Welcome to our second weekly Showdown Recap, where we take a look at what happened at Face to Face Games Toronto’s weekly Sunday Showdown, a series of 1k events feeding into the Ultimate Showdown 5k Invitational. This past weekend we featured the up-and-coming Frontier format in its second Showdown appearance. Toronto has a healthy Frontier scene, and 41 players braved the freezing cold to fight for their share of the points and prizes. To many of these players, Frontier is the solution to stale formats, with a diverse and exciting metagame.

The story of the tournament was definitely the prevalence of Atarka Red in the room. 9 different players brought the powerful aggro deck, making up almost a quarter of the metagame. There are several good explanations for this: the cards in the deck are very cheap, fetchlands notwithstanding, it’s comparatively easy to pilot and doesn’t require much format knowledge, and most of all, it’s extremely powerful. The deck is much like the Atarka Red and Rabble Red decks of old Standard, but with the powerful addition of the now-banned-from-Standard Smuggler’s Copter giving it reach and consistency.

Four of these players were able to make it to the top 8 with similar builds: some fitting in a few copies of Goblin Rabblemaster while others skipped the card entirely. Some were more focused on the Temur Battle Rage/Become Immense combo, while others packed full sets of Stoke the Flames. A powerful addition to the combo kill is Kaladesh’s Blossoming Defense, a powerful protection spell that doubles as a combat trick and a pseudo-burn spell.

However, the full playset of Atarka Red players fell in the semifinals, with three different decks making their way into the top 4. Caden Armstrong took up the banner of Humans from the top 4 of the last Frontier Showdown and brought it all the way to the finals this time before falling to Chris Ha’s powerful beaters in his Abzan Aggro deck.

Chris’s win qualifies him for the Ultimate Showdown, while back-to-back top 8s from Matt Mealing have also catapulted him into our first points-based invite.

Congratulations to our top 8, and as always, thanks to everyone for coming to the event! Make sure to join us this weekend for the full slate of Aether Revolt prerelease events, including a 1k Sunday Showdown Sealed Prerelease event at noon on Sunday! Preregister now to save your spot!

1st – Chris Ha – Abzan Aggro

2nd – Caden Armstrong – Mono-white Humans

3rd – Connor Mcnamee – Rally Combo

4th – Matt Mealing – Abzan Aggro

5th – Tyler Nightingale – Atarka Red

6th – Jeff Swaluk – Atarka Red

7th – Nic Mine – Atarka Red

8th – Tony Cameron – Atarka Red