U.S. Nationals – Top Five Cards of the Weekend

Posted in Event Coverage on August 7, 2011

By Brian David-Marshall

Brian David-Marshall is a New York–based game designer who has been involved with Magic since 1994, when he started organizing tournaments and ran a Manhattan game store. Since then, he has been a judge, a player, and one of the longest-tenured columnists on DailyMTG.com, as he enters his second decade writing for the site. He is also the Pro Tour Historian and one of the commentators for the Pro Tour.

You could have played Magic from the moment you got to Gen Con until the last minutes as they were breaking down the greatest four days in gaming. There were Block Championships, Vintage Championships, Legacy Championships, Grand Melee booster drafts, 8-man booster drafts -- and of course, the U.S. National Championship. There were a handful of cards that stood out from the rest of the hundreds and hundreds of different cards that saw play.


 

Slash Panther

Slash Panther

This is a card that is a decent in draft and has seen virtually zero play in Block, Standard, Legacy, and Extended tournaments and yet it is fast becoming a Vintage staple. You can power it out on turn one with a Mishra's Workshop and a Mox. Add in a Phyrexian Metamorph and you have a turn three kill against an unwary opponent. It is also shockingly good at killing Jace, the Mind Sculptor out of nowhere. In the Vintage Championships Ryan Glacklin took the deck as far as fourth place.


 

 

Scavenging Ooze

 

Scavenging Ooze

Reed Hartman took a single copy of this Commander card -- a never-legal-in-Standard addition to the four Tarmogoyfs he already played. According to the Legacy Championships finalist the card may have actually been better than the first four Tarmogoyfs when all was said and done.


 

 

Goblin Fireslinger

 

Goblin Fireslinger

What would you take out of your Magic 2012 booster pack if you were drafting for the National championship; Flameblast Dragon or Goblin Fireslinger? According to Christian Valenti -- who like you at home thought "dragon" -- he should have taken the Fireslinger. The card broke out this weekend as one of the staples of the aggressive goblin draft archetype that carried multiple people through their draft pods without a loss. Valenti managed to pull that pod out despite being "stuck" with a dragon.


 

 

Azure Mage

 

Azure Mage

Everyone likes card drawing -- you need only look at the Consecrated Sphinx on either side of the finals -- but it was the ChannelFirebal crew that put three players into the Top 8 of Nationals with the CawBlade mirror breaking Azure Mage in their sideboard. The perfect card to straddle control and beat down , you can expect to see CawBlade players everywhere following suit in in the coming weeks.


 

 

Karn Liberated

 

Karn Liberated

US National Champion Ali Aintrazi showed everyone who the new Planeswalker on the block is when he used the "vindicate" ability on Karn to take care of pesky lands, chump blocking Squadron Hawks, and a Consecrated Sphinx. He could have even started a new game in the last game but decided that he would rather just win instead with his army of Planeswalkers that included Karn, Liliana Vess, and Jace Beleren.

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