At the Gathering – San Diego Revelations

SCG Open Richmond!

Wednesday, February 24th – Pro Tour: San Diego occurred this past weekend, and some very interesting information came out of the event. We saw some new deck lists for standard, and a historic run by LSV cut short by eventual champion Simon Görtzen of Germany. We also saw some information on the new Duel Decks coming this spring, Phyrexia vs. the Coalition. That’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started.

Pro Tour: San Diego occurred this past weekend, and some very interesting information came out of the event. We saw some new deck lists for standard, and a historic run by LSV cut short by eventual champion Simon Görtzen of Germany. We also saw some information on the new Duel Decks coming this spring, Phyrexia vs. the Coalition. That’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started.

First, let’s look at the deck lists for Standard, starting with the winner, Jund. A lot of people were less than pleased about the final match pitting the Jundites against each other, as evidenced by some of the following tweets:

Zvi Mowshowitz (retweeted) “I’m so happy Jund is losing this final match, but so pissed Jund is winning.”


It seems that even though it was the expected enemy, Jund again showed it was able to fight through and win despite the hate. Here is the winner’s deck list:

It’s very interesting to note a few of the following:

1) 27 lands: Man, that is a lot of lands, just as many as most control decks run (if not more!), but upon closer evaluation, we see the Tranny Lands really start to shine, as they serve as mana in the early game, and creatures in the late game. Six of the new Worldwake Tranny Lands in this particular build, these are definitely for real. I would say pick them up now, as they are featured in pretty much every top- performing deck, short of Wescoe’s WW (which did run Dread Statuary).
2) Putrid Leech, which has been a popular cut for many players. Leech appears to have proven his worth, even in a land of Lightning Bolts, hitting the battlefield as an aggressive two- drop on turn 2, and putting your opponent on the back foot earlier, allowing your powerful turn 3 and 4 plays to cause even more disruption.
3) Siege-Gang Commander as a type of tap-out threat that is very difficult to deal with. Similar to Broodmate Dragon, only Day of Judgment and similar sweeper effects can answer the threat.

Overall, Jund is still the bully on the block, and answering it will be quintessential to winning at Standard in the coming months.

Moving on, we have the only Standard deck to be piloted to a 10-0 performance, Boss Naya. LSV played this deck to a 10-0 Standard record, while other pilots also fared well with the deck. Tom “The Boss” Ross, the decks namesake, went 9-1 in Standard, while Rafael Coquiero went 7-3, as did Tom Raney and Ben Stark. PVDdR went 6-4 with the same deck. Through the first 5 rounds of Standard, the deck had a record of what is reported to be 33-7. Ridiculous. Without further ado, the deck list:

The deck runs a Stoneforge Mystic package that, to paraphrase Tom Ross, replaces Baneslayer Angel. But upon second glance, Behemoth Sledge basically makes any of your creatures a build- your- own Baneslayer Angel. A single Noble Hierarch with a Sledge becomes a 3/4 Lifelink Trample beater. A Knight of the Reliquary? Potentially devastating. And even putting it on a sideboarded Baneslayer herself could be powerful. I played a Naya build at FNM last week only knowing that they were playing Naya and Stoneforge Mystic, nothing else. Baneslayer Angel with a Sledge on it (and a Noble Hierarch or two to boot) is still ridiculously good.

The Cunning Sparkmages out of the sideboard becomes the type of machine gun removal we haven’t seen since Goblins were running rampant, and allows the deck to overpower creature matchups.

The deck is really built around tutoring, though. Knight of the Reliquary allows you to tutor up specific lands for specific situations, whether it’s a beater (Tranny Lands), Land Destruction (Tectonic Edge), mana fixing of colors, or Protection (Sejiri Steppe). The Stoneforge Mystic allows you to find the equipment that allows you to win creature wars. Fetchlands fix your manabase as well. Ranger of Eos finds the one-drops you need. Overall, a very strong deck that relies largely on always having what it needs.

The next deck we’ll look at is one that our very own Patrick Chapin brewed up, a U/W Control deck. Patrick decided that there were largely three strategies to build around in Standard right now: Bloodbraid Elf, Tectonic Edge, and Jace, the Mind Sculptor. In this build, he ended up going with two of those three strategies, using Tectonic Edge and Jace 2.0 in his deck.

This deck took Patrick to an 8-1-1 record, Gabriel Nassif to an 8-2 record, and Mark Herberholz to a 7-3 record. A composite 24-5-1 record is utterly amazing, and I have no doubt that, were it not for some troublesome draft rounds, we would have seen at least 1, if not 2, of these gentlemen in the Top 8. It also took Brian Kibler to the Top 4 of the Standard Foils side event, where he split, and Jake Hill to the finals of the Standard Kindle tournament.

Looking at the build, it has some interesting capabilities for winning. Martial Coup for 5 on turn 4 is pretty devastating, and certainly a nice upgrade compared to Day of Judgment. Hmm, kill all your guys, or kill all your guys and have 5 1/1 tokens. I’ll take door number two, thanks. Or how about a mind Spring for 5 on turn 4, or Iona, Shield of Emeria on turn 6. Everflowing Chalice allows such amazing acceleration, and most importantly, probably allows Jace 2.0 to come down on turn 3.

One thing that’s neat to see is how both U/W Control and Boss Naya both turned to Oblivion Ring for removal slots in the main deck. Looks like Qasali Pridemage may be making a comeback in Standard.

Side Note: U/W Control needs a better nickname, like Chapiona, or something. Internet, you have your homework assignment.

The final Standard deck I want to cover is Hall of Famer Zvi Mowshowitz newest creation, Mythic.

Zvi played this deck along with Sam Black, Alan Comer, and Gaudenis Vidugiris. Black went 7-3, while Vidugiris went 9-1. Comer went 3-2, while Mowshowitz went 2-3, but certainly turned it around, as he won the Standard Kindle tournament the following day. The deck is largely a Ramp deck which makes every single threat a savage beating of painful consequences. Exalted allows you to avoid over-committing to the board while still putting forward a threat which must be answered almost immediately. The Tranny lands function here as post-Day of Judgment threats, as a Colonnade and a Finest Hour could attack immediately after a Wrath for a total of 11 damage, otherwise known as over half of your starting life. Even the Stirring Wildwood hits for 9 in this manner, and a Noble Hierarch added to that would be 11. Savage indeed.

The last bit of information I want to cover today is the spoiling of the new Duel Decks, Phyrexia vs. the Coalition. Let’s start with the deck lists:


1 Bone Shredder
1 Carrion Feeder
1 Order of Yawgmoth
1 Phyrexian Battleflies
1 Phyrexian Broodlings
1 Phyrexian Colossus
1 Phyrexian Debaser
1 Phyrexian Defiler
1 Phyrexian Denouncer
1 Phyrexian Gargantua
1 Phyrexian Ghoul
1 Phyrexian Hulk
1 Phyrexian Negator
1 Phyrexian Plaguelord
2 Priest of Gix
1 Sanguine Guard

2 Dark Ritual
1 Hideous End
1 Hornet Cannon
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Living Death
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Phyrexian Processor
1 Phyrexian Totem
1 Phyrexian Vault
2 Puppet Strings
1 Slay
2 Tendrils of Corruption
1 Whispersilk Cloak
1 Voltaic Key
1 Worn Powerstone

25 Swamp

Some interesting pieces there, the “General” of the army, in new alternate- art- foily- hotness is Phyrexian Negator, fresh from the reserve list. New art is displayed on Phyrexian Negator, Voltaic Key (probably a hot seller for Vintage and EDH) and Phyrexian Processor. I’m excited to add the Voltaic Key and Phyrexian Arena to my Esper EDH deck, as well as trying out some of these new creatures I haven’t played before.

The other half of the Duel decks is the coalition, a.k.a. Kibler Reborn

The Coalition

1 Charging Troll
1 Darigaaz, the Igniter
1 Gerrard Capashen
2 Nomadic Elf
1 Quirion Elves
1 Rith, the Awakener
1 Sunscape Battlemage
2 Thornscape Apprentice
2 Thornscape Battlemage
1 Thunderscape Battlemage
1 Treva, the Renewer
1 Verduran Emissar
2 Yavimaya Elder

1 Allied Strategies
2 Armadillo Cloak
1 Coalition Relic
1 Darigaaz’s Charm
1 Evasive Action
1 Exotic Curse
2 Fertile Ground
1 Gerrard’s Command
2 Harrow
1 Narrow Escape
1 Power Armor
1 Rith’s Charm
1 Treva’s Charm
1 Tribal Flames
1 Urza’s Rage
1 Elfhame Palace
10 Forest
1 Island
4 Mountain
4 Plains
1 Shivan Oasis
1 Swamp
3 Terramorphic Expanse

New art for the Coalition is Yavimaya Elder, Armadillo Cloak, and Urza’s Rage. Rith the Awakener, Treva the Renewer, and Darigaaz the Igniter make appearances in the new card frame, although Rith has appeared in the From the Vault: Dragons box, this will be a regular appearance. The Coalition appears to be a domain based deck, giving you incentives to power out all five colors. Early reports from San Diego seem to indicate a fairly balanced matchup. I, for one, can’t wait to play many of the favorite from Invasion, which was the blip on my radar where I played and drafted after High School

Overall, both of these products look to be very exciting from multiple view points, both casual and competitive.

Until next time, this is Jeff Phillips, reminding you: Don’t make the Loser Choice.