Showdown Recap: Jan 8th – Frontier

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 [card]Smuggler’s Copter[/card] 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 [card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/card] while others skipped the card entirely. Some were more focused on the [card]Temur Battle Rage[/card]/[card]Become Immense[/card] combo, while others packed full sets of [card]Stoke the Flames[/card]. A powerful addition to the combo kill is Kaladesh’s [card]Blossoming Defense[/card], 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

[deck]
[Creatures]
4 Warden of the First Tree
2 Grim Flayer
2 Thalia, Heretic Cathar
3 Anafenza, the Foremost
4 Siege Rhino
4 Elvish Mystic
3 Scrapheap Scrounger
[/Creatures]

[Spells]
2 Abzan Charm
3 Dromoka’s Command
2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
3 Collective Brutality
4 Smuggler’s Copter
[/Spells]

[Lands]
2 Llanowar Wastes
1 Smoldering Marsh
1 Sunken Hollow
2 Canopy Vista
4 Windswept Heath
2 Forest
1 Plains
1 Urborg
4 Blooming Marsh
3 Wooded Foothills
3 Flooded Strand

[/Lands]

[Sideboard]
2 Hallowed Moonlight
2 Painful Truths
2 Dead Weight
2 Natural State
2 Blessed Alliance
1 Appetite for the Unnatural
1 Ob Nixilis Reignited
1 Virulent Plague
2 Transgress the Mind
[/Sideboard]
[/deck]

2nd – Caden Armstrong – Mono-white Humans

[deck]
[Creatures]
3 Mardu Woe-Reaper
4 Thalia’s Lieutenant
3 Kytheon, Hero of Akros
4 Thraben Inspector
4 Knight of the White Orchid
4 Archangel of Tithes
4 Consul’s Lieutenant
2 Thalia, Heretic Cathar
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Blessed Alliance
1 Secure the Wastes
2 Always Watching
2 Declaration in Stone
3 Stasis Snare
[/Spells]
[Lands]
20 Plains
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Phyrexian Revoker
2 Eerie Interlude
1 Declaration in Stone
1 Stasis Snare
4 Hallowed Moonlight
4 Mastery of the Unseen
[/Sideboard]
[/deck]

3rd – Connor Mcnamee – Rally Combo

[deck]
[Creatures]
4 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
4 Reflector Mage
4 Zulaport Cutthroat
4 Spell Queller
4 Nantuko Husk
1 Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim
3 Catacomb Sifter
4 Satyr Wayfinder
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Collected Company
3 Rally the Ancestors
1 Murderous Cut
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Windswept Heath
4 Polluted Delta
4 Flooded Strand
2 Evolving Wilds
2 Prairie Stream
2 Canopy Vista
2 Sunken Hollow
1 Plains
1 Swamp
1 Island
1 Forest
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
3 Anafenza, the Foremost
3 Dig through Time
2 Murderous Cut
1 Arashin Cleric
2 Dispel
2 Reclamation Sage
2 Collective Brutality
[/Sideboard]
[/deck]

4th – Matt Mealing – Abzan Aggro

[deck]
[Creatures]
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Warden of the First Tree
3 Grim Flayer
2 Scrapheap Scrounger
3 Thalia, Heretic Cathar
4 Anafenza, the Foremost
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Smuggler’s Copter
3 Collective Brutality
3 Declaration in Stone
3 Dromoka’s Command
3 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
[/Spells]
[Lands]
1 Wooded Foothills
3 Llanowar Wastes
4 Blooming Marsh
1 Caves of Koilos
3 Concealed Cemetery
1 Shambling Vent
2 Sandsteppe Citadel
1 Canopy Vista
4 Windswept Heath
2 Forest
2 Plains

[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Duress
2 Gisela, the Broken Blade
4 Hushwing Gryff
1 Declaration in Stone
3 Authority of the Consuls
2 Selfless Spirit
1 Anguished Unmaking
[/Sideboard]
[/deck]

5th – Tyler Nightingale – Atarka Red

[deck]
[Creatures]
2 Goblin Rabblemaster
2 Reckless Bushwhacker
3 Zurgo Bellstriker
4 Monastery Swiftspear
3 Foundry Street Denizen
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
1 Become Immense
2 Stoke the Flames
3 Hordeling Outburst
4 Dragon Fodder
3 Lightning Strike
4 Atarka’s Command
4 Smuggler’s Copter
4 Wild Slash
[/Spells]
[Lands]
3 Bloodstained Mire
7 Mountain
1 Forest
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Windswept Heath
2 Cinder Glade
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
1 Chandra, Pyromaster
4 Roast
2 Smash to Smithereens
1 Arc Lightning
2 Boiling Earth
3 Outpost Siege
2 Magmatic Chasm
[/Sideboard]
[/deck]

6th – Jeff Swaluk – Atarka Red

[deck]
[Creatures]
4 Foundry Street Denizen
2 Zurgo Bellstriker
4 Monastery Swiftspear
2 Abbot of Keral Keep
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Dragon Fodder
3 Hordeling Outburst
3 Wild Slash
4 Smuggler’s Copter
3 Temur Battle Rage
3 Become Immense
3 Blossoming Defense
4 Atarka’s Command
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Bloodstained Mire
2 Windswept Heath
2 Forest
7 Mountain
2 Cinder Glade
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Magmatic Chasm
2 Den Protector
4 Roast
2 Hooting Mandrills
2 Outpost Siege
2 Boiling Earth
1 Blossoming Defense
[/Sideboard]
[/deck]

7th – Nic Mine – Atarka Red

[deck]
[Creatures]
4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Abbot of Keral Keep
2 Lightning Berserker
2 Goblin Rabblemaster
2 Zurgo Bellstriker
2 Reckless Bushwhacker

[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Wild Slash
1 Become Immense
4 Stoke the Flames
4 Dragon Fodder
4 Atarka’s Command
4 Smuggler’s Copter
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Windswept Heath
2 Bloodstained Mire
1 Forest
6 Mountain
3 Cinder Glade
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Boiling Earth
2 Rending Volley
1 Goblin Heelcutter
2 Natural State
2 Smash to Smithereens
2 Exquisite Firecraft
4 Roast
[/Sideboard]
[/deck]

8th – Tony Cameron – Atarka Red

[deck]
[Creatures]
3 Abbot of Keral Keep
3 Foundry Street Denizen
4 Monastery Swiftspear
2 Zurgo Bellstriker
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
3 Blossoming Defense
3 Become Immense
4 Smuggler’s Copter
4 Atarka’s Command
3 Hordeling Outburst
3 Wild Slash
4 Dragon Fodder
3 Temur Battle Rage
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Wooded Foothills
2 Windswept Heath
3 Bloodstained Mire
8 Mountain
2 Forest
2 Cinder Glade
[/Lands]
[Sideboard]
2 Hooting Mandrills
2 Arc Lightning
2 Den Protector
2 Outpost Siege
1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
3 Roast
2 Magmatic Chasm
1 Smash to Smithereens
[/Sideboard]
[/deck]