Hey there, Insiders!
The Pro Tour is just around the comer, and I wanted to try and provide some notes and observations I've seen leading up to it. In doing so, to try and stay ahead of the curve as much as possible and to extract valuable information for Insider's consideration.
Looking back to my Play-Testing Notes, and until now - we've seen some developments in Standard that were mostly on track. Meanwhile, others haven't panned out yet (Dinosaurs). At the same time, we identified cards such as Deathgorge Scavenger early on - so, here I am attempting to continue that trend and leaving no stone un-turned. I wanted to look deeper and document as many lists and results possible - from 5-0 MTGO Daily results, SCG results, and more.
Many Flavors of Tokens:
- Adam Yurchick brought this up on a TCGPlayer article about two weeks ago, highlighting just how many different takes there are to this archetype.
- Since then, we finally saw a Token list break a Top 8 finish on a larger scale in the paper world.
- Legion's Landing continues to play a key role in all of these lists, and beyond that in other archetypes (see below). This card has been trending upward, into the $5 range - a price tag that likely will continue to increase with additional high EV finishes.
- While the price of Legion's Landing is still likely under-valued, the other key card Anointed Procession is now firmly in the spotlight and has been trending ever since. Sporting a (near) $10 price tag. There may not be a lot more room at the top for Anointed Procession, but, this card will continue to be easily moved out of inventory.
- Jace, Cunning Castaway Esper versions have been increasingly popular on MTGO - placing many into 5-0 finishes. Now, keep in mind WOTC curates these results. So, they could just be trying to showcase Ixalan cards. In any event, this 3CMC Walker has (like others) fell under $10 and should be more seriously considered at this new low.
- Along with Jace, cards such as Crested Sunmare, and Champion of Wits have been included in these Esper tokens list. The latter always included - and has now been included in other archetypes as well.
Resurgence of the "Gift" Archetype:
- This archetype blossomed after Hour of Devastation was released and for a time it was successful - and then it wasn't. It does appear to be back on the radar, and between UW and Esper versions - it has logged many 5-0 performances on MTGO and has logged other Top 8 finishes. Like this list from SCG Open Dallas.
- Here again we see this archetype incorperate Champion of Wits as a 4-of, and includes other forgotten mythics like Angel of Invention, Demon of Dark Schemes, Cataclysmic Gearhulk, Noxious Gearhulk and sometimes Vona, Butcher of Magan. Many of these cards have cooled off from hyped prices - more notably the Angel. Even Champion of Wits has decreased heavily from previous highs of $5-6.
- This deck continues to fight through the clear inclusions of Abrade in Red lists, but many Temur Energy lists choose to omit the card from the main deck - which is why the deck has positioned itself well enough that it will continue to be on the cusp. Hostage Taker certainly helped, and similar cards that are printed helps the archetype.
Rogue, Innovation, and everything In-between:
- Ixalan Standard may be defined by Energy/Red/UB Control - but like the Tokens lists, there's still plenty of Innovation on MTGO and even Paper results.
- While I provided some known quantities in Gifts/Tokens lists that have risen in popularity - I also wanted to highlight Rogue lists, Innovations, and everything in-between to continue to find action outside of obvious clear knowledge. We know about Red and Energy, so, I tried to find some buried treasure.
Taken from decklist searches from Hareruya - it seems there's some awesome decklists hiding below the surface. Albeit the participation numbers can be somewhat small, we still find that these ideas still make their way to other regions and then become established.
- UBR Aggro - (Syndicate Trafficker, Rampaging Ferocidon, Hope of Ghirapur)
- "Rogue" - UB Master (Marionette Master, Tezzeret the Schemer)
- "Tyrant Shoot" (Carnage Tyrant)
- WR Aggro (Aethergeode Miner, Depala, Pilot Exemplar)
- "Rogue" - Sandwurm Pillowfort - (Aid from the Cowl, Sandwurm Convergence, Hour of Promise)
- "Rogue" - UR Spells (Soul-Scar Mage), Bomat Courier, Rampaging Ferocidon)
MTGO 5-0 Lists:
- BRG Midrange - (Vraska, Relic Seeker, Glorybringer, Carnage Tyrant)
- UG Pummeler (Electrostatic Pummeler) - This list is more recently showing results.
- W/U Monument (Legion's Landing, Kinjalli's Sunwing, Glory-Bound Initiate)
- Mono W Monument (Legion's Landing, Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle)
- UB Pirates - MTGO MOCS (Ruin Raider, Dread Wanderer)
- UB Aggro (Glint-Sleeve Siphoner, Champion of Wits)
I also happened upon this list as well - and wanted to make sure I highlighted it:
This seems fairly strong and just another deck that caught my eye that could be a potential contender. Now, the participation may not be a high level EV event, but there's something to build upon here. Not to mention it's packed full of mythic that were forgotten - but suddenly seem better when everyone is playing The Scarab God. The deck doesn't seem like much, but the Eternalize creatures provide incredible value - and Sacred Cat is being utilized in many archetypes now. Additionally, Eternalize provide even more value when you're working with 4 copies of Anointed Procession.
Final notes and considerations:
- RW Approach seemed to place once, and then it fell off. But, maybe it can make a comeback.
- Mono W Monument with draft pick Vampires has to be the top deck in terms of Innovation.
- Of the few lists I was looking at - the off-beaten decks I kept seeing were the Monument lists, WR lists, and now the Pummeler lists.
Thanks Insiders! I hope this information helps and stay tuned for QS coverage of PTXLN! Make sure to join the QS Insider Discord.