Grand Prix Sacramento 2014 - Top 5 Cards

Posted in Event Coverage on January 19, 2014

5. Shipbreaker Kraken

Shipbreaker Kraken offers up a massive body that's capable of ending the game on its own if left unchecked when it becomes monstrous. Philip Yam used the card to tremendous success in the quarterfinals against Nathannael Maliszekski. Maliszekski had an active Bow of Nylea for the entirety of the second game, but Yam's Shipbreaker Kraken locked down a boa

4. Gods Willing

Gods Willing is a cheap tool that effectively counters more expensive removal spells and allows players to crash through for the final necessary points of damage. The card was cited by multiple players in the Top 8 as the most important card in their Day 1 sealed pool. Grand Prix Sacramento Champion Tom Martell had two copies of the instant in his Top 8 draft deck. The card proved invaluable as it won Martell his quarterfinal match, and allowed him to sneak through for lethal damage in the first game of the semifinals.

3. Aqueous Form

In a format without a lot of hard removal, ways of breaking through creature stalemates become invaluable. Aqueous Form is a card that has been put to great use in previous Grand Prix Top 8 matches, and it has continued to impress this weekend. The unassuming one-mana enchantment allows players to push through with creatures ranging from the small and heroic to the large and monstrous, and takes the option of chump-blocking a behemoth until one can find a solution to a menacing creature away from opponents.

It also makes for a very killer combo with Flamespeaker Adept, turning the two power three toughness red creature into a powerful clock that also smooths out your draws with each attack. We saw the Adept and Aqueous Form combination used to great effect in the Quarterfinals, when Aaron Lewis put Andy Voellmer in a position where he was forced to start chump-blocking before he could get any real offense going.

2. Keepsake Gorgon

If there was any doubt as to whether or not Keepsake Gorgon is the best uncommon in Theros Limited, there is no question about it now. The five-mana monstrosity creature has proven itself to be the best uncommon in this set's Sealed and Booster Draft formats.

Keepsake Gorgon, when brought up with players such as Luis Scott-Vargas, was easily recognized by them as the number one card they wanted to open in Sealed, and it was also one of the most influential cards for players looking to move into or force a deck with black cards in Booster Draft. In a format with a limited amount of removal, the Gorgon provides a rare and powerful effect in Theros Sealed and Booster Draft. We saw this put to great effect in the Semifinals, when Philip Yam locked up the game against Aaron Lewis thanks to his Keepsake Gorgon taking out Lewis's only remaining creature to leave him helpless.

However, monstrosity effect aside, the Gorgon is simply hard to attack into profitably at all! A two power, five toughness deathtouch creature is very difficult to overcome in this format, especially in Sealed, when the game is often decided by a very large monstrosity creature like Nessian Asp that still trades with the Gorgon regardless of its size.


 

1. Scholar of Athreos

Scholar of Athreos is a card that comes around quite late. Black/White isn't a particularly popular draft archetype and, as a result, it's easy to table this powerful endgame mana-sink. The card was responsible for Martell's victory in game three of the quarterfinals, it put his opponent in range for a lethal attack out of nowhere in game one of the semifinals, and it locked up the finals in decisive fashion. The card put Martell's opponents in spots where they were forced to get aggressive and race. This let Martell act second with his instants and gave him the tactical advantage in each of his matches. Often overlooked, Scholar of Athreos had its time to shine this weekend in Sacramento!

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