Grand Prix Nagoya Day 1 Coverage

Posted in Event Coverage on December 8, 2012

By Wizards of the Coast


Saturday, 10:45 a.m. – Standards of Standard

by Nate Price

For those of you who want to get a quick and easy foothold on the layout of Standard, here's a basic primer to get you off and running. For those of you who might be new to Magic, we've also included a glossary of terms to help you decode some of the jargon we may slip into.

Deck Archetypes

Hoof, There It Is: According to Jacob Van Lunen, Hoof is the "newest evolution" in the Standard metagame. At its core, Hoof is a Reanimator deck that uses Unburial Rites to bring a Craterhoof Behemoth back into play. Combined with an army of mana critters, the Behemoth is virtually always lethal the turn he comes into play. In addition to reanimating the Behemoth, the presence of Somberwald Sage allows the Behemoth to be cast in the traditional manner, deftly avoiding cards like Rest in Peace and Rakdos Charm.

Here's Martin Juza's Grand Prix Bochum winning decklist:

Martin Juza

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Peddler: One of the most innovative decks to come out of Grand Prix Bochum was the Peddler brew run by Pro Tour Kobe 2006 winner Jan-Moritz Merkel and Max Pritsch. The creature-heavy deck revolves around the Avacyn Restored common Nightshade Peddler. When paired with Olivia Voldaren or Izzet Staticaster, the latter can be used to completely decimate opposing creatures. Considering the prevalence of one-toughness creatures, including the powerful Lingering Souls, these cards are very impressive on their own, let alone being able to kill Thragtusk, Restoration Angel, and Sublime Archangel in one shot. The deck also runs numerous other creature-based interactions, such as Zealous Conscripts/Falkenrath Aristocrats and Evil Twin as a method of dealing with problematic creatures. Tracker's Instinct makes the deck incredibly more consistent, allowing it to find the numerous two-card combos, as well as filling the graveyard with lands for their Deathrite Shamans.

Here is Max Pritsch's 9-0 Day 1 decklist from Grand Prix Bochum:

Max Pritsch's 9-0 Day 1

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4-Color Value Rites: Once upon a time, Conley Woods was one of the most renowned deckbuilders in the world. Constantly showing up at tournaments with a deck of his own design, Woods's strong performances gained him a fair amount of notoriety. Nowadays, he has seemingly hung up his brewer's boots for more of a fine-tuning role, content to simply take an already established, solid deck, and enhancing it to work well within the confines of the current environment.

As such, we were a bit surprised when he showed up to Grand Prix San Antonio with this gem:

Conley Woods - 4-Color Value Rites

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Woods's basic idea from this deck came from his desire to simply play the best cards in the format. All of the creatures in the deck are incredibly powerful, and the spells are among the best in Standard as well. Unlike other Rites decks, such as the Hoof deck listed above, Unburial Rites isn't a central card to the deck's strategy. Instead, Woods realized that the sheer power of all of his creatures makes Unburial Rites an absolute monster. Since all of his creatures tend to get some sort of advantage for him, reanimating any of them with Rites was nothing but pure, added value.

This deck plays a great deal like Modern Jund. It's a heavy attrition deck that generates card advantage through virtually all of its cards. One of the other major attractions of the deck is its ability to seamlessly transition between offense and defense. Creatures like Huntmaster of the Fells, Thragtusk, and Loxodon Smiter are wonderfull both as attackers and in stemming an opponents aggression. The deck has Farseek and mana critters to give it the speed needed to compete with BR Zombies, as well as the ability to compete with the mana accrual ability of the slower control decks. This surprising resilience and versatility were integral to Woods's success, as he made it all the way to the Semifinals of Grand Prix San Antonio.

For the remainder of the major players in Standard, Jacob Van Lunen wrote an incredibly detailed Standard Compendium which you can check out here.

Game Concepts

Brimstone Volley

Burn: Since most of the spells that are capable of directly dealing damage to a player or creature use fire or lightning imagery, they are collectively known as burn spells, even if they don't actually use fire. Examples of burn common to Standard include Searing Spear, Pillar of Flame, and Brimstone Volley.

Card Advantage: The concept of card advantage has received more discussion over the history of Magic than any other topic. In short, the concept of card advantage relates to the equivalences of exchanges in Magic. Basically, if one card allows you to draw two cards or destroy two of your opponent's permanents, you are gaining card advantage.

ETB: A shorthand acronym for "enters the battlefield". Creatures with ETB effects, such as Snapcaster Mage, have abilities that trigger upon entering the battlefield, giving a spell in the graveyard flashback in the case of Snapcaster Mage. Other textbook examples with cards in Standard with ETB effects are Craterhoof Behemoth and Restoration Angel.

Fetch: Fetch is simply a catchall term used to describe the action of retrieving a card from the library. Farseek is an example of a card that allows players to "fetch" a land from their deck.

Metagame: The term metagame refers to the state of the current Constructed environment, most frequently speaking of the types of decks that are prominent and popular, as well as individual card choices within those decks. For example, if I told you that the three most popular decks in Standard right now were UW Flash, BR Zombies, and GW, you would have a pretty good idea of the Standard metagame. Since each tournament gives players a chance to react to what they experienced in the previous one, the metagame is constantly changing. Staying on top of and correctly predicting the metagame is one of the most challenging aspects of the professional level of Magic.

Mill: A verb derived from the card Millstone, the act of milling a player is to put cards from a player's library into their graveyard. Since players lose the game when they can't draw a card, milling an opponent's entire library is one of the most frequently used alternate win conditions. In Standard, cards such as Nephalia Drownyard and Jace, Memory Adept, are the most common instances of mill cards.

Craterhoof Behemoth

"#"-Drop: This terminology is used to describe a permanent of a given converted mana cost. For example, Knight of Infamy, which costs 1B, is a two-drop. Craterhoof Behemoth is an eight-drop. This terminology applies most often to permanents, such as creatures and artifacts, but it can be used to also describe the cost of spells.

Red Zone: The red zone is an allusion to the older play mats used for Feature Matches, which had a large red area between the players. Players would use this area to indicate the spells they were casting and the creatures that were attacking. Nowadays, the phrase "sends them into the red zone" is synonymous for attacking.

Swing/Smash/Battle/Bash: All of these words have at some point in Magic history been the preferred method of saying "to attack". Now, they are all interchangeable and frequently used as slang.

The Stack: The stack is the order of spells that have been played during a given priority step. For example, when you play a spell in your main phase, it is said to go on the stack. After that, any spells that are played in response to the first one are said to go on the stack above them. Spells on the stack resolve from the top to the bottom.

Silver Bullet: A reference to the very specific weakness of werewolves, the phrase "silver bullet" in Magic refers to a card that exists in a deck, usually only one or two copies, that serves the purpose of providing an advantage against a very specific deck or effect. A good example of a silver bullet is the card Rest in Peace, which is good against graveyard decks, and Thundermaw Hellkite, which is especially effective against Lingering Souls.

Mirror Match: A match between two decks of the same archetype. For example, two GW decks playing against each other is called the GW mirror match.

Saturday, 11:05 a.m. – Nagoya Grinder Decklists

by Steve Sadine

A Block - Masaya Suzuki

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B Block - So Fukuoka

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C Block - Dai Takahashi

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D Block - Shou Tagomori

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E Block - Takahiro Yamauchi

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F Block - Takafumi Matsumoto

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G Block - Yuusei Gotou

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H Block - Naoya Okada

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I Block - Kazuki Kurusu

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J Block - Yoshikazu Okada

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K Block - Naoto Akita

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