. As a result, heading into this weekend, we still have five mythic rares from the set commanding prices over $10, including Karn, Scion of Urza, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, Lyra Dawnbringer, History of Benalia and Mox Amber. Of the rares, the most relevant thus far is Goblin Chainwhirler, a consistent four-of in the red decks that is holding $5 at present. On the other hand, additional supply is now making it’s way into the supply chain, and we’re also heading into the summer season that typically leads to a general collapse in card prices, especially for Standard staples, and even more so if they are rotating in the fall. As a result, our focus is likely to be most productive when used to identify the cards that may be set up to spike after the major fall rotation and that we may be able to get on discount during a summer vendor sale or Ebay coupon day.

Cards to Watch

Karn, Scion of Urza

Karn, Scion of Urza

Current Price: $50
Odds to Top 8: 1 in 3
Monday Price: $50

Initially widely underestimated, the new Karn with pants immediately started putting up results in multiple formats as soon as he was released on the unsuspecting Magic population. In Modern, Frank Karsten has been advocating Karn, Scion of Urza as a 2-of in Affinity lists, and we’ve also seen the big metal planeswalker show up in Legacy Mono-Red Prison, Eldrazi and Affinity/Prison hybrid lists where the presence of City of Traitors and Ancient Tomb make Turn 2 Karn a real possibility. In Standard, Karn is in the top 10 most played cards in the format, most prominently appearing in WB Vehicles decks as a 3-of. UB Mid-Range & RB Aggro decks also have been spotted running Karn, though not as consistently. Generally speaking I am most interested in Russian or Korean foils as close to $250 as possible, since they are highly unlikely to see a reprint in the next five years, and should enjoy some strong multi-format support rolling forward that pushes rare original printings sky high. If you have been looking to acquire your personal play set, your position is uncertain. In theory, summer doldrums and additional Dominaria supply should lead to downward price pressure, potentially opening up access to sub $40 copies. On the other hand, a dominant showing this weekend might encourage even more players to pile onto the card speculatively, which would open up a chance for the card to top $60 in the short term. Net, net, I’d recommend holding off for the summer sale season.

Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

ADVERTISEMENT:


Current Price: $35
Odds to Top 8: 1 in 5
Monday Price: $35

Oddly enough, we have not one but two planeswalkers from Dominaria showing early signs of multi-format utility. During spoiler season, players also widely underestimated Teferi but just a month later pro players are now wondering aloud whether the classic character is actually better than the recently unbanned Jace, the Mind Sculptor in blue-based Modern control shells. In EDH, the interaction with Doubling Season in Atraxa super-friends decks will set up a solid support base for the card longer term even if he won’t see the kind of Legacy/Vintage play that Karn does. In Standard, Teferi is only really showing up in the U/W control builds, where it is a rock solid 4-of. As such, price movement over the weekend on Teferi is likely to hinge on that archetype making waves in the Top 8 and winning the tournament without triggering any serious calls for a banning. That’s a narrow tightrope to walk for short term gains, so as with Karn, I am more interested in targeting rare foils and personal playsets of non-foils a bit later this summer.

Goblin Chainwhirler

Goblin Chainwhirler

Current Price: $4
Odds to Top 8: 1 in 5
Monday Price: $5

Goblin Chainwhirler is a hyper efficient aggro card, presenting a significant body, dueling prowess via first strike and the ability to needle the final point of damage against your opponent or pressure Karn or Teferi from outside the red zone. That being said, it’s pretty tough for Standard only rares from a popular set to hold price tags over $5. As a result, I am more interested in this card to potentially top $10 in the fall once supply has drained, on the assumption that there will still be a red or Rx aggro deck that wants this card in the aggro friendly early days of the fall post-rotation format. If a red aggro deck wins this Pro Tour or dominates the Top 8, there is a chance that Chainwhirler could briefly push $8-10, but supply pressures will likely force a retrace in the coming days or weeks.

Mox Amber

ADVERTISEMENT:


Mox Amber

Current Price: $12
Odds to Top 8: Near Zero
Monday Price: $11

Mox Amber was perhaps the most hyped card of Dominaria, with pre-order pricing topping $30 a copy. It’s a mox! Buy, buy! Thing is, this is one of the tougher mox incarnations to reliably squeeze early mana out of, and since a deck hasn’t emerged in either Standard or Modern, we are likely to get a good shot at a solid long term spec here. Later this summer I would expect to be able to snag regular copies under $10, and foils under $20, which is something I feel confidant will pay off over a long enough horizon. Eventually, EDH demand is likely to be supplemented by a tipping point of one and two mana legendary permanents, and an interesting Modern deck should emerge that wants the full four copies. Of course there is also a decent chance that your funds get buried in the spec box for three to five years when you could have turned your funds over multiple times in the interim, so you really just need to decide how much of a pet spec this one will be for you.

Walking Ballista

Walking Ballista

Current Price: $20
Odds to Top 8: 2 in 5
Monday Price: $20

At this point, we should all be fairly suspicious of any XX colorless creature that WoTC deigns to print into Standard. Ballista is another multi-format all-star, with significant play in Modern, Legacy and Vintage. Showing up in 40% of decks in Standard at present Ballista has a very good chance of winning the trophy this weekend, in any of GB Constrictor, UB Control, Rx Aggro or WB Vehicles. This card has more than proven it’s mettle at this point but none of that is likely to overcome the gravity exerted on non-foil copies as we head into the fall rotation of Kaladesh block. Consequently you should almost certainly be trying to unload your non-foil copies. Longer term I like foils (especially Russian/Korean copies) as a hold or rotation period acquisition, but for now you should be looking for the fire exit.

Vraska's Contempt

Current Price: $12
Odds to Top 8: 2 in 5
Monday Price: $12

Vraska’s Contempt has seen a surprising amount of play in recent Standard decks given that it carries a CMC of 4. Turns out that in a format that revolves around powerful planeswalkers and threats that need to be exiled to be handled effectively, flexible removal that also adds a bit of a life buffer is at a considerable premium. This card has been as high as $16, and may fall closer to $8 this summer. There is a chance that post-rotation in October this is still one of the best removal spells in Standard, and that that fact pushes the card back over $14, but I think I’ll elect to stay clear in favor of safer plays. I think this is also a sell call, especially if you have copies beyond your personal play set.

Lyra Dawnbringer

Lyra Dawnbringer

Current Price: $20
Odds to Top 8: 1 in 5
Monday Price: $15, $30 if it wins

We have seen expensive mythic angels on the back of strong Standard play patterns before in both Archangel Avacyn and Baneslayer Angel. Lyra however has so far been on a downward trend, starting out around $30 and falling 50% or so since release. With 20% of Standard decks running Lyra, and in a couple of different archetypes, there is a shot that she can recover and push higher if her pilots start putting up big wins this weekend. Overall however, I feel safer with selling Lyra now, and potentially looking to reacquire in late summer once we have a sense of how the fall Standard meta will shape up.

History of Benalia

History of Benalia

Current Price: $20
Odds to Top 8: 1 in 5
Monday Price: $20, $30 if it wins

History of Benalia is an interesting spec. This is a mythic card that is showing up in 20% of Standard decks, and the play is supported by  3-4 of inclusion in both UW control and Wx Aggro shells. That’s a strong pedigree, but in just one format. The real question is whether this can be just as good after rotation. If it is, this could be an excellent fall payoff, with the card spiking over $30 at some point in the next year. On this premise, I suspect I will be interested in $15 copies later this summer. On the other hand, if the white enchantment posts up strong Top 8 results and/or wins the weekend, the spike could come a lot sooner. Keep an eye on the Day 2 conversion rates to decide if that’s a decent play in the shorter term.

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 Dominaria!

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

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.

Track your collection's value over time, see which cards moved the most, track wishlists, tradelists and more. Sign up at MTGPrice.com - it's free!

ADVERTISEMENT:


Please follow and like us:

Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan: Day 2 Analysis

So far this weekend at Pro Tour: Rivals of Ixalan, we’ve seen our assumptions about Modern play out pretty much as expected. The field of pros was largely unable to table a definitive solution to a format with this many viable decks and the Day 1 Meta breakdown demonstrated this clearly.

An amazing 23 (!) decks made up at least 1% of the field coming into this weekend which is a far cry from what we’ve seen in recent seasons of Standard. It also illustrates why the pros seem to have gravitated towards playing the decks they know best rather than attempting to out maneuver the meta with a fresh brew. With so many possibilities, meta gaming must bow to skillful play.

5C Humans, Affinity, Burn, Tron and Grixis Shadow made up the largest slices of the field, but none of them represented more than 10%, and combined the Top 5 archetypes were still less than 38%,

In a field like this our best bet is to focus on emerging tech foils and multi-archetype staples that are in low supply.

So far we’ve already seen several of the foils for 5C Humans dry up and sales should be solid heading into next week if the deck does well in Top 8 and solidifies it’s position as part of the Tier 1 Modern gauntlet.

To attempt to figure out what might move this afternoon as the Top 8 is settled, we should take a look at which decks boasted the best Day 1 to Day 2 conversion rates.

First, let’s flag the worst performing archetypes so we know what to consider avoiding in spec land:

  1. Titan Shift: 37.5% (6 of 16)
  2. Dredge: 52.9% (9 of 17)
  3. Mardu Pyromancer: 53.8% (7 of 13)
  4. U/R Gifts Storm: 56.5% (13 of 23)
  5. B/G Mid-Range: 55.6% (5 of 9)

Despite Gerry T’s deep run with Mardu Pyromancer, the conversion rate for the deck overall should give you some pause on speculating in that direction. Primal Titan doesn’t look like a great bet, and the field seemed to be ready for both Dredge and Storm strategies.

The Top 5 conversion rates belong to:

  1. Traverse Shadow: 84.6% (11 of 13)
  2. Eldrazi Tron: 76.9% (20 of 26)
  3. Jeskai Control: 73.9% (17 of 23)
  4. Tron: 68.8% (22 of 32)
  5. 5c Humans 67.4% (29 of 43)

Despite a relatively small sample size, it could be that the Traverse Death’s Shadow builds may have been underestimated coming into the tournament. Traverse the Ulvenwald foils are still available around $10, but supply is pretty shallow and this card also sees solid demand from the Commander/EDH scene. Modern Masters 2017 Death’s Shadow foils are also relatively scarce, and could make a move towards $20+ from $12-14. The fact that there are two versions of the Death’s Shadow decks also provides some insulation against meta shifts on that spec.

Traverse the UlvenwaldDeath's Shadow

Both of the main flavors of the Tron builds were top converters which further entrenches that archetype as one of the giants of the format. With most versions running multiple copies of Wurmcoil Engine as their mid-tier threat, you might want to have a look at how few Masterpiece copies are still floating about under $90, with potential to push $120-$150 this year. Other versions are also worth a look but I’m a bit worried that this card could show up in Magic 25 this spring. Karn Liberated hasn’t seen a reprint since Modern Masters 2015, is often played as a 4 of in Tron builds and only has two printings total, so should it dodge a reprint in Magic 25, a move on non-foils from $70 to $100+ on low supply could take place. For the record I think a reprint in the first half of 2018 is likely, but roll the dice as you may. Ugin, the Spirit Dragon hasn’t yet seen a reprint outside his promo version, and I’d bet on Karn seeing a reprint first, so picking up a few of these at $30 with the assumption it will get to $50 before a reprint could work out as well.

Karn LiberatedWurmcoil Engine

ADVERTISEMENT:


A quick glance at the Jeskai Control lists would suggest a couple of decent targets. Supreme Verdict is likely to be the best sweeper in Modern and EDH for quite some time, and if you’re looking to pick up a foil, they can be had for as little as $7 after the recent reprint in Iconic Masters. Search for Azcanta has made strong inroads into the blue decks in the format, so you might want to have a look at the foils on these, especially the ultra rare Japanese Buy-A-Box version with the alternate map art on the back.

Supreme VerdictSearch for Azcanta

You can see my notes on the 5CHumans cards in play from the setup article yesterday over here.

If you’re feeling like targeting a long shot, perhaps take a look at Hollow One or Flamewake Phoenix foils from this sexy deck brought to the tournament by Ken Yukuhiro, who is now at 12-2 with a solid shot at Top 8. This deck had a 100% conversion rate to Day 2, on a small sample size.

Why the focus on foils you ask? Well, most of the cards mentioned above boast fairly deep supply in non-foil, so foils are the safer shot at leveraging low supply into some profit or savings.

If you’re looking for more specs, take a look at the list of most played cards at the tournament and cross check against supply levels: https://magic.wizards.com/en/events/coverage/ptrix/day-one-metagame-breakdown-2018-02-02

Dech Tech #5: Lukas Blohon on Esper Goryo’s Vengeance

This deck abuses the interactions between Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy and Obzedat, Ghost Council that leave them in play after being brought in via Goryo’s Vengeance.

I’ll be checking back in as we see the Top 8 decks emerge. Stay tuned!

12:15pm EST: Top 8 looks like it will include at least:

  1. Pascal Vieren: UR Pyromancer (watch Thing in the Ice foil prices)
  2. Luis Salvatto: Lantern Control
  3. Ken Yukihiro: BR Hollow One (watch Hollow One + Flamewake Phoenix foils)
  4. Gerry Thompson: Mardu Pyromancer (Bedlam Reveler foils)
  5. Javier Dominguez: 5C Humans (lots of price motion likely)
  6. Reid Duke: Abzan Mid-Range (unlikely to generate much movement)
  7. Jean-Emmanuel Depraz: Traverse Shadow
  8. Andrea Mengucci: 5CHumans

This is a diverse Top 8, typical of the current state of the format and it’s anyone’s guess what will come out on top tomorrow. Keep an eye on the inventory levels for the key cards mentioned above.

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.

 

 

Please follow and like us:

Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan: Financial Preview

The first Pro Tour of 2017 is already rolling along in Bilbao, Spain. In the wake of major upheaval in the Standard format with another round of recent bannings, we find ourselves instead faced with the only Modern Pro Tour of the year, and the first in quite some time.

As per usual the world’s best players have been holed up in Spanish hotels and rented homes for the last week or two, all seeking to answer the only query that matters: is there a fresh deck or reconfiguration of existing archetypes out there that will allow them to catch the field off balance while offering consistent play against the known quantities in the field?

With $250,000 USD on the line, and  $40,000 for the champ, players looking to Top 8 need to marshall both luck and skill to lock down the trophy.

Taking a look at the results from the last major StarCityGames Tour Standard tournament, the Top 8 field features elements both familiar and relatively recent. Here was the Top 8 from SCG Open Cincinnati.

For much of 2017, the analysis of Modern as a format has been that the format supports many different archetypes, to the point where some pros have complained that it is difficult to metagame for with only fifteen sideboard slots. Of course the pros also claim that they can solve most formats when they bring their full team resources to bear, so this tournament will be an interesting stress test for the Modern format as a whole.

Entering into this weekend, the online meta would suggest that the top decks in the format are:

  • BG Tron (7.66%)
  • Jeskai Control (7.46%)
  • Grixis Death Shadow (7%)
  • Affinity (7%)
  • Burn (6%)
  • 5C Humans (5.44%)
  • Eldrazi Tron (4.23%)
  • U/R Gifts Storm (3.23%)

It is worth noting that the Pro Tour currently requires that players succeed in a mixed schedule of booster draft (RIX/RIX/IXL) and constructed play with 3 rounds of draft overnight , followed by 5 rounds of Modern starting around 7am EST/4am PST, Friday.

For we finance types, this is not a super exciting scenario. With a wide open field, play skill and nuanced sideboard choices + luck may carry the day, and that’s without accounting for the six rounds of draft that tug against constructed success ratios. My gut says that you are most likely to do well with emerging tech that makes a deep run at the tournament. I would also be looking at 5C Humans staples that are in waning supply if that deck holds up with a solid conversion % for Day 2 and/or a strong run in the Top 8.

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 Rivals of Ixalan all weekend!

Day 1 Notes

During an interview on the floor, fellow Canadian Jon Stern outlines that he expected Affinity, Burn, and Tron to be the best/most popular decks but notes that he may have underestimated 5C Humans.

Deck Tech #2: U/W Control w/ Pierre Dagen

Dagen calls out Field of Ruin as potentially the best card in Modern.

Foil Bedlam Reveler has been drying up for a while and an appearance on camera seems to have pushed it over the edge. Could settle closer to $20+ this weekend.

Aether Vial is a key card in 5C Humans, Death & Taxes and Merfolk, and though the supply is pretty deep from multiple printings, $100 copies of the Masterpiece version look like a good deal right now. Could see those hitting $150+ in 2018.

Thalia’s Lieutenant foils are drying up under $10, and could end up closer to $20 if Humans reinforces it’s Tier 1 status this weekend. Champion of the Parish has only ever had a single foil printing, and these are scare under $15 now, with upside to $25+ easily possible. Mantis Rider foils, once utterly ignored, are also now in very low supply under $10. Phantasmal Image foils, most recently reprinted in Modern Masters 2017 are also dried up under $15. The other card from 5C Humans that looks tempting is Ancient Ziggurat. I got in on this one at $3.50 or so in quantity when the humans deck first showed up, but even closer to $8 there could be upside to $20 this year if the deck keeps doing well and the card dodges a reprint. Foils cresting $35 from $20 could also happen. Cavern of Souls, printed in MM17, is looking poised to regain $80 with multiple tribal decks in Modern pushing it forward.

Deck Tech #3: 5 Color Company Humans

Willy Edel breaks down his decision to replace Aether Vial with Collected Company in his take on 5C Humans:

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

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.

Please follow and like us:

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

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.

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.

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!

Please follow and like us: