SETTING THE STAGE

Posted in GRAND PRIX DENVER 2015 - WELCOME on January 3, 2015

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

Grand Prix Denver will be our last foray into the world of Khans of Tarkir Standard. Over the last few months, we've seen the format evolve as decks inched closer to perfection. This weekend, we'll have an opportunity to see where the dust settled for this Standard format. We'll need to prime ourselves for this weekend's action; Let's take a look at some of the most successful decks from this week's Magic Online events in an effort to better understand the current Standard metagame!

FoundOmega’s Sultai Whip


Over the last few weeks, we've seen Sidisi Whip decks of many varieties rise to the top of the Standard metagame. The deck aims to use its mana in the most powerful and efficient ways possible. The pilot passively fills their graveyard with cards like Satyr Wayfinder and Sadisi, Brood Tyrant before using Whip of Erebos or Delve cards to extract maximum value. We can expect this to be a major player here in Denver this weekend.

Magicman4141’s Four Color Whip


As Whip of Erebos became more popular, players began experimenting with greedier versions of Sidisi Whip strategies. This last week, we've seen four color Sidisi Whip decks that get to take advantage of powerful cards like Siege Rhino and Soul of Theros, which gives the deck a form of inevitability that the opponent will be forced to play around at every stage of the game.

_Marian_’s Green/Red Monsters


It seems that everyone has a gimmick in this Standard format, but the traditional versions of Red/Green monsters seem to consistently put up undefeated records in Magic Online's daily events. Stormbreath Dragon is one of the very best cards against Heroic and Abzan strategies. Red/Green is the type of deck that can never be taken for granted.

Bradofordlee’s Heroic


Tom Ross took the world by storm when he unveiled the latest versions of Blue/White Heroic. Blue/White Heroic aims to protect a Heroic creature while it becomes increasingly more threatening. The deck performs tremendously well against the midrange decks of the format and, with Crackling Doom and Chained to the Rocks becoming less popular, the deck seems like it's very well-positioned for this weekend. Blue/White Heroic is one of the more complicated decks in the format and piloting it perfectly requires a lot of skill from the pilot.

Wild_Island_Appeared’s Abzan Aggro


Abzan has been a staple of the Khans of Tarkir Standard format since the beginning. The deck plays the most powerful cards possible without having a difficult manabase. The deck is an actual who's who of Standard's greatest hits. Coming into Khans of Tarkir Standard there were a lot of people saying that they just wanted to have Thoughtseize and Siege Rhino in their deck. This weekend, we'll have an opportunity to see if people feel the same way as the format comes to an end.

itsnotme’s Abzan Whip


Whip of Erebos is such a powerful tool that many Abzan players have adopted it as a cornerstone of their deck's strategy. Abzan Whip strategies have been an entity in the format since before the Pro Tour, so this deck has had quite a lot of time to improve. Adding the most powerful endgame engine to the deck that plays the most powerful cards seems like a great way to have game in any matchup.

EugeneB’s Mardu


Mardu strategies were initially concocted to battle the Jeskai decks that aren't a huge part of Standard these days. However, as the format has shifted to a place with more Blue/White Heroic decks and control strategies, we've seen a resurgence in Mardu strategies that get to prey on these strategies with planeswalkers and Crackling Doom.

Khans of Tarkir Standard has been one of the best Standard formats in recent memory. This weekend, we'll get to see where the dust settles as the format enters the cannon of Magic history. Stay tuned to continuing coverage of Grand Prix Denver to see what decks rise to the top!

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