Grand Prix Washington D.C. 2013 - More Than a True-Name

Posted in NEWS on November 17, 2013

The Grand Prix is just underway here outside D.C. and there's one card on the tip of everyone's tongue: True-Name Nemesis.

The standout Merfolk from the recent Grixis-themed Commander release found plenty of room for itself in Legacy. Delver decks of every sort have added the three-drop, including Osyp Lebedowicz's 2013 Legacy Championship runner up deck. Those who choose the less-common tribal Merfolk route have adopted the difficult-to-kill kinsman as well. But there's much more to what players want than the nemesis of their opponents.

The next most request cards across several dealers on site were more Commander (2013 Edition) additions to the format: Toxic Deluge and Swansong.

Non-Commander release cards requested included Cataclysm, Xantid Swarm, Nature's Claim, and Flusterstorm. What all these cards have in common is that they serve very specific purposes. Swansong is a cheap counterspell that can handle popular combo deck Sneak and Show. Toxic Deluge can wipe away the disruptive creatures in Death and Taxes, and reset the board for creature-based combos like Elves. It also neatly deals with normally difficult creatures like True-Name Nemesis. Xantid Swarm helps protect combos going off in the same way Flusterstorm specially answers Storm and Ad Nauseam Tendrils. Cheap, flexible answers like Nature's Claim are the archetypical options outside of the maindecks in Legacy.

Perhaps the most intriguing tidbit came from one dealer who wished they had brought copies of Envelop, requested "by some key people." It isn't difficult to believe it's another specific card to be included in sideboards, meant for specific decks throughout the weekend. Who these players were remains a mystery, but we'll be keeping an eye out to find an answer.