By Wizards of the Coast

The five most important cards for Grand Prix Boston-Worcester were:

5. Birthing Pod

Thirty-two players used Birthing Pod based decks to get themselves to day two of Grand Prix Boston-Worcester--more than any other deck. When Birthing Pod gets online it acts as a one-card combo deck and a control deck that plays the perfect card every turn. When it isn't, the deck regularly gets the highest-value creatures--like Ranger of Eos, Reveillark, and voice of resurgence--into play anyway. Pro Tour Born of the Gods finalist Jacob Wilson decided to stick to his guns and pilot Melira Pod again this weekend. Narrowly missing top eight, he defeated players round after round using Birthing Pod both to combo his opponents out and to create an army of unbeatable rares.

4. Blighted Agent

With half of the players playing Infect in day two making the top eight, it's clear that it was a powerhouse that was unexpected. Throughout the day, players like Phillip Napoli and Wesley Hovanec were poisoning players left and right as quickly as turn three. A big part of that was having access to Blighted Agent. Being able to have an unblockable infector ready to carry all the pump spells available was instrumental to the infect decks' success this weekend. When players needed to get the last few points of poison in, Blighted Agent was their man.

In game three of the quarterfinals, Wesley Hovanec and Phillip Napoli had the exact same opening: turn one Noble Hierarch into turn two Blighted Agent. Napoli, being on the play, had the ability to attack first and attack last with his Blighted Agent sending the Napoli to the semifinals.

3. Cranial Plating

Twenty-six players made day two with Affinity and two of those players made top eight. One of the things that makes the Affinity decks so powerful is the ability to get down a quick creature, a handful of Artifacts, and a Cranial Plating. Once in play it turns any one of Affinity's wimpy creatures into a must-kill powerhouse. When it gets equipped to a creature like Etched Champion, it means near-certain victory for the Affinty player.

All weekend long Affinity players like Alex Bertoncini equipped Cranial Plating to victory. Deep in day two, thanks to an explosive start, Bertoncini attacked in with an Ornithopter equipped with a pair of Cranial Platings for 16 damage on turn four. In the first game of the semifinals, Bertoncini used Cranial Plating equipped to a Vault Skirge to take Andrew Boswell from 15 life to eight to zero.

2. Thrun, the Last Troll

One of the reasons Rock decks like Jund and White Rock were so dominant this weekend was because of Thrun, the Last Troll. Dipping around the counter magic of White-Blue-Red Control decks and dodging removal spells from other Jund decks made it so this Troll crashed into red zone many times. Against aggro decks, Thrun created a wall that was nigh-impenetrable. In the quarterfinals, eventual finalist Andrew Boswell, got a fourth turn Thrun down against his Blue Moon opponent Marc Tobiasch. After a few turns of protecting the 4/4, Boswell was on his way to the Semifinals. In the finals, despite a mulligan to five, Boswell used Thrun to stall the ground, giving him a couple extra turns to draw out of his card deficit.

1. Lingering Souls

Lingering Souls proved its worth this weekend putting 20 players of the White Rock deck into day two. Against aggressive decks, Lingering Souls supplied a stream of chump blockers that allowed the White Rock decks to live long enough to cast their game winning spells. In the mirror match, Lingering Souls excelled because it made one-for-one removal look silly. During creature stalemates, the Spirit tokens generated by Lingering Souls simply laughed at the creatures on the ground while they flew on ahead into the red zone. In the third game of the finals, Robin Dolar prioritized casting Lingering souls early--making it a point to flash it back as quickly as possible. It paid off: Dolar was ahead in the damage race and was able to fly over Boswell's Thrun, the Last Troll thanks to the Spirit tokens. It was no surprise, then, when Dolar said that it was the most important card in his deck.