TOP 5 CARDS

Posted in Event Coverage on June 29, 2015

By Jacob Van Lunen and Marc Calderaro

What were the biggest cards of the weekend? Then read on to learn more about Grand Prix Buenos Aires's Top 5 Cards!


 

5. Sidisi, Brood Tyrant

 

Though no copies of the Sultai khan, Sidisi, Brood Tyrant made it into the Top 8, the card, and its marquee deck, Sidisi Whip have made an amazing resurgence. In the early period of the Khans of Tarkir block, Sidisi graveyard shenanigans were a mainstay. But as the format wore on, Sidisi Whip seemed to disappear.

 

But ten days ago, it came back with a vengeance. Brazilian mainstay (24) Willy Edel trusted in the deck and piloted it deep into the second day. The fourth color now omnipresent (with a Dragonlord Atarka to Whip of Erebos back into play), the deck’s resurgence will make people think about playing more copies of Anafenza, the Foremost again.

 

Leaving Sidisi unchecked is a mistake, but just killing it and leaving it your opponent’s graveyard might be just as bad.


 

4. Dragonlord Silumgar

 

Both Willy Edel and (18) Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa mentioned how they were surprised by how good Dragonlord Silumgar really was. It was certainly powerful, but it’s so good, it’s functionally replaced Silumgar, the Drifting Death in Esper Dragons.

 

Esper Dragons put Argentine powerhouse Nicolas De Nicola into the Top 8. And in capable hands, playing this Dragonlord can completely shut out the game in your favor. The swings it provides once your opponent is drained of removal is often the final nail in the coffin.

 

Though people first thought that stealing a Planeswalker was too cute to be good, now it has proven quite a viable strategy. Taking a Xenagos, the Reveler or, if you’re lucky, an Elspeth, Sun's Champion can let you win seemingly unwinnable games.


 

3. Stormbreath Dragon

 

This guy is just as good as he always was—which is really quite amazing. This card, along with Goblin Rabblemaster, are the lynchpins of the Mardu Dragons deck popularized by Pro Tour Hall of Fame member Ben Stark. The second-most-played deck in Day 2, Mardu Dragons made it all the way to the semifinals, and could have won the whole thing.

 

Mardu Dragons’ appeal is how it makes your opponents unable to stabilize against it. With a full suite of hasty dragons, Crackling Doom and Draconic Roar, the deck can pack so much damage out of nowhere, that anytime you pass the turn with no land untapped, you’re putting your life on the line.

 

Pro Tip: Always consider the Stormbreath Dragon.


 

2. Dragonlord Atarka

 

Is there any problem Dragonlord Atarka can’t fix? Red-Green Devotion has been on a tear lately, and it almost took the finals here. An 8/8 Flying Trampler that wipes the board when it comes into play is the best top end you could hope for. It’s the Kibler dream, and people can live it every day of their lives.

 

Finalist Marcus Paulo De Jesus Freitas played a full four copies, and he used them fantastically all weekend. Perhaps four copies is the right number; it’s not like the second copy ever gets stranded in your hand. If you cast the first one, there’s a pretty damn good chance you’re going to win.


 

1. Elspeth, Sun’s Champion

 

To anyone at Grand Prix Buenos Aires, Elspeth, Sun's Champion’s status at number one should not be a surprise. Heck, to anyone who’s been playing Standard at all, this should not be a surprise. For a card that received skepticism before it was released, Elspeth has become the first example of six-mana, Constructed-level planeswalker, and will be the comparison point for every large-costed ‘walker after it.

 

As winner Pascal Maynard put it, “I don’t think I ever won a game without Elspeth.” In Maynard’s Abzan Megamorph Control deck (as well as most Abzan Control decks), the Siege Rhinos, Deathmist Raptors, and Den Protectors are only there to gain advantage and stabilize the board. It’s Elspeth that plays clean-up. In the Top 8, Maynard won from the back foot multiple times off the back on the board-sweeping, army-creating master.

 

Though during its run in Standard, it’s relative power has waxed and waned, this tournament showcased again just how ridiculous this card really is. For six mana. In White.

 

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