FirstFrame

Grand Prix Washington has come and gone.  When all the dust cleared, the familiar decks took most of the top 8 slots and the one deck that was dominating the online PTQs for the last few months took down the whole momma jamma as Brad Nelson (better known as FFFreak) won the GP with good old UW Control.  Does that mean nothing innovative came out of this tournament?  We cannot exactly say that because with 17 Swiss rounds, even the best deck is going to need a lot of luck to make it all the way to the top 8.  In this post, we will run through a few different decklists that managed to catch my eye.  There’s also a video of me playing with Flores’ new deck…

Mana Deprived News

But before we go on exploring decklists, how did our featured pro, Adam Yurchick, do at GP Washington?  He did well, but just not good enough, finishing with a record of 6-3 on Day 1.  As mentioned in my video last week, he did end up switching last-minute to UW Control.  Hey, at least it’s better than Vampires, which he may or may not play this weekend (please do not make it so!).  Another one of our writers, Vincent Thibeault, also finished Day 1 with a solid 6-3 record.  He was playing Moreno’s Aggro Spread.  Both enjoyed their time in DC and one day, I hope to join one of these guys at a major event.

In other news, we added some new members to Team Mana Deprived as I am happy to announce Alexander Hayne as our editor.  Alex was a friend of mine when we met at chess tournaments perhaps over a decade and a half ago.  We met again at the Zendikar Pre-release where I was actually able to recognize him.  He was one of the best chess players at his age and it can be seen that his success in chess has translated over to MTG with two PTQ top 8s last year as well as a 4th place finish at Regionals in 2008.  I have found myself too busy editing my own material to have the time to look at anyone else’s, so Alex will be covering up for me in that department as well as posting up an article here and there.

Also joining us will be good old Doug Potter.  Doug is a long time tournament player from Edmonton who garnered some online recognition (from Flores no less!) when he took down the first Time Spiral-legal Extended Premier on MTGO.  His Goblins deck inspired the creation of the “Dirty Kitty” archetype.  For the past 6 years, Doug has been able to accumulate close to 20 PTQ top 8s.  His current DCI rating stands at 1939.  Doug will be joining me in providing video content for the site.  We plan to do some special videos including a Dual Perspective series where we plan to capture both sides of a match.

The Future of Standard

Of course, everyone and their grandmother knows about the Patrick Chapin deck, so if anyone is interested in the Innovator’s creation, they should head over to SCG as there are two articles written all about that particular deck.  The deck I am most looking forward to testing out is Conley Woods’ Esper Control.  During GP Washington testing, Yurchy mentioned that he felt Esper Charm was the best card that people were not playing.  We were just never sure what else to play to make splashing the Black worthwhile.  Apparently, the answer is Mind Shatter.

Here’s where to get Conley’s decklist:

http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/deck.asp?deck_id=595883

I have to bring up the fact that as a Path to Exile hater, in this metagame, a full set appears to be the right call.

Another deck that I am sure teammate Kenny Fung will be checking out is Billy Moreno’s new version of his Aggro Spread deck.  He finished the tournament with 33 points which represents a 11-6 record.  I am not going to go into detail about the deck, because there’s a video of Moreno himself explaining his precious baby.  One key quote that stuck to my mind is him saying how he felt his deck had NO bad matchups while being on the play.  Win that die roll, boys and girls!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoYl9wJxo88

Vengevine Mythic

Flores is at it again with a new deck and this time, it is Vengevine Mythic.  Being his protégé, I obviously decided to assemble the deck immediately and gave it a whirl.  The results of my adventure can be seen in the following video:

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Link: Flores Mythic and Goblin Red

Download: Flores Mythic and Goblin Red

Reflections

I actually made a few crucial mistakes.  The first one took place in the first game against Mono Red.  I inexplicably opted to play a Forest over a Celestial Colonnade when I had no turn 1 play.  Of course, these misplays allows us to see that our % against Mono Red cannot be that high if we have to play as tight as possible.  I certainly miss Kor Firewalker in the deck, because those guys are what scare Mono Red players the most.

Flores asked me if I would replace the Qasali Pridemages for them, but I am looking more at taking away Telemin Performance.  I actually do not think our Polymorph matchup is that bad (though I would prefer a Gideon somewhere) and does anyone even play the deck anymore?  At GP Washington, 3 players made Day 2 with Polymorph while there were 17 Mono Red decks.

Goblin Red

For anyone interested in the Goblin decks that were beating me, I took a look at the most recent “Decks of the Week” article and I believe the following (look for deemonCZ) to be very similar to what I played against:

http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Digital/MagicOnlineTourn.aspx?x=mtg/digital/magiconline/tourn/1213175

Conclusion

Despite the Cascade mechanic ruining the format according to some people, this is the most fun I have had in Standard for quite a while now.  There are simply so many interesting decks to try out.   I hope you guys are having as much fun as me.  As we head towards the end of the week, I would like to remind my followers that you make sure to check out coverage of Pro Tour San Juan this weekend on www.sideboard.com.  I will be cheering for Yurchy and bolov0.

Until next time,

KYT

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