February 9th 2015
While the golden fanged shaman didn’t exactly go under the radar when he was spoiled, I think few were prepared for the full potential for him in standard. At the SCG Open this past weekend there were seven copies over four decks in the top eight, and his impact was definitely shown in Gerrard Fabiano’s victory. From Aggro to Midrange to Control its safe to say he’s Sultai to stay. Before we take a look at couple of decklists here’s an overview of what Tasigur does and what makes him so great.
Firstly, he’s a six mana 4/5 with delve. This makes him realistically castable on turn three or four after an early Satyr Wayfinder or Commune with the Gods. Cost reduction mechanics are great (see Treasure Cruise) and the fact that he has a decent base that allows you to both threaten your opponent or bolster up your defences all the while providing you with a source of card advantage.
Moving on to his ability you can pay four mana (of which two must be blue or green) to put the top two cards of your library into your graveyard and have your opponent choose a nonland card in your yard to return to your hand. So your opponent gets to choose what you get, so more often than likely it’ll be the worst spell in your graveyard. However its still card advantage and with Tasigur’s delve ability along with other cards such as Dig Through Time, Treasure Cruise, and Murderous Cut you can have decent control on what’s in your yard for them to give you. Considering the rest of the card the cost of using the ability is fair, and in slower and grindier strategies you can just pass with mana up and if your opponent doesn’t do anything you can double activate him at the end of your turn. These all make him a decent early game card with the help of graveyard fillers, or a fantastic late game top deck when you have a bunch of land in play and a graveyard of fuel.
But thats enough harping on about him for now, lets get down to business and look at a couple of standard lists from the past weekend:
Gerrard Fabiano – Sultai Control
4x Satyr Wayfinder
2x Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
1x Garruk, Apex Predator
2x Kiora, the Crashing Wave
2x Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
4x Bile Blight
4x Dig Through Time
2x Disdainful Stroke
3x Hero’s Downfall
2x Murderous Cut
2x Sultai Control
2x Crux of Fate
1x Interpret the Signs
2x Rakshasa’s Secret
2x Llanowar Wastes
4x Opulent Palace
4x Polluted Delta
2x Temple of Deceit
4x Temple of Malady
1x Temple of Mystery
2x Yavimaya Coast
1x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
2x Rakshasa Deathdealer
2x Feed the Clan
2x Pharika’s Cure
1x Sultai Charm
1x Polukranos, World Eater
1x Silumgar, the Drifting Death
2x Tasigur, the Golden Fang
1x Drown in Sorrow
This is the winning decklist from the open at the weekend, with two copies of Tasigur in the sideboard. Watching Fabiano play the deck though he brought them in against a wide range of opponents I would be surprised if he didn’t start playing at least one in the main if he continues forward with the deck. He provides a road block against the aggro decks and buys time and also is a card advantage machine in the late game where this deck shines. It utilises both Murderous Cut and Dig Through Time which as mentioned earlier can be used to manipulate your graveyard, but then the deck is also chock full of super powerful cards like Ugin and Garruk which you can get back with Tasigur’s ability, not to mention the versatility of cards like Sultai Charm and Hero’s Downfall. He really does shine here.
Abzan Aggro – Hunter Nance
4x Fleecemane Lion
4x Rakshasa Deathdealer
4x Siege Rhino
3x Wingmate Roc
3x Courser of Kruphix
3x Anafenza, the Foremost
2x Tasigur, the Golden Fang
1x Sorin, Solemn Visitor
2x Abzan Charm
3x Bile Blight
4x Hero’s Downfall
3x Caves of Koilos
3x Llanowar Wastes
4x Sandsteppe Citadel
3x Temple of Malady
1x Temple of Plenty
2x Temple of Silence
4x Windswept Heath
2x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1x Back to Nature
1x Bile Blight
1x Murderous Cut
1x Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
1x Liliana Vess
1x Nissa Worldwaker
1x Sorin, Solemn Visitor
4x Drown in Sorrow
3x Glare of Heresy
The aggro variant of Abzan has been becoming more and more popular after a bunch of successful finishes just before Fate Reforged was released. In this deck we see two copies of Tasigur in the main with the only real graveyard manipulation being Tasigur himself. However the card quality in this deck is less variable with nothing like Satyr Wayfinder your opponent can hand you back. In this deck you want all of your creatures have some kind of ability that allows them to stay relevant later into the game and Tasigur fits the bill perfectly, providing a much needed source of card advantage while having a 4/5 body to apply the beats with. Golden.
And with that its time for me to wrap up another article. Last time I mentioned I’d let you know about all the Cloudform bad beats stories I would have from pre-release but I’m happy to say I don’t actually have any. I did on the other hand have a game that went: T1 land go, T2 land go, T3 land Jeskai Infiltrator to then have my opponent untap and act of treason it. That went badly. Cheers for reading and I’ll see you next time.
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January 26th 2015
What’s up everybody? Its been a while since I wrote an article, and I hope you all had a happy New Year and Christmas. Now while we’ve all been having a happy holiday Santa has also sent us a sets worth of spoilers for Fate Reforged. Without further ado I’m going to discuss some of my highlights.
This is the big guy everyones talking about. He’s extremely powerful unchecked, and has the potential to be a wrath that starts bolting your opponent if they don’t have an answer. Unfortunately we’re in a standard format where decks are already maindecking Hero’s Downfall, Utter End and Banishing Light. While these and his super high mana cost of 8 mean he probably won’t be format defining, I expect to see him popping up in a few decks and sideboards.
We have a Time Walk effect in standard, and that’s always fun. It does however cost eleven mana without help and you need to be delving six cards to even make this a Time Warp. But its a time walk, and we have Narset running round as well as a million and one ways to put cards into your graveyard. I expect this to see about the same amount of play as Temporal Mastery where its very exciting but will only see fringe play in one or two decks.
This card is the real deal. So you liked Young Pyromancer? Well they printed a new one, that triggers off of Non-creature spellls instead of just instant and sorcerys, oh but the guys yoou get also have prowess. Let’s get this out of the way; pyromancer does only cost two mana so it comes down earlier and has a higher chance of getting value before its killed. However this is a one man army in a way that pyromancer isn’t, and tokens left behind still have the potential to do a lot of damage.
Talk about card disadvantage… This card has primarily one purpose and that’s to see how good we can make Waste Not. With the addition of Tasigur’s Cruelty we have three different mind rot effects plus thoughtseize and despise in standard. The tools are out there but how good will the deck actually be? I’d be up for jamming it together if only to see exactly what happens when you cast one of these with Waste Not in play. It and Rakshasa’s Secret also power up delve cards so it cooouuld happen. Right?
When you see this card you probably thought one of two things; a) its a cool little trick; or b) how good is this with ascendancy? The good thing is that it’s at its best in the green based ascendancy combo decks, where it acts a bit like a manamorphose when you’re going off or gives you extra Retraction Helix activations. The other good thing is that it doesn’t do much without ascendancy in play and the deck doesn’t have space for many cards like that. The potential is there though.
This ones pretty sweet. The Khans effect is a bit like Sultai Ascendancy, if Sultai Ascendancy was good. The Dragons effect is ‘partial hexproof’ for you and all your permanents. Both effects are great and the fact that the dragons clause is worded so that these can stack up in multiples is pretty awesome. I was brewing up a delve control deck with sultai ascendancy a while ago and this just seems better in almost every way. What I really like about the siege cycle is that almost all of them are playable in competitive and casual magic.
The only reason I’m really talking about this card is that I can imagine dying to it very easily in limited. Pre-releases are this weekend, so I’ll be able to tell you all the sweet things my opponents manifested off of it next week.
Hope you’ve enjoyed reading my thoughts and opinions on the new releases. If you have anything you’d like to add or any feedback feel free to comment below. See y’all next week,
Last time I talked about Blue Green infect, a deck I have been playing recently and would have probably played at Grand Prix Madrid this past weekend if I had chosen to go. It turns out the deck did top 8 a GP at the weekend, just in Legacy instead; Tom Ross tainted strikes again. This week I’m going to discuss the results of Grand Prix Madrid and their implications on the modern format.
Firstly, pre-tournament hype. Since Khans has come out there has been two decks at the forefront of people’s minds: Blue Red Delver, and Jeskai Ascendancy Combo.
After seeing the UR list Bob Huang won the first legacy open after Khans was released with, the concept of the deck has been translated over to modern. Not that UR Delver wasn’t a deck before, but it now has a better 1 drop threat in Monastery Swiftspear which has replaced the variance high Goblin Guide and also is possibly the best Delvecestral Recall deck in the format.
Jeskai Ascendancy combo was by far the deck most hyped up, but aside from winning a few daily events on Magic Online it hadn’t put up many finished. The deck threatens to combo out on turn 2 or 3 which doesn’t fit what Wizards want for modern. As a result of this and the decks supreme hype train there have been calls from all over the place for the deck to be banned.
Ascendancy didn’t even make into the top 16, there are a bunch of cards the deck just folds to and it’s possible to hate it out easily. Red Blue Delver had a much but also failed to make top 8. However Temur Delver; a deck very similar to UR but splashing green primarily for goyf managed to not only top 8 but win the Grand Prix. Just goes to show, don’t believe the hype.
On to the actual Top 8 now. It consisted of 3 Birthing Pod decks, 1 Scapeshift, 1 Martyr Proc, 1 Breaching Trap, 1 Junk Midrange, and the Temur Delver deck. A few decks we haven’t seen in a while come out of the woodwork, but Birthing Pod proving it’s still here to stay once again putting multiple decks into a Grand Prix Top 8.
Looking at the three pod decks, all of the lists have gone in slightly different ways. Two of them were ‘Angel Pod’ forgoing the Melira combo and using Spike Feeder and Archangel of Thune instead freeing up a little space to make the main deck more flexible. One of these was fairly standard whereas the other added two copies of Tarmogoyf, an Eidolon of Rhetoric and a Thragtusk. The other list was a fairly stock Melira Pod deck with a single Eidolon of Rhetoric in the main and also included a Thragtusk. One thing all three decks shared is that they were all playing some number of Siege Rhino (More copies in the T8 than Cruise, better ban it).
I briefly touched on the Temur Delver deck that won earlier. It uses the Blue Red Delver shell and swaps out the Monastery Swiftspears for Tarmogoyfs allowing the deck to play much more reactively once you’ve landed a threat (a downside to Swiftspear). Another limiting factor on the deck is that it can’t afford to play cards like Snapcaster Mage or Grim Lavamancer as you need your graveyard for Goyf, and Treasure Cruise is pretty taxing already. That this deck can work just illustrates the power of Treasure Cruise and Tarmogoyf in the modern format.
The Junk deck looked very well positioned going into the weekends meta game with its two main deck copies of Dark Blast for the delver decks and a full eight hand disruption spells for combo. The deck was playing four copies of Siege Rhino and Bitterblossom has finally shown up. The scapeshift deck that made it is about as stock as you can get with the three Dig Through Times from Khans becoming staple in the deck.
Summoning Trap/ Through the Breach is not a deck we’ve seen a lot of for a long time but this one has combined the Primeval Titan Emrakul plan we saw in the old Cloudpost decks with Valakut the Molten Pinnacle. To supplement this the deck played Sakura Tribe Elder, Farseek and Search for Tomorrow to help get Valakut online and allow you to cast your titans, and Chalice of the Void and Anger of the Gods as Disruption.
The Last deck in the Top 8 is another old favourite in Martyr of the Sands/Proclamation of Rebirth. Its a white weenie deck very similar to Soul Sisters and it does use the same Martyr of the Sands with Serra Ascendant plan A. Past that, this version of the deck runs Ghostly Prisons and Wrath of Gods to deal with creatures; Prison also conveniently dealing with Splinter Twin combo also. Then it runs Ranger of Eos which helps you put white cards in your hand for Martyr as well as tutoring for Martyr and Ascendant and also helps you rebuild. Then it pays three copies of Proclamation of Rebirth, a forecast spell with two modes. The first if you cast it is to return up to three CMC 1 creatures from your graveyard to the battlefield allowing you to reuse Martyrs and get back Ascendants after they’ve been killed. The other mode is with forecast; paying six mana and revealing the card in your hand you can bring back a single CMC 1 creature from your yard but you keep the Proc in hand and can keep recurring it over multiple turns. Recurring Martyr every turn can easily put you out of range of some of the combo decks in the format and can stall aggro for a long time until you find a threat. This is a new take on the deck and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a rise in its popularity.
Once again that’s it from me this week, I hope you got a chance to watch some of the coverage at the weekend. See you next week,
AlastairShare on Facebook
December 17th 2014
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November 27th 2014
Back again with another magic article. This week however I’ll be going my usual foray into the card market and talk about a deck I’ve been playing lately in modern in the run up to Grand Prix Madrid this weekend which is the first Modern Grand Prix since Khans of Tarkir was released. So without any further ado, here is the UG Infect list I’ve been playing:
This list is fairly similar to the one Tom Ross popularised earlier this year, forgoing the usual Ichorclaw Myrs for Viridian Corrupters which help you deal with maindeck spellskites and give you main deck cards to hate Pod and Affinity freeing up some space in your board. Another recent addition to the deck is Hunt the Hunter; its narrow I know but Pod is prevalent enough and bad enough of a match up to warrant two copies of these. The obvious purpose for this is to get Melira Sylvok Outcast off of the table but its also great if they get greedy and you can snipe mana dorks, or killing a vital creature in response to them casting birthing pod. Between these and twisted images they help stabilise the match up though its still far from favourable. The last card I’d like to talk about before I go into the kahns of Tarkir additions is the one of Dryad Arbor in the main. So its great against edict effects like Liliana of the Veil but it also; as Ross put it “keeps people fair”. It sounds like a joke but people are very careless with their life total playing against Infect and the Arbor has killed more people than you would think.
Currently there is only one card from kahns of Tarkir in the list but that may be incorrect and there are a few other options that are worth considering. The one of Become Immense in the main has been fantastic, between fetches, probes and the inevitability of your creatures dying five cards in the yard is very achievable and +6/+6 for a single green mana is clearly big game. Every time I’ve drawn this card it has been great and I’d be tempted to go up to two copies. Its especially good versus RWU where your creatures are going to die in droves to fill up your yard and you can bait them with other pump spells before slamming this in response to a bolt or helix. Another thing to note is that with a Wild Defiance in play this makes any of your guys ten power. Also combos with Dryad Arbor.
The cards I am currently not playing but might be correct to play are the Obvious Treasure Cruise/Dig through time, and Stubborn Denial. Dig is a bit too mana intensive for this deck as double blue isn’t easy to achieve, but I feel Cruise should be present at least in the board if not the main. I don’t think it’s an auto include in the main because especially in game one it can be very clunky. It also contests space with Become Immense as there are only so many delve cards you can play. You want to kill your opponent very quickly and having multiple 6-8 mana spells will clog up your draws and dilute your game plan. I could see running a cruise alongside the Immense in the main and I can definitely see the merit for having a couple in the board for the grindy match ups like Jund or RWU.
Stubborn denial is an interesting one, most of the time its just a worse dispel. Don’t be under the illusion that your dude is gonna have 4 power when they try and kill it and sometimes Denial will end up being a Force Spike. However, the ability to simply spike your opponent or interact with their sorcery speed removal is relevant so if something like Storm is prevalent in the Meta Stubborn Denial could be a better choice. (It also has Tilt Value).
So that’s my take on Blue Green Infect, all things considered I think the deck is still a solid choice and I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled looking at the coverage from both rand Prix this weekend to see what does well. That’s it from me this week though,
AlastairShare on Facebook
November 17th 2014
Here are the latest Tyranid Kits built and painted. Here we have the Tyranid Toxicrene (51-20) and the Tyranid Tyrannocyte (51-21) box . Find them for at Gifts For Geeks for 20% off the RRP.
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November 12th 2014
With the festive season coming up GFG thought we could lend you a hand in the form of a 5% discount voucher code;
Simply type EARLYBIRD in the discount code section of the checkout and you will get a 5% discount. The code will be active for a week (until 20/11/14)Share on Facebook
November 10th 2014
This week it appears as though the flurry of price drops in Khans of Tarkir over the past few weeks has slowed down, with only a few small changes. I’ll give you a quick rundown:
- Near the top of the pile Sorin has dipped a tad down to £19.99, Abzan still popular but being outshone this past weekend by GB Constellation and he’s not seeing much play elsewhere.
- Fetches still continue to fall with both Flooded Strand and Polluted Delta at £12.49, with Windswept Heath now £9.99, and Bloodstained More falling further to £8.49. Wooded Foothills is still at £11.49 for now but I would suspect it will follow suit down to the £10 mark soon.
- Dig through Time has fallen a little bit further down to now £8.49. UB control and Esper haven’t done particularly well the past couple of weeks however a UW control deck showed up at the SCG Open a week ago. Despite the fact that it’s seeing a bit of modern play and Jeskai has been doing pretty well in standard its price has continued to fall.
- Mantis Rider has dropped down to £4.99 now, at the very start of the format the Jeskai Tempo deck was very dominant doing well at the Pro Tour, multiple Opens and Grand Prix. This past weekend it didn’t have a great showing and since (much like Sorin) it only really sees play in one deck which has probably led to its descent in price.
- A quick note on Crater’s Claws. If you’ve been one of the few people stocking up on these; they have now doubled in price to a whopping £1.99.
The Rest of the Standard Market
Like I said, Khans has been fairly quiet the past week, and the same can be said for the rest of standard:
- Ajani Steadfast has taken a small hit dropping from £14.99 to £11.99, not too surprising seeing his lack of play.
- Chasm Skulker has gone up in price at £4.49 with foils going up to £7.49. Travis Woo talked about the card in one of his recent articles and it also saw play in the Jeskai Heroic Combo deck that took down the SCG Standard Open this past weekend (more on that later).
- Athreos the Overhyped has dropped down to £7.99 surprising… Nope, no-one.
- Apparently not everybody wants to be a cat, as Kitty King Brimaz drops down to £19.99. This is a bit suprising, as he sees play in both Abzan and Jeskai strategys as well as some of the white based aggro decks.
- Elspeth has gone down to £19.99. While her days in the sun aren’t done yet she’s not seeing nearly as much play without the help of Supreme Verdict and Sphinx’s Revelation.
- Ashiok Nightmare Weaver has now gone up to £9.99. While he saw a bit of play last format in Esper decks and a decent amount in block (Go GTA), he seems much more suited to this format where the field is dominated by midrange ‘Good Stuff’ decks.
A Look at the Tournament Scene
That’s it for Standard price changes over the past week, but I’d like to briefly mention two archetypes that dominated the SCG Open this past weekend. The first one is well known, and that is Green Black Constellation. Its been doing well since the new format began but this past weekend there were 3 of these decks in the top 8 though for the most part they were defeated by the Jeskai Heroic combo deck I’ll move on to in a moment. The key cards from the archetype that are unique are Doomwake Giant, Eidolon of Blossoms, Pharika God of Affliction, and Whip of Erebos; while these cards haven’t moved much yet it’d be a safe bet to say they’ll be ticking up a bit soon.
The other deck I’d like to mention was pretty much off the radar up until now. Ivan Jen stormed through all comers with his Jeskai Heroic Ascendancy deck.
While Ascendancy was on everyone’s radar this is a completely new take on the deck which looks far superior to any other version we’ve seen forgoing green and the mana generators normally used when comboing off for aggressive heroic creatures like Akroan Crusader and Favoured Hoplite. This allows the deck to function well with or without ascendancy. It’s worth noting the combo in this version is slightly different as it uses retraction helix and springleaf drum (another new addition to the deck). Again none of the cards have really started to go up in price yet, however the deck seems like it could definitely be format warping. Jeskai Ascendancy, currently only £3.99 will almost certainly start going up in price again. Stain the mind, is looking like a very favourable sideboard card and is almost certainly going to see more use; currently £1.35 these seem like a good investment. The last card I’m going to mention is Spirit of the Labyrinth; it hurts both of the ascendancy decks in standard but also is becoming more and more playable in modern with the rise of treasure cruise. As a result it wouldn’t surprise me if Spirit saw a rise in play and price.
That’s it from me this week catch you next time,
AlastairShare on Facebook
November 3rd 2014
1/11/14 Price Update
Hi everyone, I’m back again with another finance article covering the ups and downs of standard cards from the past week. I’m going to start off by patting the clever of you who ‘speculated’ on Thoughtseizes as they’ve finally started to creep up again; currently at £17.99 with foils clocking in at £44.99. If you were hoping to grab a set of foils while they are still not too expensive you are swiftly running out of time.
Last week we had a long list of pit traps and false floors with price drops all over the shop. Unfortunately the bad weathers not done yet:
– First on our series of losers is Dig through Time. Coming out at £4 each and suddenly shooting up to £14 it managed to keep that price for a few weeks but has now dropped down to £10.49 each. Bloodstained Mire, rejected behind his brothers has now gone down under £10. At this point a great deal of Kahns of Tarkir has been opened so having a majority of the rares holding prices over the £10 threshold for much longer is unrealistic. I would expect the other non-blue fetches to follow in Mires downward path and drop also.
– Despite putting a couple of results up in modern daily events as well as winning the latest Pro Tour, Siege Rhino has actually dropped in price down to £5.99. Following suit are commander all star Clever Impersonator; down to £4.49, and Black Aggro sweethear Bloodsoaked Champion; now at £4.49. Utter End also fell, now at the low low price of £3.49. I breifly mentioned how some of the green devotion cards had started dropping and the treand continues with Rattleclaw now at £3.49. Its worth noting that both Rhino and Mystic have recently been given away as Buy a Box and Game Day Promo cards.
Khan or Khan’t?
The Khans of Tarkir have had a reasonable impact on standard since the set’s come out. On the first weekend we saw Narset do some work out of the sideboard in the Jeskai Tempo deck, and Anafenza
had a great showing at the Pro Tour. It’s about time we had a check up and see how the Clan leaders are doing:
– Currently winning the Clan War is Anafenza the Foremost, weighing in at £7.99 with foils going up to £14.99
– Next up, clocking in second in the great race is Sidisi Brood Tyrant, at £5.99 with a foil setting you back £10.99
– Middle of the pack is the mighty Surrak Dragonclaw currently at the cheap price of £3.59 going up to the cost of £12 for a foil, probably because of his power in commander.
– Despite seeing play as a one of or two of in a bunch of Jeskai tempo decks you can pick up a Narset Enlightened Master for a meager £2.49. You might think that sharing your treasured knowledge actually makes you worth less, however a foil copy of Narset is still £13.49. If you ever let somone attack with one in EDH you’ll see why.
– Letting his down his clan completely, though probably at least partially due to his printing in Speed vs Cunning Zurgo Helmsmasher is only £2.25 with technically 3 printings. As you can get a foil one either out of the duel deck or as a prerelease promo a foil is only £4.49.
Again its been a weak week for the standard market with not much at all to brag or write home about, and the format seems relatively defined so a shake up seems unlikely. We can still hope though; thats it from me this week so thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time
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