Here are the top 5 cards of grand Prix Santiago 2014.
Yes, there are lots of Planeswalkers in Standard, and yes, many of them do powerful things. You can certainly give honourable mentions to Sorin, Solemn Visitor, and Elspeth, Sun's Champion. Xenagos, the Reveler was in plenty of day one decks, and Ajani, Mentor of Heroes was solid throughout. That doesn't stop there being a clear winner in the Planeswalker of the Weekend competition, and it's Sarkhan, hands down. Previous iterations of the Dragon-y one may not have hit the Constructed sweet spot, but this one sure has.
Yes, really. Everyone knows the power of Goblin Rabblemaster. People already understand that Monastery Swiftspear can deal a lot of damage quickly. Players weren't so ready for the burgeoning army that seemed to splurge onto the battlefield after a turn one Akroan Crusader. The card alone took Daniel Quezada into the top 8, and there were so many blowouts associated with this unassuming little red guy. Good job Akroan Crusader – you rock my red zone.
There's something about familiarity and contempt, but I can't quite bring it to mind...Well, while I try to remember, let's pause a moment and talk about Courser of Kruphix. On turn three, a 2/4 represents a decent roadblock, and on turn two even more so. Lifegain adds to the difficulties for the aggro decks in the field, and just because they can see the top of your library doesn't mean they can stop it happening to them. Sure, it's tempting to link this with soulmate Sylvan Caryatid, but Courser would be a big deal in Standard regardless. It remains a truly top tier format staple, and that doesn't look like changing any time soon.
In truth, this has been coming. You can see the Whip waiting in the wings at the Pro Tour. You can see it creeping closer at Grand Prix Los Angeles. You can watch Christian Seibold make it to the Top 8 of Grand Prix Stockholm with the Whip in hand (and on the battlefield). Here in Santiago, both Willy Edel and Eduardo dos Santos Vieira put the Whip to very good use, and showed that you didn't even always need juicy graveyard targets. Just being in play was often good enough. If you did have juicy targets, well then things got very miserable, fast.
We don't need to do anything here other than to quote Coverage reporter Josh Bennett: 'The interaction of Soul of Theros and Hornet Queen is just too good'. He's right, it is, and Eduardo dos Santos Vieira knew it. Essentially unheralded in Standard so far this season, the Magic 2015 Mythic found the perfect home in Vieira's Abzan Midrange deck. Opponents read it. Opponents wept. Occasionally, opponents read it and wept. This was the savagest of savage beatings, and a worthy card to claim the number one spot on the weekend.