From cards spanning the Theros block to the latest goodies from Fate Reforged, here are the Top 5 Cards of the 2015 Super Sunday Series Championship!
5. Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
The iconic Planeswalker of Fate Reforged is—to the surprise of nobody—the real deal. While eight mana is a lot to ask for, nearly every Blue-Black Control deck played in the Standard portion of the weekend adopted the powerful colorless threat.
Aside from it being a simple catch-all to any troublesome permanents, the ultimate effect is a very dangerous threat, and in instances where Ugin goes ultimate, the game effectively ends when you're drawing into permission and the lands in which to cast it all. While Gold-level pro Joel Larsson from Sweden had a rough ride this weekend, his Blue-Black Control deck proved itself to be solid, with an ultimate Ugin being the way he ended both games in one of his rounds on Saturday.
4. Hushwing Gryff
Satyr Wayfinder? Get out of here. Siege Rhino? Sorry. Sidisi, Brood Tyrant? You're going to have to wait to attack before you do any graveyard filling. 2014's recent addition to the suite of hate-birds (powerful 2/1 flying creatures that hamper opposing shenanigans in some form simply be being in play) did some serious work for eventual winner Luis Salvatto during the weekend.
Primarily used as a sideboard card, Hushwing Gryff did some serious work at slowing down the inevitability of decks that lean heavily on enters-the-battlefield effects. One of those decks are the variants of Sidisi-Whip, whether it's playing the flagship Sultai legendary or simply Abzan with a Whip of Erebos package. Hushwing Gryff not only stops a lot of the creatures that enable these strategies to fill the graveyard, but it also stops the real menace out of those decks: Hornet Queen. In fact, Hornet Queen would have been in this slot, had Salvatto's Hushwing Gryff not shut down any possibilities of a comeback from Prosek in the semifinals when the Gryff stopped most graveyard enablers.
3. Valorous Stance
While not the most requested card to borrow for this tournament from Fate Reforged (that honor actually goes to Ugin), Valorous Stance was the most widely adopted new card across all of the Standard decks this weekend, and it is easy to see why.
Not only is the card is a premium pick in Limited, offering two great effects in the realm of 40-card decks, Valorous Stance offers both an answer to big threats as well as a method of saving critical creatures to your own game plan, such as Monastery Mentor, Goblin Rabblemaster, and much more...
2. Stormbreath Dragon
...but what the third card on this list does not do is answer this throwback from Theros: the mighty Stormbreath Dragon. Given the popularity of both Valorous Stance as well as the widely adopted Crux of Fate in Blue-Black Control lists this weekend, Stormbreath Dragon seems well positioned to be one of the premier five-mana creatures of Standard for a little while. Not only is protection from white a very relevant line of text, but the Dragon is just as capable of ending games quickly as it has been for the past 15 months of so. While the popularity of Mr. Stormbreath wanes once in a while, it is almost expected that the red mythic will make its way back onto the center stage multiple times while in Standard.
This weekend is a key reminder to never ignore Stormbreath Dragon's existence.
1. Outpost Siege
Getting free cards off of the zero loyalty ability on Chandra, Pyromaster always feels very nice. Now, imagine getting those free cards through an enchantment that is significantly harder to answer pre-board. Now, imagine having multiple copies of that enchantment in play.
Enter Outpost Siege. If you don't need to imagine this, it's because you were a player like Gold-level pro Ken Yukuhiro, who played the full suite of the the red Siege to full force in the Standard portion of this weekend.
Not only does the new red enchantment from Fate Reforged provide the card advantage valued by Chandra, Pyromaster in non-legendary form, it is also easier to cast and provides alternate options. While Khans is the popular mode on this new enchantment, winner Luis Salvatto showcased the fearsome fury of Dragons mode, where a late Outpost Siege off the top ensured inevitability and board control when attacking in with multiple smaller creatures from cards such as Brimaz, King of Oreskos, Goblin Rabblemaster and Hordeling Outburst.
Combining impulsive card draw with the color that supports valued removal such as Lightning Strike and Stoke the Flames, Outpost Siege will be a card that is sure to be seen throughout its lifespan in Standard. Red mages, rejoice!