Archive for the ‘Worlds 09’ Category

Worlds Recap

Wow, there we have it! The Mike Flores designed Naya Lightsaber deck, in the hands of Andre Coimbra of Portugal, takes down Jund piloted by David Reitbauer of Austria in the final of the World Championships. <edit> Meanwhile in the team event, Austria’s control deck featuring Spreading Seas knocks off China’s Jund but can’t stop the Chinese winning the team championship. I’ll be having a good look at the standard decks a bit further down, but first a look at extended (a format I don’t know a lot about yet) and the decks that did well. I know even less about legacy – though @mtgmetagame tells me Undiscovered Paradise has shot up in value based on its interaction with Bloodghast in Dredge – so I won’t be covering that at all at the moment.


There were two archetypes that notably outperformed the others in terms of numbers with 5-1 or better records- Zoo (8 pilots) and Thopter combo (6) out of a total of 26. Zoo consists of three subtypes, the most succesful being Rubin Zoo (5) which runs Grove of the Burnwillows and Punishing Fire to just dump all over other aggro decks. Landfall Zoo – playing Steppe Lynxes and Plated Geopedes alongside traditional Zoo beaters had 1 succesful player, and surprisingly we saw the return of Domain Zoo, capitalising on the easy mana in extended to play full-power Might of Alara and Tribal Flames on turn 3. Thopter combo pilots included 3 players with virtually the same 75 – good friends LSV and David Ochoa, and Carlos Romao – I’m not sure of their relationship with him, or if it was just coincidence that they found the same take on the deck. 3 other pilots all had varying takes on the deck, skipping the Gifts Ungiven package.

Other succesful decks include All in Red, Bant Aggro and Dredge – surprisingly there was only one Dark Depths deck at the top tables of extended, and that one incorporated the Thopter combo as well. Hopefully the pro writers will enlighten us as to why this deck failed to go well – perhaps people were packing a lot of hate for it? The extended coverage is a bit thin compared to standard, so we’ll just move right along.


So, as noted above the victorious deck was Naya Lightsaber, a RGW aggro deck featuring both the bomb 4 drops of the format – Bloodbraid Elf and Ranger of Eos – to counteract Jund’s card advantage – and a variety of efficient beatsticks like Wild Nacatl and Woolly Thoctar. The ubiquitous Baneslayer Angel makes an appearance, as does Oran-Rief, the Vastwood to pump up most of the creatures in the deck including everybody’s favourite mana elf Noble Hierarch. Andre capitalised on Jund’s major weakness, its manabase, in the final game by Ruinblastering David’s only green source, leaving David with 3 Maelstrom Pulse in hand at the end of the game. This deck seems extremely strong against the field, not only Jund. It plays all the best creatures, some of the best card advantage and the most efficient removal. Most of the cards in this deck are already well known and will remain solid at their current values, but between this and the GW tokens deck we could see a rise in Sunpetal Grove, currently the cheapest of the M10 duals online. As I write this Cardhoarder are sold out at $2.50, and MTGOTraders only have 8 in stock at the same price.

I don’t think I would buy at this price in the hope of making a quick buck, but if you want to play a GW, Bant or Naya deck anytime soon I would grab a playset immediately. Another card that is likely to go up somewhat is Conqueror’s Pledge, a card I suspected was a lot better than it had shown in tournaments so far (and posted as much). William Cavaglieri was unlucky to fall against Bram Snepvangers Boros with his mono-white tokens deck, though he showed off the power of Pledge by playing one with 4 Soul Wardens in play to go to over 60 life. Speaking of Bram’s deck, I am trying to put it together at the moment as most of the expensive cards are staples in multiple formats – Fetches, Goblin Guides, Rangers and Baneslayers are all played widely in standard and some show up in extended. When this deck fades into obscurity the only cards I’ll put away will be the commons and uncommons, the rares will always be useful.

Another breakout hit featured in Cavaglieri’s deck is Emeria Angel, which was not really on people’s radar a week ago but is actually really strong – a flying 3/3 for 4 that makes a ton of flying tokens in a format with Honor of the Pure and Ajani Goldmane, who would have thought? The boat has sailed on these already, but you can probably still trade for them with less well informed FNMers. I really want to try them at the top of the curve in Boros, playing them with 12 fetches and Goblin Bushwhacker seems pretty strong, and I don’t currently have Elspeths.

Worlds Trading

Just a quick note about the trades I made online this weekend. On Thursday I bought 4 Emeria Angels for 2.8 tickets, 24 Aven Mimeomancers for 2.4 and 16 World Quellers for 1.6 tickets, a total outlay of 6.8 tickets. Saturday I sold 4 of the Mimeomancers for 1 ticket, then on Sunday I sold 4 more for 1.6 tickets and the 4 Emeria Angels for 10, 12.6 tickets total and nearly doubling my money with 16 Mimeomancers and 16 World Quellers left over! I bought 8 Conqueror’s Pledges for 6.4 tickets and cheered on Cavaglieri, but it wasn’t to be. The Quellers didn’t work out as I had hoped, but bots will buy them back and the same price I bought them for currently so its no big loss. I will see how things go over the next few days as the standard online meta adjusts to the changes Worlds has brought, and hopefully sell all these cards at a decent profit.

As you can see from this experience it is very easy to make some extra tickets around event time, you just have to be quick to respond to trends. In future I will try to stay more liquid as I didn’t have enough tickets spare to go all in on Emeria Angels. If you are looking for a medium term investment at the moment with guaranteed gains, extended staples are the way to go as that is the next PTQ season, starting in January. I will make a post about this sometime this week, if I find the time between exams and applying for my own job.


Read Full Post »

We’ve finally got a hold of the deck tech video for the undefeated mill deck from day one of worlds, and here I present the list in all its creatureless glory. All credit to Joel Calafell and Kenny Oberg for the deck, which they’ve titled ‘Jacerator’, a tribute to Oberg’s previous Tezzerator deck.


4 Glacial Fortress
4 Kabira Crossroads
6 Plains
10 Islands
4 Howling Mine
4 Font of Mythos
4 Jace Beleren
4 Time Warp
4 Safe Passage
4 Angelsong
2 Sunspring Expedition
2 Archive Trap
4 Flashfreeze
1 Path to Exile
3 Day of Judgment
1 Tezzeret the Seeker
4 Baneslayer Angel
2 Wall of Denial
2 Pithing Needle
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Sunspring Expedition
3 Negate

Joel explains the choices in the link, expect the core of the deck – Mine, Font, Jace and Time Warp to rise somewhat based on this deck’s success. Jace and Warp are already expensive but the other two could be a good investment. People would love an excuse to play Archive Trap as well! Glacial Fortress could also see its price creep up as it is one of the cheapest of the M10 duals, not having a deck to go in up to this point.

The rest of today is draft, so I’ll be trying to get my homework done. Keep an eye on the people at the top of the standings after the drafts as they are more likely to reach top 8, where their standard decks will get another chance to show off.


Read Full Post »

Worlds Post-Standard

So Day 1 is over and the most talked about story of the day is Charles Gindy’s DQ for fraud, which means the US is out of the team competition completely. The story goes that Gindy had a Master of the Wild Hunt, a 3/3 wolf and a 2/2 wolf and blew up his opponents 2/2. His opponent didn’t direct any damage back. After the game, Gindy asks why he didn’t kill the 2/2 wolf, which tells the judging staff that he knew what was going on and misrepresented the game state. I’m not passing any judgment here but I really feel for the US team, as aside from the fun of defending the title that is a buttload of cash they’ve missed out on. Anyway, on to the tech.

With 6 rounds of standard out of the way, we’re starting to get some decklists in which I’ll go over now. First up with have PotY second placed Martin Juza at 5-1.

Green/White Landfall Aggro

4 Marsh Flats
4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Sunpetal Grove
10 Basics (Forests/Plains, not sure on exact mix)
1 Gargoyle Castle

4 Noble Hierarch
4 Lotus Cobra
3 Borderland Ranger
4 Knight of the Reliquary
4 Emeria Angel
4 Baneslayer Angel

4 Path to Exile
2 Behemoth Sledge
3 Maelstrom Pulse
3 Elspeth, Knight Errant
1 Garruk Wildspeaker

The big tech from this deck is Emeria Angel, who has gone from sub 1 ticket to 5 tickets on MTGO overnight. With Juza one of the top players in the world at the moment he could take this deck all the way to top 8, and he’s far from the only person running Baneslayer’s little sister. Lotus Cobra has also finally made its mark, which is taken to the extreme in the next deck from Conley Woods also at 5-1.

Actually, I *am* pretty awesome.

Magical Christmas Land

4 Savage Lands
4 Verdant Catacombs
3 Scalding Tarn
1 Misty Rainforest
4 Mountain
4 Forest
3 Swamp

4 Lotus Cobra
4 Khalni Heart Expedition
3 Terminate
4 Harrow
4 Goblin Ruinblaster
4 Mold Shambler

4 Acidic Slime
2 Ob Nixilis, the Fallen
4 Rampaging Baloths

4 Violent Ultimatum

3 Jund Charm
3 Caldera Hellion
1 Terminate
2 Island
1 Swamp
4 Cruel Ultimatum

How I love this deck, let me count the ways… This is the timmiest deck I’ve seen so far at Worlds, playing a combination of ramping into ludicrous spells and heavy land destruction. As Conley says, the key to Lotus Cobra is that your deck has to work without it because it is such a lightning rod, but it has to do something explosive when it works to be worth playing. Where Juza describes Cobra as “the worst card in [his] deck”, Conley’s deck is centered around the little mana snake.

Those are the most interesting and successful lists available so far, I am dying to set eyes on Joel Calafell’s 6-0 Mill deck. Yes, undefeated MILL DECK. Despite the heavy Jund metagame Worlds has not dissapointed on the innovation side of things, and we still have a whole other constructed format to go!

Read Full Post »

We are 5/6ths of the way through the standard portion of Worlds, and the biggest stories are Yuuya Watanabe at 2-3 and Martin Juza at 5-0! There is a rumour that the Japanese camp is suffering with flu, and there is now a glimmer of hope for the trailing pack in the Player of the Year race. Juza’s deck is titled Dark Bant and it is featured in the Round 1 feature match here. Unfortunately for us the deck is already a list of $20+ cards with Elspeth, Lotus Cobra, Maelstrom Pulse and Baneslayer Angel all making the list. This will no doubt halt the slide on Lotus Cobra though, so don’t feel you need to ship them out before they lose value.

Emeria Angel has firmed as a buy recommendation, although it is selling out very quickly at MTGO bots. If you can still get them for a ticket or less, do it, and get as many as you can.


Buy: Emeria Angel @ 1 ticket

Read Full Post »

Hi Folks, I hope you’re all keeping up with the coverage here and here, as the standard portion of the tournament is underway! The coverage team teases that Conley Woods is once again the only person playing his deck and has a deck-tech coming up. He’s 2 wins from 2 so I can’t wait to see what he’s brought to battle. 50% of the field apparently is rocking some sort of Jund, but there are some innovators there as well.

They’re also reporting “The Unearth Deck” – which I assume is the Yasooka Crypt deck – is there, playing the little Stone Rain that could, Spreading Seas. Other unloved cards to see play so far are Aven Mimeomancer, World Queller and Emeria Angel. Mimeomancer started showing up in the Decks of the Week this week, which I haven’t had a chance to discuss yet, and the Angel and World Queller both make appearances in the first feature match, courtesy of Hall of Famer Antoine Ruel. He and his opponent – PoY second favourite – are both rocking Bant decks, though with plenty of differences in the details. Juza is playing Lotus Cobra, so perhaps its time for the megabucks mythic to live up to the hype?

It’s a bit early for me to offer concrete recommendations, but for the gamblers out there Emeria Angel is a good bet and World Queller is only 0.1 ticket so why not? Mimeomancer is also only 0.1 ticket, but I haven’t seen it in use yet so it could be in all the 0-2 decks. Stay tuned!

edit: I had Ruel and Juza’s decks the wrong way around, I’ve switched them around the right way.

Read Full Post »