Setting the Scene – Grand Prix Providence

Posted in Event Coverage on October 22, 2016

By Corbin Hosler

More than 1,100 players turned up in Providence for the first crack at post-Pro Tour Kaladesh Standard. It's a wild format that is still in flux after the largest Pro Tour in history set the stage for what is to come. Shota Yasooka took down the tournament in Hawaii with Grixis Control, defeating Carlos Romao's Jeskai Control deck in the finals.

Here's what we're watching this weekend in Rhode Island.

The Rise of Control

Heading into the Pro Tour, it was Red-White Vehicles that dominated the early Standard scene. The aggressive mix of fast creatures and Smuggler's Copter allows the deck to put the pressure on fast and keep it up throughout the game. It won the first tournament in which Kaladesh was legal and was expected to be the top deck going into the Pro Tour.

But by the time the dust cleared, it was certain that the vehicles were just spinning their wheels. Control decks — led by Yasooka's win with Grixis Control — clearly gained an upper hand, grounding the Copter and taking the tournament by storm.

Shota Yasooka piloted Grixis Control to a win at Pro Tour Kaladesh.

Can Combo survive?

While Vehicles was expected to be the most popular deck last weekend, it was actually Aetherworks Marvel that owned that title heading into the tournament. The deck did Top 8 in the hands of Matt Nass, but overall posted a disappointing finish across the field.

Aetherworks Marvel is far from the only combo deck available in the crafty Kaladesh format. Metalwork Colossus, Aetherflux Reservoir, Panharmonicon, and more are decks that see play in the most combo-friendly Standard format in years, and those decks displayed frightening potential out of the gate before fizzling out in Honolulu.

A new weekend means a new metagame. Can combo make a comeback in Providence?

A Flash in the Pan?

While it may not have dazzled in the Top 8 last weekend, White-Blue Flash was actually the best-performing Standard deck of the Pro Tour.

As the week played out, the white-blue deck is gaining the recognition it deserves, and everyone in the room today knows they must be prepared for White-Blue Flash. The combination of instant-speed creatures like Archangel Avacyn, Spell Queller, Rattlechains, and Stasis Snare means that the deck can play largely on an opponent's turn, helpful at dodging removal and making removal tricky to resolve.

With a handful of notable players in the room piloting the Flash deck this weekend, will it live up to expectations?

Between established metagame staples and new brews coming out of the post-Pro Tour vacuum, there's plenty to tune in for at Grand Prix Providence!

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