TOP 5 CARDS

Posted in Event Coverage on November 7, 2013

By Blake Rasmussen

Blake is the content manager for DailyMTG.com, making him the one you should email if you have thoughts on the website, good or less good (or not good). He's a longtime coverage reporter and hasn't turned down a game of Magic in any format ever.

5. Stormbreath Dragon

When Thundermaw Hellkite rotated several weeks back, control players everywhere sighed with relief. Finally, the hasty scourge of the skies was gone. And, sure, this Stormbreath Dragon thing looked like a thing, but it was only a 4/4. That’s not a problem, right?

Wrong.

Stormbreath Dragon has certainly lived up to its predecessor’s lineage, especially in the hands of Matias Soler in his run up to the finals. Not only did he get a hexproof, doublestriking dragon going thanks to a Domri Rade emblem, but he continuously cast early dragons—including one on turn three—to take down Jonathan Melamed in the quarterfinals. Stormbreath may not be 5/5 right off the bat, but that doesn’t make anyone happy to see one across the table.

4. Basic Land

Seriously, all five of them. Swamps, Islands, Forests, Mountains, and even recently maligned Plains were all out in force this weekend as mono-colored and nearly mono-colored strategies dominated. In the Top 8, three decks were completely single colored, two had virtual splashes, and two more played healthy doses of basic lands. After getting use to the devil-may-care, splash everything Wild, Wild West of Innistrad, Ravnica Standard, it’s refreshing to return to a format where most everyone is playing good old Basic Lands.

3. Thoughtseize

Though Mono Black Devotion ultimately missed out on the Top 8, it was easily the most popular archetype on the weekend, and Thoughtseize is a major reason why. The ultimate in disruption, Thoughtseize grabbed Planeswalkers, Creatures, spells and more all weekend. Giving Black the ability to deal with literally any non-land permanent is a powerful way to put the clamps on your opponent’s plans. In fact, Champion Luis Navas said it was one of the key reasons he favored a Black base over a Red one in his aggressive Rakdos deck.

Get your copies now, because no Black player will want to leave home without the most disruptive spell in Standard.

2. Master of Waves

It’s impossible to deny it: The breakout deck of Pro Tour Theros is here to stay. Placing a whopping three players in the Top 8 is an impressive enough feat in and of itself, but doing so when it was being left behind by players opting for Mono Black Devotion is even more impressive. Master of Waves is easily the most important card in the deck, trumping even Thassa and Nightveil Specter. In fact, Master is so powerful players were branching out into more controlling decks, like Luis Salvatto, who played, essentially, a UW control deck with Master of Waves and a small Devotion subtheme. In fact, There were more copies of Master of Waves in the Top 8 than any other non-land card. Were it not for a few bad matchups, Master of Waves very well could have been number one on this list.

Instead, we get powerhouse…

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1. Mogis’s Marauder

Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch is going to get most of the press as one of the few rares in Navas’s winning list, but anyone who watched more than a few games knows the true power behind the deck, and it’s this unheralded uncommon from Theros. The Marauder has a lot of things going for it, but its primary benefit is giving Intimidate to a whole slew of small creatures. And Navas put it to good use all weekend. He used it to swing past an otherwise lethal horde of Elspeth Soldier tokens to stay in the hunt for the Top 8, he cast it to unstick a sticky situation against Mono Blue in the Semifinals, and he used it to turn heads all weekend. It’s even a Human to synergize with Xathrid Necromancer. In a mono-colored world, Mogis’s Marauder often reads “all of your creatures are unblockable,” more than enough to make it the number one card at Grand Prix Santiago.[/show]

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