Dragons of Tarkir is leaving us for the past, and it's been a wild ride from the Prerelease and Pro Tour beginnings through its Premier Play end here at Grand Prix Montreal. While every card has its stories to share, these are the five cards that shared the biggest tales in their swansong weekend.
5.) Damnable Pact
Damnable Pact isn't a particularly valued card in Dragons of Tarkir draft. It's a fine card, no doubt, but limited in use and not widely viewed as a bomb the same was, say, Icefall Regent or Ojutai Exemplars are.
But in the hands of Alexander Hayne it was as stellar as it gets.
With top-ranked Ari Lax pulling ahead in a third game it looked likely Hayne would lose the match and pick up a fourth loss in Round 14. With his race to the World Championship against Pascal Maynard on the line Hayne made a gamble: He attacked with everything, making Lax think. Naming irrelevant cards as those in his hand, Lax seemed to call the bluff and let the damage through – leaving certain lethal damage for reply despite having a blocker up. Hayne pounced and cast Damnable Pact for the final 4 life Lax had.
If you ever needed a reason to believe Hayne made a Damnable Pact to be good at Magic you now have your proof, and Lax will agree.
4.) Pinion Feast
How do you handle a format full of Dragons and come out ahead? Cards like Pinion Feast are one way to create a decisive advantage. In Jelger Wiegersma's Top 8 deck it was used two-fold: Clearing out an obnoxious flier, typically one blocking, while also pumping a small fry into a big guy. Throughout the Sealed Deck rounds as well as the drafts leading up to Top 8, Pinion Feast was a go-to answer for green decks finding game wins against the superior flying power across the way.
3.) Butcher's Glee
One removal spell that defied the expectation of many coming into Dragons of Tarkir was Butcher's Glee. While more expensive than Coat with Venom, and trickier to use than Ultimate Price, Butcher's Glee's many utilities shined over the weekend. +3/+0 was enough to make any creature take something large out, but sometimes pushed through the final points of damage needed. Giving lifelink changed races and shifted the balance dramatically in what were otherwise “fair” exchanges of creatures. And, finally, regenerating a creature meant trades became blowouts and one could even save a creature from another's removal spell.
Flexible for a variety of decks from aggressive to controlling and a variety of situations from ahead to far behind – that's a lot to ask from a humble common.
2.) Aven Surveyor
Fate Reforged continued to impress upon the format as well, providing plenty of tools to players that could pick them up, In Finalist David Goldfarb's deck one in particular stood out: Aven Surveyor. His aggressive deck was full of flying creatures and protective spells like Center Soul, but closing games out often fell to Aven Surveyor. Clearing the path one final time, as it did in Goldfarb's decisive victory in the seimifinals over Jelger Wiegersma, was exactly what you wanted from Aven Surveyor.
1.) Outpost Siege
Putting Outpost Siege into an aggressive deck, enhancing the ability for a speedy deck to keep the pressure going, was a Constructed technology unlocked early in Dragons of Tarkir's tour of Standard. In the Top 8 of Grand Prix Montreal, Mike Sigrist drafted an aggressive deck that could out fuel any opponent once Outpost Siege hit the battlefield.
As part of Sigrist's winning Top 8 deck, the powerful curve of creatures and removal was often enough to overwhelm opponents. If Siege Outpost appeared it was a dramatic shift for opponents as Sigrist's deck jumped into overdrive, as it did most impressively in his quarterfinal win over Stephen Whelan. Coming from behind, Sigrist played to stay alive as Whelan pulled ahead on creatures and mana. Siege Outpost changed everything as Sigrist quickly caught up, then raced right by, the work Whelan had put in.
Nothing survived a Outpost Siege, except the players like Sigrist that called it down.