Posted in NEWS on March 1, 2014

By Chapman Sim

With Pro Tour Born of the Gods in the books, we are now ready to welcome the first Grand Prix featuring the latest expansion. 902 players are assembled here in Melbourne, showing the world what they can do with the addition of Born of the Gods, loaded with goodies that could change the face of Standard forever. What can we be expecting this weekend?



Let's start with the obvious, shall we? Standard Powerhouse Mono-Black Devotion gains Bile Blight and Drown in Sorrow, two great options to complement an impressive removal suite that already has access Hero's Downfall, Devour Flesh, Doom Blade and Ultimate Price. Thoughtseize, Duress and Lifebane Zombie continue to strip your hand bare while Pack Rat and Desecration Demon attempt finish you off.





Azorius (and perhaps Esper) Mages who swear by their Sphinx's Revelations and Supreme Verdicts now have improved manabases thanks to Temple of Enlightenment, as well as a few more tricks up their sleeves. Revoke Existence is a handy way to nullify an opposing indestructible god, as is Nullify itself. Fated Retribution is also a great option despite it's slightly prohibitive mana cost, but looks promising considering the last "instant speed" Wrath of God effect was printed way back during the Invasion Block (Rout). Azorius Mages will be happy to sweep the board clean (while keeping their own Detention Spheres intact) before untapping to resolve a backbreaking Elspeth, Sun's Champion.





World Champion Makihito Mihara was the first to experiment with the synergy between Brimaz, King of Oreskos and Ephara, God of the Polis as seen during the Super Sunday Series but players are seen running the White Blue God alongside Cloudfin Raptor, Tidebinder Mage and Master of Waves, to make the Mono-Blue Devotion archetype more resilient against the sea of removal. With Detention Spheres providing a dash of removal while contributing to devation, it should not be difficult to harness the power of Ephara.



Red Green Monsters are also back in full force, now that Courser of Kruphix is in the mix. Used alongside Domri Rade, it provides a touch of library manipulation and card advantage to keep the threats flowing and greater consistency. Recently immortalized Xenagos, God of Revels is also a toughie himself, capable of threatening swift kills with oversized threats like Polukranos, World Eater and Stormbreath Dragon.

Kiora, the Crashing Wave was also heard to be making waves in some nifty concoctions. Aside from traditional "Bant Control" brews hungering for mana to power out large Sphinx's Revelations, the last time we checked, someone was playing them alongside Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver in a truly unique BUG brew.



There are also rumors of Satyr Firedancers and Searing Blood making appearances in Boros Burn decks (upgrading all spells into Searing Blazes on steroids) and Herald of Torment rearing its ugly head in Rakdos Aggro variants. There are so many surprises at at Grand Prix Melbourne, and we can't wait to watch the magic unfold down under!