Pro Tour-New York 1999

Posted in Event Coverage

By Wizards of the Coast

-Alex Shvartsman

Logically, this year's PTNY should be one of the easier title events to prepare for. A constructed tournament where you can build a deck out of 500 cards should only offer so many viable decks - that is the theory.

In reality however, players may have spent more time and energy preparing for this event than most previous pro tours.

Shortly after PTLA it became known that Deadguys, team CMU and several other top players and deckbuilders united into an "Uberteam". These 15-16 players would deckbuild and playtest together, creating without a doubt a strongest Magic team in the world.

This made other players re-think their preparation strategy. It seems that the "strength in numbers" motto became an adapted slogan for many teams that sought out new members or worked to unite with other teams in temporary or permanent alliances. For example, The Legion international team I belong to worked together with German team CCC, creating "The Manhattan Project" mailing list in order to discuss Saga-Legacy Constructed format.

From the very early stages of playtest, several truths about the format were discovered. First, monocolor decks seemed to do better in the format. Although some strong multi-color decks got developed later in the playtest, most of those were metagame decks designed to build the original set of test decks.

I cannot predict accurately what kind of a deck will win this Pro Tour - Erik Lauer and his friends are probably cooking up some crazy Uberdeck as I type this article - but the deck types discussed below will be clearly present in the tournament and have potential to do well.


This deck is by far the strongest strategy available in the format. It's got the fastest creatures and great creature enhancements that make this deck almost as good as Sligh was in LA last year.

The game plan is to overrun an opponent, using Symbiosis to remove their blocking creature and Gaea's Cradle to speed things up.

4 Elvish Lyrist
4 Weatherseed Elves
4 Pouncing Jaguar
4 Wild Dogs
4 Acridian
4 Albino Troll
2 Deranged Hermit
4 Rancor
4 Symbiosis
2 Might of Oaks
4 Gaea's Cradle
4 Treetop Village
16 Forest

The Academy Deck

Great many Academy decks will be played in NY. Some will abuse Tinker, trying to bring Phyrexian Colossus or other expensive artifacts into play quickly. Some will use Academy in mono-red or blue-red decks as a speed-up card, to bring out powerful removal cards such as Wildfire and Crater Hellion faster. Perhaps the best possible Academy deck is the one that attempts to generate infinite mana by combining Tolarian Academy and Palinchron, then force an opponent to draw their deck via Stroke of Genius.

While many players arrived at this strategy, some discarded it because they did not find a powerful way to speed the deck up - Fluctuator. By playing a high ratio of cycling cards (land included), the Academy player singinifantly increases his chances to win by turn 4 or 5.

2 Palinchron
4 Stroke of Genius
2 Opportunity
4 Frantic Search
4 Cloud of Faeries
3 Rescind
4 Voltaic Key
4 Thran Turbine
4 Grim Monolith
4 Fluctuator
4 Tolarian Academy
2 Island
4 Blasted Landscape
4 Remote Isle
4 Polluted Mire
4 Slippery Karst
3 Smoldering Crater


This deck is fairly aggressive, but can turn into a control deck easily after the sideboard. It stands a decent chance against both green and academy.

4 Snap
4 Rescind
4 Power Sink
2 Annul
2 Miscalculation
4 Veiled Sentry
4 Veiled Serpent
4 Horseshoe Crab
4 Morphling
4 Hermetic Study
4 Faerie Conclave
20 Island


The deck's powerful discard and creature removal elements allow it to be very competitive. However, its inability to deal with artifacts is a major problem that will keep mono-black from being a major force in PTNY.

4 Vebuild
2 Flesh Reaver
2 Skittering Skirge
2 Bone Shredder
4 Sanguine Guard
2 Eastern Paladin
3 Expunge
2 Befoul
2 Corrupt
4 Duress
4 Persecute
4 Dark Ritual
1 Yawgmoth's Will
4 Spawning Pool
2 Polluted Mire
18 Swamp

Keep in mind that the deck lists in this articles are fairly generic - I do not want to reveal any of the "tech" developed by the players I know before the PT is over.

The Sideboard will keep you updated on the best decks, most interesting matchups and interesting rumors all through this weekend, so stay tuned.


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