Star City Open Series is a great way to stay on top of Standard and figure out what cards are moving.
Last week some new deck variants popped up at the Star City event in Richmond, but none of the decks were entirely new archetypes. Tempered Steel won the event, while the Top 16 was littered with U/W aggro-control decks including Humans, Delver of Secrets // Insectile Aberration, and Mage Blade. Heartless Summoning and Mono Green were also present. The Mage Blade deck ran a singleton Dungeon Geists, which I was interested to see. I’m watching this guy very closely.
Mono Green is a deck I had personally tested a bit, but Todd Anderson’s version at this event was a little different than what I had pieced together. While I was surprised to see no Vorapede, it did include a singleton Bellowing Tanglewurm(?!), which doesn’t mean it is a card worth picking up, but shows that maybe Vorapede isn’t going to do anything.If Tanglewurm is getting the nod over Vorapede in a Mono-G Deck, I don’t know that Vorapede will ever be good enough.
Max Brown made 16th place with Mono-G as well and his deck was a bit different, but still no Vorapede. I do like to see Wolfbitten Captive // Krallenhorde Killer in there, as he is a pretty powerful 1-drop.
This means we may see another brief spike on Dungrove Elders. I’ve been holding onto a set of mine, and as soon as that spike hits the market, I’m hoping to get out.
The best information I see from this event is that Vorapede is not playable. If Mono-G ramp decks can’t make use of it, what can? It looks like we’ll need a Titan rotation before this guy sees any play.
But, for the most part, the format hasn’t shifted too much since Dark Ascension was released on us, at least until we see the Pro Tour decks in just a few short days.
As new decks pop up, you’ll want to be ready to jump on them. The best place to be is at your LGS for FNM. Day one will still be wrapping up by the time your event is in full swing, and swooping in an scooping up any surprise cards right from the display case will be easy pickings.
It also gives you an opportunity to start trading for key staples before everyone else is informed about new decklists. Have bookmarks ready in your smart phone and scope it out between rounds.
The Legacy portion of the Star City event did bring some interesting developments.
Tezzeret Control made Top 8. I’d since given up any hope on Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas rebounding at all, but this dedicated Tezz deck breathes some life back into this tired Planeswalker. Using key defensive artifacts like Ensaring Bridge and the newly printed Grafdigger's Cage, alongside the Thopter Foundry/Sword of the Meek Combo. I haven’t yet dumped my Tezzerets, but now I may wait and see if they climb back up at all.
Another deck I want to peek at is the Legacy Pox deck I’ve seen various iterations of recently. While most of these pieces aren’t great speculation targets, Liliana of the Veil as a 4x is certainly notable. She also sees play in the Modern Deathcloud deck, and makes an occasional appearance in Standard. She may not come down much more if you’ve been waiting to get in on some.
Stoneforge Mystic is still all over the format, both in Stoneblade and Maverick varieties, and I think it may have finally found a bottom it can rebound out from. Despite bannings in Modern, this card will be all over Legacy until banned there as well. There’s just too much awesome stuff it can do in that format. If you don’t have a set, now’s a good time to pick one up. They ring in at about $5-6 a pop on eBbay (and $7.99 on SCG), but I’ve been able to find them cheaper in trades.
The other notable card is Chain Lightning. Burn’s resurgence in Legacy combined with its playabiltiy in the Tempo style decks along side Lightning Bolt has seen this card start to climb over the past month. If you want a cheap deck to get into, Burn has always been the ticket but is rarely on top of the metagame for long. If I had any of these, I’d be looking to move them out while I can.
Thanks for catching up on the tournament coverage with me. Watch my Twitter Feed (@torerotutor) for my input on the new decks and cards. I have a couple friends playing and I’ll be following the entire event closely.