Top 5 Cards

Posted in GRAND PRIX SINGAPORE 2015 on June 28, 2015

By Chapman Sim

What were the biggest cards of the weekend? Then read on to learn more about Grand Prix Singapore's Top 5 Cards!

5. Goryo's Vengeance

Ever since it was popularized a couple of weeks ago, many players are starting to realize (or have already realized) that it was probably fastest deck in the format. With the ability to churn out turn one kills via Simian Spirit Guides, Grishoalbrand was the deck of choice for Platinum Pro Lee Shi Tian as well as newly-locked Platinum Pro Jason Chung.

Costing just two mana, Goryo's Vengeance enables you to cheat Griselbrand onto the battlefield (at instant speed, no less) before proceeding to draw your entire deck with the aid of Nourishing Shoals. The fact that it is an arcane spell and can help against matchups with countermagic is yet another reason that makes it the core of a resilient combo deck.

4. Huntmaster of the Fells

This long-forgotten werewolf used to be a powerhouse while it was legal in Standard, so why wouldn't it be great in Modern too? Despite it being a slow card, it found a home in three different Top 8 archetypes, piloted by four different players!

Yuuta Takahashi fitted 2 copies in his Temur Twin deck, Reid Duke and Keita Kawasaki both found space in their in their respective Jund decks while Joshua Yang had the full set in his sideboard in an attempt to win the attrition war against other midrange decks. What great value!

3. Blood Moon

Perhaps the most feared sideboard card of all, Blood Moon single-handedly shuts out majority of action in the correct matchup. Many of the Blue-Red Twin players had access to this powerful hoser in their sideboard, some even going to the extent of running it maindeck alongside Spreading Seas.

Of course, Blood Moon could also lend its hand to the Delver and Affinity players and continues to threaten Amulet Bloom, UrzaTron or greedy three-color decks with complicated mana bases. In particular, finalist Steven Tan was able to lock Reid Duke's three-color Jund deck out of black mana to advance to the finals.

2. Spellskite

While it's not technically a blue card, it certainly feels like one. Throw in the fact that it can be thrown into any deck makes it one of the most played cards in Modern. In fact, six players in the Top 8 are sporting this card, a testament of its prevalence and versatility.

The Splinter Twin players use Spellskite to protect their combo, others use it as a foil. It's great for tanking removal spells such as Abrupt Decay and Lightning Bolt, meddling with combat math by being a decent blocker and also nerfs entire strategies such as Burn, Infect and Bogles. The next time you build a Modern deck, consider including a Spellskite or two and see if it can complement your strategy!

1. Galvanic Blast

Grand Prix Singapore 2015 will most fondly remembered by the all-Affinity finals match. While both finalist Steven Tan and the champion Hitomi Masaaki both had the similar shell of artifacts such as Etched Champion Cranial Plating and Mox Opal, what set them apart was their choice of removal spell.

Tan went with a pair of Dispatch, but Masaaki's quad of Galvanic Blast might have made all the difference. Striking harder than Lightning Bolt, it is relevant in a format with Spellskite and Deceiver Exarch and also excellent for finishing off a nearly-dead opponent while functioning as the cheap removal that it needs to be. To illustrate that point, Masaaki drew three copies in a particularly crucial game and came up on top at the very end.