Grand Prix Atlantic City Day 1 Coverage

Posted in Event Coverage on January 12, 2013

By Wizards of the Coast


Saturday, 12:44 p.m. - Atlantic City: Standard Overview

by Jacob Van Lunen

Hello and welcome to Grand Prix Atlantic City. Today, we're going to watch 1646 players test their mental agility and endurance in an effort to make it to the second day of competition in this Standard Grand Prix. Return to Ravnica Standard has been in a constant state of evolution. The best deck in the format seemed to change from week to week for the first few months. Now, we've found ourselves in an interesting place. The format has evolved so quickly that it left a few players behind at each stage of evolution. As a result, we're now seeing the most diverse Standard format in over a decade. It becomes increasingly difficult to metagame as the Standard format continues to diversify. Building a sideboard and picking the right deck has never been so complicated.

What can players expect to see on the other side of the table in Atlantic City this weekend? I scoured Magic Online results earlier this week to find out.

SupaStud’s Green/Black Aggro

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Green/Black Aggro decks are a relatively new phenomenon. The deck takes advantage of Predator Ooze's strength in the current format. The deck is very straight-forward, but the power level of the cards therein makes the deck a real contender.

Cimos21’s Jund Aggro

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Jund Aggro, an archetype pioneered by Brazilian, Willy Edel, has been garnishing a small following on Magic Online over the last two weeks. The deck has evolved to be somewhere in between Jund Midrange and its original, more aggressive, state. It has the ability to become more aggressive post-sideboard in the necessary matchups, but the maindeck gives it strong game against the diverse field that's expected these days.

Anatidae’s Mono Red

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Thragtusk is still a format-defining card, but Mono-Red strategies have continued to perform well in spite of the excessive hate in the format. It seems strange that Red decks can compete in an environment with Thragtusks, Centaur Healers, Huntmaster of the Fells, and Restoration Angels. However, Red has shown itself to remain one of the best-performing decks, stealing games with Pyreheart Wolf and Hellrider, right under a Thragtusk's snout.

Fade to Black's Jund Midrange

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Jund Midrange was the most successful deck in Innistrad Block Constructed. Players quickly translated it into the new standard environment and enjoyed a lot of success the first few weeks. In time, the deck became less popular as its performance withered. The last month has been good to Jund Midrange, though. The deck is quickly reestablishing itself as contender.

tubidani's Raka Flash

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Blue/White Flash was the deck to beat coming into Grand Prix Charleston. The deck was well-positioned against the control-heavy format of the time. The rise of aggressive and midrange Rakdos strategies forced Blue/White Flash players to splash for Pillar of Flame. The deck struggles with the most dedicated control matchups, but those decks are becoming rare. Raka Flash is probably the deck to beat coming into this tournament.

PureWhiteSaito's WBG Rites

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Unburial Rites is probably the most powerful card in the current Standard format. As such, most players have a few sideboard slots dedicated to interacting with the Innistrad sorcery. The most recent successful versions of Unburial Rites have begun including a lot of inexpensive mana acceleration. Mainstream Unburial Rites decks aim to establish board dominance with Angel of Serenity or win the game in one foul swoop via Craterhoof Behemoth.

FFfreak's Glory's Rites

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Unburial Rites is powerful enough to have multiple versions of itself performing well at the same time. Yuuji Okita introduced the world to the Angel of Glory's Rise combo deck that plays surprisingly well even when it doesn't draw Unburial Rites. Nightshade Peddler and Izzet Staticaster combo to create a veritable machine gun and Zealous Concripts help the deck defend against otherwise difficult planeswalkers.

mikev1919's Bant Control

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Bant Control hasn't been performing as well as it was a few weeks ago, but the deck still has a large following and versions with a few Planeswalkers should be reasonably well positioned against the midrange metagame here in Atlantic City.

Flavor_Flaaaaav's Esper Control

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Esper Control has been quietly performing well for the last two months. The deck doesn't have a large following, but I expect it to be one of the best performing decks this weekend. The deck tries to survive the early game and eventually stabilizes with Terminus or Supreme Verdict as its planeswalkers and spirit tokens take the game over.

Atemp678's Omnidoor

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The first Door to Nothingness decks seemed like novelties, but the deck has quickly proven itself to be one of the most resilient strategies in the current Standard format. The latest versions of the deck are trying to ramp into overpowered spells as quickly as possible, largely ignoring most of the opponent's advances and eventually breaking serve with a Fog as their massively powerful cards start to take the game over.

bolov0's Red splash Black

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The Red splash Black strategies first emerged when it seemed that midrange Rakdos decks were taking the format over. The Red splash Black deck is becoming less popular now that metagaming has become so difficult. The deck plays a straightforward Red strategy but has access to powerful cards like Falkenrath Aristocrat.

saruyama's Naya Midrange

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Naya Midrange is the big winner this week on Magic Online. The deck hasn't had a tremendous amount of success in live tournaments, but I wouldn't be surprised if that changed this weekend. The deck aims to establish board dominance and take shots where it can get them. Eventually, Bonfire of the Damned is miracled and the board is cleared for a lethal swing.

bquelle's Naya Humans

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