Top 5 Cards of Grand Prix Chicago

Posted in NEWS on June 23, 2014

By Jacob Van Lunen

Jacob Van Lunen began playing Magic in 1995. He has participated in organized play at every level of competition and was a member of the winning team at Pro Tour San Diego in 2007, thanks to an innovative draft strategy. As a writer, Van Lunen has had more than three hundred Magic strategy pieces published

The field of 2049 players has been conquered by Tyler Blum, and after 15 rounds of swiss and three rounds of Top 8 matches, we have our Top 5 Cards from Grand Prix Chicago 2014.

5. Pack Rat

Once upon a time, players were cutting Pack Rat from their Black Devotion decks in fear of Bile Blight, Detention Sphere, and Supreme Verdict. This weekend, Pack Rat was back and better than ever. Non-Blue/White players found themselves helpless to players brave enough to go all-in on their rat. It's become clear that Pack Rat is one of the most powerful effects available in the current Standard format and we should expect to see many more of them in future Standard events.

4. Elixir of Immortality

Blue/White Control has established itself as the best control strategy in Standard. The deck doesn't need to waste many slots on win conditions because of one card. Elixir of Immortality gives the deck inevitability as games go long. In Adrian Sullivan's quarterfinal match, he was able to win by decking his opponent thanks to this unique effect.

3. Thassa, God of the Sea

Blue Devotion hasn't been the most popular strategy as of late, but it was clearly the deck of choice for professionals this weekend. Standard has shifted to a place where Red decks were having a ton of success and the Blue Devotion deck was ready to prey on burning hearts everywhere. Thassa, God of the Sea and her legion of Blue creatures so handily dominated the Red strategies on day 2 that there wasn't a single red deck in the top 8.

2. Skullcrack

There had been a lot of successful red strategies on Magic Online over the last week, but Boros Burn proved itself to be the premier red deck in Standard at Grand Prix Chicago. Two copies of Boros Burn went undefeated on the first day of competition. The deck ran into an unfortunate day 2 field that was nearly one fifth Blue Devotion, but its power has been clearly established.

1. Nightveil Specter

Nightveil Specter was once the default three-drop of choice for Black Devotion players, but Lifebane Zombie became a clear favorite in a world filled with Jund Monsters, Junk Midrange, Black/White Midrange, and various aggressive white-based strategies. Lifebane Zombie has become the default three mana creature for Black Devotion, but this weekend's most successful Black Devotion deck featured a full four copies of Nightveil Specter, a card that's well-positioned in a field of Blue/White Control, Black Devotion, and Boros Burn strategies.