This past weekend, some of the world's best Magic players gathered to compete in Pro Tour Amonkhet. With the banning of Felidar Guardian being tardy to the party, players had to adapt to an uncertain metagame. There were many questions leading up to the event, and a key one was which new decks would emerge from the pros' testing to dominate the tournament? Fortunately for us, the Zombie horde took over the event and shifted the metagame in an interesting direction.
Here’s the winning deck from Gerry Thompson.
The Zombies deck is the story of the event. There were tons of players who did well with this archetype, and the prices of these cards prove the hype is real as well. I’m sure you know that basically every card from this deck jumped in value, but the one that surprised me the most was Dark Salvation. Liliana's Mastery was a close second, but Dark Salvation was probably the key to this deck’s success. Not only does it make zombies, but it’s also a removal spell. As a dealer, this is the price that got updated last as well, so you may even be able to still find these in bulk boxes. If you are not using cards from this deck right now, I’d unload them ASAP while the spike is at its peak. We will have to see if this deck sticks around as one of the best decks in the format, but it seems likely it will, so prices should stabilize above their pre-Pro Tour levels.
The rest of the expected meta was represented as well, but didn’t do quite as well as players hoped. Most of the best GB decks managed only six wins, and Mardu Vehicles didn’t top eight and only had two players in the 24-27 point range, but Aetherworks Marvel outperformed expectations on the weekend.
There were some sweet decks that emerged from the field, so let’s take a look at the standouts.
First up is Temur Energy. There were a lot of Temur decks out there that utilized energy tokens, but this one is a consistent aggro deck and not a roll-the-dice activation of Aetherworks Marvel. Hopefully you stocked up on Aetherworks Marvel while they were low, because they sure did jump in price. The real winner from the Marvel decks though had to be Ulamog, the Ceasless Hunger. The big Eldrazi jumped to nearly $30! He’s already on his way back down, though.
Channeler Initiate is an interesting addition to this deck that adds consistency. I think we have just scratched the surface of how playable and good this card is too. Many stores probably have this in their bulk bins, and I think this is a great pickup right now. It has a long life in Standard and can be added to lots of green strategies.
The other card I love in this deck is Elder Deep-Fiend. Despite this deck doing well at the Pro Tour, Deep-Fiend is still sitting under $2. There may still be time to capitalize on this emerge creature before it rotates out of the format in the fall. Even if the price never goes up, this guy is a monster in Standard and is always a blowout.
One of my favorite parts about Amonkhet is the new gods they brought to the format. I love the flavor of the set and the gods are a huge part of that. Patrick Dickmann, well known for his Splinter Twin innovations, brought a sweet energy/god hybrid deck to this event and ended up doing pretty well with it. I think there is a lot of deck design left to do with the gods, and hopefully I’ll find a good build to share with you guys.
In addition to the gods, this deck utilizes some interesting new cards like Glorybringer. I think that card has seen its peak, so I’d definitely sell now if you have extras.
With four Heart of Kirans, maybe this is the new way vehicles can compete in the meta? It seems pretty easy to activate with all the three-power creatures in the list. You also have a couple Blossoming Defense to protect Heart or any other of your big dudes.
If you’re in the mood for a control deck, this counter control deck only had one loss in Standard at the Pro Tour. We haven’t seen a deck with this many Counterspells in a long while. Tons of cards in this deck spiked too. Here’s the list: Torrential Gearhulk, Sweltering Suns, Pull from Tomorrow, and interestingly, Commit // Memory. Also, I love the Thing in the Ice sideboard plan as well as the value of that card long term.
Lastly, we can almost always count on Sam Black to bring a sweet list to the Pro Tour and he definitely didn’t disappoint us this time. Sam brewed up a list focused on abusing the interaction between embalm and Anointed Procession. Now that’s a spec I can get behind. Anointed Procession is Commander gold and if this archetype takes off at some point in Standard, oh buddy, that card will pop immediately.
For a creature combo deck, this deck seems light on creatures to me. I know Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is in this build to combo with the token doubling of Anointed Procession, but I still think another slot should be dedicated to creatures. The list is tight, though, so there might not be room for another creature slot.
Well that’s all for me for today. Hopefully you enjoyed this peak into the Pro Tour and maybe you can utilize this resource to help you deck build for the coming weeks. I know I’ll be sleeving up Zombies tonight and trying it out. If it’s as good as I think it will be, I’ll definitely be working on improving the archetype. Otherwise, it’ll be back to Mardu Planeswalkers for me. What do you think Standard will do with the results of from the Pro Tour? Let me know in the comments.
Until next time,
Unleash the Force!