SCG Open Series: Grinding Boston

What kind of metagame can we expect this weekend in Standard and Legacy in Boston Boxborough? Glenn Jones fills you in. Don’t forget your Modern decks if you want to try your hand in a Win-a-Box!

The StarCityGames.com Open Series is back in Beantown this weekend for our Boston event. Earlier this year, Boston featured a Standard Open dominated by Caw-Blade that saw Dan Jordan emerge victorious from the elimination rounds—claiming the same Open title he won in 2010. The champ will no doubt be back to defend once again, looking for a threepeat, but the metagame is very different now.

Standard has become a much more diverse format over the past few months, and especially in August. Ali Aintrazi Nationals win with U/B Control and Pat Cox victory in the Richmond Open with Valakut didn’t just give us two decks that could stand up to the Caw-Blade menace. Even the top decks of those tournaments featured renewed diversity, with archetypes like Pyromancer Ascension and Boros appearing alongside the usual Caw-Blade and Hero-Blade decklists.

I’m expecting that variety to evolve this weekend, and hope to see yet another weekend where Squadron Hawk goes without a trophy. This Standard Open will be the last one before Grand Prix Pittsburgh, and it promises to set the stage for that event in style. With Pro Tour Philadelphia immediately following the Grand prix, we’re going to be sure to include as much Modern as we can in the coverage as well!

Legacy continues to thrive, although Show and Tell has begun earning some grumbles from many players. I’ve taken to joking that soon people will just be boarding in Emrakuls of their own, and that might not be as far from the truth as it first seemed. Cheating the 15/15 or some other fatty into play has become a legitimate Tier 1 strategy that doesn’t take much commitment, and I’d expect Show and Tell to continue making waves until the metagame comes up with a strong answer to these archetypes.

The Open event is being hosted at the Holiday Inn — Boxborough once again, a bit off the beaten path for actual Boston but still a hotel with excellent accommodations. This is the same location we hit up earlier in the year, so it will be familiar to many of you; the hotel was still offering a great rate, but at this time they may be all booked up.

If you’re in need of singles, be sure to order in advance. While our show stock is kept as robust as possible, the StarCityGames.com store inventory boasts significant more cards. Don’t get stuck without your Word of Commands or Angel’s Graces—any order placed on StarCityGames.com by noon EST on Thursday, August 18th will be delivered for free in Boston! Make sure to select the Event Pickup option during shipping and your order will be waiting for you at the StarCityGames.com sales booth.

Magic and fantasy artist extraordinaire Mark Hyzer is attending the Open weekend and setting up a booth to feature his prints and other works once again. Mark’s cards include Kederekt Leviathan, Juggernaut, and a personal favorite: Corpse Connoisseur. Mark’s done a lot of great stuff in addition to his Magic artwork, some of which you can see on his website. Drop by and he’ll work a little Sharpie magic on your cards and playmats.

Attending yet another StarCityGames.com is Lindsay Burley, selling her custom-cut 3-D card alters. These unique cards are only becoming even more special—she’s begun to work original art and designs into her offerings, making some very special commanders available in some very unique ways. Textless 3-D Jhoira of the Ghitu? Don’t mind if I do! Her process can be seen on her YouTube page, while her email ([email protected]) is available for commissions. Order in advance and she’ll be able to arrange a pick-up on-site.

Budding alterist of the northeast Hannah Murray will return to Boston, site of the very event she debuted at many moons ago. Since then, I’ve watched Hannah’s work only get better and more interesting. Now she’s known for doing excellent work with seasonal Wastelands and foreign conversions, and she’s planning to begin teaching herself to alter foil cards. If you want to learn more about Hannah’s work, check out her gallery online. For commissions, drop [email protected] a line!

Naturally, I’ll be in attendance with the rest of our SCGLive complement for the weekend. Director Jeremy Noell and commentators Adrian Sullivan and Joey Pasco will be bringing you the broadcast, while I work on the remainder of the content. If you’ve got an interesting brew and are doing well in either Open, definitely track down myself or Jeremy to see if we’ve got space to feature your deck in the coverage. Erik Manoushian’s homebrew crushed the Legacy Open just this weekend in Richmond—yours could be next!

We’ll be active on the @SCGLive Twitter, as always, and we’re crossing our fingers that the internet will work better this time around than it did last season. For updates and broadcast forecasts, check #SCGBos and our Facebook page over the course of the event. If there’s anything you’d like to see, whether it’s Standard, Legacy, or even Modern, don’t hesitate to let us know!

Glenn Jones

Coverage Content Manager