All the Goodies

Posted in Event Coverage on March 20, 2016

By Tobi Henke

What better way to honor the sweet cards that are about to depart from Standard in a few weeks time than to squeeze all of them into one weird-looking five-color concoction of craziness? Better yet, why not take said deck on a winning spree and just barely miss a perfect Day 1 run at Grand Prix Paris?

If you're Ashraf Abou Omar (admittedly chances are you're not) then that's exactly what you did. That name first appeared on our radar during Round 9 when collecting the decklists of the then-undefeated players. Seeing Mantis Rider and Crackling Doom, I almost noted down Dark Jeskai and moved on. Then I noticed Siege Rhino. And Den Protector. And ... Well, take a look for yourself:

Ashraf Abou Omar's Five-Color Goodstuff

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While Abou Omar was the only one to enter this brew into our Top 100 breakdown, two others had reached the second day with slightly different iterations of the deck. Florian Koch was the most accomplished of the trio, with three Grand Prix Top 8s and one win to his name, but both Abou Omar and the deck's designer Marc Tobiasch had reached the Top 8 of a Grand Prix before as well.

In fact Abou Omar joked, "You have three of the current Top 5 of the German Pro Point Rankings here!" To which Koch added, "But even with all of our points combined that wouldn't be enough for one Platinum level."

Florian Koch, Ashraf Abou Omar, Marc Tobiasch

Of the deck's origin, Tobiasch said, "I already tried to build the deck for [Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar in] Milwaukee, but I failed to get the mana right. But I did work it out soon after and have basically been playing the deck ever since. With decent results, although mostly on Magic Online."

It was only after prodding from the others that Tobiasch admitted to his 12-3 finish at Grand Prix Houston, a result he considered beneath what the deck was actually capable of.

"I wanted to play Dark Jeskai originally but found the mana horrible. Ironically, the mana here is much better, better than in all the four- and even most three-color decks," Tobiasch explained.

"It really is!" said Abou Omar. "First thing you do is get Sunken Hollow, then Plains and Mountain, or the other way around. That allows you to cast all spells below four mana. And following that, every fetch land except for Polluted Delta can get you whatever you need next."

"Of course you lose the creature lands with this mana base," Tobiasch conceded, "but the higher overall power level more than makes up for it."

"The best I did so far was Mantis Rider on turn three, Siege Rhino on four, and Akoum Firebird on five," said Abou Omar. "Opponents always go: 'Oh, you simply must be lucky with this.' But that's really not true. It's just a very sweet deck."

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