Thanks to the wonder of Time Zones, we were honoured to be the first event showcasing Battle for Zendikar limited. As always, some cards stood out more than others, so let me give you the low-down on my Top 5 cards of Grand Prix Sydney 2015.
5. Blighted Fen
It's fitting for a set with landfall, that the eventual Champion would seal the deal with a land. John Seaton played and immediately sacrificed his Blighted Fen to put Finalist Alex Ball too far behind to recover, winning Seaton the title. Lands like Blighted Fen were giving players the added edge they needed all weekend. Allowing a deck to play more lands than usual without the risk of flooding, the Blighted cycle were popular with many players this weekend.
Another key spell from Seaton's deck, Grip of Desolation was a no-fuss answer to anything and everything, and even helped enable his Eldrazi processors. In the semifinals, Seaton threw a timely Grip of Desolation on Prads Pathirana to deny him his green mana and take Seaton through to the finals.
A popular removal spell among Red mages this weekend, Outnumber was the perfect fit for any aggressive Red deck. Almost always for at least 2 damage, the real power of Outnumber is in the top right of the card: the mana cost. As Pro Tour Magic Origins Top 8 competitor put it earlier today, Outnumber is amazing because it often allows you to be the first person to cast more than one spell a turn, which can give you a dramatic tempo advantage.
"Waiter, waiter, there's an Eldrazi Scion in my soup!"
"Keep your voice down, sir, or everyone will want one."
And when it came to Eldrazi Skyspawner, everybody did want one. Widely considered the best Blue common, the Skyspawner is a respectable body on its own, but the fact that it brings you an Eldrazi Scion as well is just the icing on the cake (or the seasoning on your soup, as it were). John Seaton's sealed deck rode a pair of Skyspawners all the way to his undefeated finish at the end of Day 1, providing either mana acceleration, or a handy blocker.
And finally, the undisputed best card in Battle for Zendikar. Helping fuel the Black-Green sacrifice strategy popular among many players, Blisterpod does it all. Attacking, blocking, ramping mana, event coverage, it really is the bestest. As Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir Top 8 competitor Jason Chung told me earlier today, this format is all about the 1-drops, and Blisterpod is the best 1-drop of all time. OF ALL TIME.
Wait, what? No. I said it was undisputed, that means you're not allowed to dispute it!